Q3 2019

MEAMARKETS / Q3 2019 13 , Corporate Image is one of South Africa’s leading communications and public affairs consultancies. Earlier this year, the firmwas recognised inMEAMarkets’ African Excellence Awards 2019, where it was selected as the Best Public Relations & Communications Agency – South Africa. On the back of this win, we profiled Corporate Image and caught up with Tamra Capstick-Dale, who provided us with a glimpse into the inner workings of this successful company. Turning Dreams Into Reality Established in 1987 and one of the few majors operating independently, Corporate Image has been extensively involved over the years in the financial services, telecommunication, leisure, retail, FMCG and industrial sectors. Today, the company has built a core competence and competitive advantage in reputation building and management, and crisis communications. It has a strong yet broad-based blue-chip client list that includes some of South Africa’s largest companies, most of which are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Throughout the years, Corporate Image has built an impressive reputation for its excellent C-suite relationships and provision of well-considered strategic counsel to many chief executives – and senior executives – at large, listed companies. Going into further detail about the clients the firm serves, Tamra reveals the team’s approach to a new project and the techniques they employ to ensure the desired outcome is achieved. “When engaging with clients for the first time, we suggest an immersion session to kick-off our work with the client. This gives us the opportunity to gain an intimate view of the company, its strengths, Jun19149 weaknesses and challenges, as well as what their expectations are of us,” says Tamra. “The value of being independent is that we are not obliged to follow set procedures or templates handed down from holding companies in how we approach our work. That means that following our first session, we can customise our client service approach to each client’s circumstances and context. “We don’t follow, and have never followed, a vanilla approach in how we formulate strategy. This bespoke approach is a key part of our success; clients know we’re really thinking about their challenges, opportunities and context, and not following a standard practice approach. We match demands to skills so that the team is best placed to deliver what the client really needs. “Additionally, we’re also careful about how we can measure success, with a more robust set of mechanisms rather than the standard ones. That ensures we’re making a difference where it counts and that we’re driving the right behaviour internally.” The company boasts an experienced, hard-working and committed team which forms the backbone of Corporate Image. When discussing the internal culture, Tamra is keen to highlight the significant role the team plays in the overall success of the firm and how they are well-equipped to provide their award-wining service. “Our internal culture is informal, and in some ways more like a family. Humour, frankness and collegial co-operation is a hallmark of the firm. We are professional in all interactions with our clients, but between colleagues, we are often good friends with strong co-working relationships. The company has a fairly flat hierarchical structure, which means that everyone gets their hands dirty when needed, and everyone gets to work on projects of all shapes and sizes.” The South African corporate landscape is particularly challenging currently. Following years of weakened economic growth, the pressure is being felt by all companies, large and small. Bringing the interview to a close, Tamra reflects on some of the challenges the firm faces in their region specifically, but highlights the key ways in which the team work together to ensure that they are able to overcome these. “The vast majority of our clients are large corporates, and, in any tough economic environment, external contracts are often the first to be scrutinised. As a result, Corporate Image needs to ensure that our work is not only perfect, but highly regarded: that means beating expectations and demonstrating real value to them. Fortunately this is already part of our DNA, but we keep a careful eye on delivery.” Looking ahead to what the future holds for the firm, the team at Corporate Image is set to continue delivering an impeccable service to their clients, some of which have been with them for nearly three decades. Moving forward, Corporate Image intends to expand its business into related areas, and grow their presence and the services they offer to their clients further afield into Africa. This is especially following their success in MEA Markets’ African Excellence Awards 2019. They have correctly been awarded the accolade, Best Public Relations & Communications Agency – South Africa. Contact: Tamra Capstick-Dale Company: Corporate Image Telephone: +27 21 426 1233 Web Address: www.corporateimage.co.za

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