As Senior PR & Media Relations Manager, Lucy works closely with travel journalists and PR agencies throughout the world to promote the Wilderness Safaris brand. By securing coverage of the company in media publications across the globe, Lucy helps to keep Wilderness in the mind of consumers and trade partners, while also introducing it to new audiences, which ultimately leads to the growth of the business.
Lucy was raised in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, and after high school in Queenstown, she completed a degree in French and Legal Theory at Rhodes University, graduating with an Honours in French Literature. She followed this up with a Travel Diploma from Birnam Business College, paving the way for a career in tourism, and the start of her Wilderness Safaris journey. She also recently obtained a certificate in Digital PR from the Digital School of Marketing. She joined Wilderness in 1998 as a junior consultant, handling bookings for Inbound agents, and learning from safari stalwarts such as Russel Friedman, Colin Bell and Mike Myers. After three years, she left for a short time to run a guest house, but returned to Wilderness in 2003 to join the marketing department. At first she handled the brochure stock and distribution, before taking on more responsibility as a PA, handling all the arrangements for the sales trips and trade shows, and eventually managing the Sales Services team. In 2016, she began her current PR & Media Relations role.
In her role as Senior PR & Media Relations Manager, Lucy is responsible for the European, UK and USA markets, but has also recently taken on the PR for South African media. Working closely with both Marketing and Sales, Lucy is responsible for driving the PR Strategy within Wilderness Safaris’ overall marketing plan. This involves identifying and promoting interesting news and story angles, compiling media pitches, nurturing new and established media relationships, awards opportunities, and press release distribution, and also overseeing the bookings of press trips.
“There are so many inspiring stories that need to be told and it is part of my job to tell them. Whether it’s an exciting new camp opening or the difference we make in conserving Africa’s wilderness, these stories are all important and need to be shared,” explains Lucy, “While we can say we’re making a difference out there, at Wilderness we can also back that up with numbers and stats. At the same time, we are also simply giving travellers the experience of a lifetime in these beautiful places. It’s a measure of the success of that storytelling when a guest will say ‘I booked a trip with Wilderness Safaris because I read an article about your company in Travel + Leisure,’ for example”.
Seeing the end result of a project gives Lucy the biggest gratification, as it requires many people working together to make it successful, from the Marketing team to the PR agencies, Marketing Services and the staff in the camps. Once the story is eventually published, or an award has been won, the project is deemed successful and brings in more guests. The media launch of Bisate is Lucy’s biggest and most rewarding project she has worked on, so far.
“I have had the most insanely wonderful experiences because of Wilderness Safaris, things I would never have been able to do and places I would never have seen otherwise,” reflects Lucy. “I love the passion for nature, wildlife, hospitality and generosity that for me is embodied by our guides, and the inspiration that comes from spending time in our camps, and how I feel completely bound to those places, even when I’m at home in Johannesburg. It gives me great pride to share it all with our media guests”.