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Lee Cahill

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Lee Cahill

Communications Consultant, Writer and Editor


Currently resides in: Gauteng, South Africa

Born in Johannesburg South Africa

I'm an independent communications consultant, freelance writer and editor with many years of work experience.

I have a BA in English and Art History (Wits) and a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature (Wits). I also completed the Certificate Programme in Strategic Marketing Management at the Wits Business School in 1995, have extensive post-experience training, and have a strong background in marketing.

I've held various senior positions in business, including those of Group Marketing Manager: Business Partners Limited; Marketing Manager: Struik Publishers; and Senior Manager (Promotional Marketing): Nedcor Group.

I've been in my own practice since 2002, and work with both local and international clients including Sappi, Genesis Analytics and African Business Database Limited, as well as with a number of blue-chip communications agencies.

I develop and implement communications and branding strategies; develop corporate, marketing, media, social media and web content; compile and edit corporate, research, business and annual reports; write media releases, editorials and special features; and provide editing services for non-fiction publishers.

Further information about my work and experience is available on my web site: www.leecahill.co.za, and a copy of my CV is available on request.

I was also a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG), which I ran for four years. JAG was an independent, voluntary and self-funded group working for best-practice governance, social justice and environmental protection in the City of Joburg. It was disbanded at the end of 2012 as the volume of voluntary work had become too great for the members to manage in addition to their work and personal commitments. Further information is available at www.joburgadvocacy.org.

Business Address

Kensington, Johannesburg, South Africa


Professional details

Current Position(s)

Independent Communications Consultant, Writer and Editor | Cahill Communications
Johannesburg, South Africa | 2002 - present

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations

I'm an independent communications consultant, writer and editor, and have been in private practice since October 2002. I provide specialist communications services to a wide range of clients.

In my consulting work, I specialise in strategy development, communications planning, creative conceptualisation, branding and project management.

As a writer and editor, I specialise in developing media content for both traditional and new media, as well as in developing all forms of corporate communications such as brochures, pamphlets, ads, newsletters etc. I also provide editing services for non-fiction publishers.


Previous Position(s)

Group Marketing Manager | Business Partners Limited
Johannesburg, South Africa | 2001 - 2002

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations

At Business Partners I was tasked with updating and re-launching the Business Partners brand. Business Partners (previously the Small Business Development Corporation) is South Africa’s leading specialist investment group for small and medium enterprises.

My responsibilities included a full update of the group’s corporate image, and of all corporate and marketing communications elements. I also was a guest member of the group’s Executive Committee.


Marketing Manager/Commissioning Editor | Struik Publishers
Johannesburg, South Africa | 1999 - 2001

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations

At Struik I was tasked with the re-design and re-launch of the 60-year-old Struik Publishing brand after its purchase by Johnnic Communications, and with the establishment of a full-service marketing department. Struik was, at the time, South Africa’s largest publisher of illustrated non-fiction, and had won many international awards for its books. It has since amalgamated with Random House (South Africa) to form Random House Struik (RHS).

I was directly responsible for the planning and implementation of the company's marketing and communications strategy, as well as for supplier and staff management and author relations. I was also a member of the Management/Commissioning Committee.


Strategic Marketing and Communications Consultant | Cahill Consulting
1994 - 1999

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations

My work at this time included strategic marketing and communications management for a range of clients, which included KPMG, HSBC, National Data Systems, Telkom, Primedia Limited, MagiNet, the Johannesburg SPCA, the SA Housing Trust and Research International (SA and UK).

Cahill Consulting’s services included business planning, strategy development, marketing communications planning and management, e-commerce, fundraising and overall communications management. Depending on the nature of the project concerned, responsibilities included strategy development, market assessment, budgeting, overall project management and supplier liaison, general research and research evaluation. Conceptualisation, web architecture development, web content development, copywriting and editorial services were also offered.


Various positions in film and television production, advertising and corporate | Wits, VZ, Grey Phillips, Y&R, Standard Bank, Nedcor
Johannesburg, South Africa | 1980 - 1993

Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations

I graduated in 1979 and started work in 1980 as a scriptwriter and production assistant at the Wits Central Television Unit. After that, I worked in various ad agencies as a television producer, and was later the executive producer for a commercial film company with four directors.

