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#InnovationMonth: Introducing ByDesign Communications

Today sees the launch of ByDesign Communications, the communcations company with a challenger mentality that's set to be innovative and different by design...
Baard and Welman.
Kevin Welman, director of ByDesign Communications, give us the scoop on what to expect from the new agency formed with co-director Vanessa Baard as well as the communication trends he feels will come into sharper focus as we near the end of 2016…

1. Explain the name ‘ByDesign Communications’ and what you’ll offer the local PR landscape.

Welman: The thinking behind the name ByDesign Communications is simple; the two founders believe that too often companies are accepting ‘one fits all’ type solutions from consultancies. We wanted to be different, we wanted to ensure every client received customised attention and solutions, everything must be done for that client by design… so we believe we are different, different ByDesign.

2. How will ByDesign differ from what’s already out there?

Welman: The two founders have almost forty years’ experience between them, so every client will receive hands-on attention from a senior resource. We are not a media-only agency, where the solution starts and ends with publicity. We listen to the client’s needs and deliver a solution regardless of the channel.

3. Talk us through the importance of PR and comms in the overall marketing mix.

Welman: Communications is more important than ever, due to social media and the changing media landscape, a company’s reputation is formed in the uncontrolled environment. That’s where PR agencies have existed for many years, so I believe communications is the most critical element in the entire marketing mix.

4. How should PR and comms methods change with technological and consumer advancement?

Welman: I think the industry is ever-evolving; social media turned marketing on its head over the last decade. This will continue – the importance of video and audio in communicating is more important than ever. Ensuring that all communication is dynamic and two-way is crucial. Communication can obviously not be dictatorial in the age of the consumer.

5. List a few communication trends you predict will still kick in near the end of 2016.

  • Social media will continue to be critical. We’ll see more engagement models, better monitoring etc.
  • Authenticity will remain crucial – brands will need to act as they wish to be seen. With social media there is ‘no-where’ to hide.
  • Creativity at a comms level – all brands are becoming increasingly sophisticated and you’ll still need to stand out, creativity will be key.
Seems there’s still lots of PR and communication innovation to come.

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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...