Friday, May 6, 2022

Proteas Netball Legend Dumisani Chauke and Springbok Legend Victor Matfield boost the 2022 Absa Wildeklawer Sports Tournament

 

The 2022 Absa Wildeklawer Sports Tournament is underway with High Schools scheduled for Kimberley from the 29th of April to the 2nd of May. The opportunity to meet and discuss tactics and lessons with the likes of Dumisani Chauke and Victor Matfield is the ultimate opportunity for aspiring netball and rugby players.

 

The prestigious tournament is designed to give young athletes the opportunity to showcase their skills and compete against some of the top-performing schools in the country. With the appearance of the Absa Wildeklawer ambassadors, Dumisani Chauke and Victor Matfield, the athletes will get the opportunity to learn from the best and tap into their unlimited wealth of knowledge.

 

Matfield is aware of what is at stake for the rugby youngsters as the under-18 Craven Week is coming up in a few months' time, and many of the players will be using the opportunity to cement their position in the team. But it will also be netball that Matfield will be taking a keen interest in this year as his daughter will be competing. 

 

"My visit to the Absa Wildeklawer Sports Tournament will be completely different this year," he said.  "Firstly, I am interested to see how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected our South African youth in terms of skills and overall performance on the rugby field. Not being able to play competitively for two years is not ideal and can set us back when it comes to sports development. Secondly, I will be viewing both the rugby and netball tournament through the eyes of a parent. I have three girls, and this is the first time I will be watching a tournament of this magnitude as a parent. I understand the pressures that the kids face, and I am hoping to chat to some of the parents (rugby and netball) and help them understand what their children are going through."

 

“I will be supporting my daughter on the netball court as a parent that wants her to enjoy the sport, I am not there to add extra pressure on her. I will be doing the same thing at the rugby tournament where I will be supporting the boys and providing guidance,” said Matfield.

 

Chauke also expressed her excitement to experience and watch the Absa Wildeklawer Sports Tournament. "I am looking forward to seeing the excited faces of the netballers as they begin competing at the highest level of the game again.  At last, we are back in action, and now is the time to up the level of skills as these are our future stars and heroes of the game.  It will not be long before they start vying for their place in the national team. My message to them all is to enjoy every game and appreciate the experience and opportunity that they have been given. Celebrate the wins and learn from the losses.  I am expecting to see some fierce competition on the court, and new friendships developing off the court," said Chauke.

 

This year, Absa has also introduced many innovations that have enhanced the experience for all involved, such as the Absa MegaU Luxury Bus: with free Wi-Fi, VR rugby games and PlayStations. These will all be available for players and fans to entertain themselves. In addition to the bus, Absa has also introduced the Absa Kuierkamer; an area for invited guests to sit, relax and watch games.

 

On the 29th of April, Matfield can be found at either the Absa MegaU Luxury Bus or the Absa Kuierkamer while Chauke is scheduled to attend the tournament on the 30th of April and 2nd of May.

 

For more information on the Absa Wildeklawer, visit https://wildeklawer.com/absa-wildeklawer-sport-2022/

 

Ends.






Monday, February 21, 2022

THE ERA OF ‘THE PRODUCER ECONOMY’ – THE EVOLUTION OF INFLUENCERS

 ‘The Producer Economy’ refers to the evolution of influencer marketing and companies opting to take control and become their own ‘influencers’.  They will have more control over messaging, and the same messaging can be taken through the entire brand journey and not necessarily only social media. 

 

This is a natural progression as there must be a lifecycle to an influencer campaign.  I am not saying bringing in influencers is not a great strategy, because it is.

 

The role of an influencer is to create brand credibility, but the secret is to do it in a way that is authentic to the influencer, using a tone that the person uses to communicate with their specific community. Hence the influencer should have some say in the way the message is portrayed.  Macro, micro and celebrity influencers are extremely important and make a great difference.  As a PR agency we have seen huge successes, but this cannot be seen as a ‘forever’ strategy.  Hence the introduction of The Producer Economy and this is where PR agencies can be extremely valuable.  It is the role of PR to use the goodwill generated from an influencer campaign and integrate into corporate and brand messaging.

