South African Agency Shakes Up PR Landscape: 'Pay What You Can' Model Empowers Startups

Author: JT Comms
Date: 2 Apr 2024

Johannesburg, South Africa, 2 April 2023 - A story of resilience and reinvention takes centre stage as South African communications powerhouse, JT Communication Solutions, celebrates its 20th anniversary on April 1st, 2024. Founded by Vanessa Perumal, a resilient business trailblazer and cancer survivor who defied the odds, JT Comms remains the first Black woman-owned communications agency post our 30 year democracy still operational in South Africa's competitive communications landscape in its scale.

Perumal's story embodies the spirit of JT Communication Solutions. Just four years ago, battling a life-threatening cancer, Chondrosarcoma, at the start of Level 5 COVID lockdown, that forced her to trade her vocal cords for survival, Vanessa emerged stronger than ever. This unwavering spirit of resilience, however, is being tested once again. JT Comms, like many businesses, is navigating the current economic climate with a renewed focus on innovation and strategic partnerships.

As JT Comms celebrates its anniversary, the agency looks to the future with a determination to not only survive but thrive. By nurturing a new generation of talented leaders and forging strategic partnerships, JT Comms is charting a new course. This ensures its legacy of empowering African voices will continue to flourish for decades to come.

Over the past two decades, JT Comms has established itself as a leader in strategic communication, fostering growth for a diverse clientele across the cultural landscape, public and private organisations, NGO’s and academic sectors. With a proven track record of success, including serving prominent artists and managing major national and international events, JT Comms remains dedicated to amplifying African voices with a major focus on African start-ups.

This 20th anniversary isn't just about looking back; it's about paving the way for a brighter future. JT Comms seeks strategic partnerships to amplify their impact and empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs.

JT Comms' commitment to social impact is evident in initiatives like the African Media Resource Centre (AMRC), a vital hub for independent media professionals, and the #ECAfrica platform, a revolutionary tech platform focused on empowering African entrepreneurs in tackling climate change solutions.

The agency's YES program, a collaboration with a visionary enabler, has been strategically rebooted. This unique program empowers startups by establishing in-house PR units and offering critical skills transfer through hands-on training by talented individuals. JT Comms seeks partnerships to further develop this program and its #ECAfrica Resource Bank.

Looking beyond the anniversary celebration, JT Comms welcomes collaborations and sponsorships to support critical initiatives. Opportunities include:

  • Donating or sponsoring computers (new or used), cell phones (new or used) and transportation costs for YES program interns to unlock in-office learning opportunities and securing operational costs
  • Upgrading essential technology infrastructure (software, cloud storage, equipment) to support growth
  • Building the #ECAfrica platform for wider reach and impact.
  • Funding ongoing operational costs for the African Media Resource Centre.

JT Comms believes in the power of collaboration to cultivate a thriving ecosystem for African entrepreneurs. They invite like-minded organizations to join them in shaping a brighter future.

The agency has consistently adapted to the evolving communication landscape. This dedication to growth is evident in its expansion into the tech sector with #ECAfrica, a revolutionary start-up tech platform focused on empowering African entrepreneurs in tackling climate change solutions.

JT Communication Solutions offers a comprehensive suite of services, including media relations, publicity, brand building, crisis communication, social media strategy, event planning, and content creation. This extensive service portfolio positions them as a one-stop shop for diverse communication needs, catering to both small businesses and blue-chip enterprises.

Vanessa Perumal's leadership has been instrumental in JT Communication Solutions' success. In December 2022, she was awarded the prestigious President's Inaugural SMME Award for Best Leader with a Social Disability, further solidifying her position as a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Building a Collaborative Future:

This anniversary celebration isn't just about looking back; it's about paving the way for a brighter future for African entrepreneurs. JT Communication Solutions recognizes the challenges faced by startups, particularly in securing vital PR and marketing support. To address this, we're launching a groundbreaking initiative: "20 in 20: Empowering Entrepreneurs."

Through a dedicated podcast series, we'll profile 20 inspiring entrepreneurs, sharing their stories and journeys. Beyond the podcast, JT Communication Solutions is committed to going further. We understand the financial constraints faced by many startups. That's why we're offering flexible PR support options, including a "pay what you can" model in select cases. This innovative approach ensures that cost doesn't become a barrier to accessing essential communication services.

JT Communication Solutions understands the realities of running a business, especially in a challenging environment. That's why, to celebrate this milestone, we're offering a unique opportunity to 20 entrepreneurs. We'll be creating vlogs, podcasts, and marketing support to profile their businesses, disrupting the market and showcasing the power of collaboration. This initiative not only empowers the next generation but also demonstrates JT Comms' unwavering commitment to fostering a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The true game-changer, however, is our "pay what you can" model. This innovative approach is driven by JT Comms' co-founder, Vanessa Perumal, and her successor, her daughter, a PhD graduate who brings valuable expertise to the #ECAfrica platform. Together, they're revolutionizing how we support startups by offering flexible PR support, leveraging talent from the YES program, and demonstrating the critical role climate change solutions play in rebuilding South Africa's economy.

While budgetary limitations may restrict the scope of the celebration, the agency is leveraging its existing resources to create maximum impact. The African Media Resource Centre (AMRC), conveniently located and equipped, becomes the perfect venue for the "Fireside Conversations" series. This not only showcases the AMRC's functionality but also demonstrates JT Comms' commitment to utilizing existing spaces for impactful initiatives.

Like most companies, the current economic climate has demanded deep introspection and strategic adaptation," says Vanessa Perumal, founder of JT Communication Solutions. "However, JT Comms has always thrived on challenges. This anniversary marks a new chapter, one where we leverage our experience and resources to empower a new generation of African entrepreneurs. Together, we can build a brighter future for our communities and our continent.

For media enquiries, interview requests or more info contact media@jtcomms.co.za or 011 788 7632

Issued on Behalf of JT Communication Solutions - www.jtcomms.co.za

Follow EC Africa on Social Media:

Podcast - https://rb.gy/dqj99t

YouTube: https://youtu.be/qEbGFtpLkzQ?si=Qis-l-f6VtK1RrTX

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ECAfricaZA

LinkedIn: https://rb.gy/o03sgi

Website: https://ecafrica.net/

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