Interview with…Brian Anthony Hayward, owner at Brian Anthony Communications

SEPTEMBER 28, 2015

In business vocabulary, ‘reputation’ often passes as a small word, but this one word has grown organisations and brands – and has destroyed many. So, how do you successfully manage your reputation in a busy marketplace where traditional and new media command public opinion about your company and products – you bring in Port Elizabeth-based agency, Brian Anthony Communications.

We recently chatted to its founder and award-winning journalist, Brian Anthony Hayward, who was also named among the NMB Business Chamber’s Top 40 Under 40 young business leaders in 2014, and who said there was so much good news locally, but often companies don’t have the time or know-how to tell their unique and interesting stories.

Business Link (BL): What does Brian Anthony Communications do?

Brian Hayward (BH): We deal with local and national clients, with the aim of communicating what they do and offer in the media. We also specialise in creating, managing and growing social media platforms for companies.

BL: How important is PR for companies in this day of social media?

BH: PR has never been more important, given the immediacy and wide reach of social media. Not only do companies need to be more strategic about getting their message told in a busy and ‘noisy’ social media landscape, but they also have to be very careful about how they treat followers and customers – one bad experience can turn into a PR nightmare for any company, big or small.

BL: PR vs advertising – what’s your take on the debate?

BH: There’s definitely room for both. Clients want to see a return on investment, so we use a media monitoring agency to catalogue the positive ROI of our interventions (which by far eclipses the client cost). PR needs to be carefully tailored per company – what works for A won’t necessarily work for B. By getting to know our clients over time, the relationship makes us part of the furniture in that we are easily able to identify needs and problem areas, and act on them without clients having to point them out. 

BL: How is Brian Anthony Communications different from other PR agencies out there?

BH: We feel our newsroom background gives us the edge in knowing what will work in the media for clients, and what is a ‘no-go’. This also saves our clients time and money on media interventions.

BL: What is the best business tip that you have ever received in your journey as an entrepreneur?

BH: Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth referrals, so treat everyone as a potential client, because at the end of the day your reputation is at stake.