 

The Brand being its own ‘influencer’ has numerous benefits.  Creating its own messaging, the distribution of such (what platform to use including email, OTT, TV and anything else) and the speed with which it can be changed or built upon.  Companies also believe this is the ‘safest option’ and can prevent any backlash from an influencer or the way the messaging is portrayed.

 

It is all about greater control.  However, here is a caution:  Influencers attract attention because of who they are and brands on their own can be passed by as ‘just another ad’. 

 

The best advice we can give – combinations!

·        The Producer Economy is a natural progression in the world of the influencer – a good strategy!

·        Using influencers, whether macro, micro or celebrity in campaigns is essential – they are invaluable and create instant awareness. 

·        Create partnerships!  Use an influencer image, quote, meme and build your own story around it between campaigns and for continuity!

·        If budget allows, use multiple influencers

 

The landscape out there is cluttered!  Extremely cluttered and very busy!! Being your own creator is hard work and needs extremely creative thinking!   No sooner has one brand managed to get heard above the clutter and the competitor takes it that one step further.  Influencers can be heard above the clutter!

 

And finally, ALWAYS bring in the creative PR team.  After all, a PR’s job is to tell stories.

 

·        An interesting stat:  Brands spent over $6.5 billion in 2019 and this doubled to $13.8 billion in 2021. (report compiled by Statista)

 

 




Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Great Excitement as the KFC Mini-Cricket Provincial Festivals resume for the 2021/22 season

 


KFC Mini-Cricket Provincial Festivals resume for the 2021/22 season

 

 

South Africa’s leading cricket development programme - KFC Mini-Cricket, is set to resume when the provincial festivals kick-off on 18th February across the country.

 

The season restart coincides with the 12th anniversary of KFC’ sponsorship of the Mini-Cricket programme that provides an enjoyable but more importantly, safe environment for the kid to get active and have fun.

 

The KFC Mini-Cricket programme has touched the hearts of many communities as it introduces kids not only to the fundamentals of cricket, but also to traits and values to become the best versions of themselves. It forms a critical foundation step in the development of South Africa’s future cricketing heroes and is the first step in Cricket South Africa’s ‘pipeline to the Proteas.’

                                                                                                                                                            

The KFC Mini-Cricket 2020-21 campaign was an unorthodox one, as the programme had to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The usual blockbuster festival had to be scaled down into a series of smaller activations and the annual seminars, which usually attract the top Mini-Cricket volunteers and administrators in one venue, had to be hosted virtually.

 

However, with the country’s lockdown restrictions being reduced to level 1, the programme organisers are thrilled to bring smiles once again to the kids by allowing them to do what they love, playing the game of cricket.

 

We are really excited that we can host provincial festivals again. Like everything else in South Africa, the programme was heavily affected by the pandemic and through our season theme of “Imvuselelo” or “Recovery” we are looking forward to continuing our journey back to normality by hosting the festivals,” said KFC CSI Manager Andra Ferreira Nel.

 

Through the help and hard work of the KFC Mini-Cricket coaches and coordinators, the kids will once again get an opportunity to play their favourite sport and create new friendships and unforgettable moments of laughter on the field in a more safe and secure way.

 

“These inspiring individuals epitomise all that is great about South Africa. Their selfless dedication allows the programme to be all-inclusive and teach the kids important life skills whilst they get active in a fun and healthy way by playing a sport that they love. They champion the spirit of community by keeping the Mini Cricket fire burning in their corners of our country and we could not be more proud to partner with them for the coming season,” continued Ferreira Nel.

 

However, safety is still an important factor in ensuring a safe and secure environment for the Mini-Cricketers while they showcase their talent on the field.

 

“We are excited to resume the 2021/22 KFC Mini-Cricket season. However, we are still aware that the pandemic has not ended, and safety will still be a priority with all protocols still having to be observed in the upcoming seminars and festivals,” reassured CSA Mass participation manager David Mokopanele.

 

“The majority of our administrators and volunteers have been vaccinated. We hope this will go a long way towards increasing the safety within the KFC Mini-Cricket season, allowing us to get more kids active for a sustained period this season,” Mokopanele concluded.

 

Since the inception of the programme, a total number of 2.5 million kids have played KFC Mini-Cricket and over 120 players have gone on to represent various national teams. And over 6 600 schools across the country joined the programme.

