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COMMUNICATION, MARKETING and INVESTMENT POLICY

By Suzanne Wallace,2014-08-12 00:13
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COMMUNICATION, MARKETING and INVESTMENT POLICY

COMMUNICATION, MARKETING and INVESTMENT POLICY

7.3.1 Preamble

    Marketing and communication needs to be seen as an integral tool in the operations of the Modimolle Local Municipality. To this end, communicators should adopt the following marketing and communication principles:

    ? Marketing and communication must be seen as an ongoing and continuous activity; ? All issues and activities which arise within the municipality must be viewed and considered in

    terms of their marketing and communication implications;

    ? All communication issues must be viewed from an internal and external perspective; ? Marketing and communication strategies must be decided with consideration and

    deliberateness even if it is a decision not to communicate (or market). This should be a

    conscious and strategic decision and not a de facto one.

    ? Whenever possible marketing and communication must be proactive and not reactive; ? Crisis communication should be seen as the exception to the communication principles rather

    than the modus operandi of communication.

Marketing and communication campaigns should have:

    ? A brief which is clear, specific, and has set of measurable objectives;

    ? A well-articulated municipal positioning statement i.e. how do you want your audience to

    perceive your campaign;

    ? A carefully considered campaign ‘look and feel’

    ? A detailed implementation plan with requirements, including themes, audiences, resources

    etc

    ? Detailed audience profiling;

    ? Appropriate audience messages;

    ? Alignment of budget to campaign needs, and to overall marketing and communication’s

    budget

7.3.2 Objectives

    Aimed at regulating the internal and external marketing and communications activities within the Modimolle Municipality.

7.3.3 Definitions

; In this policy a word or phrase to which a meaning has been assigned in Section 1.0 on

    definitions has that meaning, unless the context otherwise indicates.

7.3.4 AD HOC MEDIA RELATIONS

    ; Managing crises

    While it is unarguable that crisis management should not be the facto manner of operation, from time-to-time crises will arise. To this end, the following approach to crisis management should be employed.

    ? Pre-empt crises by ongoing communication with the media, as well as by strictly adhering to

    the media strategy. A media strategy should be designed and implemented for each of the

    municipality’s process.

    ? Identify the crisis ans assess the nature and scale of the potential and actual damage. ? Co-ordinate an ad hoc crisis management committee. This committee should consist of

    people in leadership positions, technical experts, relevant people from other departments and

    a support team.

    ? All communication should be centralised through this committee. The committee should only

    have one spokesperson.

    ? Senior management must be involved in the management of the crisis. Their involvement

    must be visible. This uniformity and creditability of message.

    ? It may be useful to involve an external party to verify the department’s assessment of the

    crisis, the nature and scope of its damage, and its response strategy.

    ? Use existing media relations to leverage the municipality’s response strategy.

    ? The response strategy should include a focus on positioning the municipality post- the crisis. ? Communicate the issues internally so that all staff are aware of what is happening and know

    what the official position/response is to the situation.

    ? Have an ongoing monitoring and evaluation mechanism to see whether the response

    strategy is working.

    ?

    ; Rebuttal strategy

    It is not possible the municipality to manage and co-ordinate all media coverage. It is therefore, important to have a process in place that allows for well-considered, strategic and accurate response to media coverage. The rebuttal strategy should mirror that of the crisis management strategy, but on a smaller scale.

To this end, the department should:

    ? Be aware of all media coverage.

    ? Co-ordinate an ad hoc group to discuss whether or not response to the media coverage. ? Identify exactly what the nature of the rebuttal should be, and decide on who the best person

    to respond is, and what the nature of the response should be.

    ; Dealing with negative publicity

    All interaction with the media must be strategic. This means that the timing, the channel (ie daily afternoon paper, morning business paper, community newspaper), the particular journalists involved, the nature of the message and supporting information, and the communicator (ie communication spokesperson, political spokesperson, technical expert) should be considered, planned and deliberate. The principle of ‘strategic’ should apply to the municipality’s response to

    negative media.

