Flow Communications

The dream of being able to design, write and interact with people has followed me for the past 20 years. My mind is scrambled about which sector of the media I would like to join. I always think: “A writer fills an essential role in this industry, but a designer is more rare … ooh, but radio still hasn’t fizzled out … and we can’t forget that social media is the rising star.”

So I took the opportunity to explore Flow Communications in the hope of untangling my messy mind and finding the thread that may lead me to my first career.

On my first day, I was welcomed by strangers framed by Flow’s pink decor (echoing its corporate colours). The office buzzed with clicking keyboards and chit-chat. Names were thrown at me and before I could scribble them all down, I was set to work.

My first babysitter was the unlucky, but always patient, Tumelo Buthelezi. He and I brainstormed ideas for a new Google Ads campaign. Both of us were new to this, yet we were fearless. After recreating it three times, we finally cracked gold. Tumelo is the best partner a person could have and this content developer’s kindness cannot be challenged.

Next up was attending a sales meeting. To be honest, I barely understood a single note that was being sung, but by the end of the meeting, the faces in the office were no longer just background characters in a Where’s Wally? cartoon.

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Journalism student Julian Yeates is more convinced than ever of the possibilities offered by the media and communications space after visiting Flow in January 2019. (Image: Flow Communications)

I chatted to some creative minds in the design department. I was completely wowed by the artists’ books that design head Elmarie Nel is crafting, and she proved that hard work and creativity are tools you cannot forget at home.

Racheal Kazembe showed me a glimpse into my future as an intern. The best advice she offered was that I should expose myself to as many forms of media and art as possible. Experimentation is not destruction; it is creation.

I received a personal lecture from creative strategist Janet Berger, during which we realised we’re uncanny echoes of each other. She taught me a valuable lesson about how my private life may shape my work life. Janet reminded me that not all decisions need to be made immediately; there is still time to change, evolve and grow.

The next day, Caitlyn O’Shaughnessy from the social media department showed me how my favourite lazy hobby – scrolling through Instagram – can be my greatest ally when looking for my dream job.

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(Image: Unsplash)

The public relations team illustrated just how they untangle the web of information that surrounds them on a daily basis. I had never ventured into the lives of PR consultants before and after my first encounter, which was filled with strange terminology, constant clicking and busybodies, I really do tip my hat to them. Account manager Ayanda Siswana charmed me with her wise philosophy that being professional is a better trait to have than being famous.

Flow showed me the whole shebang, from how to post a blog to how to decipher tenders. The employees know how to juggle a gazillion tasks while smiling. The fast-paced atmosphere is balanced with a calm attitude – a tightrope not all companies manage to balance on.

I thank Flow and my spectacular aunt, writer Christina Kennedy, for allowing me to have a little peep into the pink bubble that is Flow. No matter how many people tell me to run from working in the media, I think I am irrevocably ready to join the circus!

  • Julian Yeates is a second-year BJourn student majoring in journalism and English at Rhodes University
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