Jennigay Coetzer – Resume

Jennigay CoezerI have more than 30 years’ experience as a journalist, freelance writer, editor, proofreader, researcher, author and trainer.

This includes writing regular business and technology features for the leading South African newspaper Business Day for 17 years on a wide range of topics spanning most industry sectors, on a freelance basis.

My career experience and attributes include:

Human sciences, health care, regulatory, commercial law, supply chain, transport, logistics, education, training, safety and security, cybersecurity, environment, recycling, retail, agriculture, science, technology, financial sector, insurance, African affairs, and consumer trends, among others.

A passion for writing and editing all types of content.

Researching and gaining insight into new topics to support writing, editing, research and training assignments.

The ability to translate complex terminology into layman’s terms.

Facilitating writing and editing training for individuals and organisations for more than 25 years.

Meticulous at following briefs, and willing to work long hours when necessary to meet or exceed deadlines.

Training executives to interact with the media, for more than 25 years.

Interviewing hundreds of executives, as a journalist, freelance writer and media trainer.

Helping organisations to develop writing style guides.

Career history summary

With a marketing background in the IT industry behind me, I started my writing and editing career in the 1980s with Systems Publishers, in Johannesburg. During the three years I worked there, I became the editor of publications such as Systems Magazine, Microcomputer Owner and Software News. I left the company to venture into freelance writing and editing and have worked for myself ever since.

In the early days, I wrote a computer user column for The Star newspaper for several years and a variety of other freelance articles on consumer and business topics.

During the early 1990s I wrote a column and regular technology and business features for The Star newspaper’s Business Report section for three years and wrote regular features for Business Day for 17 years after that. During that time, I wrote features on a vast range of topics across most industry sectors.

At the same time, I started facilitating writing and editing workshops and training executives how to interact with the media.

Other milestones in my career have included authoring a book titled, A Perfect Press Release – or Not?, a guide to writing press releases and other types of articles, in 2009.

Examples of current and recent projects

The freelance writing and editing assignments I undertake are varied and span many different topics. As an experienced researcher and knowledge seeker I can tackle new topics and trends easily when the need arises.

My current writing projects include writing articles for the UK publication Legal Week on commercial legal trends in South Africa.

I edit the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) quarterly review and occasionally edit scholarly papers for the HSRC’s publication Africa Insight, which focuses on African affairs.

In addition, I edit academic papers for university lecturers.

Another of my current projects involves occasional editing for the South African political party the Democratic Alliance (DA). The latter includes editing the DA’s media officers’ press statements and opinion articles and helping them to improve their writing skills.

I also occasionally facilitate writing and editing training for the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) and recently assisted one of its  member organisations to  develop a writing style guide, using a template I created.

My voluntary projects include a twice-monthly, two-hour, senior’s creative writing and editing workshop for the University of the Third Age (U3A), an international organisation for older people.