Candice Jones

Communications is often regarded as a soft skill, but  I have shown throughout my career that it must be considered a strategic function which requires a deep skill level.

As someone with comprehensive experience, the many skills I have developed allow me to not only impact business strategy, but bring a range of services that makes me exceptionally versatile.

My ability to adapt to change quickly and use challenges to elevate my own level of work has made me an asset to all the organisations I have worked for through the years.

I have a passion for what I do and I am always looking for opportunities to grow my capabilities.

What I Do

Strategic Integration

I believe that communications can and should be used to drive not only information, but also business strategy. I have a proven track record in delivering on communications that has helped to sway public opinion as guided by company strategy. I am a lateral thinker and have a good understanding of how to put topical issues into context. I have the ability to analyse situations and determine solutions for difficult scenarios.

Crisis Management

I have faced crisis situations both from a journalistic perspective and from a business reputation management perspective. Ensuring that business is aligned with a well prepared crisis plan has been one of my key performance requirements as a communicator and I have a sound understanding of how to manage difficult situations both internally and with the media. I believe that challenges are opportunities to shine, and have used that ethos throughout my working career.

Multimedia and design

I have a love for artistic endeavours having been a musician for many years. This has led to me using this skill within business through design of visual content, such as invitations and banners and the production of podcasts for business information dissemination. I also oversee and script many of the internal videos. While a service provider is used for the final video product, I am able to produce simple videos in my own right.

Media Relations

In my extensive experience in journalism and media relations I have proactively sought and exploited opportunities for employers, seeking new ways of achieving business objectives, engaging with end users and aligning communication with business goals. I also have a solid understanding of a functioning newsroom and extensive media contacts.

Corporate Narrative

In today's age, having a consistent corporate narrative is essential. As a writer with extensive experience, I have the ability to pull together research, product, strategy and process to build an effective corporate narrative. I also have editing and proofing experience. One of my key abilities is to communicate complicated issues in simple terms and I am able to incorporate strategic intent into almost all the content I produce.

Internal Communications

Having an informed employee set is an extremely important part of ensuring cohesion within business. During my experience, I have worked on many internal communications campaigns as well as assisted with day-to-day internal communications.

Career Highlights

CEO Awards

The annual CEO awards held between 2015 and 2018 showcased those employees that excelled within their divisions. Employees nominate each other for the four primary categories. I took those nominations and interviewed employee line managers and Chiefs to determine whether they were worthy of the awards. I would then write a profile of the employee highlighting their successes for that year. These nominations were then handed to external judges to determine a winner. Some years more than 80 nominations had to be written and submitted. Getting to know people within a business of over 2500 employees was special for me.

Take a Girl Child to Work Day

While this project has been running for 18 years, I have been involved for 8 years. I have trained, presented, organised and assisted in all aspects of this incredible event. Being a part of the upliftment of the young women of this country and providing them a voice has been an absolute highlight of my career. Watching many of them grow from timid young girls to accomplished women in the formal economy is a certain privilege for me.

Interview of Naledi Pandor

What was supposed to be a 5 minute interview turned into an hour. Then Science and Technology Minister, Naledi Pandor allowed me to travel with her on a tour of various technology organisations across Johannesburg. It was one of my favourite interviews of Government officials, primarily because she was such an interesting person, with such a humble demeanour.

References

Resume

What I have done

Education

2003 - 2006
University of Johannesburg

BA Journalism and Linguistics

1998 – 1999
Torque IT

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineering course

1998
Torque IT

A+ hardware certificate

1997
Roedean School SA

Matric

Experience

2017 - present
Cell C

Senior Manager: External Communications

I am responsible for the audit and control of all external communications, Development of divisional strategy in line with organisation strategy, team mentorship and development. To maintain a positive image of Cell C by favourably positioning the company and its products and services to ensure that all key stakeholders see Cell C as a world-class MNO. Actively leverage the company’s Image and maintain high levels of awareness, understanding and interest in Cell C. Strategically establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between Cell C and key stakeholders in order to meet key business objectives.

2012 - 2017
Cell C

Media Relations Manager

In 2012, I was promoted to Media Relations Manager after a departmental restructuring process. While my title stated manager, my duties are those of a senior manager. I have been responsible for driving the company strategy through media channels, maintaining the company’s profile as an opinion leader, as well as highlight new product offerings through media. Working closely with the former CEO of the company, Alan Knott-Craig, I leveraged the media as a strategic tool in influencing public opinion and government and regulatory circles. I also manage photo shoots for publications and internal use of all executives. I also assisted with writing all public facing documentation, except the Web site, which was then managed by the company advertising agency.

2011-2012
Cell C

Company writer and Media Advisor

In 2011, then CEO of Cell C asked me to join the company to effectively act as an agency for the company’s media relations. I was responsible for writing all public facing documentation, including press materials, Web site copy, social media interactions, customer responses (for VIP clients), business profiles and brochures. I assisted with managing internal communications and helped shape the company’s internal magazine. I also assisted the VIP customer care team in communications.

