Professional writing can’t be Googled – take advantage of 30 years of international media liaison expertise – contact us today for your communication needs

About Freelancers

  • Freelancers Writing Services is a marketing & communication consultancy, committed to providing a professional, competent and measurable service to its clients.

  • Based on her extensive editorial and events experience, Gwen Watkins formed a specialist PR partnership in South Africa in September 1988, offering the full gamut of PR services from media liaison, marketing positioning, branding, external and internal communication strategies to event planning.

  • As a seasoned writer, Gwen offers commissioned features or articles on a per word fee basis to magazines, newspapers and on-line media. Editorial and sub-editorial services are also offered on a part-time basis. The consultancy has extensive Plain English re-writing expertise.

  • As a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP®), Gwen organises conferences, events & exhibitions for commerce and industry. She also offers reportage services for conferences and meetings.

  • Gwen is a Services chapter member of SAACI (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry), a member of the South African Freelancers’ Association’s (SAFREA) Oversight Committee (2014, 2015 and 2016) and a member of the South African Science Journalists’ Association (SASJA). In addition, Gwen is a Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) affording her unique insights into how people interpret messages.

  • This base of expertise offers clients the ideal solution to the most serious problem facing a company - how to find a consultancy that will understand and strategise its communication and marketing messages in a sea of options.

Gwen Watkins

GwenGwen Watkins, the principal member of the consultancy, has been a news writer since 1981 when she joined Thompson Publications as editor of Plastics & Rubber News, from the plastics industry.

She was the first woman in South Africa to obtain a Certificate in Plastics Technology and the second woman to be made a Fellow of the Plastics Institute of Southern Africa (PISA). She was the first woman member of the Plastics & Rubber Institute (PRI) and the first to sit on its Council. Gwen was one of the few women to offer technical sales in the gold mining industry, selling zinc dust to gold refractory plants, and zinc oxide to the plastics, rubber, paints and chemical industries.

She has completed her Practitioner and Master Practitioner NLP course under the auspices of the Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Southern Institute in Florida USA.

In 2004, she completed the Coaching Genius training through the International Society of Neuro-Semantics and X-Sim - Managing by Project through X-Pert Training Academy.

Gwen holds various diplomas and certificates in public relations, marketing and sales and has a distinction in her Train-the-Trainer course.

Gwen lectured extensively at tertiary level from 1992-2007 on marketing, advertising, conferences, events and exhibitions. She has held workshops on Running Diplomatic Events; Events Management for NGOs, Corporate Events Management; Risk Management in events; Business Writing; Professional Secretarial Practice, Negotiation & Conflict Management; Using Body Language; Project Management for Events; and Principles of Budgeting.

She set up Skywalkers Reimagining Training ( as the training division of Freelancers, which has conducted South African and international conferences and workshops in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mauritius.

As part of the knowledge gained in 35 years, as a communications consultant & PR professional, she offers training to companies that choose to empower their employees by acquiring front office skills, business writing, event management, marketing & sales skills, SMME management and PR for Small Businesses.

Public relations and media consultancy

Through a judicious use of editorial, website copy, networking and the media, clients’ messages are tailored to cover their required target markets. The consultancy advocates that clients should develop a communication strategy to advance their mission, as without an implementation plan, a mission remains just a mission.
The consultancy recognises that a communications strategy is more than just an envisioning process. It requires the setting of clear goals and objectives and the attainment of those goals and objectives during specified periods in order to reach the planned future state. Such targets must be realistic, objective and attainable. The consultancy works from the premise that planning and constant reviews are vital to a successful communication plan.
Gwen Watkins’ speciality is in corporate and management branding, press liaison and the writing of press releases, feature articles, website copy, newsletters, corporate profiles, brochures, annual reports or any other professional publication for government and corporate clients.
The consultancy has assisted emerging small companies with their marketing needs and has participated in several major mentorship programmes. Gwen’s article entitled ‘Promoting your company’ – a guide to writing press releases for SMMEs – is published on the SEDA website.
She piloted the ‘Parachute Programme’, an entry-level PR programme for small to medium businesses that defines their target market, assesses and writes corporate profile for web, brochure and proposal needs; visualises suitable media opportunities; offers writing and PR skills training; and then takes clients through two months of practice jumps before setting them free to do it themselves.

