Clive McMurray, Chairman FCB Durban

Shirley Williams Communications and our agency worked together between March 2003 and the agreement was only terminated in March 2020 as a result of the Covid pandemic when the major client Corobrik closed their marketing department.  Shirley built a long-standing relationship with the various media platforms and digital channels that mushroomed over the years.  The relationship grew in strength due to the highest level of professionalism, quality service and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing conditions in the built environment category.  FCB Durban will still maintain a relationship with Shirley Williams Communications in any further work with Corobrik where the relevant expertise is required.  I have no hesitation to recommend and indeed endorse her services.

Julika Falconer, CEO Zero2Five

We are a medium size NPO based in Durban, with the focus on improving Early Childhood Development services.  Shirley Williams Communications has assisted us with pro bono services since 2018.    Shirley has made the effort to understand our mission and objectives which drive our day to day work and the lives of the people we are trying to uplift.  We regard Shirley as one of our storytellers – if we have a special project, she creates narratives around them and shares the content with her vast network.

We have experienced a great deal of growth in the past two years and appreciate her presence as our “PR lady” as the person to protect, enhance and build our reputation as a charitable organization through the media, social media or self-produced communications.  This regular media exposure allows our donors to get recognition for their support.  Shirley is always only one phone call, message or e-mail away and very prompt with her replies and finalization of contents.  She often gets in touch on weekends if there is a deadline looming.  We have featured on TV this year, in many radio shows and several online and print publications and have no doubt that much of this great exposure rests on her engaging. profound and thorough work.

Malcolm Young, General Manager for Riverview Manor Specialist Clinic and Choose Life Specialist Recover Centre:

I was introduced to Shirley Williams via a newspaper reporter and contacted her to assist us with creating greater awareness of both our clinics, Riverview Manor  Specialist Clinic in Underberg and Choose Life Specialist Recover Centre, and the services that we provide for recovering addicts. We wished to not only spread the word that we existed but also to highlight the many factors that make us different and set us apart from others operating in this space.

We achieved this with the help of Shirley Williams and her team. They were able to create heightened awareness of our business through considerable airtime on radio as well as publicity in a number of print publications.

We found Shirley Williams and her team very easy to deal with. We not only appreciated the “homework” that she did prior to writing press releases for us but her persistence when it came to persuading members of the media to feature Riverside Manor.

I would definitely recommend Shirley Williams Communications to others wishing to gain valuable publicity and build their brands.

Peter du Trevou, Chairman of Corobrik South Africa

Shirley Williams commenced assisting Corobrik in 2007 and I have personally worked closely with Shirley as she took on the many public relations’ projects for Corobrik over the years. She has been the sole agency responsible for Corobrik’s news releases, media invitations, follow-up of event attendance and provision of final publicity.

Shirley managed our public relations in various publications including technical, financial and professional releases to architects, property developers and the public at large. Across these media platforms, Shirley has proven to have worthwhile contacts. She has been reliable in achieving the required publicity and has annually grown the value of Corobrik’s publicity. She liaises with top architects to obtain key information for award-winning projects, yet also has the skills to seamlessly engage with employees and ferret out the personal snippets that provides the in-house newsletter with its inherent character.

Our experience with Shirley has shown her to be extremely committed to the promotion of Corobrik and the Corobrik brand. She has always found an avenue to help us get to our desired target audience.

I have no hesitation in recommending Shirley and Shirley Williams Communications to any organisation that is looking for a professional approach to their public relations.

Melanie Clarkson, Integrated Communications and Marketing Executive, Tongaat Hulett Developments

Shirley Williams has provided reliable PR services to Tongaat Hulett Development since 2014 and has become an integral part of our Communications team.

She is well-researched in the area of our industry and provides perspective with a clear narrative. She has written across our operations and has always been able to adapt her writing style accordingly.

Shirley is a pleasant, courteous and a professional lady to work with – we have really enjoyed the services of SW Communications!

Marriott Asset Management, (the late) Dr Simon Pearse, CEO of Marriott Asset Management

Shirley Williams Communications came to us on the recommendation of a financial journalist and we are extremely grateful for this. Although we had no specific issues to address, we were looking for an agency with which we could partner on an ongoing basis, to raise our profile in the media. We view PR as a powerful marketing tool and are delighted with the expertise and professionalism that Shirley Williams has brought to the Marriott Asset Management account.

