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About Me

Site last updated: 26 May 2014
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"Forward-thinking brands + great writers = brilliant online content"
  Read more at BizCommunity.com

Welcome


Welcome to my portfolio. I'm an independent communications consultant, freelance writer and editor with many years of experience, and I trade under the name of Cahill Communications.

I've been in private practice since October 2002, providing specialist communications services to a range of different clients. I work on a per-project basis, and my costs are guaranteed unless there is a change to the original project brief.

I was previously the Group Marketing Manager for Business Partners Limited, South Africa's leading investment company for small and medium enterprises. Prior to that, I was the Marketing Manager and a Commissioning Editor at Struik Publishers (now Random House Struik), the country's largest publisher of illustrated non-fiction, and Senior Manager: Promotional Marketing for the Nedcor Group.

SCROLL DOWN or click through to my LinkedIn profile for further information about me, or to view references and endorsements. Use the EXAMPLES OF WORK tab at the top of the page to access examples of individual projects. 

Please feel free to contact me with any queries you may have about your communications needs. Queries relating to projects of any nature, size or scope are welcome, and there is no charge for taking a brief and developing a cost estimate.

Clients


I service a portfolio of clients and agencies that includes, amongst others, Genesis Analytics, ElloJo, IdeaHub, Ince, Johannesburg SPCA, Metrofile, On Point Communications, PR Powerhouse and WWF South Africa.

I also have a significant body of work done for such clients as Sappi, Business Partners, PG Bison, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Road Accident Fund (RAF), as well as for PR agencies such as Arcay Corporate Communications, C-Squared, Chillibush, Gillian Gamsay International, Grant Marshall Communications and Magna Carta.

Communications Projects


Ad hoc projects I've done have included work for such clients as Afrox, FinBond, FirstRand, FNB Leveraged Finance (previously FNB Enterprise Solutions), HSBC, KPMG and National Data Systems.

Writing and Editing


Working as a contributing writer and/or editor, I've also contributed to a range of projects for clients such as African Bank, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), Grindrod Bank, Mail and Guardian, Monitoring South Africa (MSA), the National Empowerment Fund (NEF), the National Treasury, the State Information and Technology Agency (SITA)The Freedom Park, THRIP (government's Technology and Human Resources in Industry programme) and Wiphold.

Educational Background


I have an Honours degree in English and a Bachelors degree in Art History.

I also completed the Certificate Programme in Strategic Marketing Management at the Wits Business School in 1995, the Introductory and Intermediate Photography Courses at the National School of Photography in 2005, and the Random House Struik/UCT Creative Writing Course in 2010, amongst many other post-experience training courses.

Specialist Areas


In my consulting work, I specialise in policy and strategy development, communications planning, creative conceptualisation, branding and project management.

As a writer and editor, I specialise in developing media content for both traditional and new media, as well as in developing all forms of corporate and marketing communications such as brochures, pamphlets, ads, newsletters etc.

I also develop state profiles, annual reports, corporate reports, corporate profiles and other in-depth documentation, especially where there is a need to communicate complex concepts in everyday language.

Work Philosophy


My work philosophy is to provide an expert, efficient and cost-effective professional service, on deadline and to budget. I take pride in forming long-term relationships with my clients, and in developing in-depth knowledge of their companies and organisations.

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Services

I specialise in policy and strategy development, communications planning, creative conceptualisationbranding, report writing, editing and content development for both corporate and organizational clients.

Services Portfolio


The services I offer include:
  
  • policy and strategy development;
  • marketing and communications planning;
  • corporate image development;
  • branding; and
  • corporate, marketing, media, social media, public, internal, stakeholder, corporate social investment (CSI) and mass communications.


  • More specifically, I develop policy and communications strategies and/or plans for a wide range of products and services; conceptualise, develop and implement branding and communications campaigns; and develop communications content such as:
    • annual reports;
    • corporate reports, profiles and presentations;
    • media releases;
    • editorial, op-ed and thought leadership features;
    • branding campaigns;
    • launch and re-launch campaigns;
    • social media campaigns;
    • ads;
    • brochures;
    • posters;
    • information leaflets;
    • web sites and blogs;
    • internal newsletters;
    • client newsletters;
    • e-newsletters;
    • special promotions;
    • sponsorship support programmes; and
    • corporate social investment campaigns.

    I also offer project management services, develop create briefs, and write marketing, sponsorship and corporate social investment proposals

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    Policy and Strategy


    Examples of policies and strategies


    As policies and strategies developed for and on behalf of clients are not in the public domain, I'm unable to post any examples on this site.

