Spotlight On Insiders — Olga Balangala

Tell us a bit about your journey to becoming an Insider?

I started my career as a writing assistant in South Africa and Nigeria’s TV/Film industry. Within a span of 6 years, I evolved from being an assistant to directing and producing some of the country’s most popular TV shows.

While I enjoyed my time in the film industry, I ventured into a new path of producing events for businesses and beauty pageants.

In 2017, I started doing PR for startups while still producing FMCG events across the country.

I joined Insider PR in 2018 and appreciate the opportunity to share my knowledge and diverse experience with the best PR agency focused on African and ME markets.

What does a typical day at Insider PR look like & highlight your best experience so far?

My typical day at insiderPR involves pitching and building relationships with publications to meet clients’ media expectations. I truly enjoy my role in telling the world what Africa and Middle Eastern’s innovators are working on, and the impact they are making on the continent.

A highlight would be when I worked on a 3-month project to organize an event for Bloomberg at insider PR.

Based on your insider knowledge, which sectors or ideas are you most excited to see develop over the next five years?

I am excited to see how healthtech and fintech will develop. We have already seen a lot of innovative ideas in the past year due to the pandemic from companies such as Udok and FairMoney. According to the High Tech Health: Exploring the African E-health Startup Ecosystem Report 2020, Africa has currently 180 active healthtech startups. I can’t wait to see what these sectors offer in terms of customer experience and services.

How do you think the PR industry is changing and adapting to the current global landscape?

There’s a recent consumer trend called Norm Recalibration which means accept, embrace and run with new norms. It’s a pointer to how we need to think about the times, especially with Covid19 disruptions and the general pivot to virtual alternatives for many everyday activities. This calls for new strategies that acknowledge and embrace this new reality. An example of this in PR involves cutting through the online clutter and leveraging SEO with PR efforts. There is also now a renewed focus on thought leadership pieces.

What’s one thing you learnt about yourself during the lockdown?

I learned to take things easy. I am a multi-tasker in mind and body, and being in lockdown taught me to slow down and appreciate how precious life is. I am also learning that I cannot control everything and that is okay.

If you could sit down to dinner with any celebrity/thought leader (dead or alive), who would you pick, and what would you discuss?

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. His passion for music was palpable and you could tell he poured 100% of himself into his art form. From his daring outfits, inspiring lyrics — right down to his electrifying performances, the King of Pop was indeed a force to be reckoned with.

And though I have a million and one questions to ask him, I would love to take the time to tell him how much of an impact he had on my life. I will then settle for a few hours to just observe him and learn from a rehearsal session.

What’s your hot tip for businesses and brands considering PR?

Every brand needs a compelling story. Stories not only help to highlight the impact of a brand in relatable terms but can maximize media coverage. The more powerful and memorable the story, the higher its potential to get global coverage. Businesses seeking PR need to embrace storytelling and seek out the human impact of their day to day operations.

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