Arun Sudhaman

Working the angles around media, comms and marketing.

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa

South Africa hands global reputation assignment to H&K

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Posted to the Holmes Report here

South Africa has called in new PR counsel as it bids to sustain the global reputation uplift it experienced from last year’s successful staging of the Fifa World Cup.

The Holmes Report understands that Hill & Knowlton has been appointed by the country’s International Marketing Council (IMC), to oversee the global ‘Brand South Africa’ programme. The agency displaces incumbent MSLGroup Johannesburg, which won the £1 million account less than two years ago. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Arun Sudhaman

March 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Charming countries revisited

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My most popular post this year, at least in terms of generating comments, was one on whether countries can launch charm offensives. This surprised me, because I thought that the concept of overhauling a poor reputation through better comms was reasonably well established.

Instead, the idea that a national government can put its reputation in the hands of a PR agency sparked some interesting responses. None perhaps more succinct that Tom Crampton‘s remark that, unless the country itself has a reputation worth communicating, any image campaign would amount to ‘lipstick on a pig’.

Building on the debate, I’ve put together a feature for PRWeek UK that looks at this issue in a little more depth. Reputation of a nation puts six ‘countries’ under the spotlight – UK, US, China, India, South Africa and Dubai. Each suffers various problems in terms of how reputation issues are hampering the pursuit of specific goals. For example, China’s well-documented product quality crises continues to dog perceptions of its critically important manufacturing sector. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Arun Sudhaman

November 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Can a country launch a charm offensive?

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Surely some enterprising soul should have set up a country branding practice by now and describe it as the future of integrated marketing in the 21st century?

I ask because, in short order, an array of countries have called in comms counsel to try and repair reputations that have frayed badly. Iceland has picked FD, South Africa has enlisted Dow Jones Insight, and MS&L. And Dubai can’t seem to get too much agency advice, perhaps unsurprising when you read some of the articles that take delight in skewering the Emirate, like this one.

Then there is China which, one year after seeking comms counsel to deal with its PR in the run-up to the Olympics, has decided to go ahead with a much-delayed advertising drive that will try to convince overseas audiences its products are safe. China has been particularly active; it is also looking to expand some its domestic news channels to try and present a different image of the country overseas.

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Written by Arun Sudhaman

July 25, 2009 at 10:20 pm