A key concern amongst most Zimbabweans is the reputation that the country as a whole receives for various reasons. However, to what extent is that reputation affected by organisational governance, including crisis preparedness and management. Honourable Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha, will on Thursday 19 March address delegates at an innovative, aptly timed seminar, and provide a compelling case for Crisis Preparedness and Reputation Management in Zimbabwe
A global survey shows that very few organisations are prepared for crises and very few link the effects of a mishandled crisis to reputation. In Zimbabwe, in particular, many organisations prefer to “ride the storm” in silence. Vivid Burson-Marsteller, in collaboration with Burson-Marsteller Africa, a leading communications firm with presence in Asia, Latin and North America, Europe, The Middle East and Africa, have crafted a programme to address these concern. A guideline on how organisations can be better prepared for crises whilst maintaining brand equity will be shared. The one day seminar provides delegates with a forum to interactively discuss with a representative panel of seasoned local journalists on how to effectively engage the media and understand their role. Questions such as “How are news headlines composed?” and “How Is information verified” and other questions delegates may have will be discussed. Additionally, an insight into how Social Media, citizen reporters and instant dissemination of news by online media can affect an organisations reputation will be provided, with a view to demonstrating that nothing online is ever erased, and people never forget. A global and local perspective on the role of Communications in particular, Public relations in crisis preparedness and reputation management will be shared.
Led by Robyn De Villiers, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Africa, a practical hands-on approach on how to proactively plan for crises, touching on the composition of a crisis team, roles and responsibilities, message development, prioritizing audiences, selecting relevant media and interview techniques will be presented. Robyn’s experience includes communications strategy development, issues and reputation management, crisis communications, media relations, employee communications, public affairs and investor relations across a range of sectors. Robyn has facilitated training for organisations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Total Coal, Barclays Africa and Middle East, Safaricom, Nestle East Africa, Sasol Gas, Pfizer, BHP-Billiton, Danone Southern Africa, McDonald’s South Africa, Tullow Oil, Shell and the National Business Initiative. Robyn also provides one-on-one mentorship to senior executives of key clients.
Targeted at Executive Committee, Head of Departments and Board members, contextualisation of issues that many organisations face, will be interspersed with interactive group discussions on how to approach crises related to – labour strikes, massive fraud, internal leaks of sensitive information, “salarygates”, company closures, man-made or natural disasters, product recalls and so forth.
In partnership with the Financial Gazette, and 263Chat, the crux of the seminar focuses on the critical point that companies that fail to plan for a crisis or communicate with their various stakeholders are at risk of real and lasting reputation damage.