#YouthMatters: Bulelani Ngcauzele, junior account manager at Hook, Line & Sinker
As a PRISM Awards Young Voice, Bulelani has been privileged to work with senior judges who have a wealth of experience and expertise. She has not been intimidated by this and has made her mark during the judging period, with her contribution being applauded by her senior judges.
I find out more from the up and coming PR professional...
Tell us more about Hook, Line & Sinker and what your role as a Junior Account Manager entails?
Hook, Line & Sinker (HLS) Communications is a hip and happening integrated agency which specialises in PR, Marketing and Social Media. The agency comprises a young bunch of millennials that offer digital services to some of the world’s biggest tech and computer software brands.
As junior account manager, I have the responsibility of overseeing several exciting B2B accounts and manage exciting campaigns across Africa and Europe. I also manage the agency’s media and marketing activities across social media, paid placements, and events and industry awards etc. HLS challenges us to think out of the PR-box and extend ourselves into advertising and marketing, social media, and global campaigns.
What sparked your interest in getting into PR?
I got into PR by accident. My older sister started her career in PR and was vehemently against me following in her footsteps. So, I pursued commerce but towards the end of reading towards my B.Com at the University of Cape Town, I realised I was more suited to marketing and PR.
How did you get into the industry?
In 2018, through the Ogilvy Graduate Program, which catapulted me straight into advertising. I am a huge advocate for the program because of the tangible experience it provides to students seeking hands-on industry knowledge.
What was your experience like in the Ogilvy Graduate Program?
My experience in the O25 Grad program was life-changing. I knew nothing about PR or the industry beforehand.
I learned an immense amount about the advertising industry and it’s many disciplines. In 12 months, I touched on and worked with practitioners in PR, social media, influencer management, digital, strategy, print production and web development. I was part of a group of ‘grads’ who entered an internal Battle of the Brand Worlds competition. We were up against industry seniors and we won. I strongly advocate for the program and others like it as it provides real work experience, mentorship and year-long networking opportunities.
What excites you the most about PR?
The most exciting part about PR is that it is constantly changing and becoming more of an integrated profession. Our capabilities as seasoned PR professionals are constantly evolving and challenged. The shift in today’s media landscape means that we need to cross pollinate content for clients across PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned channels) to constantly deliver value.
Besides being in PR, what other talents do you have?
I enjoy writing, which forms a large part of what I do at Hook, Line & Sinker. I also love social media. In addition, I hope to develop my ICT skills further, as our global tech clients and their digital skills development programs have taught us how crucial 21st century learning is and how these skills can be applied to so many areas of work.
What would you say are the qualities needed to get into PR?
You need to be malleable because the industry is ever-changing.
You must be passionate about communications and working with people (from senior executives, influencers, and media), and a positive attitude and great attention to detail.Most of all, you need to be an excellent writer and understand how to apply this to multiple channels.
What is the one project you have worked on that you are incredibly proud of?
There are two that I feel very strongly about. The first was a project around rape reporting awareness. I was involved in a very minimal way but the impact it had on me was so profound as I realised that not enough young people speak about how to go about reporting rape, especially in a country with such high GBV numbers.
The second is one I am currently working on, which is Europe’s most popular digital skills youth initiative called Meet and Code. This programme reaches 35 European countries and is backed by Microsoft and the German government. I am particularly proud of working on this project as it places large emphasis on girls in code and encourages girls to pursue careers in ICT.
It's our 5th birthday, so we're reminiscing over our favourite Meet and Code stories��— Meet and Code (@MeetAndCode) May 27, 2021
#5: Cyborggewebe won the Girls do IT! Category in last year's awards for their "Developing DIY Textile Projects" workshop��#meetandcode #codeEU
Read the story here: https://t.co/TB0HE2yTLh pic.twitter.com/xz1SkI6SPd
What are the victories that you’ve had since starting out?
Earlier this year I was appointed by an integrated PR agency to run and oversee global accounts, which is a huge victory at this stage of my career. A second victory was being selected as one of ten PRISM Awards Young Voices. Being recognised as a young voice by the most prestigious PR awards in Southern Africa has been a great honour.
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Believe in yourself. Take chances.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Since joining Hook, Line & Sinker, I have discovered that the sky is the limit. I see myself grabbing every opportunity that comes my way and working my way up and growing with HLS. Our social and digital opportunities are expanding, and I see myself heading up that part of the agency.
As we celebrate Youth Month, do you have any words of encouragement for the youth?
My words of encouragement would be to seek opportunities that will nurture your growth as an individual and as a professional.
Upskill at every stage of your life and never stop learning.Ask questions, be enquiring and curious, and never be afraid to seek mentorship.