Running an entirely female creative company, Clara Armand-Delille founded ThirdEyeMedia as a way to empower women in the public relations sector. In her role as Founder and Managing Director, she coaches and mentors her team, and encourages them to up their skillset. Clara also runs her own yoga studio.
“I see myself as a role model — you have to recognise yourself in someone else in order to envisage this as an achievable goal.
“My goal is to train my team and spend as much time on their skillset as I do on coaching and mentoring about things like managing a client’s expectations, learning to say no politely, believing in themselves to give strategic advice to a client —and disagreeing with me,” she smiles.
“Our team is basically entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. Everyone is their own boss and I encourage the team to take on extra jobs if and when they need or want to. Realising that in such a volatile job market, freelancing with several clients is actually much safer than having a single employer.
“I think part of managing people well is empowering them, showing them that they are building themselves into valuable professionals and that their skills are highly desirable and sellable. The more generous you can be as an employer in the current job market, the better,” Clara says. “I’m a huge fan of managing with love rather than fear.”
Media and public relations have proven to be an ideal career choice for Clara as it allows her to amplify her message. “It provides me with an avenue to share my story, learnings and how, as a team, we are ensuring management practices that emphasise mindfulness, respect, knowledge sharing and professionalism.”
Her team is highly multi-lingual. The effect is an unbeatable edge in the market. “We are international from the core and the get-go.” They speak five languages in-house and source freelance professionals for the markets they don’t have the linguistic skill for. “It allows us to work in a lean and centralised way, making it much easier for our clients when they need support in multiple markets. We have synergies in-house which means we can share and replicate campaigns or stories across several markets and share learnings of things that don’t go so well,” she says.
“We offer something that simply no agency our size is able to offer. And I think that ThirdEyeMedia’s business model and set up is highly relevant to and replicable in Africa.”
Read more in the May 2019 issue of Fast Company SA