We consider SWC as an extension of our marketing department rather than an outsourced function, providing strategic input into our communications’ programme. The agency is always proactive and looking for new ways to promote our business. We are particularly impressed with the insight into, and awareness of, the financial services industry which has been an inalienable part of the agency’s success.

Shirley is enthusiastic and competent and takes a personal interest in our company and our affairs. SWC has exceeded our expectations, delivering a greater media exposure than we had anticipated, but more significantly, we have found a greater understanding of our business through the media.

I can highly recommend their services to any company wanting to engage a PR consultancy.

Dr. Mehran Zarrebini, CEO of PFE International (Pty) Ltd

Shirley Williams Communications (SWC) has been assisting PFE International and its various group companies with public relations and publicity since January 2015. Initially, we set out to increase our exposure to the South African market as well as to profile as an international company and new investor in South Africa. SWC delivered on this mandate and, as our group has grown to include new joint venture partners and products, we have built a sound and successful relationship with her team.

As a result, we continue to use her services in order to ensure continued success for our group of companies in a diverse and highly competitive marketplace. Working with SWC, we have been able to develop new business opportunities through successful media exposure. We find SWC’s services extremely efficient and professional. The interaction is of a high standard and the quality of media exposure speaks for itself.

It has been a pleasure to work with Shirley Williams and we would certainly recommend her services to others.

Michele Bovet, S A Home Loans Marketing Manager

We engaged Shirley Williams to provide us with a Crisis Communication Plan to supplement the existing Disaster Recovery Plan. We approached Shirley following her assistance with various press releases, realizing she had the experience and expertise to understand the requirements.

After the initial briefing, Shirley facilitated a session with key stakeholders at which she presented a generic draft and used the feedback to craft a document that dealt specifically with the S A Home Loans business requirement. A few more iterations and editing resulted in a CCP which, while lengthy, was easy to navigate and provided comprehensive and structured guidelines and processes for the purpose.

We found Shirley Williams to be thorough, prompt and professional throughout this process and the result was what we hoped for. I would recommend Shirley for her expertise in facilitating the process of creating a professional and practical Crisis Communication Plan.

Clinton Holcroft, MD of Serco Industries (Pty) Ltd

Serco has worked closely with Shirley Williams Communications (SWC) since 2008 following a recommendation from a colleague. Shirley has assisted us with the preparation of press releases and articles that have been submitted to a variety of different media, particularly motor trade publications. In addition, she has assisted with our customer newsletter which showcases how we have added value to our various customers.

SWC has added value to our business, and our investment in marketing it, by identifying newsworthy topics that have drawn significant interest from the media. As a result of Shirley Williams’ thorough and targeted approach, we have received a significant amount of coverage on a regular basis. The effective measurement tools put in place by SWC has enabled us to monitor the publicity across a wide range of publications and ensured optimum use of our advertising spend.

We have been able to grow our brand image as a result. Through the significant coverage from articles published, we have been able to generate additional work from existing and new clients by improving the visibility of the solutions we are able to offer our customers.

SWC has been a pleasure to work with and I can recommend their services to all who are looking to improve their media exposure.

Christopher Good, Financial Director at T&N Holdings Limited (now retired)

Shirley Williams worked as the T&N Holdings Ltd communications’ manager for 10 years, reporting to myself as financial director, and to the CEO of the listed company. During her tenure, she was responsible for publishing the interim and year-end results and working with the company’s financial team to compile the annual report. To accompany the financial results’ announcements, Shirley adeptly handled the SENS announcements into the national newspapers and organised the presentations T&N Holdings made to the Investment Analysts Society in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

During the year she arranged media visits to the operational companies to ensure the key financial press gained better insight into the group’s companies and operations, and to leverage additional exposure.

Coinciding with her 10-year anniversary, T&N Holdings was bought out by Federal Mogul. The South African company was de-listed, making Shirley’s position redundant. She took the initiative to establish Shirley Williams Communications by leveraging off the years of financial media experience she had gained.

We have kept in contact and I am proud of the success she has made of her business career. Shirley has excellent organisational skills with a keen attention to detail and swift ability to translate what she has been taught into practical experience. I have no hesitation in recommending her services.

Hilton Cairns, formerly Willowton Group National Marketing Manager

(Hilton Cairns is currently Marketing Executive at RCL Foods)

Shirley Williams has worked on a retainer for the Willowton Group since 2010, having done ad hoc work for us before then. Her portfolio includes publicising company news as well as generating information around the company brands and our corporate social investment initiatives.