 

 

About KFC Mini-Cricket

KFC Mini-Cricket provides a platform for kids in South Africa to have fun and get active. KFC Mini-Cricket is the largest grassroots development sports programme in South Africa and is also an essential building block for learning cricketing basics and entrenching a love for the game. 

 

In the previous full season, 2019/20 there were over 126 000 kids from over 6600 schools active in the KFC Mini-Cricket programme who are coached by over 13 600 volunteer coaches. Year on year there are a minimum of 45 000 matches played each year. KFC has sponsored KFC Mini-Cricket since 2010 and in the 2012/13 cricket season KFC became the title sponsor of the KFC T20 Internationals.

 

 

Date

Event

18-Feb

Friday

Mpumalanga

05-Mar

Saturday

SWD

11-Mar

Friday

Western Province

12-Mar

Saturday

Boland

16-Mar

Wednesday

Kei

17-Mar

Thursday

Border

19-Mar

Saturday

EP

30-Mar

Wednesday

Limpopo

08-Apr

Friday

Northern Cape

09-Apr

Saturday

Free-State

22-Apr

Friday

KZN Inland

23-Apr

Saturday

KZN Coastal

29-Apr

Friday

Easterns

30-Apr

Saturday

CGL




Tuesday, February 8, 2022

GIVE A THOUGHT TO THE GLOBAL OLYMPIC SPONSORS – ARE THEY GETTING THEIR ROI?

I read an article on sponsors remaining largely silent leading up to the winter Olympics in China, and that got me thinking about the impact politics and negative publicity against rights holder has on brands. 

 

Sponsors spend enormous amounts on rights fees to partner with an event as big as the Olympic Games.  The sponsorship grants them logo use, branding and activation rights to leverage their own brand which could cost as much as the rights fees! And sponsorships are negotiated long term. Then they rely on the rights holders to decide countries, venues, fixtures and so forth.  After all, they are not specialists in running sports events, but rather in managing their own brands, and the sponsorship must work for them as they must answer to their shareholders and stakeholders as to why they are in the sponsorship in the first place!

 

The pandemic brought the planning of the 2020 Olympic games (which took place in 2021) to a grinding halt and sponsors had to pivot quickly.  They had to anticipate how the new reality would impact the live event, if it happened at all, and decide the best way forward to leverage their association and how to achieve an ROI through product sales.  Awareness is one thing but using the opportunity to create sales is another.

 

Many international Olympic sponsors chose to lie low during the 2020 summer Olympics in Japan due to public anti-Olympic sentiment.  Getting on the wrong side of the consumer is tantamount to killing the brand. 

 

Sponsors also had to contend with the new pandemic consumer insights.  Brand loyalty went out the window and trying out new brands became a norm, which smaller brands capitalised on.  But the most important consumer insight pointed to customers wanting brands to directly connect with them.  They wanted personalisation and to know that brands cared for the community – giving back to those that supported them through the years.  Therefore, Olympic sponsors had to pay even more attention to the consumer feeling and listen to the talk.

 

And now we have the Winter Olympics in a country that is well known for allegations of human rights violations, not to mention the questions being asked on their climate change policies, disregard for equality and inclusivity and general disregard of human respect.  For all these reasons many Global Olympic partners and sponsors have opted to keep a low profile, which has opened the door for local Chinese companies to grow their brand awareness.

 

The idea behind China’s hosting of the Olympics was to use the opportunity to promote the country as a tourist destination and promote and inclusive, Green Olympics, hence their slogan ‘faster, higher, stronger, together’.  But I question as to whether the opposite is happening?

 

The opening ceremony was a spectacular affair showing off China’s tech prowess.  The symbolic Olympic flame was specially designed for the first ever futuristic underwater torch relay using gaseous fuel that was smokeless and free of pollution. There can be no doubt China is in the forefront of anything technical.

 

But both Olympic Games were spectator free, so everything went online, and people consumed the Olympics via traditional TV, OTT and CTV (i.e. streaming using various different devices). 

 

Sponsors would have taken to online and TV, but so did every other brand not to mention the publics ad fatigue and the ability to skip the ads. All that sponsorship money and where is the uniqueness?

 

What about the off-the-field activations around the country staging the games, not to mention the fun activation areas at the entrance of each stadium where fans get involved in fun activities that the sponsors normally put on.  This is all part of the fun of a live event such as the Olympic Games.   And this also is where sales are generated, particularly for the FMCG brands such as Coca-Cola.

