marcusbrewster launches media training division
marcusbrewster is the most awarded communication firm in the history of the PRISM Awards.

marcusbrewster launches media training division

Leading PR agency marcusbrewster has launched a fully-fledged media training division, extending its already-comprehensive service offering even further.

marcusbrewster media training covers a wide range of subjects, from the basics of understanding media to interview techniques, how to handle difficult questioning, and crisis and reputation management. 

Training courses are, however, dynamic and will be tailored to meet each particular client’s requirements. For added realism, clients can also opt to receive practical training in a fully operational television studio, accurately recreating a real-life interview situation under lights and before cameras.

Training will primarily be presented by Managing Director San Reddy and Senior Associate Willem Steenkamp, who between them boast almost four decades’ worth of television and print media experience. Their combined skills give marcusbrewster media training the edge over competitors, who tend to focus on either print or electronic media – but not both.

“A solid understanding of media and how it works, and being equipped with the myriad skills required to engage effectively with media, is not a nice-to-have option for a serious business and its leadership – it’s a necessity,” says marcusbrewster Chairman Marcus Brewster.

“Being able to adeptly handle any media-related situation – be it an interview on a company’s financial results or a full-blown crisis – is a hallmark of all successful firms. Without it, a company’s reputation can be destroyed in moments, and its bottom line can be very seriously undermined.”

According to Brewster, the skills and vast journalistic experience of the marcusbrewster media training team set the agency’s offering apart from others.

“Both San and Willem cut their professional teeth in the rough-and-tumble world of journalism, and between them they know intimately how media in all its forms works, how journalists think and what they want in a story”.

On etv, as a senior news anchor, Reddy interviewed some of the most influential people on the planet, such as US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto and the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, among many heads of state.

Reddy’s electronic media experience also includes CNBC Africa for whom, as Lagos bureau chief, he opened the channel’s Nigerian office. Here he analysed and reported on the Nigerian stock market and business news for the West Africa region by developing relationships with key Nigerian political and business contacts. Additionally, he trained novice news teams to write, edit, present and package inserts for international distribution.

 As a broadcast journalist he has, over the years, been Weekend Desk Editor and Anchor for 702 Eyewitness News, presenter/journalist on SAFM’s PM Live, news anchor on Good Morning South Africa and presenter on MNET SuperSport.

Steenkamp was a journalist for nearly 20 years, and has worked variously as a sub-editor, reporter, news editor and day editor for publications such as the Cape Times, The Star, the Saturday Star and the Sunday Times.

“San and Willem’s in-the-trenches experience allows them to give our clients the very best grounding in understanding media, and how to engage with its exponents most effectively – no matter whether it’s handling a friendly interview, or navigating a crisis situation. The expertise they offer can, quite literally, mean the difference between success and failure for a company,” says Brewster.



San Reddy was formerly Manager, Communication: Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for British American Tobacco and for the past three years has been a consultant to the group, managing communications strategy and media relations for nine countries in Southern Africa, including Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Reddy’s public relations background includes stints at two leading PR agencies, amassing experience on accounts such as Unilever, Coca Cola (Pan-African campaign), the Hospital Association of SA, Soekor and Statistics SA, as well as helping win two defence contracts for British Aerospace.

During his seven years at etv Reddy, one of the 10 core station start-up team members, created the channel’s first corporate communication division and co-ordinated all publicity and crisis communication for the CEO and management, as well as the channel’s international shareholders (Warner Bros).

In print media, Reddy served as editor of Naval Affairs magazine, the lead lobbying mouthpiece for the US Navy, Coast Guard and Marines during his years living in America.

In 2010, Reddy launched a South African media training consultancy, MediaReddy, working with clients such as Discovery, Nedbank and AFGRI.

Reddy holds a B.A (Hons) in Political Science (Public Policy) from UCT.   He attended the George Mason School of Law in Virginia, USA, as well as the Donald W. Reynolds Centre for Business Journalism at Arizona State University.


Steenkamp moved into public relations in 2007, and joined marcusbrewster in November 2009 as a Senior Account Manager. Steenkamp works across most of the firm’s clients, concentrating on specialist writing and editing assignments, communications strategy, media training, and crisis and reputation management.

As a public relations consultant, Steenkamp has worked for some of South Africa’s best-known companies and brands, including Pick n Pay, the South African Breweries Ltd, BHP Billiton, Absa, KWV, Nestle, PLAYBOY, Seeff Property Services, MTN, BDFM, Neo Africa and the various brands of the Travel Corporation, among many others.

Steenkamp holds a B.A degree from the University of Cape Town, and a B.A (Hons) degree in Journalism from the University of the Witwatersrand


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