Willowton Group has chosen cricket as its primary sport sponsorship, investing in growing the game from grassroots’ level. This involved township coaching, tournaments, schools’ leagues, the Sunfoil Dolphins provincial cricket team as well as national Proteas test cricket.

The company generates a significant value of company, brand and sponsorship publicity through the dynamic relationship and targeted approach with Shirley Williams Communications.

In this arena, Shirley has worked tirelessly alongside me to gain brand awareness across the Willowton Group portfolio and, more specifically, the brands; Sunfoil, Sunshine D and Allsome Rice, to name a few.   Her dedication and reliability mean she meets sometimes exacting and demanding deadlines – without quivering – to maximise our exposure and value.

She was instrumental in Willowton Group securing a prestigious Gold Award at the 2013 PRISM Awards for the Sunfoil sponsorship of the Proteas Test Cricket 2011/2012 season, an accolade that brought real pride to the Sunfoil brand.


David Sweidan, Group Marketing Executive of Willowton Group

When I assumed the position of Willowton Group Marketing Executive in November 2018, I had the pleasure of engaging with Shirley Williams who had been working with the business for the past eight years.

Shirley has gained intimate knowledge of the target market and is incredibly adept at generating valuable publicity for the organisation. Her vast understanding of the company brands and ethos, as well as her extensive media network, ensured Willowton Group secured relevant media exposure on a regular basis.

Shirley’s roles included media management, displaying a proactive approach in business-to-consumer engagement, drafting and execution of press releases as well as the overall management of public relations for Willowton Group’s cricket sponsorship – all of which she delivered beyond expectation.

Her efficiency, professionalism and dedication to unique client needs were evident in all my dealings with Shirley, and she was able to improve the effectiveness of every marketing campaign through technical skill and experience.

I have no hesitation in recommending the services of Shirley Williams Communications to any organisation looking for valuable marketing opportunities, and I look forward to working with Shirley on future ad hoc projects.

Martin Bright, EWS Project Manager for the Western Aqueduct Project and Northern Aqueduct Augmentation

I had the privilege of working with Shirley Williams Communications on both the Western Aqueduct Project and Northern Aqueduct Augmentation, both of which were massive undertakings that needed a dedicated, hands-on communications’ specialist.

The Western Aqueduct Project, which ran from 2009 to 2016, was the largest water project commissioned by EWS (eThekwini Water and Sanitation) involving the laying of 75 kilometres of pipeline. The Northern Aqueduct Augmentation started in 2014, is ongoing and involves the laying of 30 kilometres of pipeline.

Because of the scale and nature of these projects, which inevitably cause disruptions to commuters, businesses and the public, we needed someone with the industry insight who could efficiently communicate exactly what the project involved. Nobody likes disruptions, and even when it results in improvements to services, the public doesn’t want to be inconvenienced.

Taking all of this into consideration, Shirley Williams outlined a highly effective communications’ strategy starting with a comprehensive launch for each project. This ensured that the media was fully briefed on each phase of the projects and could communicate this with the greater public.

Further to this, Shirley kept in constant communication with her vast media network, regularly updating everyone with details about the project, allowing for fair warning for any disruptions to commuters and residents. She also dealt with any queries swiftly and effectively, freeing the rest of the team up to focus on the work.

Feedback on both projects has been extremely positive and, although we can’t please everyone, it seems the majority of those affected by the disruptions were appreciative of the forewarning, as well as having a better understanding of the purpose of the construction. Shirley was instrumental in meeting all communications’ targets, showcased incredible talent in understanding the project and relaying this information clearly and was professional throughout. I was very grateful to be working with her on both projects.

Shobna Persadh, previously Corporate Affairs Manager at South African Breweries (2010)

(Shobna Persadh is now Director for Corporate Affairs at Unilever)

We have a relationship with Shirley Williams and her team dating back to 2008 when I contracted her services specifically to drive positive publicity for the corporate affairs’ agenda in the East Coast region.

As Corporate Affairs Manager at SAB, I rely heavily on Shirley to initiate and manage the collation of leads and details for stories. In our media campaigns for the launch of new Alcohol Evidence Centres – established by the Department of Transport and sponsored by SAB – as well as several other major projects with the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, Shirley has supported the media segment on all our projects. She is creative, resourceful and committed to the delivery of quality outputs.

SWC currently assists the corporate affairs department on an ad hoc basis.