Freelance writing, editing & proofing

Gwen Watkins is currently the senior freelance features writer for Business Report & Independent Newspapers and freelance sub-editor for BizCommunity’s on Media & Marketing, Education, Law, HR and Medical newsletters ( She has been a freelance features writer for both trade, technical and consumer publications since 1993.
In the eighties and nineties, she was editor of Plastic & Rubber News (a Thomsons Publication) and assistant editor of SA Builder, African Building Contractor and Retailing Africa. She was a contributor to Financial Consultant an in-house journal for Standard Bank – Wealth Products Distribution and a contributor to SubContractor, a building specialist magazine, from 1992-1995 and editor from 1995 until it closed in 2004.
Gwen has interviewed across the social and cultural gamut of South African life, from ministerial interviews with Jacob Zuma and Trevor Manuel, to corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, adult learners and spaza shop owners in rural areas.
In 1996 and 1997, she interviewed schools and provincial departments across South Africa for the Presidential Education Africa Awards and was invited to the two Award dinners, hosted by President Nelson Mandela.
In 2004, Gwen wrote the Department of Health’s 10-year review of national and provincial hospitals. She wrote and edited the 2007 Human Capital Management Annual Guide and the 2007 South Africa Business Guidebook. She edited and wrote the first magazine for Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) in October 2008.
Gwen was the preferred features writer for Specialised Exhibitions’ annual and biennial shows and the Department of Environmental Affairs for more than 10 years. She also covered the annual Independent Newspaper’s Eagle Print Awards for print advertising from 2002 to 2011.

image_02 image_03 image_04 image_05 image_06 image_07
In November 2012, she edited and contributed to ‘Origins of our Future’, a coffee table book for the Department of Environmental Affairs, covering the 10 years of progress on sustainable development in South Africa, since the World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg in 2002.
Gwen has written the ‘Conference & Events Management Textbook’, for Edge Publishing, for third year tourism students taking events management as an elective in 2013. It was again taken up as a textbook in 2014. She authored and edited the second-year textbook on conferences, events and exhibitions for the same publisher in 2015.
In April 2014, Gwen wrote and edited ‘Cradle of a Nation – Celebrating 20 years of Freedom & Democracy’, a coffee table book for the City of Tshwane. image_01
In June 2015, she wrote and edited ‘20 years of Creating Harmony’, another coffee table book for the Department of Environmental Affairs.


Writing Services

Gwen can professionally produce feature articles, press releases, corporate profiles, copywriting and any other written communication required by clients in a succinct style that is favoured by printed media. Deadlines are adhered to and rapid production of copy is guaranteed.

Editing & proofing

The consultancy has extensive experience in copyediting and proofing of reports, annual reports, theses, articles, press releases and other communications.

  • Editing means making revisions to and suggestions about the content of a document, focusing on improving the accuracy of language, flow and overall readability and checking for grammar and spelling

  • Proofreading means the process of correcting only grammatical, spelling and typographical errors in a document

Neither of these processes includes fact checking ie verifying the accuracy of facts and/or quotes by reference to original sources used by author and/or from other sources.

Annual reports & web copy

Apart from freelance writing for many industrial and consumer clients, the consultancy has also written annual reports for the NBI (National Business Initiative), Legal Aid South Africa, SOS Children\'s Villages and the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) that used narrative and Plain English techniques to ensure readability and understanding. Gwen has edited annual reports for National Gambling Board, HWSETA (Health & Welfare SETA) and EWSETA (Energy Sector SETA). Freelancers Writing Services consults and writes website copy for clients and can liaise with expert web designers for search engine optimisation (SEO).

