Two cases of good messaging
Ravin Maharaj, CMR’s strategic communications advisor for southern Africa,
highlights two cases of “good” messaging this week and shows the
importance of clear and concise presentation.
“I am Africa’s first white democratic leader,” says Guy Scott, Zambia’s new acting president.
The 70 year-old, Cambridge-educated economist said: “I am very proud to be entrusted with it.”
The popular agriculture minister steered the country out of drought in the early 1990s.
Although Mr Scott will only serve for 90 days until an election is held, he is already evangelizing the
right leadership messages, i.e. press ahead with respect and delivery in mind; focus on the task at
hand sans white noise; and advance Zambia’s position as a stable nation with ambitious regional
Zambia has made strides in strengthening its government and democratic institutions over the past
few years. Zambia’s economic growth decreased to 6.5% in 2013. The projections are robust;
7.1% and 7.4% in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The main areas of policy focus are job creation, especially for young Zambians; and improving
accountability and increasing efforts to root out corruption. The country’s leadership has the task of
increasing the tax base and strengthening competitiveness as foreign direct investment prospects
The President’s leadership team have the opportunity to show their moral mettle by rallying around
the premier and meeting short-term objectives before 2015. The result is respect for a small nation
in sub Saharan Africa advancing a growth narrative.
The Show must go on
In a calm, sturdy and professional manner, Thierry Desmarest, Chairman of energy group Total,
stood before investors and the media Thursday and assured the audience the Group’s strategy as
a “better energy” player in the cut-throat industry is sound.
The strategy has longevity. It has continuity, the chairman pronounced. These key messages
resounded loudly, along with operational profitability and an understanding of market dynamics.
The Group reported a 13% increase in Q3 net income in one of the worst quarters of its existence
following the death of Chief Executive Chistophe de Margerie in a recent air crash in Russia, now
The messages today were non-diluted and uncomplicated. What came through was quality of
human capital, governance and transformation, all critical issues espoused by the late CEO.