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The Place of Public Relations in Entrepreneurship

People vote for the artist not the Painting!

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 Ltd and 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
• Commit
• 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.

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Get On With It:MindSpeak

My first MindSpeak business club meeting at SilverBird Westgate is worth telling and sharing and I hope it will inspire you. Aly Khan Satchu hosted Mutoko, the queen of radio in a very well attended event where I got a chance to understand ‘Who is Caroline Mutoko?’ In my own words I would say she is a professional who hosts the Kiss fm Morning Breakfast show,someone who loves what she does, loves swimming, passed through Valley Road, from the tone of her voice you could comprehend that her life revolves around what she does like for example sitting down with a notebook and pen in the evening as she watches news to jot down any ideas that she might incorporate for her morning show or the many times she has had to work late into the night to finish on a project.
An interesting thing about Mutoko is the relationship she seems to have with God and her mother, one could tell that she derives a lot of comfort, support and strength from her mother. She values the importance of having a good education and if she was to have her way she would have Kenyans going back to school. The next time you get a chance to meet in person you might just have to call her Dr Mutoko, the lady has got ambition of going back for her PhD.
For a lady that has made a great impact in journalism she had a few tips for the youth, to get on with whatever passions they had, to Just Do It in the words of Aly Khan borrowing from Nike and to have the patience required in every career(Doing the time).Its been 9 years of experience in the radio industry for Mutoko and she is looking forward to that day when she could be managing director, at least she is equipped for the task having obtained an MBA in Strategic Management from the University of Nairobi. She laid emphasis on the need to come up with strategic plans in business and life in general, something most Kenyans haven’t mastered and to never shortchange yourself in terms of what you are worth. She knows what she’s worth and she’s going for it. From her perspective the 20’s is a prime age for everyone and the youth should maximize on the energy by living it up in terms of their goals. All in all it was an interesting and interactive session and I would recommend that you attend the next session, details on the dates will be posted on the blog or you can check out Aly Khans website for the full details where you can also listen to a podast of the different sessions that Khan has hosted.

ICT and Innovations

Strathmore University will host the 10th annual ICT conference on the opportunities and challenges towards an entrepreneurial economy on the 4th and 5th of September 2009 at the university auditorium. This is one event that anyone with a passion for technology should not miss since the event will cover hot topics that include ICT trends towards the vision 2030, future of free and open source software, ICT innovations and business incubation among many other topics. The charges are 200 KES for students and 2000 KES for non- students.

MindSpeak

On Saturday 15th August Aly Khan author of Anyone Can be Rich and N.S.E data vendor will host the Queen of  Radio Caroline Mutoko of Kiss fm at Silvebird Westgate 9.30AM to 12.30 PM.

As described on rich.co.ke Aly Khan is an active   investor at the Nairobi Stock Exchange and has an impressive wealth of experience in Stocks management. He has been involved with various events which include TEDx Nairobi, the recently concluded Hay Festival and has hosted a number of individuals who are authorities in their relevant fields one of them being Harvard’s Prof Calestous Juma.

BC Leadership Forum

Howstuffworks.com defines public relations as shaping and maintaining the image of a company, organization or individual in the eyes of the client’s various publics.One company that has been at the forefront in championing the importance and effectiveness of public relations is Gina Din Corporations.

Mrs Gina Din will on wednesday 19th August give a presentation on the Place of Public Relations at the New stanley Hotel-Ball Room at 6PM courtesy of the British Council Leadership Forum.Charges are 1000 KES for non-members.To become a member one has to pay an annual fee of 5,000 KES.


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