Scout PR & Social Media (formerly Lauren Shantall Integrated Communications) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sam Swaine as its new Group Account Director, to head up strategy, client retention and new business development. An active member of the media and communications community, Sam combines integrated skills and experience as a digital heavyweight, seasoned PR practitioner and regularly published journalist, with twenty years of communications experience behind her. She is dedicated to consumer content, consumer insights and brand strategies across both the digital and traditional marketing arenas.

As a profiled writer and industry commentator, Sam frequently contributes to publications such as business portal Bizcommunity; she inputs thought leadership articles to industry mouthpiece Marklives; news stories to The Times; and lifestyle articles to Longevity LIVE. She holds a diploma in journalism from the University of East London, UK, and will continue to publish in her new role.

Prior to joining Scout PR & Social Media, Sam notched up over five years of experience in digital content at management level for household brands such as M-Net and Telkom. She headed Digital and Social Content Strategy and Client Service for digital content marketing agency Brand In Motion, prior to which she served as Senior Digital Content Strategist for Joburg-based agency Don’t Look Down Entertainment.

Sam’s work in the digital space was a logical progression from a successful background in traditional consumer PR. She founded and ran her own PR agency, PR Collective, from 2009 to 2014 before electing to move into digital. PR Collective serviced leading local brands such as KOO, Tiger Brands, Telesure (Virgin Money, 1Lifedirect, Budget, 1st For Women, ibuyeco, Dial Direct, AA Insurance, Auto & General and Hippo), Sotheby’s Lew Geffen International, Nampak – Twinsaver and Tanqueray Gin, as well as the Primedia launch of Danny K’s and Kabelo Mabalane’s initiative SHOUT, amongst numerous other brands.

Watch Sam being interviewed by The Red Zone during her tenure at PR Collective:

Before she helmed her own business, she was the Media Director at Hello World, where she ran the entire Samsung SA portfolio. Sam elected to return to South Africa from the UK and took up the opportunity at Hello World.

In London she worked for two years as a PR Consultant for The Impact Agency, specialising in the food and drink sector, with a focus on luxury food brands supplied to London’s Michelin-starred restaurants, including those run by Gordon Ramsey, Michel Roux and Joël Robuchon. This role was preceded by a seven-year sojourn at Harper Marketing Services, where Sam served as a Brand Account Consultant, providing marketing and PR solutions to the UK’s leading independent financial compliance consultancies and financial service providers.

At Scout PR & Social Media, Sam will lead client advisory strategies on holistic marketing approaches, creative direction (visual and copy) and best brand communication practice, and will provide leadership to the Scout team. Says Scout PR & Social Media Director Lauren Shantall: “We heartily welcome such an accomplished and experienced person to the team. We are confident that Sam’s acumen, industry knowledge and leadership skills will propel Scout PR & Social Media forward. Her broad-based experience in specific interest areas is mapped to the current client profile and the growth that Scout PR & Social Media is happily experiencing.”