A public relations lesson:
COSATU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi denied that the organisation compared Jacob Zuma with Thabo Mbeki (this is a negative in the South African context). However, the utterances were made by COSATU's national spokesperson, Patrick Craven (082 821 7456, email@example.com, 011 339 4911).
This has now left COSATU with egg on its face as it is a direct attack on its ally, Jacob Zuma in particular and the ANC in general. But, maybe COSATU is spoiling for a fight with the ANC (another lover's tiff between these two mismatched organisations/ideologies) based on an article in the City Press: COSATU's Vavi furious with Zuma.
From a public relations view, the lesson for all organisations and companies is to have one clear message and to have one designated spokesperson. By second guessing Craven, Vavi gives the impression that COSATU has unclear thinking, is not organised, one hand doesn't know what the other one is doing, is muddled and so on.
Members (employees) want its leaders and organisation to have clarity of thought, one clear and compelling message that they can believe in and can follow. This builds confidence and pride in them. Ditto for the target audience.
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The Business Generator, Jacques de Villiers
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