Behind the Selfie Interview South Africa

#BehindtheSelfie: Stef Adonis, head of communications at Helm

This week the man of the hour is Stef Adonis, the head of communications at Helm. With over 15-years of experience in advertising, journalism and digital content creation, Adonis tells us what keeps him inspired.
Stef Adonis is the head of communications at Helm. Source: Supplied.
Stef Adonis is the head of communications at Helm. Source: Supplied.

What do you do on a daily basis?

I’m head of communications, cheerleader in chief, company loudspeaker, and resident brand evangelist. In short, I shout about Helm from various rooftops, promoting our company to two different audiences – one on the inside, and one on the outside. I’m responsible for marketing on every level, from the biggest strategies to the smallest details (like making sure people get our very specific shade of blue right). I’m also responsible for internal comms – I make sure everyone knows what’s what, who’s who, and what Helm stands for.

Describe yourself in one word.


What inspires you lately?

I’m enjoying how humans are embracing the AI revolution. ChatGPT caused a bit of panic for the people who hadn’t seen anything like that before, but they might not have known that AI has been around for a lot longer than the tech trends of 2022 had led them to believe.

Now that people are beginning to unfurl themselves from the foetal position, they’re starting to see how AI can make our jobs and our lives easier, if we embrace it in the right way. The working world is evolving, and humans will evolve with it, just like we always have done.

How do you deal with conflict in the workplace?

A black americano and an honest conversation. As long as there’s mutual respect and empathy involved, honesty really can go a long way. Work life is a lot easier if we know where everyone stands. Failing that, a fight to the death, but HR never approves that request.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

A footballer, but unfortunately for me, I was rubbish. I was, however, really good at watching football, and would ultimately go on to become a football writer in one of the many lives I’ve lived behind a keyboard. That was the gig that actually introduced me to Helm over 12 years ago. In some ways, being a writer was always my most realistic occupational dream, and I’m fortunate enough to have seen that turn into a reality.

What would you have done differently in your career?

I would’ve been far less pedantic. I spent too many hours of my life fighting for oxford commas and catchy copy. Sure, it’s important to take pride in your work and do the best you can, but I wish I didn’t wait until revert #17 before letting clients have their semicolons.

Any advice for young people starting out?

Do your job, do it well, and learn from the people around you. But make no mistake – your life is more important than your career. I’m grateful to be a part of a company that gives me the platform to find my own version of a perfect work/life balance. The sooner that happens, the sooner the sun will shine through.

About Karabo Ledwaba

Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at
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