Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  09 Jun 2011

MARKETING: Brand South Africa Needs Support


Recent Gauteng Business News

The International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC) can only reach its goals if all stakeholders such as business, government, civil society respond to a call to collaborate in realising the positioning of South Africa as a globally competitive nation. This was the central message at a stakeholder summit of the IMC held in Johannesburg recently.

It was the first of nine such summits. All provinces will be visited and Limpopo is next on the list. Its summit will be held on 26 June in Polokwane.

The IMC was established in 2002 with the primary objective of developing and implementing a pro-active and co-ordinated marketing, communication and reputation management strategies for the country.

Addressing the summit, the Deputy-Minister in the Presidency, Dina Pule, said that the branding of South Africa is not a matter of choice but rather a necessity. It requires the concerted effort of all stakeholders to achieve any real measure of success - government, citizens, business, political parties, charities, the media and academia , sporting organisations and the like.

As globalisation increases the production and movement of goods, services, investment and talent, perceptions of nations have to be actively managed.

“Countries all over the world are shaping and re-shaping their national identities as they compete with other nations and regional blocks for power, influence, prestige and wealth.”

“The rapid advancement of globalisation means that South Africa must fight for its share of attention and respect of the international media, governments and people of other countries,” said Pule.

South Africa has just gone through four very important stages: it managed a widely acknowledged successful soccer world cup, came through the world-wide recession almost unscathed, became a part of the BRICS group of nations and yet again held free and fair local elections. The former has underlined that the country is an important developing nation in its own right.

It is now time for a new approach.

Also in May, the IMC met with President Jacob Zuma where the discussion centred around the need for business and government to work together to promote and market the successes of the country domestically and to the world.

The meeting affirmed the IMC’s mandate which is to focus on strategic issues relating to reputation and competitiveness of South Africa, both domestically and globally. The IMC

needs to manage the perceptions of Brand South Africa and coordinate nation branding efforts through improved cooperation between itself, business and civil society.

It will use its new status to enhance its global competitiveness in order to attract investment and enhance trade with the aim of contributing to the creation of jobs in South Africa.

The deputy chairperson of the IMC, Chichi Maponya, explained that nation branding is not solely a task for the public sector, but “rather a collaborative undertaking of the country’s key stakeholders.”

Maponya stressed: “If we all act with unity of purpose, we will be contributing to growing our reputation on the international stage.”

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