Vanessa Clark

Journalist, copywriter & editor
Location:Cape Town, South Africa


Hi! I'm a freelance journalist, copywriter and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. I write as a journalist and for corporates and agencies. My specialties are business-to-business and technology writing. I like unpacking complex ideas so they are more easily understood - especially when it involves innovation taking place in South Africa, and the rest of Africa.
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Year completed:1996
Education level:Degree
Institution:Rhodes University
Location:Grahamstown, South Africa
[2013 trends] Mobile money to give SoLoMo a kick in the pants?

SoLoMo: the glorious intersection of social, location and mobile that was going to superpower hyperlocal search and prove to be the holy grail, allowing retailers and other businesses to attract an army of smartphone-wielding customers. Pretty exciting stuff, especially during an economic downturn, right? In my opinion, quite the contrary.

By Vanessa Clark 23 Jan 2013

Google's African affair: An internet giant puts its money where its mouth is

At the start of last year I wrote an article for Memeburn with the only slightly tongue-in-cheek headline: "Instead of smallpox Google is colonising Africa with 'cool stuff'". As a rule I tend to prefer African solutions for African problems, and am also always somewhat sceptical of geeks bearing gifts (sorry!).

By Vanessa Clark 15 Oct 2012

8 African mobile money services that aren't M-Pesa

No, I'm not going to talk about M-Pesa, you can read all about the Kenyan grandfather of mobile money here, here and here.

By Vanessa Clark 4 Oct 2012

Why African social networks kick Facebook's mobile experience in the ass

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the rest of their ilk are taking over the world, right, and forming a homogenous mass of consumer data and eyeballs across the globe from which no one can escape. Or not.

By Vanessa Clark 11 Sep 2012

Unpicking viral marketing

Viral marketing: the holy grail of the marketing world, where your community does your marketing for you, typically by sharing, enhancing and endorsing your message. It's word of mouth marketing on steroids, thanks to the internet and social networking.

By Vanessa Clark 29 Feb 2012

Online marketing: What's next for the banner ad?

One thing is certain, nothing stays the same for long in the online world. So what's next for the online banner ad?

By Vanessa Clark 24 Feb 2012

Making money on the internet in Africa

Despite a lack of appropriate electronic payment systems and expensive shipping costs continuing to plague the African e-commerce sector, making money on the internet is increasingly a reality for many African entrepreneurs.

By Vanessa Clark 20 Feb 2012

Get the push vs pull marketing balance right

In Hugh Lofting's Doctor Doolittle books, the Pushmi-pullyu is a rare animal from Africa with two heads, half gazelle and half unicorn. When it tries to move, it gets pulled in two different directions. It wouldn't be surprising if many marketers feel like this at the moment, trying to navigate the rapidly changing digital marketing world, and getting the balance right between push and pull marketing.

By Vanessa Clark 16 Feb 2012

Africa sprints ahead with mobile banking

With all the right ingredients for a successful banking on-the-go eco-system to develop, Africa is the leading the way in mobile banking.

By Vanessa Clark 13 Feb 2012

[2012 trends] The way to customers' hearts is through their phones

Never before have people had such a love affair with a communications medium as they have with their mobile phones. Now, marketers aren't communicating with consumers via an impersonal one-way device; rather, they are communicating with them through a device people happily carry around 24/7. Here are my top 12 trends for the mobile world in 2012.

By Vanessa Clark 23 Jan 2012

How mobile marketing failed in 2011

Mobile marketing failures in 2011 were arguably less about campaigns going horribly wrong, and more about missed opportunity, too little integration of mobile into overall marketing tactics, and the need to be much more strategic about using mobile marketing.

By Vanessa Clark 10 Jan 2012

Is mobile marketing overhyped?

Mobile, schmobile. Mobile marketing's just another buzzword thrown around by your agency, marketing department or publications like this one. Rather than being the next evolution in marketing, it's just a distraction from getting the basics right, and another way for your agency to charge you more.

By Vanessa Clark 15 Dec 2011

[The ready-made feature III] Reincarnating your opinion piece

In this third and final part of my series on the opinion piece and its role in the PR mix, let's look at what do to if your piece is rejected, as well as how to maximise the impact of your content.

By Vanessa Clark 25 Oct 2011

[The ready-made feature II] How to successfully pitch opinion pieces

In part one of this three-part series, I defined what opinion pieces are and why they are such a vital PR tool. Now, in part two, I take a look at the mechanics of pulling together an op-ed and getting it placed.

By Vanessa Clark 21 Oct 2011

[The ready-made feature I] Opinion pieces make your client shine

In my opinion (sorry!), opinion pieces should always be an essential part of any PR campaign. But today, more than ever, with newsrooms under so much strain and more and more companies clamouring for your audience's finite attention span, they are an essential part of the mix. In a series of three articles, I take a look at some sure-fire ways to get your client or company's opinion piece placed.

By Vanessa Clark 20 Oct 2011

Instead of small pox Google is colonising Africa with 'cool stuff'

Sitting at the southern tip of Africa you get used to giving a resigned shrug and half-smile when the entire continent gets lumped into something called ROW (rest of world), especially when it comes to scheduling the release dates of new technology.

By Vanessa Clark 9 Feb 2011

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