Women and Girls Speak Up and Stay Safe: Media and Mobiles

vodafone 1.jpgI was invited by the Vodafone Americas Foundation and Internews, to be part of a panel discussion about empowering women and girls with tools to make their voices heard, but also we explored how we can keep girls and women safe in these digital spaces.

Alongside me on the Panel was Kat Duffy, Vice President of Global Technology Programs at Internews, Emily May, co-Founder of Hollaback!, Alli Maloney, the News and Politics Editor at Teen Vogue, and Solange Nyasoso, a human rights advocate and journalist from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They are all inspiring women who are doing great work to amplify the voices of women and girls online, and I was honored to share a platform with them!

Digital content for financial literacy

I worked on a really cool Girl Effect project with Save the Children in Indonesia recently.

As lead content strategist on the Dooit app, a financial literacy tool targeted at girls in school between 16-18 years old.

We wanted to adapt the successful Save the Children’s Skills to Success program curriculum into a fun mobile-friendly experience for girls.

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Using UCD we worked with girls to design a product and content that would help them save money and reach their financial goals.

Understanding the constraints of low-income girls for whom banks are inaccessible or untrusted, it made sense to create a personal money mentor. Dooit guides girls in setting financial goals and then helps them to track savings.

Plus, it wouldn’t be a Khwezi content strategy for girls without fun quizzes, and games.  Dooit encourages and supports girls while helping them to shift behaviors and improve their financial literacy.

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GEM shortlisted for prestigious Mobile World Congress GLOMO award

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This article was originally published on Girl Effect.Org

 

In recognition of mobile innovation in emerging markets.

Girl Effect Mobile (GEM) has been shortlisted for a Glomo (Global Mobile) award for its work on connecting girls to important information, engaging content, and to one another.

GEM has been nominated for the ‘Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets’ award in the Social and Economic Development category. The awards will be presented at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Contin…

Yes, I’m also a voice artist…

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My amazing friend and NYU classmate Claire Ward recently completed a documentary film about ColaLife, an innovative non-profit using the Coca-Cola distribution system in Zambia to distribute an anti-diarrhea kit, called Kit Yamoyo. 

I voiced the film and couldn’t be more proud of the end product, it’s so well made and such an important story that needed to be told!

In other news, I love doing voice work because it keeps me connected to my radio roots, so doccie-makers… call me!

 

It’s a good day when Mark Zuckerberg gives your work a shout out

I’m not one for industry hot air blowing and bro-butt-slapping (which tech has a lot of) but it’s something special when the work you do makes you feel something deeply. I am so proud to have had Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg highlight Girl Effect Mobile today with a touching video about the impact Internet.org has had in Africa. It was also how Facebook chose to launch its global incubator for Free Basics project (which is also coincidentally being lead by the amazing South Africa team at my employer Praekelt Foundation).

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The moral of this story though is that when your work gives you warm, fuzzy and inspired feelings you know you’re on to something good, and the Girl Effect has been that and so much more to date. #Grateful to get paid to do what I love AND be able to do my bit to change the world in the process.

 

Editor in Chief of Seventeen

011011SEM006Under my editorship seventeen South Africa saw exciting growth and changes…this is the highlights package…

Awards

2010

WINNER: AdMag Award Best International Title: seventeen

SILVER: AdMag Award in the Youth Culture Category: seventeen

GOLD: AdMag Award Innovative Digital Publishing Category:

http://www.seventeen.co.za

2009

WINNER: PICA Best Consumer Title International General Interest: seventeen

HIGHLY COMMENDED: PICA Consumer Publishing Excellence Online Solution: seventeen.co.za

HIGHLY COMMENDED: PICA Consumer Publishing Excellence Supplements: Deluxe in seventeen

2008

HIGHLY COMMENDED: PICA Best Consumer Title International General Interest: seventeen

Initiatives

17 Academy

In 2009 seventeen launched an innovative holiday internship programme, where a team of 12 readers is selected to guest-edit an issue of the magazine as part of the 17 Academy. This project was spearheaded by me to get girls real-world career experience while connecting with readers in an interactive way.

17 Academy gives readers a chance to co-edit  an issue of seventeen working alongside editors in the fashion; features; and marketing departments, gaining invaluable job skills. This also allows seventeen a first-hand opportunity to interact with and learn more about its core target market.