2010 – 2011
TechCentral

Deputy Editor

I was asked to join TechCentral just under a year after the publication was formed by Duncan McLeod, former Technology Editor for the Financial Mail. Helped develop ideas to expand readership and generate content for the site. I helped target potential growth areas for the business. I was also instrumental in the production of TechCentral’s weekly podcast, editing both audio and video content for publication.

2008 - 2010
ITWeb

News journalist and Telecoms Editor

In 2008, I was promoted to the hard news desk where I was responsible for sourcing breaking news coverage. I excelled in the telecommunications coverage and was promoted to Telecoms Editor later that year. My responsibilities included coverage and analysis of the sector. I was also tasked with comprehensive research and understanding of the technologies used in the sector, as well as concrete knowledge of government and regulatory influences. All content that was written by other journalists covering the issues in telecoms was passed through me for checking. I also started the social media spaces for the company, through Facebook and Twitter.

2007
ITWeb

Portals Deputy Editor

In June that year I was promoted to a journalist and later that year again to portals deputy editor. I was tasked with covering softer news angles and ensuring content driven through the niche areas remained consistent. I was responsible for tracking international trends across all the available portals on ITWeb and growing contact lists for the various industry sectors. I was also responsible for sourcing and checking content from potential industry experts in the various sectors. During my term as portals deputy editor, I was also responsible for developing and putting together newsletters for each of the covered sectors, including mobile.

2007
ITWeb

Journalist

I was appointed to ITWeb as a junior journalist in February 2007. My responsibilities were to source and develop content in certain niche areas, including banking, e-billing, healthcare technologies, mobile, gaming and biometrics. I was also tasked with building relationships with key industry players and growing the contact list available to those niche areas.

2006
ITWeb

Intern

Three month internship at ITWeb in 2006 as required by the university for the honours degree. I was tasked with sourcing usable press releases and rewriting them for publication according to the style of ITWeb. I was later tasked with sourcing original content and turning into copy that covered certain niche areas in technology.

2005
Tectonic

Intern

Tectonic was an online publication focusing on the open source environment. As part of my studies I interned at the company for three weeks. I was responsible for sourcing and writing stories aimed at capturing the open source community.

2002
Hotel Magnifico (Rome - Italy)

Hotel manager

For 2002 I took a travel experience to Italy to learn the language. I worked at several hostels, hotels and an Internet Café. I lived and worked in Rome for a year. Responsibilities at the hotel included marketing, guest management and service orientation.

1999 –2001
Information Technology Solutions (Pty) LTD

Network administrator and IT services support

ITS contracted us to advertising firms and media placement companies to install and manage networks. Primary sites included Ogilvy & Mather and Grey SA, plus their respective planning and buying agencies in Johannesburg. It included support for hardware and software, user management and data management. Both Unix and Windows environments were managed.

Key responsibilities and skills

Annual Report Collaboration

CEO, CFO and Chairman's report | General content writing and editing | Assisting with the translation of financial information into a written and readable format.

Content Creation

Media Statements | Press Releases | Customer Copy | Executive Presentations | Executive Opinion | Executive Scripts | Influencer Scripts | Corporate Video Scripts | Web Copy | Letters from Executives (to various stakeholders including Government) | Internal Messages.

Media Relations

Develop media network | Identify relevant media | Draft and disseminate media responses | Keep media informed | Oversee, organise and manage media events

Reporting and Analysis

Produce reports on coverage | Analysis of coverage | Proactive responses to coverage and industry matters | Situational analysis against business strategy.

Corporate Communications

Assist with Internal Communications | Assist with events | Corporate Newsletter development | Podcast production | Communications strategy development | Crisis Communications planning | Crisis communications oversight

Multi-Media

Oversight of corporate video development | Creation of design materials | Podcast production | Ad hoc photography

Advocacy support

Support all CSI Initiatives | Manage and assist flagship advocacy programme - Take a Girl Child to Work Day | Training and mentorship for employees and TAGCTWD participants | Education advocacy from educational campaigns through media to on the ground work with those in need

Delegation of Authority

Act in the role of Executive Head - managing a team of 30+ which includes social media customer care, social media engagement, media relations, internal communications

Portfolio

My Works
CNBC Africa Appearance

CNBC Africa Appearance

Appearances
Scripted the Values Video

Scripted the Values Video

Corporate Communications, Internal Communications
Financials Press Release

Financials Press Release

Corporate Communications, Media Release
Corporate Newsletter

Corporate Newsletter

Corporate Communications, Internal Communications
TalkCentral Podcast Appearance and Production

TalkCentral Podcast Appearance and Production

Appearances
We can’t be like children in a playpen

We can’t be like children in a playpen

Corporate Communications, Opinion
Cell C 67 Blankets Event 1

Cell C 67 Blankets Event 1

Corporate Events, Media
Long road to the top for Gijima’s chief geek

Long road to the top for Gijima’s chief geek

Journalism, Online
Executive Image 2

Executive Image 2

Corporate Headshots, Media
Executive Image 1

Executive Image 1

Corporate Headshots, Media
CEO Awards

CEO Awards

Corporate Events, Media
Paris in his Springtime

Paris in his Springtime

Journalism, Online

Blog

My Diary

Contact

Get in Touch

+2784 777 0996

Johannesburg

candicemjones@gmail.com

Willing to relocate