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Ogilvy has ushered in the new year with two powerhouse appointments to further strengthen the agency’s impressive PR capability – ENCA co-founder Patrick Conroy and content editor Lerato Tshabalala.

With their deep industry experience and abilities, the two join the leadership of Ogilvy’s Public Relations and Influence division, boosting Ogilvy’s ability to make brands matter for industry-leading clients across sectors. 

The announcements follow last year’s appointment of Lebo Madiba, who currently heads up Ogilvy PR.

This strong leadership group reflects Ogilvy’s increasingly diverse and experienced client offering of specialist skills fundamental to the evolving marketing and communications landscape.

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Coming into his new role as Head of Strategy, Conroy said he was “highly motivated” to get going on developing Ogilvy’s PR & Influence capability as part of the group’s integrated client offering.

Conroy is a respected industry innovator who launched ENCA, South Africa’s first 24-hour news channel, in 2008 and helped run it until 2015, building it into one of the country’s most credible media platforms.

He began his career at Talk Radio 702 and gained agency experience at the Jupiter Drawing Room before moving into television. In 2016 he became managing director of entertainment satellite platform OpenView, taking the service from 300 000 viewing households to more than a million within 17 months.

“I’m excited to be at Ogilvy, a modern marketing agency with a passion for making brands matter,” said Conroy. “I’m looking forward to achieving that for our clients in my new role, and working with some of the best talent in the industry.”

Conroy has spent the past two years consulting to a wide range of companies on strategy, content and communications.

Lerato Tshabalala, Ogilvy’s new Content Director for PR & Influence, has almost 20 years’ experience in media, and has held several top positions at leading print publications.

She became women’s editor of Drum magazine at only 22 and edited the Lifestyle supplement at South Africa’s largest Sunday paper, Sunday Times, for five years.

She edited iconic women’s title True Love before leaving to take up a Mandela Washington fellowship in the United States. Most recently, Tshabalala has been a creative director in digital and social media, establishing content studios for major clients like Vodacom and AB InBev.

“As Content Director, I will oversee content strategy, and shape Ogilvy’s vision for their offerings,” said Tshabalala. “I’m already finding it highly rewarding and I look forward to further collaborations with the Ogilvy teams to add value.”

Ogilvy Managing Partner for PR, Lebo Madiba said she looked forward to working with Conroy and Tshabalala in refining Ogilvy’s PR & Influence capability.

“It’s all about building even greater strategic effectiveness for the group,” she said. “We are excited to have people of Patrick and Lerato’s ability on board, to help shape the future of Ogilvy and deliver effective results for clients.”

Ogilvy provides leading marketing and communications expertise across six core global capabilities – Brand Strategy; Advertising; Customer Engagement and Commerce; PR & Influence; Digital Transformation; and Partnerships.