This blog reflects on life at work at comments on the latest news that shapes my 9-5 working day in a Corporate Communications consultancy.

About Me

I am a born and bred South African who has always loved to read and write. As a child my mother used to read to me and my siblings, from classics like the “Lord of the Rings” but later also from her own stories. She would write children’s stories and then use us as her test audience, but I loved to hear what she had written long after my siblings had tired of it. So I grew up in an environment of reading and writing, which inspired my love of these things. I hope to write a great book some day, and have learnt first hand the determination and will that it takes. My love of English inspired me to continue my study of it at university. I majored in Law and English in a BA degree at UCT where I found that I took to English much more than law. I enjoyed learning about South Africa’s history and the development of our liberal Constitution, which increasingly made me committed to the hope this country has for the future. Ideally, I’d like to find myself in a job where I am able to write; that allows a good mix of time spent with people and being able to work on my own.

Sunday, 01 July 2007

Results Day

It takes a visit to an event like the announcement of Transnet's Annual results to realise how much organisation goes into it. Most of the people involved had very little sleep the night before. (This didn't include me, as I helped on the day only, apart from some phone calls I'd made). I didn't expect such a large event as the Omnia announcement I'd been to the week before was not like this. Transnet, however, is a much bigger and much more influential company.

I arrived at the Hilton Hotel at 7 45 am to find the registration table and banners already set up. The event management side was handled by Simeka TMS, a public relations firm, so they had taken care of this. The hotel took care of all the catering, and made sure the food kept rolling out for most of the day.

There were several presentations of Transnet's results to different groups of people, starting at 6 30 over breakfast - this was to shareholders. Next was the presentation to the executive boards, the trade unions, and then the media. Brunswick's responsibility was to handle the media side. We had to be there mainly to ensure that everything ran smoothly - to schedule interviews and to make sure the journalists were where they were supposed to be at the right time. I helped Karen (from Brunswick) with whatever she needed, which included finding a fax machine and dropping off a journalist at the Star offices in the afternoon. The trade union's presentation ran over time.. apparently they were asking difficult questions.. which meant that everyone started panicking about Maria Ramos's tight schedule. It worked out in the end though.

I was able to sit in on the results presentation, which was interesting. I still have a lot to learn about financial terms, but I brought a copy home so that I could take more time to understand them.

As soon as the media presentation was done, Maria Ramos went through to the interview room where the TV crews filmed her. In the afternoon she had a long string of interviews with print and radio publications. Ms Ramos then went to an evening function - so it must have been an exhausting day. On Wednesday morning she was due to give another breakfast presentation.

The day after the results, I helped to compile a media pack on Transet - basically collecting everything that had been written about the company's announcement. I felt like I was part of the news in the making. When I did my internship at Caxton, I helped to organise a cocktail party for Joburg 'celebrities' like Nico- the owner of Espresso. This time, I was mixing with a different crowd - the media 'celebrities' whose writing I read everyday, as well as people in the news such as Maria Ramos. I enjoyed being able to put names and faces together.

1 comment:

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

I enjoy this kind of work. I did some public relations in my last job and helped with events planning as well. I was required to do qite a bit of socialising. It gives you a good buzz.