 

Whether the sponsors got their monies worth in Japan and China is questionable.  I cannot answer for them but having been intricately involved with many of the sponsors over the years at these massive sports events, and travelled the world with them, my heart goes out to their dilemma.

 

When controversy hits a sports body or event, sponsors get dragged it, which is a pity.  They sponsor events in good faith and when they must put the entire PR team onto reputations management to protect the brand, it is not fair.  Yes, brands are aware that things can happen and go wrong, and the PR team is always in the loop, but to be brought in to answer rights holders’ controversy is taking it to another level.

 

My observation over the 30 years that I have been in sponsorship is that there is a lack of foresight many rights holders have on the repercussion of their behaviour on sponsors.  After all, sponsorship is the lifeblood of any sport.  Lack of sponsorship impacts dramatically on any sporting association and the level of event they are able to produce. 

 

My final thought on the matter is that sports associations must bear in mind the impact that the pandemic has had on the bottom line of all companies (small, medium and large corporations), and when sponsorships come up for renewal, if they are not careful, the money could well dwindle somewhat.   I reiterate, sponsors are there to grow their brand and not to look after sporting associations. They have boards and shareholders to answer to!  Never forget!

 

 




Monday, January 31, 2022

PR Expectations for 2022

Our thoughts on PR to mull over this week

Going into February, here are some of our thoughts on what to expect in 2022.

It is predicted that the year will bring more normality to the world with countries opening up completely, and the dreaded Covid will change from a pandemic and become endemic.  We are all going to have to live with Covid in our midst, just as we live with the flu.

There is no magic wand that will tell us how we will all adapt to the change, or what will happen in the world of commerce, theatre, sport and other, but we can bet on the fact that we have to be ready for anything!  Covid has taught us that change happens at the drop of a hat.

We believe that the need for public relations will remain high on the agenda of any company this year, whether big, medium or small.  The fight to be heard above the clutter will continue, in fact it will be needed even more than ever!  Brands will remain online, and the need for sublime creativity as well as  aggressive, pragmatic, authentic and thrilling over-the-top (OTT) thinking will be required, and that is the role of the PR guru.  Such dramatic and daring strategies can go wrong very quickly, and the experienced PR will be needed to advise on the right approach to take to travel that fine line successfully so as not to create any negative retort.  If there is a negative comeback, then crisis management and corrective measures can be implemented extremely quickly with minimal, if any, fallout.

The explosion of TikTok changed the landscape with audiences, particularly the GenZers, looking for outrageous, unusual and humorous campaigns and posts.  Look, most brands will not take that brash and daring route, and there are plenty of other platforms to use, but the point is brands need to find that sweet spot that will resonate with their community. And a fickle community it is!  Do something that doesn’t sit with them, and you will feel their wrath quickly.

To sum it up, 2022 is the year of OTT thinking, taking those daring leaps of faith that brands have traditionally shied away from.  And experimenting!  Brands traditionally hate experimenting as this is very scary territory they do not want to dabble in! But that has to change and PR expertise, experience and the ability to turn all staid and traditional brand thinking and messaging into wonderful and creative storytelling is essential to navigate this new untested and continuously evolving world. 

Contact Intune Communications and we will put your brand PR strategy together for you!  We are here at your service.

 www.intunecom.co.za

 

 

 

Monday, January 10, 2022

A Content Creator and Writers guide to putting a social media strategy together for 2022

 



2022 has arrived and it is time to review the past 12 months and take the learnings into the new year

 

Content in the form of authentic story telling remains the pillar of modern PR.  The pandemic highlighted the need for truth and authenticity as we sifted through the clutter to find the correct facts to keep us safe and navigate our way through the Covid experience (which we will continue to do going into 2022)

 

When the world went into lockdown in the first quarter of 2020, digital marketing became the key messenger to reach customers and clients, which resulted in the need for continuous and high volumes of posts.  Not only did Marketers have to be heard above the clutter, but new brands mushroomed as outlets were unable to sell their goods exclusively.

 

This resulted in an ad-hoc and sometimes fragmented approach to content creation and therefore mixed messaging and an element of confusion occurred.  Fortunately the days of learning and pivoting quickly are here, but many companies took time to make amendments in 2021 based on many reasons, including  wheels turning slowly or continuing to flog that dead horse as things just might come right.

