As we approach the end of 2023, we’re proud to reflect on our many achievements this year. Whether we’ve been building new websites or devising new strategies, we’ve worked hard to deliver exceptional results for our partners and clients. Join us as we review some highlights and share what we’ve learned.
Flow Communications becomes an adult
Bring out the balloons because this year we celebrated Flow turning 18. Seems like just yesterday that the business was but a newborn baby raised by our founder in a tiny space that could’ve been a garage … or was it a bedroom? (Classic start-up amnesia, right?) Fast forward through the noughties and into the 2010s, and ta-da! Flow was playing in the big league, setting up shop in a shiny pink building in Rosebank, Johannesburg – which is where, let’s be honest, many of our careers went from crawling to running marathons.
And when the world decided to play a game of pandemic pandemonium in 2020, Flow, like a chameleon on a disco ball, changed colours (well, not really; we’re still pink, but you know what we mean) and went 100% remote working, entering a new phase on its journey.
The not-so-little-any-more company is now all grown up and can drink legally in most countries.
Flow is by no means a run-of-the-mill agency: we have grown into a one-stop shop for all things communications. Need a website? Bam, done. Want an award-winning app powered by AI? We’ve got you. High-quality content that doesn’t put you to sleep? Check. And social media strategy? We do it without making you cringe. Plus, we’ve got one of the best media and crisis communications training courses in South Africa.
Since ’05, we’ve worked with top-quality clients such as the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Hollard, the Industrial Development Corporation, the African Union, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Women Presidents Organization, South African Tourism and the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, to name but a few. We’ve been fortunate to partner with hundreds of clients in our time, picking up prestigious industry awards along the way. Speaking of which …
Cleaning up at awards ceremonies
This year has been incredibly successful for Flow, marked by a series of awards that recognise our excellence and innovation.
At the 2023 PRISMs we secured 14 awards, including a coveted gold for our work on the Johannesburg-Abidjan Air Côte d’Ivoire route launch, as well as silver in the highly competitive Best Large Public Relations Consultancy category.
This momentum continued at the 2023 New Generation Social & Digital Media Awards, where we were honoured with 11 awards, including three golds.
Our reputation for marketing and communications excellence was further solidified at the 2023 Africa Global Funds Service Providers Awards, where we were named the Best Marketing & Communications Consultancy for the fourth time in five years.
We also dominated at the 2023 Assegai Awards with an impressive haul of 20 awards, including 10 golds.
And right towards the end of the year, our dedication to purpose-driven work and making a positive difference in the world was acknowledged at the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards. Our 2022 Marine Protected Areas Day campaign earned the Audience Honour Award in the Pro Bono Campaign category, and was named a Bronze Honouree in the Conservation and Preservation category.
The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture
The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is far more than just a date on our calendar; it’s an event at which we get to soak up all sorts of wisdom and inspiration while doing our job.
As in previous years, we supported the Nelson Mandela Foundation during this year’s lecture, ensuring that every word and every emotion was captured and communicated with the reverence they deserved. This year’s keynote speaker was Pakistani education activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.
Following her address, Malala was joined on stage by a panel of activists to reflect on lessons from her speech on gender apartheid and to celebrate Madiba’s enduring legacy in the 10 years since he moved on to be with other resting giants in the next life.
Highlights from our Flowstars
And what do some of our Flowstars think of 2023?
“This year Flow has shot the lights out in terms of leading with innovation and technology, specifically in AI. The wide variety of awards we have won this year in the fields of vehicle registration recognition and customer loyalty is a testament to how Flow is leading the country in this market.” – Flow’s managing director, Tiffany Turkington-Palmer
“The PR team’s biggest success of the year wasn’t, as some might think, all the awards we won at the PRISMs, or the amazing work that we have done for lots of different clients. It was, as always, the way in which we worked together seamlessly as a team; we have one another’s backs, we get one another and we complement one another – and it shows! Every day, in every way, we showed up.” – Flow’s head of PR, Caroline Smith
“Working with the team covering the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture was hands down the most memorable, rewarding experience this year. Not just because of the inspiring Malala Yousafzai, but also because it’s wonderful to work with a team that gels so well and has fun doing it, too. What a privilege.” – Thrishni Subramoney, senior communications specialist
“The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Living Human Treasures project has to be my favourite project this year. Travelling to KwaNdebele and interacting with the people there was amazing. I learnt a lot about Ndebele culture and also took away some life lessons from the Ndebele maestro and her husband, Sophie NoSinky Mahlangu and Fanasonke Somakhawula Mahlangu. Seeing the book come alive right before my eyes also gave me a surreal feeling. I honestly cannot wait to see the finished product!” – writer Felicia Mngomezulu
“The opportunity to travel to Kenya for the GFA Consulting Group project changed my life. It exposed me to a completely different world. I immersed myself in the culture, tried amazing food and met incredible people. My time was split between conducting interviews and discovering Nairobi. This allowed me to create two comprehensive reports on policy recommendations and lessons learned for our client, GFA. The project is focused on managing e-waste in Kenya.” – writer Thelma Ngoma-Mavhunga