Plain English

In the need to express concepts clearly to communicate the desired message to readers, Freelancers re-writes corporate and government documents into ‘Plain English’, so that the reader can not only understand but also comply with any requirements. The consultancy has been producing Plain English documents for South Africa, since 1996, with the publication of the guide to the New South African Constitution for Sowetan readers.

Market research

Market research – the consultancy has undertaken several large qualitative market research projects in the 90s and early 2000s, as the country entered into a new political and economic phase. These were undertaken for dedicated market research companies requiring long, expert interviews, analysis and reports. Subjects included the value of casinos to the economy and the political future of South Africa from the perspective of big business and potential political leaders. In 2013, it re-entered this field with market research into the viability of business in Ghana, for an international engineering company. In 2014, it has researched the transport & logistics fields in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia.

Conferences & Events

Gwen passed the international Convention Industry Council’s exam in July 2009 to become Certified Meeting Professional® (CMP), joining 22 other qualified professionals in Southern Africa.This organisation, based in Washington DC, offers the foremost international certification of the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry and recognises individuals who have achieved the industry\'s highest standard of professionalism. She has been recertified until 1 January 2020. Her consultancy has had many years of experience in the organisation of events from inception to post-function wrap-up. This includes conferences, seminars, workshops, media and product launches and company functions. The consultancy has also managed and advised on exhibitions and trade shows.

Reporting & speaker management services

The consultancy offers reporting services for government and commercial conferences and workshops. It also has access to teams of reporters for parallel sessions and can edit and produce proceedings. In addition, it offers speaker management services to ensure smooth presentations.


Gwen lectured extensively at tertiary level from 1992-2007.
  • Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Information Systems, Creative Strategy and Advertising Agency Management - Diploma students, Institute of Marketing Management 1992.
  • Journalism - Diploma students, Damelin 2002.
  • Advanced Office Management; Business Entrepreneurship; Conference & Meetings Planning; Event Management & Special Event Management; Exhibition Management; Risk Management; Sales & Communication; Tourism Marketing; and Computer Skills - Diploma & Certificate student, Damelin 1999-2005.
  • National subject head of Conference & Event Management – Damelin 2004-2005.
  • Event Planning and Project Management - Certificate students, Tshwane University of Technology 2006-2007 (She designed a portion of this course).

Training courses

As Skywalkers Reimagining Training (, the training division of Entrepreneurs for Africa, Gwen has addressed South African and international conferences and workshops, running various 1, 2 and 3-day courses in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mauritius.

As part of the knowledge gained in 35 years, as a communications consultant & PR professional, she offers training to companies that choose to empower their employees by acquiring front office skills, business writing, event management, marketing & sales skills, SMME management and PR for Small Businesses.

She has held workshops on Running Diplomatic Events; Events Management for NGOs, Corporate Events Management; Risk Management in events; Business Writing; Professional Secretarial Practice, Negotiation & Conflict Management; Using Body Language; Project Management for Events; and Principles of Budgeting.

Client list

PR Client list

Building and construction

  • Adrienne Hersch Properties Estate Agency
  • Arup Global civil engineering firm
  • CCN On-line construction network
  • Dulux Commercial & Industrial Paints Commercial paint & décor manufacturer
  • Fenwick Interiors Interior design consultant
  • Imperial Bank - Property Finance Division Financing of property developments
  • Micromatica Project Management in civil engineering
  • NURCHA Finance intermediary in low cost housing
  • Propex \'94 International property exhibition
  • Rosherville Properties Property holding company for Rotek

