Hello, my name is Refilwe Rakgomo and I was born and raised in Rustenburg, North West Province, in a small village called Chaneng. I grew up as a hard working kid when it came to academics and enjoyed being in the limelight through activities such as drama, debate, reading and school presentations.
When I was growing up, I first wanted to be a host, whether it was for television or radio. These are things that I liked so much that I went to study communication sciences at Northwestern University. Little did I know that the communications industry holds a lot more career paths than I thought. In my sophomore year in college, I was introduced to public relations and all that stuff and I remember thinking, “Wow, okay, that’s something I’m into. would like to come in”.
I started working in communications by volunteering with a youth organization while in college and also volunteered my social media skills to run my sister’s decorating business. This allowed me to develop my skills while gaining professional experience.
After graduating, I then received a job opportunity as a PR and communications intern here in Joburg, Randburg to be precise, and have since worked my way up to become a PR specialist. I like to call myself ‘The PRPlug’ because I’m the plug for all things PR and communications. What was more interesting and cool was that I ended up working with journalists, broadcasters – basically media professionals.
Storyteller, reputation management, image builder, communication, social media, media coverage – these are some of the words that best describe what public relations and communications are all about.
As a PR and Communications Specialist, I help businesses and individuals tell their unique, cool, and engaging stories. All of our PR and communications efforts are aimed at helping brands share the incredible news, values and initiatives of their company that they are passionate about and helping them spread that passion.
What I love about my job and the industry I work in is that he’s very quick and energetic, you don’t work in a certain industry. So you’ll find that you work with clients or people from different industries – it could be the manufacturing, entertainment or even technology industries. There is always something new I learn and it helps me expand my knowledge of things.
I am also delighted to meet and work with different people (companies and brands) who are passionate about what they do, their stories, their brand and their journeys.
As a PR specialist, I had to adapt to a new way of working and come up with innovative ideas for social media marketing campaigns. It can be exciting and challenging at the same time.
My advice to young people looking to enter the communications industry is to never wait until you graduate to start applying what you’ve learned. Start where you are, with what you have. The coolest thing about our generation now is that we have unlimited tools to create anything, anything. Try your luck and offer your communication services to a local NPO.
Local theater actor gives back to the community