I took up a position as Manager: Cinema, Radio and Television Advertising at Standard Bank in 1989 as I wanted to broaden the scope of my career. After that I was Senior Manager: Promotional Marketing for the Nedcor Group until I started my own practice as a strategic marketing and communications consultant in 1994. My work at Nedcor involved overseeing the promotional marketing for all seven banking brands in the group at the time, including sponsorship support, event management and affinity marketing support.

Educational history

Secondary

Jeppe High School for Girls, Johannesburg, South Africa (1975)
Pretoria High School for Girls, Pretoria, South Africa (1973)

Tertiary

Wits Business School

Johannesburg, South Africa | 1995 - 1995

Certificate in Strategic Marketing Management - Strategic Marketing

University of the Witwatersrand

Johannesburg, South Africa | 1979 - 1979

BA (Hons) - English Language and Literature

University of the Witwatersrand

Johannesburg, South Africa | 1976 - 1978

BA - English and Art History

Other subjects: Linguistics, Sociology, Classics, International Relations

Achievements

media exposure

Mercury/IOL.co.za | 2012

Commentary on plans by municipal-owned entity, uShaka Marine World, to hold a rave in the facility - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

The Star/IOL.co.za | 2012

Commentary on the City of Joburg's plan to deploy 1,300 JMPD officers at ward level - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web/Moneyweb | 2012

Commentary on the City of Joburg's claims that 200,000 billing complaints were resolved between November 2011 and June 2012 - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Mobilitate | 2012

Commentary on the City of Joburg's claims that the billing crisis backlog has been fully addressed - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Financial | 2012

Commentary on the City of Joburg's debtors' book - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2012

Commentary on government's promise to resolve 66,000 backdated billing queries within four months - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2012

Commentary on a Consumer Tribunal decision with regard to the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

The Star | 2012

Commentary on e-tolling - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Moneyweb | 2012

Commentary on the City of Joburg SAP billing system - in my capacity as a founding member of the Jobug Advocacy Group.

Moneyweb | 2012

Commentary on progressive system collapse in the City of Joburg - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Independent Online | 2012

Commentary on the impact of the proposed e-tolling system on the City of Joburg's budget - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Independent Online | 2012

Commentary on the new Mayor's State of the City Address - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

SABC 3 TV News | 2012

Commentary on the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

SAfm Breakfast Show | 2012

Live interview about the Joburg billing crisis and the state of the city - in my capacity as founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Mail and Guardian | 2012

Commentary on the billing complaints backlog in the City of Joburg - in my capacity as founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Radio France Internationale | 2012

Interview with Radio France Internationale on the role of civil society groups in South Africa following President Jacob Zuma's fourth State of the Nation Address - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

MixFM 93.8 | 2012

Frequent guest on live broadcasts of Jim Powell's 'On the Spot' radio show, which deals with local government issues - in my capacirty as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

TimesLIVE iLIVE | 2011

A call for system change in the City of Joburg - written by me in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

TimesLIVE | 2011

Commentary on the human impact of the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

TimesLIVE | 2011

Commentary on the City of Joburg's 'billing roadmap' - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group

TimesLIVE | 2011

Commentary on proposed recycling by-laws - in my capacity as a founding member of the Jobrug Advocacy Group.

TimesLIVE | 2011

Commentary on NCC action against the City of Joburg - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

TimesLIVE | 2011

Commentary about tariff hikes - in my capacity as a foundign member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

TimesLIVE | 2011

Commentary on national government intervention in the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Business Day | 2011

Commentary on City of Joburg credit control measures - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Business Day | 2011

Commentary on tariff hikes - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Business Day | 2010

JAG call for a moratorium of services cut-offs.

mybroadband | 2012

Commentary on the City of Joburg's SAP billing system - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2012

Commentary on 'Tau's Wall of Shame' - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Coverage of JAG's programme to assist residents with billing complaints and disputes.

LookLocal | 2011

Coverage of JAG's campaign for direct democracy in the run-up to the 2011 municipal elections.