Chemical & plastics industry

  • Ampaglas Industrial glazing manufacturer
  • Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA) Association for chemical industry in SA
  • Die & Mould Chemicals Chemical manufacturer
  • Emcape Packaging materials manufacturer
  • Ferro Industrial Products Pigments manufacturer
  • Institute of Materials Int. Institute for polymers (formerly PRI)
  • Plasticolors Pigments for polymers
  • Plastics Institute of SA South African institute for the plastics industry
  • Plastics & Rubber Institute Int. institute for the polymer industry
  • Polyurethane Association of SA Local Institute for polyurethane industry
  • Sasol Polymers Plastic raw materials manufacturer
  • Stretch-A-Tac Plastics packaging marketers
  • W Lee‑Ultraplast Ultrasonic equipment manufacturer

Environment and CSI

  • Care Assist Chronic disease management
  • Hewlett Packard/Planet Partners Recycling of printer cartridges
  • Khayalami Metropolitan Council Strategy report on waste management
  • Legal Aid South Africa Provides professional legal advice and representation to those who cannot afford it
  • Legal Aid Botswana Provides legal services to those who cannot afford private legal representation
  • National Business Initiative (NBI) Coalition of multinational companies working towards sustainable growth
  • Trialogue CSI conference
  • VibraSep Specialist environmental filters
  • Waste Resources Industrial and medical waste disposal

Financial, HR & Training

  • Asande BEE women’s investment company
  • Bayete Financial services training company
  • Business Today Board game training for business
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship Division of Pretoria Technikon
  • Global Skills Exchange Recruitment company
  • ICP Consulting Training solutions consultancy
  • Ikusasa Financial Services Micro-lending organisation
  • Institute of People Development ETDQA Training academy
  • Johannesburg School of Finance Financial services training company
  • Landelani Recruitment Projects Executive recruitment financial services
  • Luso Computer Services IT training facility
  • McCafferty Int Financial Services Executive recruitment financial services & IT
  • MetaCo Coaching & development specialists
  • Powerhouse Financial Services Financial services consultancy
  • Stock Market Challenge Web based stock market game


  • Beyond Africa Logistics Consultants Logistics company in East & Southern Africa
  • GO Secretarial Services Off-site secretarial service
  • Mignot Air filter manufacturer
  • Moving to Health Holistic fitness and health training
  • Laser Group Pretoria BEE stationery franchise
  • Nutty Bavarian USA food franchise holder
  • Pree Travel Travel Agency
  • The Pottery Studio Pottery studio & manufacturer
  • Strike Productions Importers of sound equipment
  • Sun Revels Pottery & cosmetics manufacturer
  • Súomi Spá Health & beauty therapy
  • Wedge Manufacturers of corporate and golfing clothing
  • Women in Finance Association for promotion of SMMEs

Marketing, PR & advertising

  • Blend Event Management Events Management Company
  • Co-ordinated Management Consulting BEE marketing consultancy
  • Experience It On-line registration for events
  • Future Group PR company
  • Hope Madikane‑Otto Associates BEE market research house
  • Jane Gurney Research Qualitative market research consultancy
  • Kutu Consultancy BEE market research company
  • Litha Communications Events project management & communications
  • Moedi Research BEE market research company
  • O’Vation Audience Relationship Team Events management
  • Roundabout Outdoor Advertising Outdoor advertising
  • String Promotions Marketing Company
  • Sue de Langen & Associates Market research consultancy
  • Tangerine Marketing Marketing of community projects
  • Tanya Magalhaes Marketing consultancy

