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Opinions

  • A Killing: Does Charlie Mean More Than Boko Haram?

    January 13, 2015

    It’s a controversial topic on the minds of many, and although every loss of life is a tragedy, what makes one piece of news more newsworthy than another, if not the scale and local relevance? Are certain topics given a greater amount of attention based on media owners, whose socio political beliefs determine the importance of one topic over another? Or is one topic favoured in view of its impact on foreign policy; the beneficial...

  • YOU Got to be Authentic

    October 24, 2014

    There is a voracious appetite for innovation across the globe especially in the digital space. But innovation doesn’t necessarily mean losing touch with authenticity and personalisation of communications. Many brands, PR agencies and their clients are looking for ‘creative’, ‘out the box’ marketing or communications campaigns that will ultimately grab readers’ attention and translate into sales. No matter how creative the idea, Reputation of the brand should always be considered. One way of testing the...

  • Looking at Africa as a Single Market

    October 23, 2014

    A common mistake (even amongst communications professionals) is the inability to tailor business strategies to the various markets. In Africa, there are over 50 countries with over 2000 languages being spoken - religious diversities excluded. Africa is one big mixing pot of ethnic and cultural varieties. And like any big dysfunctional family, Africa is not joined by choice, but rather by geographical proximity (or in the case of family, blood...

  • Putting Ebola into Context

    October 21, 2014

    Striking a delicate balance between communicating a healthcare threat and managing public perceptions "Rumours and panic are spreading faster than the virus,” said Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organisation on Monday this week. In the same speech she called the Ebola outbreak “a crisis for international peace and security”...

  • When Is Too Much News Too Much?

    September 11, 2014

    In my job, the answer to the question posed above is never… usually. News is our business. If we do our jobs right, our clients own a bit more space in the news today than they did yesterday. But this the Oscar trial and coverage thereof has bordered on the ridiculous. If I were Oscar Pistorious’ communications person, I’d be pretty bored right about now. In fact, I’d probably be somewhere very warm and extremely...

  • Tell a Complete Story

    September 9, 2014

    There are two sides to every brand’s story; one is that of the company’s products and services while the other relates to its behaviour and social impact. According to FleishmanHillard’s Authenticity Study 2014, 48% of consumers across the globe indicated that their perceptions of a company are shaped by the qualities related to its products and services. The remaining 52%’s perceptions are based on management behaviour and the company’s social responsibility and impact...

  • Projecting South Africa’s Future – What Will S.A. Look Like in Twenty Years?

    July 18, 2014

    I recently attended a conference - Projecting the Future: Two Decades Ahead – South Africa in 2034 - I was particularly excited about attending, as it spoke to my academic background and first love of international relations and economic development. However, in the days leading up to my attending, I really started to wonder what South Africa’s economic forecast would look like in twenty years and I couldn’t help but start to feel a little...

  • Why Saying Less is More Important Than Ever

    July 14, 2014

    During a creative writing class a lecturer asked his students to write an essay containing four different elements, namely: religion, royalty, sex and a mystery. The prize-winning essay read: “My God,” exclaimed the princess: “I am pregnant! I wonder who the father is?” This long-standing trend of utilising concise, creative messaging within the marketing and advertising space is more crucial for companies in today’s technology-filled world. Consumers wake up and reach for their smartphone to...

  • Be as You Wish to be Seen

    June 24, 2014

    Have we ever stopped to consider that the way we portray ourselves as individuals or organisations does not necessarily match up to how we wish to be seen? It seems quite obvious, doesn’t it, that you would act in exactly the manner you want people to perceive you as? However many brands or high profile individuals experience this disconnect...

  • Getting the Most Out of Shrinking Newsrooms

    June 18, 2014

    I recently attended a PR Net breakfast at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria. The guest speaker was Virginia Keppler, Beeld Pretoria’s News Editor, who gave us insights into the impact of shrinking news rooms. In 2013, the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) recorded that South African newspapers remain under intense pressure, with figures for the second quarter of 2013 indicating that newspapers recorded an overall average circulation decline of 3.2%. The year-on-year drop from the...