…because who doesn’t want STRONG PR, Marketing and Events? That is a cheeky double-entendre rhetorical question the new Johannesburg-based public relations, marketing and events agency called STRONG PR, Marketing and Events is asking.PR, marketing and events all work hand-in-hand. Consequently, the founders of STRONG PR – Mika Stefano, Herkie Du Preez and Jerri Mokgofe – all thought it wise to combine their collective industry expertise and offer a one-stop-service agency. “Edgy, fun, dynamic, creative, established, goal-driven, supportive, strategic and dependable” are words that best describe this new media agency. Firstly, STRONG borrows from a SWOT framework that states that to realise our strengths or desires to be strong(er). We must first be cognisant of our weaknesses and turn those weaknesses into strengths. SWOT is a strategic business framework established by Albert Humphrey. Secondly, the people behind STRONG PR embrace the paradox framework that states that we should look for complexities instead of oversimplifying. Instead of ‘this or that‘, we should sometimes consider ‘both and’. How does STRONG achieve this business paradigm? How do they see all challenges as exciting? The STRONG PR, Marketing and Events team weigh-in: Media personality Mika Stefano is well versed in the intricacies and mechanics of traditional and new media. He has worked on radio, social media and television whilst concurrently heading the marketing and publicity for the Theatre on the Square in Sandton. You have over 15 years of publicity and marketing experience for a theatre, which can be perceived as a form of traditional entertainment. How have you balanced the two paradoxes of attracting a new crowd to the conventional theatre through marketing and publicity? “The theatre offers a wide range of productions, and every two to three weeks, there is a new show with new needs and speaks to a different audience. So it’s important to know the target audience and where you can find them. Over the past few years, we have seen a huge shift from traditional forms of publicity (radio, TV and newspaper) to where we are currently. We are in a space where we now have digital micro-influencers who play a huge role in selling productions. I have seen a better response from a regular theatre-goer who may have a few Facebook friends than an editorial or advertorial article on a newspaper’s front page. Gone are the days people would wait in anticipation for Sunday newspapers full of reviews and opinion pieces. Now everyone has an opinion and a platform to share their views,” says Mika. Herkie Du Preez, you are no stranger to the events space, having produced hundreds of professional events, conferences, award ceremonies, launches and special celebrations – virtually, in-person and hybrid. What would you say has been the most noticeable trends taking shape in the event space?
“As event planners and managers, we now have an exciting opportunity to create even more amazing and exciting experiences for everyone. Yes, I mean everyone – we should have an all-inclusive mindset within everything we do and allow choices and options for our guests in the physical venue or online” says Herkie. “The challenge is real, but it’s even more exciting now. Especially when it all comes together. We now have the opportunity to leverage technology to enhance experiences across platforms for both in person and virtual events. Yes, that means hybrid events are here to stay. This new world we find ourselves in is much more collaborative and exciting than the old.”In conclusion, Jerri Mokgofe, with over ten years of digital marketing, image-making, creative direction and communication experience, focused on building brand equity and offering solutions to clients’ unique marketing and brand image challenges. What would you say is one of the most critical strategic elements of digital marketing that can positively enhance an image of a client? “Your visuals, voice and values should be inclusive, diverse and representative of your target audience. Try not to trivialise and treat this as a box-ticking exercise. Especially now because one of the biggest driving forces of digital marketing is consumer-generated content marketing,” says Jerri. Established and experienced is what more people look for when searching for a firm to represent them. STRONG PR, Marketing and Events ooze both, plus with their ‘no-excuses’ attitude they are set to shake the industry up.
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