Conference, event & exhibition clients

  • Adrienne Hersch Properties (Launch of Indigo townhouse development)
  • Advanced Human Technologies (Breakfast workshop)
  • Assessment College (Conference)
  • Businesswomen\'s Association Gauteng (Regional Business Achiever Awards)
  • Experience it (Launch at Golf Hub indoor virtual golf course)
  • Fenwick Interiors (Official opening)
  • Glass Expo Africa ’08 (Conference)
  • Glass Expo Africa ’10 (Conference)
  • Hope Madikane Otto & Associates (Official opening)
  • IQ Business Group (CEO breakfast seminar with Professor Kurt April)
  • Institute of Materials (2nd National Conference)
  • Johannesburg General Hospital (Trauma Conference)
  • Lease Plan Office (Official opening and press launch)
  • Legal Aid South Africa (Ministerial launch of Soweto Law Office by Minister Dullah Omar)
  • Legal Aid Botswana (Stakeholder & media launch)
  • Millennium Development Fund (Launch)
  • Minister of Finance, Mauritius (National congresses in South Africa)
  • National Business Initiative (Press launches)
  • NURCHA & Ministry of Housing National Savings Programme (Ministerial media launch)
  • Planet Partners/ Hewlett Packard (Press launch)
  • Plastics and Rubber Institute (10th National Conference)
  • Plastics Institute of Southern Africa (Conference - Plastics in the Millennium)
  • Plastics Institute of Southern Africa (Plasmobile)
  • Plastics Institute of Southern Africa (Plastex ‘90)
  • Plastics Institute of Southern Africa (Plastics \'94)
  • SAACI - Risk Management at venues (National workshop)
  • Roundabout Water for Play (Media launch at Diepsloot)
  • Sasol Polymers factory (Ministerial opening by Minister Kent Durr)
  • Sigma/Dulux (National Conference)
  • VASSA (6th Biennial Vascular Symposium)
  • Waste Resources medical waste facility (Press launch)
  • Wits Medical School (15th Biennial Symposium)
  • Wits Medical School (Surgical Research Conference)

Reporting & speaker management services

The consultancy offers reporting services for government and commercial conferences and workshops. It also has access to teams of reporters for parallel sessions and can edit and produce proceedings. In addition, it offers speaker management services to ensure smooth presentations.
  • Reportage for 1-day City of Johannesburg Economic Development Unit’s Conference On Urban Development Zones (UDZ) – Finlay Events, Johannesburg – August 2005
  • Reportage with team for 2-day Second Annual Conference – National Department of Health, Sandton – December 2006
  • Editing of all conference reports for 4-day National Anti-Corruption Forum’s Conference Global Forum V on Fighting Corruption And Safeguarding Integrity – Sandton – 2007
  • Reportage for 1-day RiskWell - Health and Risk Management Conference – Sun City – 2008
  • Reportage for 1-day Legacy Dialogue by South African Women Leaders – Finlay Events, Sandton – August 2010
  • Reportage for 2-day Women in Environment conference – Ministry of Environmental Affairs, Johannesburg – August 2010
  • Reportage for 2-day Waste Management Officers Conference (Khoro) – Department of Environment Affairs, Johannesburg – September 2010
  • Reporter for five finalists of eta awards – Eskom, Johannesburg – September 2010
  • Reporter for finalists of Leading Lights awards programme – Telkom, Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria – Nov 2010
  • Reporter for 1-day Waste Act Roadshow Gauteng programme – Department of Environmental Affairs, Johannesburg – November 2010
  • Editing of Waste Act Roadshow Eastern Cape & KwaZulu-Natal programme – Department of Environmental Affairs – January 2011
  • Reporter for 2-day National Liberation Heritage Route Gauteng roadshow – Department of Arts & Culture, Midrand – April 2011
  • Editing of National Liberation Heritage Route national roadshow – Department of Arts & Culture – May 2011
    • Minute taking for 5-day International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) 29th Triennial Congress – Durban – June 2011
    • Minute taking for 1-day National Health Laboratory Services - South Africa (NHLS) & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Atlanta (CDC) – Johannesburg – August 2011
    • Speaker Management for 5-day International Housing and Home Warranty Conference 2011 (IHHWC) – Cape Town – September 2011
    • Reportage with 4-man team for Forest Day 5 (Part of COP17) – Durban – December 2011
    • Transcription of Gauteng Province Crime Statistics breakfast – February 2012
  • Transcription editing services for Early Childhood Development Conference – Department of Social Development – East London – April 2012
  • Speaker management and reportage services 2-day HRDC Summit – Johannesburg – March 2014
  • Reportage services 2-day African Correctional Services Association (ACSA) Ministerial Consultative Forum (MCF) – Pretoria – April 2014
  • Reportage services 2-day Making CSI Matter Conference – Johannesburg – June 2014
  • Speaker management 3-day IAIAsa Conference – Johannesburg – August 2014
  • Speaker Management 2-day Leadership in Local Government – Pretoria – May 2015
  • Reportage services 2-day National Road Safety Symposium – Gaborone – October 2015
  • Transcription editing services EWSETA AGM – Johannesburg – November 2015
  • Reportage services & Speaker Management 2-day HRDC Summit – Johannesburg – March 2016

