The Comms Spotlight: Selfine Onyango, Media and Communications Manager at WezaCare Solutions

This week on Comms Spotlight, Selfine Onyango takes us through her career journey. Selfine pivoted from an undergraduate degree in Commerce to pursue one in Public Relations and Development Communication. Currently, she’s the Media and Communications Manager at WezaCare Solutions.  In her interview with us, she shares her approach to dealing with budget constraints and communicating the value of her work as a Communications professional.


How did your career in Communications begin?

It began when I was young. I always loved watching how one can persuade another by how they communicate, understanding their needs and speaking from their perspective.

Fast forward to becoming a young adult, the fascination continued and I pursued an undergraduate degree in Public Relations and Development Communication shifting from Commerce which is the course I had began with.

I truly believe shifting gears, was the best bold decision I made while in campus. And now, I have been professionally communicating to and connecting with various audiences in varying formats for over a decade.


What is a typical work day like as the Media and Communications Manager at WezaCare Solutions?

A typical day as a Media & Communications Manager is a balance between meetings, problem-solving and finding best ways to support the organisation achieve its strategic objectives.

Additionally, executing the activities and planned projects within the team. While being on the lookout for how to continually streamline processes to best support the team in delivery in their work, while providing guidance and feedback on ongoing projects to ensure alignment with the overall goals.

I also set time for impromptu requests and engagements, as you’re aware, Media and  Communications can’t function exclusively and proactively engaging cross-functionally, provides a better understanding on how best we can collaboratively support each other.

Are there any challenges you have faced in your line of work? How did you overcome them?

Yes, I’ve had several but budget constraints is a major one. Bringing some projects to life demands a decent budget but in most cases, the budget is lean.

As a leader, I’ve learnt to manage this by always seeking a balance by finding what can we engage in that will help have the most impact within a reasonable budget. This approach ensures there’s a balance of reasonably meeting the organisation’s expectations while ensuring the team isn’t under resourced.

Also, providing quality work with impactful outcomes gives good leverage for when budget requests are now made. If you give value, in most cases, you’ll get a budget.


What do you do to stay ahead of trends and remain relevant as a Communications Professional?

I approach everything with a learning first and fast attitude. Positioning myself as a constant student helps keep me grounded and always on the move which is critical in the field of Communications.

Further, I read a lot within and outside the field of Communications then apply what I learn, attend industry events, and seek guidance and feedback from more seasoned professionals. A lot of people underestimate the power of coaches and mentors.


If you could change something about your career journey, what would it be?

I’d veer off trying to explain the value of communications but rather, educate more people how to use it for impact. The concept is to show, not tell.

Overtime, I’ve learnt most organisations that understand the value of communications do not need a lot of convincing. Just know how to show the impact of your work and deliver it in the organisation’s language.


What advice can you give someone who is just starting their career in Communications?
For anyone keen on getting into Communications, I’d tell you that you’re in the right place if you’re a sucker for learning different concepts and love a dynamic career. It’s not for the faint of heart but seeing the impact it can have, is incredibly fulfilling.


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