How the ANC won the PR loo war

2011-05-14 18:06

ANC 1, DA 0. That is the score a public relations ­expert has given South ­Africa’s top two parties for their handling of the so-called “toilet wars”.

Thabani Khumalo, the managing director of Think Tank Marketing Services, says that in crisis communication you have to “go straight to the victim”.

That is “good PR 101”, he says, and according to him, the ANC and the DA handled their respective open-
toilet ­crises very differently.

“The DA went on the defensive. The ANC was quick to manage it by sending three top guns (Julius Malema, Fikile Mbalula and Tony Yengeni) to Viljoenskroon to interact with the people.

“They came out openly to say ‘sorry’ to the victims, that they were not aware and that those responsible will be punished.

 The way the community welcomed this shows that the ANC have managed to successfully overcome the adversity and turn it into a positive.”

Khumalo says that the DA, in ­contrast, was defensive and still is.

“Toilets have become a huge election issue after the ANC made it an election weapon in Western Cape. When the ­Viljoenskroon issue came forward, the ANC had to quickly spin that to their advantage and I think they have done so successfully,” he says.

He says the power of good public ­relations is the same for companies as for political parties.

“It is to go to the people affected. You do not have to place expensive ­advertisements and run huge campaigns, but speak straight to the victim, say you are sorry, explain how this could have happened and tell them what ­actions have and will be taken.” 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.