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Marketing News South Africa

#Newsmaker: Adrian Ephraim, Irvine Partners' director of strategy

Earlier this month, Adrian Ephraim joined public relations and integrated marketing agency Irvine Partners as director of strategy. This comes after Jeanine Cameron's appointment as MD in 2016.
Adrian Ephraim, director of strategy at Irvine Partners.
Adrian Ephraim, director of strategy at Irvine Partners.

CEO Rachel Irvine says Ephraim will help guide the agency as it continues to enjoy significant growth. “Adrian is a gifted creative who intuitively combines media disciplines to achieve outstanding results for his clients. We look forward to producing great work together.”

“The addition of Adrian to our team ensures our clients are able to bank on a creative and comprehensive approach to their brand and communication needs,” adds Cameron.

Ephraim brings more than 18 years of experience across digital media, publishing and content marketing, as a media professional, having worked as editor in chief of African Independent, managing editor of IOL, online news editor of the Mail & Guardian and executive editor of The Star newspaper.

“I’ve always understood the need to innovate and stay relevant. I'm passionate about storytelling in all forms, and how content can help build communities and brands,” says Ephraim.

Every brand has a story worth telling, but it is by infusing the right strategies and methodologies that we bring real value.
I interviewed him to find out how his media background will inform his work at Irvine, and why he decided to make the move from journalism to strategy…

How do you feel about being appointed director of strategy at Irvine Partners?

I feel confident and excited. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this to broaden my experience in media and brand strategy, and I’m ready for a change of perspective.

What will the role entail?

I’ll work with our clients and our account managers to develop the best content and media strategy for their brand, with a special focus on content creation, marketing and platforms. In short, I will make sure our brands like Google, Airbnb, SweepSouth and Protea Hotels are speaking to the right audience in creative ways and on the right platforms. My experience in local and mainstream media will inform those conversations and strategies.

Why the move from journalism to strategy?

I still love journalism, and I always will, but the two go hand-in-hand. As an editor my role always involved being strategic in the way I approach my product.

Everything about being an editor is about strategy, from managing shrinking newsrooms to targeting specific reader interests.
As a media manager, strategic thinking is not just a requirement of the job, it’s a survival tactic in the world of media – you do or perish. The difference this time around is that the objectives and the deliverables are different. We have different masters, I guess.

What do you love most about your career and creative brand strategy in particular?

I’m a creative person by nature, so to be able to impact a brand’s media strategy and contribute positively is a special privilege, but also a huge responsibility. I don’t take it lightly.

Creative brand strategy opens many doors for creation, collaboration, and execution; it’s virtually impossible to ignore if you want to be a successful brand.
I get to work with some of the best creatives in the business, and that is inspiring to me.

What are you most looking forward to?

The thing I look forward to the most is working with my team. They’re on top of their game, and we’re led by Rachel Irvine (CEO) and Jeanine Cameron (MD) who are both consummate professionals with tons of experience. Part of my brief is to also mentor younger members of the team too, and that’s something that excites me very much.

I also look forward to interacting with major brands like Google and Airbnb. And learning something new every single day; there will be some hard lessons too I’m sure, but I’d still embrace them.

What’s at the top of your to-do list?

Shew! You don’t want to know what my to-do list looks like. My priority right now is to learn as much as I can. Once I understand more about the space I’m operating in I will begin to focus on specific areas of the business, like content creation, media strategy, social media and our internal processes.

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to for work?

Learning is a continuous process, so I read a lot of industry-specific content by influential leaders in media, PR and marketing: Adweek, Bizcommunity, Medium, Poynter, etc. I’m a big fan of Vox, The Intercept and Vice News, which speaks to my news consumption. At the moment, I’m reading serial entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest book called Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence - and How You Can, Too. Lately he has been the one who has most impacted my career outlook and my approach to life today. I recommend everyone read it.

Tell us something about yourself not generally known.

There’s so much … lol. I love music, deeply – anything from Miles Davis and The Roots to Kendrick Lamar and Kwest. I own a didgeridoo and I’m not afraid to use it after a few glasses of Merlot. I’ve been voted the world’s best dad and the world’s best husband (two impressionable kids and my wife Nidha) which no doubt puts me in line for a Nobel Prize in a category yet to be determined.

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram
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