Award-winning Public Relations Company in Cape Town

Atmosphere Communications is SA’s most-awarded public relations company, with +40 people working in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

2019 was an amazing year for the business, as we were named:

  • MarkLive.com’s Most Admired PR Agency
  • The PRISM Awards’ Best Midsized PR Agency of the Year
  • And Financial Mail Adfocus Awards’ PR Agency of the Year

While we have two offices, we are one tight-knit dream team!  Our PR agency in Cape Town is our main hub, where we have longstanding relationships with blue chip clients such as Sanlam, Santam, Capitec Bank, Hennessy, G-Star RAW and Takealot. Our founder Nicola Nel and director Julie Etheridge steer the ship in the Mother City.

We are a proud member of the prestigious King James Group.

Our unique approach sets us apart from other PR companies in South Africa

Atmosphere’s approach to PR is nimble and innovative. We use creative strategies that generate measurable results for our clients through integrated communications campaigns. This means continuously adapting the storytelling mediums we use to answer the expectations of digital-age audiences.

Fast-paced change is the new norm. Our future-gazing philosophy and agile way of working enable us to start the right conversations at the right time. We are collaborative and deliverables-driven. Our aim is to use creative, convention-busting strategies to answer our client’s business goals.

For us, it’s about pushing boundaries to achieve real results and ROI. This has made us one of the best-known PR agencies in South Africa. 

Times they are a changin’

We’ve changed to keep abreast with the technological advancements of our time. The world’s got complicated. We’re living in an age of #MoralityMarketing, self-driving cars, Alexa, avatars, complex politics and data dilemmas.

In a time of radical transparency and ubiquitous social media, everything is seen. Consumers expect brands to champion causes that count. Our role is to help our clients navigate these complexities, manage their reputations and create brand love.

In the complex world of today, our biggest advice is to be human. Act with kindness, make a positive difference in your community, be proactive in admitting mistakes, be accountable, be ethical, look after your people and tell your story authentically, with real love for what you do.

Get that right, and no matter whether you tell your story via AI avatar, deliver it by drone, through a daring data-driven catwalk, or a virtual reality clone, your message will connect with your audience. Our PR agency in Cape Town will help you do just that. 

Class-leading PR in Cape Town – Our areas of expertise

Our areas of expertise include executive media training, digital PR, content creation, influencer relations, media relations and reputation- and crisis management.

We’re PR superstars across: 

  • Corporate PR We deliver on your business goals through a holistic public relations strategy that includes:
    • High impact media relations
    • Stakeholder mapping
    • Issues management
    • Event planning
    • Brand and product launches
    • Executive training
    • Investor relations
    • CEO profiling and more

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We’re your partner on every step of your journey. We’ll deliver consistent counsel – and the creative campaigns you need to cut through the clutter.

  • Digital PR:The digital age is about delivering measurable results. It also opens phenomenal opportunities to tell stories in entirely new ways. It’s the era of ‘sticky ideas’ and explosive virality

It’s also a time of unprecedented information and data-led everything.  Content plays a critical role, as does marketing strategy development, digital media relations, keyword and SEO research, lead generation, and UX design.

Our award-winning Sanlam Pink Tax campaign is an example of a recent holistic digital campaign our PR agency in Cape Town executed. We utilised online content and influencer marketing to raise awareness of the unfairness of women paying more than men for the same goods and services. We highlighted an important ‘sticky’ idea, started a conversation via the right channels and achieved media reach of 30,573,565. Shortly after the campaign, SA also introduced zero VAT on sanitary products!

We create engaging, authentic content that nimbly taps into what’s topical to kick-start big conversations. It’s not just the message – it’s the medium. We push boundaries to find new mediums, from in-depth research reports to eye-catching infographics, newsletters, videos, dynamic guides, and smart social-boosting strategies.

A holistic content marketing strategy also includes well thought-out SEO for measurable results.  Plus, great design! Design is an integral aspect of content creation. Buzzsumo recently found that articles with a picture every 75 to 100 words receive double the shares. 

Influencer Marketing: This is one of the biggest changes brought about by the digital age. Influencers are everywhere. They’re having a major moment, but the practice is also still quite new and evolving rapidly. 

It’s all very well partnering a famous face with a brand, but it must be done authentically, in a fresh way that has impact and doesn’t clutter a feed. This is something the majority of PR agencies in South Africa are struggling with.

Micro- and nano influencers are also growing at a rapid rate and can tend to clock up more engagement than their macro counterparts. There’s lots to consider, and Atmosphere specialises in helping our clients navigate the journey and find the right fit. We help with influencer relations, influencer strategy development, product seeding, content development, the co-creation of campaigns and the analysis of influencer outreach – so you can create meaningful collaborations that get real results. 
We’ve worked hard and are privileged to have great ongoing relationships with some of the foremost influencers in SA and beyond – including our amazing Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi.

Crisis and reputation management

This is an aspect of our offering that seriously differentiates us from other PR companies in South Africa. Our founder, Nicola Nel, is one of the most respected authorities on crisis communications. She has played an instrumental role in guiding many of our blue-chip clients, including Capitec Bank following the Viceroy report. In the complicated world of today, global CEOs see their (lack of) crisis capabilities as a serious threat – as they should.

Living in a time of glass-box transparency and social media means things can go very wrong very quickly. We’re also in the age of deepfakes and other destructive forces that can destroy a reputation through false news. We partner with our clients to provide:

  • Ongoing reputation tracking and management
  • Issue tracking and counsel
  • Crisis management counsel
  • Scenario planning
  • Team training and more

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Success stories from the Cape Town office

We’re one #dreamteam so our Cape Town and Johannesburg offices collaborate consistently across projects and clients. But here is a selection of recent work from our PR agency in Cape Town:

1. Takealot partnership with Dineo Ranaka: An example of our influencer relations:

Our client Takealot wanted to speak to Gauteng’s influential middle-class. To attract first-time buyers, we partnered with macro influencer Dineo Ranaka (661 000 followers with high rates of engagement).

