Support your Supporters – We should support brands that are willing to do business with us, writes Rethabile Mohlala

In 2023 we need to start supporting businesses that are willing to do business with us. If you work at a radio station, you should start buying the brands that buy airtime. If not, what’s the point of supporting you? Media houses are not supposed to struggle, while their staff members consume brands every day, including the suppliers of those media houses too – they must come to the party. In that way, we are building communities that care, not just take and take without giving back. 

We can’t continue to make brands richer and richer, while they’re not willing to work with us and support our businesses, things have to change. We need to start using our power, we can’t let brands dictate how we use our money. Gone are the days where brands were entitled and just collecting our money. 

In the United Kingdom, there’s a man by the name of Steven Bartlett who hosts a podcast called The Diary of a CEO. He makes a ton of money from brands that he consumes. He said after starting his podcast that he approached brands that he consumes daily to advertise on his podcast, instead of cold calling and approaching strangers to buy airtime. 

Steven said the model of doing business with the brands he consumes was more rewarding, plus he managed to make six figures, and his podcast growth is through the roof. Personally as Rethabile Mohlala, I live by that strategy of supporting brands that are willing to do business for me, it’s a mutual respect and win-win situation. I find it hard to support brands that are not willing to work with me on my initiatives. 

I once worked for a FMCG retail chain store as a floor salesperson while I was still studying towards my journalism diploma at university, and I happened to host a radio show at a campus radio station. The chain store happened to have a retail radio station and in-house magazine, so I asked them for a radio job or writing opportunity for the magazine, but they turned me down. 

Later, I went to the store management and told them that I can’t work for them – as a media and journalism student, I had a radio show on campus radio station, I wrote for Record West (a community newspaper in Pretoria West), and I produced a current affairs show on their station, yet they still didn’t want to give me a gig at the radio station, so I resigned. I just couldn’t continue making them rich, while they were not willing to empower me with their resources.

By Rethabile Mohlala – Brand Strategist and Media Consultant

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