LookLocal | 2011

Commentary on the city's promise to resolve 66,000 billing queries and disputes - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Commentary on electricity supply in the City of JOburg - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Commentary on the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Commentary on the on-going Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Commentary on the restoration of the vandalised Scottish Horse War Memorial in Kensington - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Commentary on acid mine drainage (AMD) in Joburg - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Commentary on the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Commentary on the Mayor's statements about the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

LookLocal | 2011

Coverage of JAG's call on the Gauteng MEC for assistance with the Joburg billing crisis.

LookLocal | 2010

Commentary on complaints about electricity bills - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on the City of Joburg's 'billing roadmap' - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on the City of Joburg's 'billing roadmap' - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on compliance notices issued to the City of Joburg in terms of the Consumer Proetction Act - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on backdated charges for refuse removal - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on tariff increases in the City of Joburg - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on a City of Joburg statement about the billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on the intervention of the National Consumer Commission (NCC) in the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on a media conference held by the Public Protector and the Gauteng MEC for Local Government - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on JAG's appeal to the Public Protector to investigate the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Jobug Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on protest action against the City of Joburg with regard to the billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentary on criminal charges brought against the City of Joburg with regard to the billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

IT Web Business | 2011

Commentray on a class action lawsuit agains the City of Joburg - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group

Kaya FM | 2011

Guest on live broadcast from Soweto of 'Today with John Perlman' in the run-up to the 2011 minicipal elections - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

South African Commercial Property | 2011

Commentary on the City of Joburg's electricity cut-off campaign - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Go Legal | 2011

Commentary on the appointment of the new Mayor, Parks Tau - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Independent Online | 2011

Commentary on the City of Joburg's eletricity cut-off campaign - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Federated Caledonian Societies of South Africa | 2011

Commentary on the restoration of the Scottish Horse War Memorial in Kensington, Johannesburg.

Mobilitate News | 2011

Commentary on electricity and water cut-offs in the City of Joburg - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Moneyweb | 2011

Commentary on a class action lawsuit against the City of Joburg - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Moneyweb | 2011

Commentary on a media conference with the Public Protector and the Gauteng MEC for Local Government - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Moneyweb | 2011

Commentary on the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Radio France Internationale | 2011

Interview with Radio France Internationale on the significance of the 2011 municipal elections - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Mobilitate News | 2011

Commentary on rates and tariff increases in the City of Joburg - in my cacapcity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

SABC TV News | 2009

Several interviews between 2009 and 2012 - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

eNews Channel | 2010

Member of a select studio audience posing questions to a panel including Helen Zille and Gwede Mantashe in the run-up to the 2010 municipal elections - in my capacity as a Founding Member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Summit TV | 2009

Panel member in discussion on the Joburg billing crisis with the then-City Manager, Mavela Dlamini - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

KayaFM 95.9 | 2009

Guest on live broadcast of 'Today with John Perlman' - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Morning Live | 2009

Interview on the Joburg billing crisis - in my capacity as a founding member of the Joburg Advocacy Group.

Academic Achievements

Certificate: Creative Writing | 2010

Random House Struik/UCT Certificate: Creative Writing (Fiction).

Certificate: Photography | 2005

National School of Photography Certificate: principles and practices of photography.

Certificate: Project Management | 2000

Execu-Prime Certificate in Team-Based Project Management.

Certificate: Strategic Marketing Management | 1995

Wits Business School

Certificate: Principles of Book Publishing | 1994

Independent Publishers' Association Certificate: Principles of Book Publishing.

BA (Hons) (English Language and Literature) | 1979

University of the Witwatersrand

McPhail Bursary for Postgraduate Study | 1979

Postgraduate bursary awarded on the basis of academic achievement in undergraduate studies.

F.G. Connock Bursary for Postgraduate Study in English | 1979

Postgraduate bursary awarded on the basis of academic achievement in undergraduate studies.

BA (English and Art History) | 1978

University of the Witwatersrand

Barclays Bank Scholarship for Undergraduate Study (1976 - 1979) | 1976

One of twelve scholarships for undergraduate studies which were awarded annually for study at a South African university

Jeppe High School for Girls Parents’ Association Bursary | 1975

Bursary awarded to top academic achiever at Jeppe High School for Girls in 1975.

Dr Ingall's Prize for Scholarship | 1975

Prize for Scholarship awarded to the top academic achiever at Jeppe High School for Girls in 1975.

