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With a Degree in Marketing Communications from the University of Johannesburg, Alexia Poulos's 17-year career commenced in the public relations sector before joining the advertising industry. For over a decade, she has been employed at Primedia Broadcasting, and has led notable fully integrated marketing, event and trade projects/campaigns across the business.
Alexia Poulos, national marketing and events manager at Primedia Broadcasting
Alexia Poulos was appointed as the national marketing and events manager; overseeing marketing, trade, PR and events function for EWN, 947, 702 and CapeTalk radio.
What does your job entail and what does your average workday look like these days?
As national marketing and events manager, I get to work on incredible radio brands 702, 947, Kfm 94.5 and CapeTalk as well as independent news brand Eyewitness News. I work with a dynamic, nimble team of 10 who service these brands nationally, around the clock. These days my average workday is spent like many other peoples' - at home in back-to-back zoom meetings. But the content of the meetings and the projects I get to work on are so cool my energy is always super high!
What excites you most about your role as marketing and events manager at Primedia Broadcasting?
There's never a dull moment in radio! And yes - I love the adrenalin. It also excites me tremendously that we are still delivering world-class events; albeit virtually.
Each day I am amazed with how the world has changed a little bit more than the day before in this pandemic - yet our brands continue to find opportunities to connect to our audiences in meaningful ways.
As a broadcast medium, radio has the unique ability to help, guide, create platforms for debate, inform and provide an escape - all in real time.
Through the music and talk formats we build strong communities, and our presenters are the glue. As the prevalence of fake news increases, we have seen listeners align more closely to our brands because they trust us. That's a big responsibility - they turn to us when they need to deal with difficult financial and emotional situations.
Can you tell us a bit about your career journey prior to your current role?
My first job after university was in strategy and public relations where I worked on some amazing brands like Simba, Samsung and Renault. I then jumped into the world of advertising before moving to Primedia Broadcasting, where I have been for more than 10 years.
It’s been an epic brand management journey – including launching brands, building brands, managing brand and presenter reputations, creating virtual events and maintaining brand relevance and brand presence in the time of a pandemic.
How would you define your brand?
My personal brand? My brand shows up. It shows up on good days, it shows up on hard days. My brand takes life head on… and long as my brand is evolving and being challenged it’s maintaining its relevance. Part of showing up is being present with myself and my team – especially now. Mental health check-ins are necessary to ensure that I bring the best of myself to each meeting.
The first lesson learnt in radio is to KYA – Know Your Audience; so preparation and adaptability is key.
What are some of your most recent brand campaigns and the rationales behind them?
The past 10 months have been busy for us at Primedia Broadcasting. In September 2020 we repositioned 702 – a bold move in the thick of the pandemic. We relooked the entire brand and all its facets, from its visual representation and structural essence through to the lineup. Many of the insights that led to the repositioning were the results of an in-depth listener survey conducted end 2019 to early 2020 – before our country went into hard lockdown.
The #LetsWalkTheTalk strapline is literally how we at 702 tackle our listener and country's issues. We are all on a life journey and sometimes we need someone to walk with us. To empower, support, inform and help us action what's important. 702, its presenters and its content have been adjusted to reflect this motion.
Tell us about your most successful marketing campaign.
What if it is still to come? Jokes A great campaign was 947's recent Anele and the Club smoothie campaign. We managed to get Joburg behind the breakfast team to choose the smoothie blend that epitomizes Joburg. It was a fun, community-building, small business-supporting win! Sir Juice sales increased by 283% over the 6-week campaign, and 947 listeners managed to create a tangible product that reflects the fun nature of the show and the get-up-and-go attitude of the city.
Positive impact or negative? Streaming is audio… and Primedia is leading in this area... watch this space ��
With the Covid-19 pandemic, what are the biggest challenges when it comes to marketing?
Physical brand activations have become a challenge. Audio and broadcasting brands are typically intangible – so Primedia has, over decades, built iconic events that have brought communities together, such as 702’s Walk the Talk, CapeTalk’s Moonstruck and the music festival series 947 Joburg Day and Kfm’s KDay. That being said, we have found incredible opportunities during the pandemic. These events were refocused to virtual events and the results have been overwhelming. The virtual executions were highly produced, very entertaining and importantly; created a sense that life continues during lockdown. These events also boosted the local production and music industries that were seriously impacted over the past year.
In your opinion, what do you think are the most successful channels for getting your brand message out there?
Radio is an incredible channel in itself...The combinations of ad frequency and personality endorsement really does get the message and the call-to-action out there. Radio, supported by digital is a stunning combination and Facebook for our four radio station brands is a phenomenal tool. LinkedIn is a remarkable platform for our talk and B2B brands and we love a little influencer marketing too.
When it comes to marketing efforts, what can brands no longer ignore?
You can definitely not ignore the consumer.
What career advice would you give to aspirant young marketing and eventing professionals?
Have clear objectives. Get your hands dirty. Achieve the metrics. Get stuck into the operational part of a marketing plan.
Learn from the experts around you and understand how each of their skills build the overall execution.
Have clear objectives before rolling-out a campaign and measure the outcomes. And have fun doing it.
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