    However, this is a list of some of the larger projects I've researched and written in recent years, beginning with the most recent:

    • South African National Accreditation System (SANAS): Corporate Communications Policy (2013)
    • South African National Accreditation System (SANAS): Crisis Communications Policy (2013)
    • Sappi Paper and Paper Packaging: Strategic Rationale and Communications Plan for the launch of Sappi's first-ever consumer campaign, 'i choose paper' (2010)
    • PG Bison: Brand and Product Portfolio Marketing and Communications Strategy (2008)
    • Sappi Kraft: Brand and Product Portfolio Marketing and Communications Strategy (2008)
    • Sappi Kraft: Resilio Launch Marketing and Communications Strategy (2007)
    • Sappi Kraft: Barricoat Launch Marketing and Communications Strategy (2007)
    • South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI): Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden and Harold Porter National Botanical Garden Marketing and Communications Strategy (2007)
    • Sappi Fine Paper: Triple Green Media Launch Strategy (2006)
    • Afrox: Strategic Marketing, Media and Stakeholder Communications Strategy (2005)
    • South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI): Lowveld National Botanical Garden Marketing and Communications Strategy (2005)
    • Sappi Limited: Mpumalanga Regional Communications Strategy (2005)
    • FNB Leveraged Finance: Launch Strategy (2004)
    • Now Media: Travelinfo Marketing and Communications Strategy (2003)
    • Institute of Natural Health: Marketing and Communications Strategy (2002)
    • Furman Glass: Brand Re-Launch Strategy (2002)
    • Business Partners Limited (previously the Small Business Development Corporation): Brand Re-Launch Strategy (2002)
    • Struik Publishers: (Johnnic Communications): Brand Re-Launch Strategy (1999)
    • Struik Publishers: (Johnnic Communications): Sales and Marketing Strategy (1999)
    • D Sat: Advertising Strategy (1999)
    • Johannesburg SPCA: Brand Re-Launch and Communications Strategy (1998)
    • KPMG: Corporate Communications Strategy (1996)
    • HSBC Simpson Mc Kie: Brand Re-Launch Strategy (1996)
    • HSBC Simpson Mc Kie: Marketing Plan (1996)
    • HSBC Simpson Mc Kie: Creative Strategy (1996)



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    Corporate, Marketing and Media Communications


    I have a large corporate, marketing and media communications portfolio, which includes elements developed for various clients.

    Recent examples include a media release entitled What Obama's visit means to Africa, which was commissioned by Arcay Corporate Communications for GE Africa, and a release entitled Putting Africa's railway's to work again, which was commissioned by On Point Communications for Thelo Rolling Stock Leasing (Thelo RSL), a leading provider of rolling stock in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Click on the EXAMPLES OF WORK tab at the top of this page to view further samples.   

    All of my work is archived in the form of PDF and JPG files on scribd.com. Please let me know if you experience any broken links by using the CONTACT ME tab in the toolbar.

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    Web Content

    I regularly develop web content for my clients. This work sometimes involves conceptualising or re-conceptualising the whole web site and supervising the site build as well.

    These are some examples of web sites that I've worked on:

    Genesis Analytics



    Genesis Analytics is a South African-based consulting firm that advises governments and companies in emerging markets on issues related to strategy, the competitive environment, regulation and development. The firm consults throughout Africa, the Middle East and India.

    In 2012, I developed the content for the new Genesis Analytics web site, and continue to develop and/or edit content for the site.


    Johannesburg SPCA



    The Johannesburg SPCA is the oldest and one of the largest SPCAs in South Africa. It services an area that includes Soweto, Orange Farm, Roodepoort and Krugersdorp.

    In 2013 I developed the content for the new JSPCA web site, which was used to launch the society's new corporate image. The site was designed and built by the client's agency. Note that the client updates the home page and staff interviews on an ad hoc basis.


    Sappi Paper and Paper Packaging "i choose paper" Campaign

    "i choose paper" was Sappi's first-ever consumer campaign, and was specifically designed to inform consumers about the benefits of using fully-sustainable paper packaging in preference to other non-sustainable and environmentally-damaging options.

    I'm proud to have developed the strategy for this campaign and to have conceptualised and developed all of the communications elements with the sterling input of my design associate, Cilmi Steyn of Steyn Photo&Graphic. The web site was built by Mark of Bellboy Media and I acted as Creative Director and Project Manager on the project. The site is unfortunately no longer online but a screen shot of the home page is available in HTML format on request.


    Sappi Refibre






    Sappi Refibre is Sappi Limited's secondary fibre division, and is responsible for the recycling of used paper and paper products.

    I conceptualised this web site, and researched and wrote the content. The build was done by Mark of Bellboy Media, using original design elements developed by Steyn Photo&Graphic and Sappi's own design agency. I also acted as Creative Director and Project Manager on the project.
     
     

    Sappi / WWF Tree Routes Partnership



    I conceptualised and developed the original content for the Sappi WWF TreeRoutes Partnership web site based on the client's brief.

    The project's aim is to foster a new concept in co-operative rural development that fulfils both human and environmental needs. This is being done by creating unique community-owned and run eco-tourism destinations in the endangered forests and wetlands of KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape.

    Please note that the original copy may since have been amended by the client or webmaster.


    Business Partners Limited



    I conceptualised and developed most of the content for the Business Partners web site, including all of the downloadable elements, such as the annual reports and brochures produced between 2002 and 2011.

