Best Social Media & PR Communications Agency – MEA & Award for Excellence in Corporate Communication
McD Squared is a niche public relations and social media communications agency, specialising in IT and telecommunications. Covering Africa and the Middle East, the firm partners with other specialist agencies throughout the region to provide clients with strategic communications to help position them as leaders.
Managing Director and Founder, Lizelle McDermott, is a journalist by trade with more than 14 years’ experience in
ICT marketing and having worked with both local and global communications agencies. She gives us a brief overview
of the services that McD Squared offers.
“While the agency itself is relatively small, we take advantage of the Gig economy approach to ensure that we can easily scale according to client requirements, engaging with other specialists to ensure that we can provide a broad range of services that cut across every sphere of communications.
“We work with local and global companies, including an international research company, a global network infrastructure provider and a company that has helped businesses around the world improve productivity, manage power demands and plan for emergencies.
“Our South African and pan-African clients, to name a few, include South African Sigfox operator SqwidNet, Footprint Africa Business Solutions, Africonology and the IoT Industry Council of South Africa.” The firm’s overall mission is to provide clients with tailored, strategic communications strategies, focusing on services that drive business
value. McDermott continues to explain how this is achieved. “When starting a new project, our first priority is to really understand the client, their business strategy and the industry that they operate in, so that we develop a strategy that will set them apart from their competitors and ultimately drive business results. We also ensure that our network of media contacts meets their requirements and then build on that as required. “We don’t do communications just for the sake of it - it has to deliver business value.”
As a small operation, McD Squared often becomes an extension of its clients’ organisations and this is a huge advantage when it comes to differentiating it from other competitors in the same sector. “We become entrenched in our clients’ businesses, giving them a personalised service and ensuring that each client, regardless of how big or small, feels like they are our only client.” “Additionally, our relationships with other specialist agencies allow us
to provide services that extend beyond our existing scope to exceed our clients’ expectations.
“Finally, our relationships with industry media allow us to ensure that our clients get the most exposure possible, while our knowledge for both organic and paid-for social media campaigns allows us to drive business results for our clients.” McD Squared is unusual as it is set up as a virtual agency, which gives it a very independent culture, however McDermott also has a unique approach to ensure that her staff are content within their role. “I pay close attention to my team’s mindsets and am in communication with them virtually all day, every day. When I pick up that there is a potential issue, or someone’s mindset is not right, I step in immediately to rectify it, be it through a little gift like flowers or treats, or booking a massage for them to relax. “I also encourage them to take time off when they need it to rejuvenate
their minds. This is very important to me because if my headspace isn’t right, I cannot possibly deliver the best results for my clients.” When it comes to taking on new staff, McDermott believes that attitude is the most important indicator as to whether or not a candidate will be the right fit for the firm. “Our clients know us as very flexible and approachable, it is important to me that any member of the team or any partner agency must have the same characteristics,” she explains. “We have worked with several agencies and freelancers in the region, but all of these relationships are based on how easily I connect with the person or company, how willing they are to go the extra mile on delivery, their industry expertise and, most importantly, trust.