On Wednesday 19th 2009 between 1800 hrs and 2030 hrs at the New Stanley Hotel, a good number of professionals were seated at a hall attentively listening to Mrs. Gin Din Kariuki Managing Director of Gina Din Corporate Communication(GDCC) as she tackled the topic: The place of public relations.
A little bit of some background on Mrs. Gina Din, “who is Mrs. Gina Din Kariuki?”
She is the Managing Director of GDCC and was recently appointed goodwill ambassador of the Kenya Red Cross based on the frequent times she has been involved in mobilizing resources for humanitarian assistance on behalf of the Kenyan Red Cross.Mrs. Gina Din is a board member of Ecobank Kenya Ltdand member of the East African Council on Superbrands. She has spearheaded GDCC to a level that has seen the company consecutively win the prestigious public relations consulting firm ward for a number of years.
GDCC has been at the forefront and has set the pace in Kenya as regards public relations which can be attested to the high profile clients that the company has handled, for example handling the crisis communication management of the Kenya Airways Doula crash. You would thus agree that GDCC is an authority as far as public relations in Kenya is concerned.
Mrs. Gina Din had the following tips for companies and individuals in terms of what they should consider as they look at the place of public relations (PR) in their companies and persona lives. On an individual level PR can be equated to personal branding/personal image.
• PR is a win-win situation that involves me, you and the us. It’s a team effort.
• 93% of communication is usually about the tone and body language.
• Reputation is a big element of PR, its about you as a person,the employee or the C.E.O
• Reputation is easily lost and requires hard work to earn and maintain a good reputation.
• At times all is not lost and reputation if tainted can be recovered, slowly,one cannot change the past but you sure can change the future.
• One thing to note is that when experience (delivery of a service or product) doesn’t match the promise (standards and quality) then the reputation declines.
How then do you as an individual or a company safeguard your reputation:
• Build trust
• Be transparent
• Provide satisfaction
• Be honest
Reputation of a Chief Executive Officer is without a doubt very crucial in the performance of a company. Clients interacting with the C.E.O. look for an emotional experience based on the following qualities:
• How credible is the chief executive officer?
• Does the chief executive officer inspire employees?
• What is the financial performance of the company?
In addressing issues or challenges that exist within PR departments within organisations Mrs. Gina Din Kariuki emphasized on the need to have PR departments or professionals handling the department be directly under the chief executive officer and not necessarily within the human resource department. What is the place of Public Relations in your department?
The internet has made PR public and we have a new phenomenon known as digital PR that incorporates social media, blogs, online releases.(Gina Din Kariuki is on facebook).In conclusion Gina Din, MD GDCC had the following advice for everyone to implement in their personal lives or at the workplace as we all strive to make Kenya a better place, which forms the action plan for this post, things to you need to do:
Be a brand, a super brand by standing up to the promises you make, be a person who delivers and keeps the promise.
Always remember that you cannot be a butterfly without going through a metamorphosis, it’s never too late to spice up your brand.
Next British Council Leadership forum will host Haco industries Managing Director Mr. Polycarp Igathe,who will talk about career progression on the 16th September between 1830 hrs and 2030 hrs ,so make a point to note this in your diary, do not miss out on a chance to network with professionals from diverse backgrounds.