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#StartupStory Interview South Africa

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#StartupStory: Pulse Communications

Pulse Communications is run by the dynamic duo of Samantha Thomas and Kirsten Roos and we find out more about the small, dynamic team, that specialises in strategic direction and implementation related to public relations, influencer engagement, content creation and stakeholder engagement.
Samantha Thomas and Kirsten Roos
Samantha Thomas and Kirsten Roos

Can you tell us a little more about Pulse Communications?

Born out of a passion for purpose-led communications, Pulse Communications aims to reinvigorate brands through impactful storytelling, meaningful relationships and an expert grasp of the media landscape and is run by two partners, Kirsten Roos and Samantha Thomas.

Specialised in public relations, influencer engagement, campaign management and execution, content creation and creative concepts; Pulse Communications has the understanding and experience that communications needs are unique to each individual business, offering tailored strategic communications services that drive internal and external messaging to support a brand’s objectives.

All work produced by Pulse Communications is done so with intent, and integrity at the core, with the ambition to achieve effective and top-quality results.

When, how and why did you get started?

The business was started in the midst of the 2020 pandemic, originally with the intent to service small businesses struggling financially off the back of the economic crisis. Whilst Pulse Communications does still offer services to small businesses, at competitive rates, the business has evolved and grown to work with larger establishments too - which we are very proud of.

What is the core function of Pulse Communications?

We are firm believers in acknowledging and owning your strengths – and not accepting work you don’t believe you can create an impact on. With this said, our passion and skillset lies in the management and execution of public relations, content creation, influencer relations, partnerships and creative concepts, credited to our years of prior agency experience.

Could you name some of your clients?

We offer white-labelling services to larger agencies across the country, and whilst we cannot divulge who, we have had the opportunity to work on some exciting global and local brands. During our tenure, we’ve worked across brands such as local furniture manufacturer, Balconybar; provided publicity services to young activist and philanthropist, Tony McPherson; and conceptualise, manage and execute on a variety of beauty conglomerate, ARC Store’s, brands such as Huda Beauty, Kayali and Wishful Skin.

What are some of the obstacles you've had to face since you started?

Starting, building and running a business is not for the faint of heart - we’ve faced many obstacles which we’ve come to recognise as learning opportunities to support us in our growth. The biggest obstacle – or realisation – has been the unknown of owning a business, specifically financial forecasting and capacity planning. We’ve worked hard and quickly to ensure that we have the right experts in our team to advise and support us in our development.

Have you received any funding to get Pulse Communications up and running? If so, what was the process like?

Pulse Communications has been entirely self-funded – something we are immensely proud of. We were “lucky” enough (read: hard-working) to land a major account in our first two months of operation which provided the capital to boost the business and which we attribute to the solid relationships that we’ve built in the industry over the past decade.

What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Be brave. The discomfort that you feel in your gut is what pushes you to do better, think bigger and take chances – don’t ignore it.

As an entrepreneur, what would you like to see changed in the South African landscape?

As entrepreneurs behind a small business, we’d like to see more opportunities available for SMEs to pitch against larger corporations for business. Data shows that only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more, with up to 45% failing within their first five years. There are many attributions to this – such as leadership issues within the company, business processes and requirements of potential clients, outdated thinking all-around – which may hinder growth and the opportunity to succeed.

Where would you like to see Pulse Communications in the next five years?

Our defining word, since the business launched, has – and will continue to be – ‘growth’. We’re looking to grow the business, provide job opportunities and continue to work with clients that we’re passionate about over the next few years with our end-goal being that we developed an agency adept at creating meaningful impact for our clients.

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