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PR industry expert calls young talent to apply for mentorship initiative

Three ambitious, young communications professionals will be given the opportunity to be mentored by PR guru and Eclipse Communications founding partner and strategist, Jacki McEwen-Powell, between June and November 2021.

As a seasoned communications specialist, publicist and strategist, McEwen-Powell believes that nurturing young, creative talent is critical to ensuring the sustainability of the communications industry.

“The upskilling of young talent is very close to my heart. The communications space relies heavily on fresh thinking and the ability to find unique ways of doing things. Only by tapping into the insights that young people bring to the table can we remain relevant and avoid becoming industry dinosaurs.”

McEwen-Powell says the sad reality is seasoned communications professionals with busy schedules don’t always find the time to identify, mentor and develop young talent. “Covid-19 – with its lockdowns and restrictions – made this process even more challenging and, sadly, many mentorship and internship programmes fell by the wayside.”

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The Eclipse Communications mentorship initiative will give three driven, young candidates access to McEwen-Powell’s wealth of knowledge and insights into all aspects of the communications industry. The programme will incorporate monthly engagements with McEwen-Powell, who will guide them in honing not only their communications skills, but also their business and entrepreneurial skills too.

In addition to being passionate about the industry, McEwen-Powell is an astute entrepreneur and business woman. At the tender age of 26, she launched Meier & McEwen, which later became Eclipse PR and, now, Eclipse Communications. She is the driving force behind strategy development at Eclipse Communications’ consumer and lifestyle and arts and entertainment business units. Under her leadership, the agency garnered several accolades, including numerous Prisms, Loeries, New Generation and Creative Circle Awards.

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The agency’s most recent acknowledgements – and the highlight of McEwen-Powell’s career to date – include the 2020 Prism Best Large PR Consultancy Award and 2020 Public Relations Agency of the Year at the FM AdFocus Awards.

Everything Eclipse Communications does is underpinned by a ‘guiding your growth’ philosophy. “Guiding your growth applies to our employees as much as it applies to our clients. When it comes to nurturing young talent, I cannot emphasise enough how mentorship and internship programmes can benefit the country and businesses. This particular initiative is a mentorship for driven young PR professionals, and not an internship or offer of employment. It’s an opportunity for young people who want to elevate their skills to new heights to take advantage of my many years of experience to grow their own knowledge and skills bases,” adds McEwen-Powell.

McEwen-Powell’s advice to young people entering the industry is to adopt a can-do attitude. “At Eclipse Communications, we hire for attitude and train for skill. Most importantly, communications specialists need to be critical thinkers, as well as flexible, creative and resilient.” She says she has lived her life embracing growth. “I don’t believe in waiting for things to happen to you. I believe in going after what you want with a good healthy mix of creativity and strategic insight.”

How do I become a mentee?
  • If you are a 25-year-old (or younger) aspiring PR professional, all you need to do is write a 250-word motivational letter on why Jacki McEwen-Powell should be your mentor and what you hope to achieve from the mentorship programme.
  • The letter must include an up-to-date CV and profile image.
  • Entries must be submitted to moc.smmocespilce@pihsrotnem between 1 and 22 May 2021.
  • Please note that the mentorship initiative is not linked to employment at Eclipse Communications, but for young PR talent looking for supplementary mentorship sessions, to grow in their profession.
  • All mentorship sessions will be conducted via Zoom/Google Hangouts, once a month.
  • All prospective entries must have a stable internet connection and laptop or PC to engage in these mentorship sessions.
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