Before responding to negative media the following should be considered:

? Is the negative coverage widespread, or confined to a particular media?

    ? What is the profile of the channel from which the communiqué is despatched? ie who is the

    primary audience, the frequency of the publication, its traditional political perspective? If there

    are more than one media involved, a profile should be drafted for each channel. ? What is the exact nature of the message? It is the message important to identify whether the

    negative message is aimed at individuals, processes, or policies.

    ? It the report factually correct? What does it cite as it source of evidence, ies particular reports,

    individuals?

    ? Does the coverage have short-; medium-, and long-term implications.

    Once these have been established the municipality be in a stronger position to formulate an effective response.

The response should:

    ? Have a clear intention ie to refute inaccuracies, persuade the audience of a different position,

    clarify misconceptions.

    ? Be based on your decision about whether the nature of the negative message was around an

    individual, a processes or a policy. The response should be located firmly in the domain of

    the originator’s source.

    ? Be placed in the most appropriate media. This may not always be in the media which carried

    the original communiqué.

    ? Cite the most effective sources. Pay careful attention to the sources that the media used, and

    attempt to deal with their interpretation of these.

    ? Align with the decision about whether the coverage has short-, medium-, and long-term

    implications

    Responses to negative media coverage should follow the steps outlined for crisis management.

7.3.5 Originators of the message

     The only way in which effective message delivery can be assured, is if all members of the municipality see themselves as municipal communicators. This is not to say that every member of the municipality will be the messenger, but it is to say that communication should be a prominent part of all planning and strategic processes. To this end the marketing and communication’s unit within the municipality will establish a mechanism for:

? Forwarding marketing and communication issues to the unit;

    ? Channelling the information to the appropriate audience in the most effective package e.g

    information that needs a public audience in high-profile media; information that needs to be

    communicated to a select audience in targeted media;

    ? Ensuring that marketing and communication issues are part of all planning processes.

The marketing and communication’s unit will ensure that they:

? Regularly request information from key personnel through”

    o One-on-one requests

    o Weekly electronic requests

    o Making space on the unit electronic diary for departmental staff to note communication

    information

? Put marketing and communication issues on meeting agenda’s by asking the questions:

    o Does the issue have a marketing and communication implication?

    o Is it for external or internal purposes, or both?

    o At which audience is the message aimed?

    ? Raising awareness about the importance of marketing and communication and creating

    media opportunities proactively.

    However, it is important to establish particular roles and responsibilities for marketing and communication.

    ? The leadership core needs to work publicly as a collective communicating the messages of

    the municipality, in particular on policy issues;

    ? Members of the mayoral committee should be the profiled member of this collective; ? The mayor should be the Communicator-in-Chief focusing especially on the core message; ? Line department heads should communicate on operational issues;

7.3.6 Institutional issues

     The situational analysis has indicates a lack of formal communication guidelines within the Municipality. It is, therefore, our recommendation that a formal policy be adopted. The policy shows show clear lines of responsibility, as well as a clear structure through which all

    communication should be directed. It is clear that the Municipality has already made progress in this regard by appointment a manager responsible for communication and community participation. A clear description of the roles and functions of the Communications Manager should be established as a matter of urgency, and communicated clearly to everyone internally. The situational analysis also indicated a shortage of human capacity within this department. We would recommend that the department’s capacity be strengthened with the appointment of at least on additional staff member to assist the Manger in the execution of his task, especially because the execution of this strategy will lie within the office of the communications manager.

7.3.7 Structure And Roles and Responsibilities Within Communication’s Unit.

The Marketing and Communication’s Unit should be ideally having people who have a good

    understanding of managing and acting on marketing and communication issues.

The Unit should have a

     Marketing and Communications

     Manager

Whose responsibility is to:

    ; Identify the strategic marketing and communication activities and advise on appropriate

    mediums to disseminate the message.

    ; To strategically identify media partners/ stakeholders

    ; To control and oversee the quality of internal and external communication executions

Such a manager should have some experience or knowledge of:

    ; Journalism

    ; Public Relations

    ; Internal and external communication

    ; Marketing

    ; Project Management

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