Read about it straight from the girls on http://17intern.blogspot.com/

Camp 17

In 2010 seventeen launched Camp seventeen: the ULTIMATE SEVENTEEN EXPERIENCE

The 6-day camp was conceptualized by seventeen’s marketing team and myself as a fun learning and growth experience…the camp was sponsored by Lentheric Hoity Toity in association with Code Teen

Top Teen Achiever Awards

Launched in 2005 as a drive to highlight and reward the incredible accomplishments and contributions of the country’s teen girls, the competition has been hailed as one of the best youth initiatives of its time that focus on great role models whilst encouraging teen girls to look at success as more than just being top of your class, or how much money you earn. Read more here
During my time we also introduced some innovative brand extensions and editorial initiatives including:

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The first 17 Dance supplement, bagged as part of the July/August 2011 issue featured 50 pages of dance-specific articles including features to find the perfect dress, hairdo, makeup looks and more for the Matric dance.

Seventeen Cover Look

seventeen launched the Cover Look competition in 2009 where one lucky girl could win the chance to be on the cover of their favourite magazine. In year one the prize sponsor Maybelline cosmetics, gave away a prize package including a R100 000 modeling contract.

Reader Panels

seventeen launched it’s first reader panels with the style counsel in 2008 where readers are selected to be an expert advisory board to the editorial team, giving advice to their fellow readers and keeping the editorial team on the pulse of the latest youth trends. Style counsel grew into a yearly Super Stylist contest where retailer Edgars gave away a seat on the counsel for a styling reader.  Seventeen also launched the Varsity 5 in 2010 and Beauty Smarties in 2011.

We launched a pop-up radio station for the Oscar Pistorius trial

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I love working on projects that raise the game in innovation so I couldn’t be prouder of the online team’s contribution to Primedia’s groundbreaking coverage of the Oscar Pistorius trial, #OscarExtra, an online pop-up radio station running for the duration of the trial.

The idea came to us a way to run trial audio within all 4 of our station’s radio station apps and thanks to our team’s creative powers it quickly turned into an amazing full-service 12hr radio station. Sounds simple right? You optimize on the biggest media event of the year by providing dedicated coverage without cannibalizing on your regular radio programming, well yes… and no.

The operation of a live feed from the courtroom, a board operator, and a great radio presenter who did call-ins and commentary was pretty standard by radio standards and the online side of setting up a dedicated stream and quick turn around podcasts was one we already had waxed.  However, convincing all the station heads that it was better to do this cool groundbreaking content thing online only turned out to be the most challenging task of all.

You have to understand this in an environment where podcasts are still relatively new to our audience it looked like this massive risk…

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It’s a good thing I’m charming because our ‘launch it now and apologise later’ strategy… well, it could have gone sideways. But it didn’t because as it turned out radio listeners like to listen to things online too, especially when at work and the internet is easily accessible. Oscar Extra was one of our most popular online projects of the year with streams surpassing any of the numbers we had ever done in online audio before!

It was also really exciting to see the attention it got from the industry who thought it was groundbreaking too. 

UPDATE: #OscarExtra nominated for Bookmarks in the Integrated Multi-platform campaign category 

I love it when a calculated risk pays off!

Our big wins at The Bookmarks!

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So proud of how well our team at Primedia Broadcasting did at this year’s Bookmarks Awards, South Africa’s digital industry’s very own Oscars. 

Our awards included a Silver for Publisher sites (mass appeal) – EYEWITNESS NEWS, a Bronze for Editorial (media – news, magazines, radio, and TV stations/networks) – 947. And the biggie fort the night an Honors Award for Best Publisher – EYEWITNESS NEWS!

Beating out the biggest news websites in the country for this accolade was such a thrill for the small but amazingly talented and committed EWN team. As the digital content (mama) manager that watches over just how hard they work to push the envelope every day, I couldn’t be any prouder!

My tribute to madiba

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Working on the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela was one of the most emotionally draining and sad events I have ever covered,  but it was also the most rewarding career highlight of my life!

Helping to build Ourmadiba.com and live blogging every second of his funeral kept me connected to his spirit in a way that I will not forget.

I did get to do some traditional reporting, too and one of my contributions includes this piece which is so me; this is my musical tribute to Madiba.