Halo Media year in review: 2021

We had a theme this year … “A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”. It’s a quote by Albert Einstein and it was particularly poignant for us as this year we stepped out of many comfort zones and embraced change.

Change can be painful, and it’s not been without its difficulties. Change means saying goodbyes to the familiar, and hello to the unknown. Adding this to another year of COVID meant that we were changing in even more unchartered territories. But it’s been hugely rewarding, and we’d love to share some of the adventures we had this year!

Celebrations

In January 2021, we celebrated Halo’s 13th birthday. This was followed by Deshnee’s 10-year anniversary in March. We’re a family-first company, and measure one of our greatest successes as our team of talented individuals who fit together like a happy work family. Currently, our team have a collective of 58 years together at Halo!

Conference

We had our first-ever conference! Due to COVID lockdowns, we had to shuffle the dates and venue around several times until we finally had it in our new studio in Westville. It was an insightful time of reminiscing about where we’ve come from, planning our future and further bonding with each other.

Our venue ended up being smaller than anticipated, but we still had an insightful couple of days!

We had a guest speaker – business coach Trevor Clark who aligned our team and helped us to understand ourselves and our team better. We also learned about high-end customer service and how to apply it at Halo, and together we planned growth strategies for our plans of global domination 😃

New studio

We moved into a fun and creative studio in Westville. It was owned by an interior decorator previously, who had gone to town on different kinds of wallpaper, so we have a smorgasbord of cool wallcoverings along with a dedicated boardroom, plus a chill-out area. It’s the perfect home for our team and provides the foundations for future growth. We’d love for you to visit!

New country

Several years ago, we had a seed of an idea that we wanted to become an international company. To open doors to evolve further – with travel opportunities and to further increase our skills, on a global level. Working remotely with lockdown allowed us to see that this could become a reality. Hayes and Louise have set up our UK office outside Salisbury – a country area with easy access to London and Heathrow. They’ll be travelling back to South Africa regularly and have already begun consulting in UK and Asia.

Specialising

One part of our change was for us to focus further. We’ve leaned further into our specialisations of working in the mining, investment and finance industries. Some of our 2021 work has included:

  • A brand audit for Rio Tinto
  • Ongoing brand strategy and communication design with South32
  • Investment and financial services design for the Index Solutions team at Absa, which includes advertising, brochures, videos, websites and brand implementation
  • We’re developing a comprehensive financial LMS (Learning Management System) – this is part of a global-first product, so we’ll release more information on it when it’s launched
  • We’ve branded four investment and private-equity companies in the UK, Guernsey and South Africa

New skills

We’ve learned new skills, which mean we’re able to provide greater solutions to our clients.

Brand Strategy

Hayes and Louise have spent the past year studying in an advanced Brand Strategy Masterclass. This bolsters the 25 years’ industry experience they each bring to the table and means that they can now offer brand strategy in a consulting role. We’re pairing our Brand Strategy service with Brand Audits to allow for a full 360 approach.

Mining Marketing Services

We’ve dived deeper into the range of services we offer mines for their marketing and communication, which includes research; brand and perception audit and employee engagement surveys. Dominique has sharpened her research skills and brings her love of linguistics into multi-language collateral, whilst Hayes brings his brand strategy knowledge into play with mining brand audits.

Mining Campaigns

Our mining communication campaigns have become more advanced and we focus on different levels of literacy, languages and learning types. We cover all key touchpoints in a campaign, to offer communications that are visual, auditory and kinetic. We’re doing this through animated video screens; interactive WhatsApp communication; digital and print brochures; posters and regular campaign platforms. Shivani has learned more about COVID-19 than most doctors know (!) by writing educational health and safety campaigns for mining staff and local communities. Alongside her, Deshnee and Dominique ensure that a high volume of creative and accurate design is produced – all of which is brand compliant and hard-hitting.

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

We’ve started our first LMS project with one of SA’s largest financial service providers. It was a dive into the deep end, which has had its stressful moments, but we’re working with a world-class team with our client and fellow service providers. The learning curve was steep, however, we’re thoroughly enjoying it and the beta testing is receiving rave reviews! LMS stands for Learning Management System and has become integral to businesses to educate their clients and staff. Chris has combined his enjoyment of video editing and learning new tech, to embrace an e-Learning platform.

Financial Services and Investment Marketing

We’ve spent another year working closely in financial services design and investment company marketing and brand. Louise works closely with the team to manage and strategise solutions, whilst Gill not only handles the administrative complexities but provides insights into teaching financial concepts to the team for when we need to understand something.


We’d love to say a big thank you to our clients and friends for continually supporting us. It goes without saying that we couldn’t be here without this support. But on a deeper level, those who support Halo, and our ethos, are making the biggest difference to us every day by allowing us to work with brands we admire, people we care for and to enjoy coming into work every day. Thank you!