Using key shopping ‘moments’, we co-created content that surprised and delighted her followers. Watch her son’s surprising superhero moment and feel your heart melt! The video content was accompanied with unique Takealot discount codes and vouchers. Altogether, the campaign achieved over 300,000 views! There was also a whopping 477% increase in new buyers, which well exceeded the target.

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2. PropertyFox School Feeder Zone Guide: An example of content marketing: 

Most parents are perplexed by the concept of school feeder zones and whether living in a certain area will help get a little one into a desired educational institute. Our client PropertyFox gets asked about feeder zones all the time.

So, our PR experts in Cape Town decided to conduct a thorough, independent survey into school catchment areas and feeder suburbs for 60 of SA’s top schools. From this, we created a report that gives insight into catchment policies and some of the most popular school suburbs. 

As well as serving as an objective starting point for parents, the report prompted a national debate, landing in 32 media publications and kick-starting a heated Cape Talk radio discussion. 

3. Pink Tax for Sanlam: An example of digital PR & influencer relations:

This multi-award-winning campaign was conceptualised for our client Sanlam for Women’s Month. We proposed localising the global conversation on Pink Tax (the phenomenon of women paying more than men for the same goods and services) to our South African context. The idea was to empower women in their financial decision-making. 

Our PR company in Cape Town commissioned a research company to survey 500 men and 500 women from across the country. We asked pertinent questions around purchasing experiences across categories like clothing, toiletries, contraception, medical screenings and more. From this, we could identify where discrepancies arose, and we turned these insights into media stories.

We also collaborated with influencers to amplify our findings and generate conversations online. The influencers were asked to document a typical day in their life, showcasing the additional expenses women can incur. The campaign earned us a PRISM award and won a Sabre in the Public Affairs/ Government Relations category and a Certificate of Excellence for Southern Africa. 

4. Boschendal Wines: An example of digital PR, content marketing and design: 

Our client Boschendal Wines wanted to carve out a niche that spoke to its quality and heritage, while appealing to new generations of wine lovers. As a premium brand, it encourages people to live #AnInspiredLife. We adopted a multi-channel approach to tell rich, engaging stories addressing the brand’s core pillars, with strong aspects of influencer marketing. 

Our PR agency in Cape Town also introduced a blog and newsletter, and used sustained publicity and events to build credibility and visibility. The result of the combined approach was an AVE of R14 million and a reach of 22 million across the period. 

5. Capitec and Viceroy:

Our client Capitec was targeted by unscrupulous short sellers who aimed to cause its share price to collapse. Atmosphere was there to manage the reputational fallout. We were by our client’s side every step of the way. And together, we not only showed Viceroy’s findings to be false, but we garnered unprecedented support for the Capitec brand. Some of our key lessons for other public relations companies to emulate? 

  • Say it all and say it fast: Refute false allegations immediately to quickly balance the narrative
  • Get independent experts to weigh in: Ensure you facilitate media access to independent commentators who can objectively falsify outrageous allegations
  • Prioritise your communications: Make sure you are available 24/7 to your key stakeholders to allay concerns
  • Listen and adjust your message: Use social and traditional media listening tools to track sentiment and adjust communications accordingly

Our reputation management campaign with Capitec Bank was the winner in the Superior Achievement in Reputation Management category at the Sabre Awards.

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More about our dynamic PR agency in Cape Town 

Atmosphere is one of a few PR companies in Cape Town. We have huge respect for our competitors, who we also call our friends! It’s a tight-knit group, and we continue to support one another and work towards an industry best-practice benchmark.

We’re proud to represent public relations in companies in Cape Town and South Africa at a global level, through our ongoing relationship with PROI. This gives us direct access to the leading independent PR companies in South Africa, and 50 countries worldwide.

There are three things you should know about us.

Firstly, there’s nothing we take more seriously than the happiness of our people. Our team is made up of dynamic, driven, smart, creative individuals who each bring something special to the table. We value every person enormously and are continuously introducing new ways to evolve our employee experience.

We’re firm believers in flexi-time. We know that ‘life happens’ and work is not – and should not – be everything. We create a space where everyone feels welcome and part of our A Team family. 

Secondly, we are a proudly and passionately South African PR company. We are deeply appreciative of the fact that living in this beautiful country comes with responsibilities. We are absolutely committed to making a positive difference and we have been privileged to partner with some really extraordinary organisations and individuals in the past. We’re currently working with Great Girls, an inspiring NGO that gives girls from difficult backgrounds the best possible chance of gainful employment or tertiary education.

Thirdly, we’re a proud member of the King James Group – one of South Africa’s most awarded independent advertising agencies. Being part of the group gives us access to a wealth of skills and clever, creative people who complement our PR prowess.

Our Cape Town PR agency and the Mother City ‘vibe’

Being a PR company in Cape Town comes with some pretty major advantages. We work in Woodstock, a vibrant Capetonian suburb close to the inner city and watched over by Table Mountain.

The King James office is a beautiful, historical building that’s lived many different lives. It’s home to a family of hadidas, and Alistair King’s gorgeous great dane, Huntley. Pop in and visit us and we’ll treat you to a coffee carefully crafted by Princess, Obe or Tenashe, the amazing team at our in-house café, the Melkhuis. 

Our A Team is known for sporting friendly faces and fabulous fashion – especially at our frequent dress-up parties. We really care about each other and are a very close team, built on a foundation of respect. We work hard, we expect excellence, but we also have a huge amount of kindness, compassion and understanding. And that’s something that truly sets our public relations company apart.