Samantha Hogg-Brandjes

GinjaNinja

What does your company do?

GinjaNinja is a specialist tech PR agency with a remarkable 21-year legacy of transforming narratives and elevating brands. Founded and led by Samantha Hogg-Brandjes and backed by a powerful all-woman team with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, GinjaNinja helps build businesses and establish thought leaders. GinjaNinja uses its powers of persuasion, creative intellect, and determination to empower entrepreneurial brands to speak to the people and businesses that matter most. We connect, collaborate, and communicate in an inimitable Ninja style, to help brands realise their potential and reach new levels of success. As an integrated communications agency, GinjaNinja offers four pillars of service: PR, digital, content creation and marketing services. The years active within the industry means that clients will gain added value from the combined experience of the team across a multitude of areas. We cut through the noise to foster trust, add value, and enhance credibility for our clients. We do what we say, love what we do, and thrive on seeing our clients succeed.

What is your biggest success?

Reaching this milestone is seen as a coming of age, but in business, I think it is a sign of resilience, grit, determination, skill, and an undeniable passion. 21 Years ago, headed by myself, the founder and owner, I wanted to take my unique approach to PR and bottle it. There was room for a quirky, creative, off-centre, honest business with irrefutable delivery. A business that showed it cared and went the extra mile and, every so often, pushed the boundaries in terms of creativity and strategic intent. Understanding the businesses we work with is still a part of our recipe to continued success and we have loved delving deep, getting under the skin of the brands we represent and relentlessly chasing exposure, awareness and education. I am very proud to be celebrating GinjaNinja’s 21st Birthday. Looking back over the years we have overcome so many challenges, as small businesses do, yet we continue to deliver fantastic services to its clients while evolving as the market demands more from communications and marketing. PR has come a long way, no longer just about a press release or a media interview. The subtlety of the story telling is a vital part of the overall marketing mix, often setting the scene while other tools are used to drill down and push harder. Digital has understandably rocked everyone’s world and as a tool in business, it is crucial. What social media gains from PR is the art of the story, using it in a variety of ways to ensure the message is delivered as powerfully as possible. Content is not just words; in our world, it is stories, values, expertise, opinions, case studies, referrals, tech-know-how, advice, points of view, wisdom, knowledge and so much more. PR is the conversation a brand has with all its conduits, the media being only one of many. GinjaNinja is proud to be at the helm of so many of these technology stories. Some have massively rocked their industry while others have quietly and powerfully gained market share. No matter which way a business wants to thrive, a ninja is there to drive the process using passion, powers of persuasion, courage, and competence.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Becoming me again! Running a successful business for 21 years while raising two young girls as a single mother after a traumatic and devastating divorce. What could have shattered me has instead built me up to become a role model for my two daughters and countless others. Doing this, while dealing with the affects of the trauma and stress of finding out my husband was gay, which negatively impacted my health resulting in several auto immune disorders. I have retained my humanity, integrity, kindness, compassion and sense of humour, despite it all. Not many understand the stresses of running a business and being an entrepreneur. Instead, they focus on 'how lucky' you are when luck has very little to do with it. I have put one foot in front of the other for 21 years, util a brand, raised good humans, written a book and managed stressful health concerns all simultaneously. It's not a huge business nor am I a famous person. It is purely a story of someone average, who took a risk, ignored her fears and put her everything into making a good life for her two girls and herself. It's about grit, determination, risk and self-belief. I have no degree, was never an academic student, but here I am, a successful entrepreneur. I have also completed five (and counting) half-marathons (including twice at Two Oceans) despite having Psoriatic Arthritis and Hashimoto's.