Today in Africa, there are more newspapers, radio stations and television channels than ever before. Many, many more are on the way. Meanwhile, international and regional media outlets are a Skype call or text message away. Anyone who knows the continent cannot fail to have noticed the huge surge in citizen journalism and new media. Blogging, social networking websites, video and mobile phone pictures are reshaping the image of the continent.

Today, it is not possible to avoid the media. More importantly, it makes no sense to try to do so. Companies, governments, organizations are under scrutiny like never before. Negative comment and assertions can be made without facts being checked. Rumours, falsehoods can go viral before the subjects are even aware of what is being said.

You must have a strategy for dealing with that or risk enormous, sometimes fatal, reputational damage. However, at the same time the opportunity to communicate your own message — both to broad and highly segmented audiences — has never been greater.