 

What the Intune Communications teams foresees in 2022

 

The right strategy - an integrated approach to content!

Every public relations and marketing team knows their market pretty well.  But in times when change is happening so rapidly it gets challenging to keep up, and a more agile strategy is needed to help create those ever increasing posts.  Even more challenging is crafting different strategies for the various target markets, which doubles the number of posts.

 

Reaching GenZ needs to be unique as they have developed a strange sense of humour, thanks to TikTok and the mounds of influencers they follow.  Talking about TikTok, many PR teams and marketers do not have a strategy for this platform as yet, and perhaps it is time to dabble in this unknown and work out a plan.  Every strategy starts with the business objectives and goals then divided into the different LSMs, age groups and of course the social, Behavioural, Demographic, Geographic and psychographic groups.

 

The key point to remember in 2022, is that generating sales from existing customers is up to five times easier than enticing a new one, and a re-engaging strategy is extremely valuable for these loyalists.  It is all about improving brand quality perception.   

 

What content technology to use – this can be confusing!

This is a tough one as new technology is breaking into the market on a continuous basis.  Many content creators and writers are often complaining that so much of each day is spent learning something new that the company has decided needs to be investigated.  Most content creators can choose from a multitude of technology apps to help create a posts.  These will be used based on requirements, speed and visual perceptions.  The workman with the best tools will get the job done quicker and it will look better.  In 2022 it is time to retire the older systems and deploy the new fit-for-purpose solutions aimed at minimising the burden that comes from administration.

 

AI, ROI or Content Intelligence – we cannot do without

No modern public relations department or marketing team can do without analytics, it is the core of what we do and how we progress.  Here as well, 2022 will focus on how we decide to analyse our social media posts.  It is time to ditch the old and introduce the new, of which there are a multitude.  In fact there are so many excellent ones it can create analysis paralysis!

 

Automation – helps to cut down on time

Automation is still in its infancy and we are learning every day, but there is no doubt that this is essential as it can cut through our congestion of posts and it gives us time to breathe, review, evaluate and pivot when necessary.  We will have a little time to look at those posts that are not working and enable us to pull them quicker than we did in 2021!  It will also help alleviate any bottlenecks that constantly crop up and create the block that prevents us moving forward.  

 

Video – is critical and doesn’t necessarily need to be the best quality

The short-form video is trending.  It takes 7 seconds and our customer is onto the next video.  The first 7 seconds has to attract the customer to want to watch further, but not 30 minutes further!  The pandemic normalised authentic ‘real-life’ video with real ordinary people. Brands don’t need to set aside days for shooting and editing to put the best series of videos together.  Low-Cost authentic and real videos are well received by the customer. Examples of their best use include promotions, launches, specials, gift vouchers etc.

 

Influencers – GenZ follow hosts of influencers and nano influencers, all at the same time

Influencers sell!  There is no hiding this fact.  They grow awareness and generate sales.  However, GenZ’s are cynical and hate ‘fake’.  Select influencers strategically and bring them in to help craft posts as they must be authentic to them.  They can sell your brand in their own unique way!

 

Special campaigns– Over the top thinking to generate sales

Many brands deviated from their normal brand strategies in 2021 by putting unique and creative campaigns together that proved unbelievably successful.  Some included the now trending NFT’s, as well as dancing, cooking, singing and music competitions giving away lucrative prizes.  All these were aimed at showing customers that they truly care for their communities that support them.  Brands that sponsor sport, for example the NFL in the USA,  put together campaigns that were far removed from the conventional tried-and-tested strategies to create awareness and ultimately drive sales. 

 

In conclusion, content creating is now a specialised art and it is important to have the RIGHT content creator and writer in place to ensure consistency and success. The time is over to bring in the new-kids-on-the- block to create content just because the person understands technology.  Bring in the experts to take a fresh look at the strategy, technology, AI, automation and craft expert and focused content for all target markets – existing customers and open up to new markets.  Finally, metaverse (not Facebook’s Meta) started trending at the end of 2021 and it is something content creators need to consider when putting plans together.

 

The next 12 months will throw up all sort of new interesting trends.  We are looking forward to the journey.

 

Join is and we will help craft your content plan for 2022

kassey@intunecom.co.za or shawn@intunecom.co.za