22 June 2017

Uganda: Banking Tops in Image Building

Kampala — Uganda's banking industry has been announced the best in external corporate communications aimed at enhancing the image of companies, in their pursuit for business growth.

Banking is ranked number one ahead of six other industries whose external corporate communications has been measured and evaluated in the first Corporate Publicity Index (CPi) released by brainchild Burson-Marsteller, a specialist public relations agency affiliated to Burson-Marsteller. The Banking was followed by telecommunications and the soft drinks industries, respectively.

The inaugural Index measures and evaluates the quality and quantity of publicity received by industries including; telecommunications, banking, insurance, carbonated soft drinks, airlines, downstream and upstream oil and gas, during the period October 2015 and September 2016.

According to the report, banking accounted for 33% of the share of ink and voice that the seven industries received, valued at shs14.2 billion in Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE). The telecom Industry followed with 28% worth shs10.8 billion while the soft drinks industry came third place with 14% worth shs5 billion. The insurance and upstream petroleum industries earned the lowest value during the period.

The scorecard takes into consideration three aspects of publicity that are tracked by the public relations industry in Uganda including; share of voice and ink, AVE and tone of media coverage. The findings are based on editorial coverage of the tracked industries in traditional media including; television, radio and print in Uganda.

The top performing brands per industry were; Stanbic Bank, MTN, Crown Beverages Limited, Vivo, Tullow Uganda, and NIC. The key image drivers for the industry were; corporate actions, innovations, CSR, sponsorships, and litigation.

Walter Wafula, Business Unit Head - Public Relations, at brainchild Burson-Marsteller said, the Index is a scorecard for the performance of corporations that invest in sharpening their reputation through external, and internal communications in addition to stakeholder engagements.

"This Index gives brand custodians insights into the performance of their brands in comparison with their peers in enhancing their image. It also provides data that companies can use as a benchmark in setting measurable targets in pursuit of communications and business excellence," Wafula explained. The index is based on Burson-Marsteller's Evidence- Based Communication practice which emphasizes the use of a scientific approach in managing and growing the reputation of a brand.

Cynthia Mpanga, the President Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU) who launched the report commended brainchild Burson-Marsteller for introducing the scorecard noting that it will help change the way public relations professionals in different industries plan and manage their external communications.

"I am confident that this index will inspire many communications and PR professionals to embrace a culture of Evidence-Based Communication which calls for setting SMART objectives, measuring and evaluating the impact of their communications and activities they conduct," Mpanga said.

"It will also be a source of empowerment and confidence for many, when the time to demonstrate return on investment, to their Chief Executive Officers and Boards of Directors comes. I encourage all practitioners to read it and make the best use of it," she added.

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