Activities

Memberships

University of the Witwatersrand Alumni Association

Member

Wits Business School Association

Member

Sandton Chamber of Commerce

Member, 1995 - 2000

Commercial Producers' Association

Member, 1986 - 1991

Association of Marketers

Corporate Member, 1993 - 1995

Institute of Marketing Management (IMM)

Full Member, 1993 - 2002

community

Marine Life Defenders

Activist, November 2012 - present

I am a member of an ad hoc group of activists, drawn from a number of different organisations, which is working for the protection of marine life. As a group, we focus especially on marine mammals, birds and large cartilaginous species - such as sharks and rays - currently being held in captivity in marine parks.

Joburg Advocacy Group

Founding and Managing Member, January 2009 - December 2012

I founded the Joburg Advocacy Group in 2009 and ran it for four years. The group, which was voluntary and self-funded, advocated for best-practice governance, social justice and environmental protection in the City of Joburg. Our work focused on such issues as the Joburg billing crisis, financial management in the city, acid mine drainage, service delivery, resident/voter rights and water pollution. The group was disbanded at the end of 2012 as the volume of voluntary work had become too great for the members to manage in addition to their work and personal commitments.

Red Ribbon Campaign

Organiser, 2009 - present

The Red Ribbon Campaign is an annual festive season campaign aimed at building strong, empowered and united communities from the ground up. I assist with organising and communications.

Kensington Community Work Programme

Founder and Project Manager, 2010 - 2010

The Kensington Community Work Programme was established under the auspices of the Expanded Public Works Programme to provide work opportunities for unemployed people in the run-up to, during and after the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The focus of the programme was on improving public infrastructure and facilities, and it employed up to 100 people on various projects at any given time. We were unable to continue with this programme because the Kensington area was not regarded as an area of focus for further funding.

Johannesburg SPCA

Board Member, 1994 - 1996

I was a voluntary board member for the Johannesburg SPCA, the largest of the over 100 SPCAs in South Africa.

Other Activities

Personal Interests

Various, 1971 - present

Personal interests include fine art, art history, reading, cinema, creative writing, current affairs, playing the piano, walking, gardening, bird-watching, meditation, yoga, dogs, history and ancient civilizations.

SAbookworm.com

Blogger, 2007 - 2010

An indie blog offering quality reviews of local and international titles, in-depth features on related issues, and occasional musings on books, life, love and the universe.

Testimonials

Matebello Motloung: Media Consultant, ElloJo Writers

"It is rare that you come across a standout writer like Lee Cahill.

Lee has more than 30 years of corporate writing and marketing experience, and has spent at least 12 years of those freelancing.

I met Lee nearly two years ago through a client of ours, and since then our media relations and corporate writing agency Ellojo Writers has been thanking its lucky stars.
What stands out about Lee is her ability to juggle multiple writing assignments. She does this unlike anyone I have worked with before without quality being compromised. She’s a great communicator, very good at managing client expectations, and consistent in the super quality of work she delivers.

To date, Lee has completed at least 10 flawless writing projects for our agency, which include contributions to Annual Reports, opinion pieces, and articles. She has been an asset to the significant improvement in the productivity level of our company.

Lee does not only get the job done, but she’s also really amazing to work with.
" - 2014

Celia Bayley: Communications Manager, Sappi Limited

"Lee is a professional. She has contributed to the strategy, planning, writing, editing and roll-out of several communications campaigns for Sappi. I do not hesitate in recommending her to future clients." - 2013

Petro Bothma: General Manager, Business Partners Limited

"Lee is an experienced and insightful strategist with a very good understanding of target markets, branding, market challenges and reputation management. She is also an excellent writer and editor, and is able to develop the full range of communications content - from media releases right through to annual reports, web sites, brochures and promotional campaigns. I have no hesitation in recommending her.

Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity
" - 2012

Jacqui Towell: Business Development and Marketing Associate, Genesis Analytics

"I've worked with Lee for over two years. Lee consistently endeavors to understand our briefs and the contexts in which we work. Her turnaround time is excellent. It's a pleasure working with Lee and I recommend her to anyone looking for professional and high quality writing and editing services.

Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert
" - 2012

Richard Ketley: Director, Genesis Analytics

"Lee has been our outsourced editor-in-chief for several years and always does a great job, often dealing with very technical material.

Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Good Value
" - 2012

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