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#BehindtheMask: Cheryl Reddy, managing partner and Africa lead at Eclipse Communications

Cheryl Reddy is managing partner of the Johannesburg operations of Eclipse Communications and Africa Hub lead. With Reddy at the helm, Eclipse Communications was named 2020 Best Large PR Consultancy at the PRISM Awards, held by Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) and ended the year with the 2020 Financial Mail AdFocus PR Agency of the Year Award. She was recently asked to judge the PRISM Awards of 2021.
#BehindtheMask: Cheryl Reddy, managing partner and Africa lead at Eclipse Communications

BizcommunityAs managing partner of the Johannesburg operations of Eclipse Communications and Africa Hub lead, could you briefly explain what your role entails?

Late last year, I was promoted to Managing Partner and Africa Lead at Eclipse Communications, which means my responsibilities have grown from regional to a national level. I run the Corporate Centre of Excellence nationally where I’m responsible for leading strategy across all clients, new business opportunities, and people development. I also lead the company’s strategic partnerships and investments, marketing, as well as growing our footprint past the South African borders.

BizcommunityWhat’s really behind your mask - literally and figuratively speaking?

Literally, it is Mac lipstick – I may have a slight obsession with lipsticks. Figuratively, it is an insane passion to do what I love and love what I do. I strive to bring the best version of me every single day, as I have a little niece following in my footsteps. I want to show her that hard work pays off, that dreams do come true when you work towards them and that your voice is too important not to be heard.

BizcommunityGrowing up, what did you want to be?

I always knew I wanted to be a writer when I won my first essay competition and had my first poem published in a school newsletter. I am a lover of the written word, and I’m often told that I have a way with words, spoken and written.

BizcommunityHow did you end up working in public relations?

I became an editor at the tender age of 23. To be so young and be handed the reigns of two monthly magazines was a massive milestone in my journey, but five years later, I felt the need for change. Based on my Honours Degree in Journalism and my years of writing, I explored careers that would best suit my skills and PR was it. The very first day I interviewed for a PR role, I got that job at a global public relations agency that valued my writing and sector background.

BizcommunityWhat excites you most about your career?

The fact that I am able to impart what I have learnt over the years to rising industry professionals is exciting and humbling. Working on multiple brands means that I constantly learn and grow, and no two days are the same.

BizcommunityEclipse Communications has been winning awards year after year. What's the winning recipe?

We are a team of diverse, channel-agnostic, out-of-the-box thinkers who work hard and play hard. Added to who we are as a team, we have made sure that as individuals, we stay agile, pragmatic, progressive, hands-on and adaptable.

BizcommunityWhere are you based during the lockdown?

For the most part, I have been working from home. We implemented remote working long before Covid-19, so we are all quite settled working from home. From time to time, I pop into the office as I miss my ergonomic chair, and a change of scenery can be good.

BizcommunityWhen you're not busy working, what do you do? How do you socialise these days?

Spending time with my partner, Alex, my parents and my niece and nephew – family is everything to me. I also spend my money at Sorbet, getting brightly coloured manicures and pedicures. I have also been urturing my veggie garden and I do alot of reading.

BizcommunityWhat's the one thing about you that not many people know, but should?

People honestly do not believe me when I say that I am shy. In a work setting, I am confident because I am always prepared, well researched, etc., but my palms still sweat every time I am about to pitch or in the company of new people.

BizcommunityWhat's your favourite meme/gif of all time?

I cannot pick one – I simply love all of what Nandos does. They often have me in stitches!

BizcommunityDo you have a theme song for 2021?

It is not a new song, but I am addicted to Fetch your Life by Prince Kaybee ft Msaki. It is even my ringtone.

BizcommunityAre you watching any series? Reading any books at the moment?

I know I am late to the party, but I have just started Shonda Rhimes', Bridgerton and the latest season of Grey's Anatomy. Currently, I am reading Gangster State by Pieter-Louise Myburgh.

BizcommunityWhat is the first thing you plan to do - if and when the lockdown lifts?

I am patiently waiting for the ban to come off so I can resume travelling. I have been to 14 countries, and I have 182 to go!

BizcommunityWhat's next for you?

Professionally, my focus is to continue to grow Eclipse Communications’ footprint onto the African continent. Personally, I want to help more people with my time and skills.

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