#BehindtheSelfie with... Mikhaila Hunter

This week we go behind the selfie with Mikhaila Hunter, manager: strategic relationships and marketing at Fort.
Hunter captions this: “1. March, 2018.”

1. Where do you live, work and play?


JHB – although I like to try travel overseas to live, work and play for a couple weeks out of the year.

2. What’s your claim to fame?


I used to do some modelling/adverts as a child.

3. Describe your career so far?


4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.


5. What do you love about your industry?


The constant change and the feeling of camaraderie – we all identify and understand one another to a certain degree, being in this industry.

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


I always have my laptop on me for admin and emails. I’m often on my phone posting for our social media. I could be on set with clients and/or facilitating behind-the-scenes content. I might be writing an article or press release or out for coffee/meetings or at an event.

7. What are the tools of your trade?


Laptop. Cellphone. Social media. Camera. Sound kit. Editing programme. Research platforms. A pair of comfy heels for all the events!


8. Who is getting it right in your industry?

  • Lynn Madeley (CEO Havas South Africa) – I heard her speak recently and was very inspired.
    Leading a purpose-driven business

    Sustained success is the coming together of a sense of purpose that rings through every bit of the organisation and is an essential part of business acumen today...

    By Lynn Madeley, Issued by Havas Johannesburg 1 Feb 2019

  • I love The Mill.
  • Agencies and brands that are committed to meaningful advertising, not just filling a cabinet with awards.
  • And Cerebra!

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

  • Further investment in the youth.
  • Talent retention.
  • Exclusionary behaviour – we need to be more open, inclusive and adapt to the change our industry requires.
  • Active mentorship.
  • The notion that globally-owned agencies are better than local – it’s a major barrier to economic growth in South Africa, particularly for talent retention and overall reputation.

10. What are you working on right now?


I'm currently focused on thought leadership platform Fort Review – we just wrapped on our three productions and are going into post-production on those internal content pieces. I'm also planning the Fort Review event, which is happening in the next few weeks.

Fort Review launches second edition, a video series

Last week marked the launch of Fort Review's second edition, this time in the form of a thought-provoking nine-part video series covering everything from black excellence to erotic capital...

By Jessica Tennant 16 Feb 2018


#FortReview: "How creativity can save lives when put to good use" - Annie Raman

Here's how Fort Review is changing perceptions and giving a voice to issues of industry equality, as well as the rise of advertising that goes beyond just punting a product to actually solving a societal issue...

By Leigh Andrews 1 Mar 2018


I'm in the process of planning different marketing activities for Fort, such as Cannes Lions and Loeries for later this year, and I'm always busy driving around Johannesburg or flying down to Cape Town attending meetings and events, to see where Fort can partner with brands and agencies to create some really good, fun and meaningful work together.

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

  • Perception is reality
  • Content
  • Locally relevant
  • Engagement
  • Storytelling

#BizTrends2019: Year of the social impact brand (again)

Amidst two extremes -- audience apathy on one end and backlash against perceived social washing on the other -- the ad industry has emerged fresh-faced and focused: Ready to prove that we're thoughtful, attentive partners who listen when our audience speaks, able to hold a conversation that doesn't always place ourselves and our interests at the very centre of it...

By Auryn Hiscock and Mikhaila Hunter 15 Jan 2019


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


When I am speaking to people and bouncing ideas off of them or in my mind based on what they've said. It can be formally at work or informally with my friends.

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


I can tie a knot in a cherry stem with only my tongue. I also have a dance move that my colleagues have named after me.

14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?


A bit of both.

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


Lots of pictures of Jelly (my dog); travel pictures; lists (to dos, etc); screengrabs of clothes I want to buy or cool ideas from Pinterest; marked ‘unread’ messages, to remind myself to reply.


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


Diversify your skill set as much as possible.

Simple as that. Follow Hunter on Twitter and Instagram, as well as Fort on their Facebook, ‏Twitter and Instagram feeds for the latest updates.

*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 ...
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