    I also developed some of the content for the related SME Toolkit, an International Finance Corporation initiative. Business Partners is South Africa's leading investment company for small and medium enterprises, and has invested over R6bn in entrepreneurial ventures.

    Please note that the original copy on both web sites may since have been amended by the client or webmaster.

    In addition, I've previously developed either complete web sites or web site content for Sappi Limited, FNB Leveraged Finance, Struik Publishers, Furman Glass, the Johannesburg SPCA and Uniglobe Bay Travel, as well as establishing and running my own web site, SAbookworm (now dormant). I also set up and ran the Joburg Advocacy Group's web site (also now dormant).

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    Executive Speeches


    Examples of Speeches


    On occasion, I am commissioned to write executive speeches by client companies. Click on the links below to read some examples.

    These documents are archived as PDF files on scribd.com. Please let me know if you experience any broken links by using the CONTACT ME tab in the toolbar.

    • BankSETA: Address by the CEO, Max Makhubalo, delivered at the graduation ceremony of the BankSETA-sponsored Letsema Learnership Programme (2013).
    • SekelaXabiso: Address by CEO, Lindani Dhlamini, delivered at the annual Internal Audit Conference (2013).
    • Sasria: Address by the Chairman, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, delivered by video link at the annual Chairman's Charity Golf Day (2010):
    • Department of Trade and Industry (dti): Address by the Honourable Deputy Minister, Ms Maria Ntuli, delivered at the launch of the National Empowerment Fund's Business Planner and Mentorship Programme (2009)
    • SITA (State Information and Technology Agency): Address by the Honourable Minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi, delivered at the launch of GovTech 2009
    • Road Accident Fund: Address by the CEO of the Road Accident Fund, Mr Jacob Modise, delivered at the UN World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (2007) 
    • Sappi Limited: Address by the CEO, Mr Jonathan Leslie, delivered at the launch of the LignoTech SA expansion project, which made LignoTech the largest facility of its kind in the world.
    • Sappi Limited: Address by Mr Ockert le Roux, delivered on the occasion of the retirement of Sappi Executive Chairman and CEO, Mr Eugene van As (2003)

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    Mass Communications


    I've done a limited amount of work in the mass communications field. Click on one of the links below to view examples of what I've written.

    All examples of my work are archived as PDF files on scribd.com. Please let me know if you experience any broken links by using the CONTACT ME tab in the toolbar.

    • iMali Matters: February 2008 Issue (Original Copy): A financial literacy publication distributed monthly through all South Afrucan post offices.
    • Community Talk: February 2008 Issue (Original Copy): A community magazine distributed fress in the major metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

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    Pro Bono Work

    Although I've recently scaled back on pro bono work, I've devoted a lot of time to it in the past, especially over the past 20 years. 

    Joburg Advocacy Group


    As far as community-based projects are concerned, I founded the Joburg Advocacy Group in 2009 and ran it for four years. The group, which was voluntary and self-funded, advocated for best-practice governance, social justice and environmental protection in the City of Joburg. Our work focused on such issues as the Joburg billing crisis, financial management in the city, acid mine drainage, service delivery, resident/voter rights and water pollution.

    The group was disbanded at the end of 2012 as the volume of voluntary work had become too great for the members to manage in addition to their work and personal commitments.

    In 2010, I also founded and acted as project manager for a fixed-term project called the Kensington Community Work Programme, which was run in association with the Expanded Public Works Programme in the run-up to and during the 2010 World Cup. The project provided part-time work for 80 unemployed people, and was aimed at upgrading public spaces in the Johannesburg suburb of Kensington, a hub for a number of World Cup activities.

    Animal protection


    In animal protection, I've served on the board of the Johannesburg SPCA, the largest of the SPCAs countrywide, and have done some pro bono work for Friends of the Cat.

    I'm also a member of an ad hoc group of activists called Marine Life Defenders, which works for the protection of marine life. As a group, we focus especially on marine mammals, birds and large cartilaginous species, such as sharks and rays, currently being held in captivity in marine parks.

    Greenpeace and Avaaz


    In a similar vein, I'm a member of and cyberactivist for Greenpeace, and a volunteer and cyberactivist for Avaaz.org, a global web-based movement with "the simple democratic mission of closing the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want". 

    Mentoring


    In the professional arena, I've been actively involved in mentoring black and female candidates in both businesess and non-profit organisations for many years. I do this on an individual basis, either on request or having personally identified a candidate for mentorship during the course of my own work.

    The process is on-going, and covers both formal and informal issues. The objective is to assist the candidate not only with skills development, but also with insight into situational analysis, interpersonal communication, conflict management and career planning.

    Less formally, I believe it's important to try and make a difference where I stand. I attempt to do this by assisting people I come into contact with in everyday life in small ways that will make an immediate difference to them. As Mohandas Gandhi said, you can't pray on an empty stomach, and sometimes the greatest good is served simply by making sure that someone is able to have a meal at the end of the day.