Writing & editing services

Published media

Architect & Specificator African Building Contractor African Real Estate Avonwold Architectural Plans Book
Banker SA Business DayBusinesswomen’s Magazine Business Report
Cape Argus Cape Times Caxton Community Papers Communications Group - Electra Mining
Computers in Africa Concrete Trends Daily Dispatch Daily News
Diamond Fields Advertiser Drum Education Africa Annual Enterprise
Enterprise 200 Financial Consultant Food Review Gauteng Economic Development Agency magazine – 1st issue October 2008
2007 Human Capital Management Annual Ilanga (Translated) In House People Dynamics
Pretoria News Retailing Africa SA Auto Trader SA Builder
2007 South Africa Business Guidebook Sowetan Steel Construction SubContractor
Succeed Sunday Times Taxi Companion Thandi
The Mercury The Star ThisDay

Subject expertise

Business & Industrial Consumer Building & construction Housing & renovations
Marketing & advertising Insurance & financial investments Plastics & packaging Food & wine
IT & telecommunications Computer training Management & training Décor & furnishings
Environment & waste management Education & careers SOHO services & products Law & legal services
Finance & insurance Motoring & travel Corporate profiles Health and lifestyle management
Conference, events and exhibitions Small business development Health and local government Risk management for venue owners
Renewable energy & resources Conference & event management

Major projects

Major editing, writing and précis projects included:
  • Consumer Guide to Law series (1993) – Thandi Magazine
  • Central Johannesburg Partnership (1992, 1994, 1997) – SubContractor Magazine
  • Shares and dealing with the JSE (1997 &1999) – Sowetan
  • Johnnic Ikageng Share Scheme (1997) – Sowetan
  • Masakhane Week (1998) – Sowetan
  • Guide to the role of the IEC (1998) – Sowetan
  • NEDLAC Annual Summit (1998) – Business Report
  • Formation of the Construction Industry Development Board (2000 & 2001) – SubContractor Magazine
  • National Forests Act (2001) – Independent Newspapers
  • E-Commerce Act (2002) – Business Report
  • Water User Associations in Agriculture (2002) – Department of Water Affairs & Forestry
  • 10 Year Review of the Department of Health’s national and provincial hospitals in South Africa (2004)
  • Human Capital Management Annual Guide (2007)
  • South Africa Business Guidebook (2007)
  • Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) launch magazine edition (2008)

Plain English projects

  • Guide to Formation of Water Users’ Associations’ for Department of Water Affairs & Forestry;
  • Progress on Dense Settlements’ for Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and Department of Water Affairs;
  • Re-writing of selected By-Laws for the City of Johannesburg

Website copy

  • Adrienne Hersch Properties
  • BizVault
  • Communicate Personnel
  • Entrepreneurs for Africa
  • Experience It
  • Global Skills Exchange
  • Hand-in-Hand
  • ICP Consulting
  • Micromatica 907
  • O’Vation Audience Response Team
  • The Pottery Studio
  • Teljoy Audiovisual
  • Women in Finance



Tel: +267 392 7113
Tel: +267 7651 6440