Not only is our Comms Spotlight passionate about being a communications professional, she is also passionate about the brands under her portfolio. Anele Nzimande is currently the Brand Communications Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at Procter & Gamble and beyond ensuring that her work has an impact on the growth of the organisation, she is focused on creating campaigns that resonate authentically with the audience. In our interview with her, she gives us a deep dive into her career journey so far.
How did you begin your journey in communications and how have you improved yourself over the years?
I’ve been passionate about communications for as long as I can remember. In high school, I was involved in public speaking and debating – and went on to represent South Africa at the Model United Nations conference at Cornell University.
I went on to study law at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and I worked in legal research championing business and human rights, environmental justice and sustainability. Before joining Protect & Gamble as the incumbent Communications Manager, I worked across broadcast television and branding.
Can you tell us what you do as the Brand Communications Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at Procter & Gamble?
I manage the Femcare and Babycare brands and campaigns – helping to connect authentically with our consumers and tell their stories across Sub-Saharan Africa.
In your opinion, what can communications professionals do to make their work valued within an organization?
Make sure your communications strategies are driving the growth of the business. Set clear targets and measurements and celebrate your wins! Make sure your work is visible and celebrated. Send email updates, organize meetings with senior leaders and build case studies to share with other Comms leaders.
Can you share some of the key lessons you have learnt from your professional journey so far?
Make sure your campaigns are driven by locally relevant insights so they strike a chord with your consumers. When you know your consumers and talk about what they care about, you can drive meaningful growth for your business. Brand authenticity has never been more crucial to a business’ success, especially when more than 60% of millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference.
Our Femcare brand, Always, for example, has always focused not only on how its products benefit consumers but also on how they benefit society. Our long-standing Keeping Girls in School program that we run across Asia Pacific Middle East and Africa continues to break stigmas and taboos around menstruation. Our Always Keeping Girls in School program also provides puberty education and free pads with the intent to reduce the dropout rates of secondary school girls.
On Pampers, we recently launched #MamaUyindlovu – a flagship campaign recognising and celebrating single moms in South Africa – who form 40% of all moms. Through #MamaUyindlovu, we partnered up with a local early childhood learning development centre to provide scholarships for children under the age of 5.
Our brands deeply care about being a force for good in the communities in which we operate. Our audience has naturally evolved into one that has more power than any generation in modern history to improve our world for the better, and we embrace this evolution through our brands’ commitments to the greater good.
If you could change anything about your journey so far, what will it be? What will you do differently?
I wouldn’t change anything about my journey so far. I believe that no experience is ever wasted. Everything works together perfectly and things come full circle. Growth is not linear!
What advice will you give to communications professionals who would like to follow your path?
“If it is to be, then it’s up to me.”
Be proactive about driving impact for your brand. Build the right relationships with the right people. Keep your pulse on the ground and follow trends that may impact your brands. “If it is to be, then it’s up to me” is an attitude we should embody as Communicators to establish ourselves as leaders in our fields.