Founder: Actuate

Terri Brown

Terri Brown is like kryptonite to old-school corporate communication. Her mere presence can vaporise training files and melt slideshows. With a bit of talent and plenty of ideas, Brown established Actuate internal marketing agency in 2000. It took years to convince big corporates of this new multidimensional approach to interacting with employees, but eventually her “conversation cafés” began replacing the one-sided directives of old. Just consider Actuate’s role in the re- branding of Cell C. Brown brought in the then little-known comic Trevor Noah to star in a series of edgy and engaging videos. She combined this with electronic tutorials and other online tools to bring staff on board with the new corporate culture as no traditional tool ever could. Brown’s creativity has also won multiple nods from the Loerie Awards, including gold for an MTN campaign — even though she can’t promise that no training booklet or flow chart was harmed in the process.

— Ian Macleod