Nationality:South African (Race:Indian)
University of South Africa: BA Psychology BA Communication
Graduated September 2002
Subjects taken: Psychology I, II, III; Communication I, II, III; Communication Law, English I, II; Politics I, Statistics I, Sociology I, International Relations I & II
• Fully computer literate. MS Office including MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Email, Internet, Photoshop, completed a Web Design course on Dream Weaver.
• Completed an informal course in Public Relations independent of Communications degree syllabus.
• Completed the intermediate course on Managing By Project Techniques & Processes
• Completed course on Stakeholder Management & Crisis Communications
• Excellent communications and negotiating skills. Able to mediate and engage at all intellectual levels and all age levels.
• Excellent office management skills. Including administrative duties and co-ordination skills.
• I am a confident public speaker and am comfortable making presentations.
• Research and report writing are other aspects I am skilled at.
• I have excellent knowledge of online social media [new media] networks and am comfortable working with these networks as well as on websites. I have a good understanding of the integration of the applications like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn etc.
South African National Biodiversity Institute [September 2010 to 28 February 2011]
Position: Deputy Director: Marketing and Communications
SANBI is the National body charged with managing the 9 National Botanical Gardens, Biodiversity research and information and Biodiversity preservation. The organization reports to the Department of Environmental Affairs.
Developing and implementing a national marketing strategy for the 9 NBGs.
Developing a social networking strategy and implementing on relevant platforms
Management of Marketing staff at various Gardens
Production of marketing material for Gardens
Develop and implement Communications strategy
Lead media relations – including being on hand for interviews and other media requests
Manage Communications staff at various Gardens
Writing and distribution of articles
Writing speaking notes for the CEO and other principals
Identifying media opportunities
Organizing media events
Monitoring and reporting on coverage
Analyzing media coverage
Assist with development of Internal Communications Strategy
Provide support for internal functions
Lead and co-ordinate internal events including programme directing
Manage and edit website content related to the Gardens
Occasionally write content for website pages
Manage the implementation of online communications processes for internal communications [ e.g. Novell GroupWise and Skype]
Set up and manage the Facebook page for the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden as per the Garden’s marketing target.
South African National Parks [April 2008 to September 2010]
Position: Media and Stakeholder Relations Manager
South African National Parks [SANParks] is the country’s body charged with the management of a system of national parks which represents the indigenous fauna, flora, landscape and associated cultural heritage of the country.
It is also a tourism-based organization that derives much of its income from promoting the National Parks as a tourist destination to both local and international visitors. The organization reports to the Department of Environmental Affairs and works closely with the Department.
Media Liaison Officer responsible for all contact with media for the organisation. Provide support to pricipals as spokesperson. Write & distribute media releases & field media enquiries.
Assist with developing Communications Strategies with principals. Develop & implement media plans for general operations as well as campaigns, events & issues arising. Implement Crisis Communications plans when necessary.
Arrange media events like media briefings, media tours and conferences.
Write briefing notes for Head of Communications and Chief Executive on issues arising. Arrange & monitor media interviews with the Chief Executive & other executive members.
Develop Stakeholder Relations Strategies & Plans & implement across the organisation. Manage the media and stakeholder databases. Provide support to Events Manager & write scripts & speeches for events & campaigns. Also assist with publications for events.
Manage the receipt & dissection of the media analysis reports. Compile monthly reports detailing the organisational media reputation based on the analysis reports. Offer recommendations to improve media reputation gradings. Compile reports on stakeholder feedback & make recommendations on where the organisation can improve stakeholder relations.
Manage the organisations online presence as public relations representative. Provide content & information as & when necessary for the organisations online community that included the website forum and Facebook & Twitter. Use the online environment to promote events and campaigns as well as inform stakeholders of the organisations strategies and decisions.
Provide assistance to the Internal Communications colleagues with all internal events as well as publication of internal messages. Draft monthly editorial note for the Head of Communications to be published in the monthly internal magazine.
Re-assess filming & photography rates and permit methods across parks & internalise the process.
Researcher, Administrator and Spokesperson at Media Review Network, South Africa.
[From April 2003 till May 2005 remained for 6 months to complete website transition]
The Media Review Network is an advocacy group which concerns itself with media - and political analysis.
The group’s function includes daily analysis of media, media liaison, commentary on international and domestic socio-political matters [both in written media, radio and television], socio-political lobbying with local politicians as well as foreign embassies, hosting of national and international academics and NGO’s, ongoing research on domestic and international socio-political climates, addressing local and international conferences, etc.
The Media Review Network has an Executive consisting of four members, all of whom require constant updates on daily progress and all of whom issue daily targets.
I served as political analyst and researcher as well as spokesperson and media liaison for the organisation. My other task was to manage the office and the internal communications structure.
I was required to develop and maintain media contacts and implement a media liaison strategy in order to promote the organizations activities more effectively.
I would also be called upon to engage the media when necessary in order to highlight certain issues of importance. This meant that I would handle all enquiries regarding the statements and articles released, do media interviews on television and radio when necessary and handle enquiries about the organization and help direct requests and complaints.
I was involved in creating and maintaining the website for the organization which is updated daily and is the point of first contact with the public and the media.
I also was a key person in conceptualizing and publishing the organization's first official brochure which presented the organizationâ??s activities over the first eight years of its existence.
Some of my main tasks were to lobby government officials and other key personalities on issues related to the work we did. I was also tasked with compiling and making presentations to departments, eg. the SANDF on matters of interest.
The socio-political environment, which the organisation is concerned with, is a constantly changing one and all developments need to be recorded. This required my constant vigilance on all developments in the media and within the socio-political structures.
As a researcher and commentator for the Media Review Network, I was also required to be able to write opinion pieces, letters to the editor and book reviews for publication in both the mainstream media and community newspapers.
At the end of my term at the MRN, I was required to train staff and set up a standard communications structure for the MRN's operations.