#BehindtheSelfie with... Chris Botha

This week we go behind the selfie with Chris Botha, group managing director of Park Advertising - the holding company for Meta Media and The MediaShop.
Botha captions this: "Watching the sun set on the most southern point of the USA - at Key West, Florida."

1. Where do you live, work and play?

I work across five offices – two in Johannesburg, two in Cape Town and one in Durban.

I live in Gallo Manor in Sandton, and play wherever I go.

2. What’s your claim to fame?

The question implies that I have fame? Not so sure about that.

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I am, however, very proud to work with the best media group in South Africa. I get to learn about consumers, media and business every day. I really believe I know a little about a lot.

3. Describe your career so far.

I started as an intern at The MediaShop in 1999, before leaving for 18 months to work for the late-Gordon Patterson, before returning “home” in 2004.

My then-boss Harry Herber told me in August 2004 that if I work hard, by 2006 he will promote me to management, by 2008 he will promote me to the board, and by 2010 I could run one of the offices. This is exactly what happened. I took over from Herber in January of 2011, and have had one helluva ride. I count myself very blessed to have had such a giving mentor.

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.

I love learning. I love spending time with people and better understanding them, their businesses, and their lives. It makes me happy. Sport is also a real passion. I love running, playing squash and tennis, cricket and rugby, and especially MMA.

5. What do you love about your industry?

Our industry is amazing. We get to solve problems every day. No two days are ever the same, and we are on the cutting edge of so much innovation.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

I define my job by three things. For our group, I focus on 1) Vision; 2) Touch; and 3) Tone.

I try and spend time thinking and implementing new directions for the business (vision), I have regular meetings with clients and media owners (touch), and look at the work to ensure it is world class (tone). As I said, I really love my job.

7. What are the tools of your trade?

My Bible. Google. Business Day.

8. Who is getting it right in your industry?

MultiChoice. They have been industry leaders for more than 30 years, and they just keep expanding.

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From launching new platforms like Showmax, to playing in the audio entertainment game with Joox, I just greatly admire how they keep growing and evolving. They are real pioneers.

9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.

Respect for each other.
Meetings starting late is a sign of disrespect. People treating others like suppliers is disrespect. Ignoring the views of partners is disrespect.
I really think disrespect is a real pain point we need to fix.

10. What are you working on right now?

We have just launched a second media agency called Meta Media, so raising and rearing this baby is huge.

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At the same time, we have launched a holding company called Park Advertising, which houses both The MediaShop and Meta Media.

11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.

Big data. Integration. Automation. Transformation.

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12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

On the road. When I go for a run my head clears, and that allows space for new thoughts to enter.

13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?

I can speak a fair bit of Sesotho. I generally love listening in on conversations and then joining them at the right time.

14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?

Somewhere in between the two, I guess. I’m by no means a geek, but I do get mild palpitations when Wi-Fi is switched off…

15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

In my pictures, you would find pics of my kids and funny “punny” jokes. I love myself a good pun. I’m very active on my Garmin app (for running), and also have an app for Bible reading. I am reading the Bible cover to cover in a year, and the app has amazing video content on the various books of the Bible.

16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?

Whatever advice you give your clients, you need to live yourself. You have to be distinct. You have to be physically and mentally available, you have to learn and grow. Lastly, see your career for what it is – a long-distance race. Long-term perspective and planning is everything.

Simple as that. Follow Botha on Twitter and Instagram; Meta Media on Twitter and Facebook; and The MediaShop on ‏Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, 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 ...
Fantastic soul is Chris Botha.
Posted on 9 Mar 2019 13:05