Inga Hlatshwayo, a 26-year-old Public Relations account executive, lets us in on her career.
I finished matric in 2007
I studied Public Relations Management at Prisa/Independent Institute of South Africa.
I worked as a temp at one of the well-recognised communications agencies. At the time, I was the temp employee that did admin and answered calls until Jenni Newman Public Relations hired me full time after my studies. I earned R 5000 per month.
I’m currently an Account Executive at Ogilvy. I was head-hunted by my former Account Director.
My job is amazing but I do face a few challenges, especially in the midst of the current digital revolution. Our job is to build meaningful relationships with stakeholders. It’s important to understand how all media and communication channels work.
The best part about my job is working in a team, getting to know and understand various businesses, and the different ways of running a business and public relations with different clients. We get to be creative through writing and creating campaigns. We get to interact with editors and journalists every day, and yes, nothing beats seeing your article on the front page of a local or national newspaper, and magazines.
To survive in my industry you definitely need to be resilient because this will help you deal with difficult clients and difficult journalists.
If anyone would like to follow my path, I would advise them to know their own values; this will help you when you’re under pressure in any situation. Always meet client deadlines. If you know you won’t be able to do something in the required time, communicate and always be reliable – it will do you good in the long run. Always see the positive of every challenge – you can never go wrong with keeping a positive attitude.