Rachel Irvine's journey from journalism to running a company with offices in SA, UK, Kenya, Nigeria

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Rachel Irvine has more than 20 years’ experience as a communications professional. Photo supplied by Irvine Partners
Rachel Irvine has more than 20 years’ experience as a communications professional. Photo supplied by Irvine Partners

  • Rachel Irvine has more than 20 years' experience in the communications industry, having started her career in media.
  • She is now the CEO of Irvine Partners, a full-service public relations and integrated marketing agency, which has offices in Africa and Europe.
  • Rachel believes that the best way to elevate women is to ensure that they have access to opportunities to flourish.


Rachel Irvine has more than 20 years of experience as a communications professional. She spent the first years of her career crafting output across print, radio, television and online mediums, counting the likes of Sky Business Television among her employers. 

She spent several years working at the Estates Gazette as a senior journalist with a keen interest in Capital Markets. She later set up and ran both the editorial and commercial aspects for the broadcast division at Reed Business Information, the world’s largest B2B media organisation and an FTSE100 company based in London.

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She also spent a number of years working in Moscow, first as head of Marketing for Cushman & Wakefield’s 300-strong office and later as founder of a successful PR agency focused on the commercial real estate and financial services sectors.

She is currently the CEO of Irvine Partners, based in the company’s London office. She is a leading and highly seasoned crisis communications practitioner, having successfully navigated a number of regional and global brands through incredible challenges. 

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The best way to empower a woman to meet her potential is simply by giving her the opportunity. When a woman can get into the room and is allowed to be heard without being spoken over or making assumptions about her, she will thrive.
Rachel Irvine

Rachel has the following success tips for women:

Tips to success 

Don’t limit yourself. Go after that big fish you think you won’t land or put yourself forward for an exciting project. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty -- muck in and do the job, regardless of your position. 

Surround yourself with “pick me” people and form a proactive and kick-ass team. Be humble enough to realise that there are still lessons to learn every single day. And be generous with your own knowledge and expertise to help build others up.

READ MORE | An exceptional career: How Tlalane Ntuli made the transition from employee to employer and back

My message to other women We should all give each other the benefit of the doubt. We have no idea of the struggles other women are dealing with, and it’s easy to dismiss someone or not take the time to listen. Make sure that your point of departure for other women is always empathetic, so we can get the best out of each other and help each other get to where we need to be.

What this past year has taught you

Resilience and adaptability - both from a professional and personal perspective. As a business owner, I had sleepless nights in 2020 wondering how hard we’d be hit and how this would affect jobs. 

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