Marketing Cape Town and Western Cape: get out of ‘silos’, urges Andrew Boraine!


PRISA Andrew Boraine Whale CottageWestern Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP) CEO Andrew Boraine addressed The Institute for Public Relations & Communication Management Western Cape at its AGM at the Bantry Bay Hotel last night, talking about communication and its impact on the economic development of Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Boraine shed light on an interesting topic before load shedding hit the Atlantic PRISA banner Whale Cottage
Seaboard at 18h00, where the hotel is located in Sea Point.  He explained that the EDP which he now heads up (he was previously with the Cape Town Partnership) is a small 12-staff organisation that facilitates communication between local, provincial, and national government levels, and the private sector, pertaining to Cape Town and the Western Cape.

Boraine angled his talk to motivate the PR industry to get its clients involved in improving communication across boundaries or ‘silos’, as he called them. They do ‘cross-boundary work‘, via story-telling, so that each of the 60 parties represented on their Regional Communicators Forum can work with other parties in more efficiently and cost-effectively marketing our region.  Instead of each organisation spending its 1% marketing budget of the total income of R111 billion individually, they should try to work together to prevent marketing duplication, and to create alignment.

Boraine described ‘Cape Town and the Western Cape‘, a mouthful of a brand he admitted, as the second largest economy in sub-Sahara, strongly associated with Tourism and Leisure.  He said the brand ‘Cape Town’ is many hundreds of years old, and its sub-brand of ‘Cape of Good Hope‘ is more positive than the ‘Cape of Storms‘ it was called long ago. His organisation has used the London Partnership as its model for our region.  He explained that it is not about logos and slogans, but about its ‘DNA‘, being the reputation; it must be an aspirational and authentic brand with substance – Boraine said our region can not yet claim to be a Green City, a Smart City, or a Knowledge region, but it has the potential in future; the location brand must receive buy-in from its citizens, otherwise the rest of the world won’t accept it either – he mentioned Barcelona as an example of how this can work, soccer and culture having created city pride amongst locals;  and the city competes for ‘globally mobile activities‘ – he mentioned that Melbourne’s convention centre has just gone green, which could be a threat for our Cape Town International Convention Centre, regarded as the best in Africa.  Citizens of a city can be anti-business, he said, mentioning nine reasons for this, including that residents themselves have not all worked in business, and therefore do not understand it; that labour and business are polarised and traditionally enemies; and a fear of residential areas being overtaken by development and more residents.  Industries that are strong in Cape Town (finance and high-tech) are not large employers, Boraine concluded.

PRISA Past President and active Western Cape Executive Member Merle O’Brien also addressed the
meeting, working as a futurist at Creation iLab, and actively works in creating citizen co-operatives. She traced the history of Public Relations since 1994, and shared how the industry’s definition of PR has changed from building trust and mutual respect then, to it being the management of perceptions via communication a few year later. PRISA Merle O Brien Whale CottageInteresting was her view that one cannot choose one’s stakeholders anymore – they choose you!  She shared that she was impressed with how the design industry deals with it customers, asking what the customer wants, making a prototype, and doing final fittings, feeling that ‘collaborative communication’ may be the way of the future.  Cape Town has the largest concentration of design businesses and students, and they too should work together so that ‘design thinking becomes everyday thinking’.   Human-centred connections prevent the ‘silo syndrome‘, she concluded!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  Tel (021) 433-2100, Twitter:@WhaleCottage  Facebook:  click here

Please follow and like us:
Tweet 27k

WhaleTales Blog


We don’t spam!

Read our privacy policy for more info.