The entertainment industry is a tough market for artists, radio personalities, TV presenters . Getting a job, bookings, keeping a clean reputation, getting interviews could prove to be very difficult when you don’t have a PR management company behind you.
Khuli Chana is a multiple award winning hip hop artist, a businessman and a brand ambassador. Kabelo Mabalane is a Kwaito artist, co-founder of SHOUT campaign, a television presenter and a comrades marathon runner. Azania Mosaka is a Radio and TV presenter, an MC, a Voice-Over artist and businesswoman. These are big names in the entertainment industry, they are successful and good at what they do. One of the things they have in common is the management team representing them a company called Dream Team.
Having a team backing you as an artist or media personality has proved to be a smart move. As the entertainment industry grows, so does the demand for management and PR firms. In 2012 a musician or a public figure needs a lot of publicity to be visible and be seen by their potential clients in order to stay relevant. PR companies are very useful in this regard. They deal with the media on their client’s behalf, manage their diaries and arrange and approve interviews.
A lot of South African celebrities are represented by PR firms who build their star power behind the scenes. These firms play a big role in making sure celebrities maintain their place at the top of the public and client’s minds. Their work is to make sure their client is well presented, their brand is visible and remains untainted.
Public Relations and Management Companies have helped many careers to take off, rescued others and helped many to stay on top . Public figures tend to get more jobs when there is a good team behind them. As they say “two heads are better than one”, in this case its more of – team work is better than a solo effort.
Previously the South African industry was small and artists made a living purely by plying a trade such as singing or acting. Media coverage was not as intense therefore there was no need to outsource the help of a PR company. There were also no gossip magazines or bloggers snooping for a scoop. Back then it was much simpler to hide an “indecent occurrence” by a public figure from the public. There were not as many publications out there which were solely dedicated to entertainment as they are today. Nowadays celebrity culture is becoming very popular in South Africa, it is safe to say public figures had it easy back then. The pressure to be signed under a PR company rises as the fame does.
There is the business side of entertainment that many fall victim to such as finances and branding. Many new artists may not know about managing their money, rights or royalties, a good manager who is trustworthy will guide the artists and prepare him or her for the industry.
A well established person in the entertainment industry needs to be signed to a PR company in case of a scandal, that company will be able to speak on its clients behalf. These Companies are there to clean up the mess as much as they are there to promote their clients’ brands. Now artists are not only building names, they are building brands which is a good thing because it also encourages longevity. Having a good team behind you means the sky is the limit its about where your team can take you and how they can get you there. It’s quite obvious that a PR team is an essential thing for every industry player to have, a priority even. They get more done quicker, professionally and they are generally more informed.
Bonang Matheba, is an example of a person with a great management team behind her. She is a popular, well established cross over brand. She is a TV and radio Presenter, a model, voice-over artist and the face of GJC. She did not just blow up overnight, though. She started off as a kid TV presenter, but when she got her big break she realized she needed people that will help build the “Queen B*” brand. A management team helps with getting jobs offers, contracts and shoots. They help plan her schedule and send out press releases when needs be.
It is pretty clear in Bonang’s case that her career could not have been where it is today had it not been for her hard work as well as a great team behind her.
Public figures like Khanyi Mbau and Pitch Black Afro who have had to learn the hard way that maintaining a public image takes a lot of work. Being famous is nothing compared to staying famous. Fame goes to the head faster than money in the bank. An artist can have success overnight, be the highest seller in their category(as once Pitch Black was) and still find themselves having to leave the industry, broke. Khanyi started off as an actress, then singer, then she became more famous than what she does, a bad move that many good management companies could have warned her about from the start. With many people joining the industry each year, hopefully they will realize the importance of having a PR management team behind them that could help them become more than just celebrities.
Lebogang is a Jucy Africa intern. She is studying Journalism and enjoys writing about careers and entertainment.