ByDesign Communications, the ‘new kid’ on the strategic communications block celebrated its first anniversary in September 2017. Led by Kevin Welman and Vanessa Baard, each with two decades experience, ByDesign started off claiming to be different… Different ByDesign. And our first year proved this aspiration true.
With a SABRE Award for Best Newcomer PR Consultancy EMEA Region for 2017 already on our trophy shelf and a prestigious client list that included SAP Africa, Anglo American, Raizcorp, adidas (to name a few) on our books; our ByDesign Communications team were making their mark by doing what they know best, differently to the rest.
Our first year was interesting, not just in terms establishing the ByDesign brand and growing it exponentially in the SA marketplace, but also in terms of operating within the ever-changing global space.
The era of fake news, heralded by the Trump administration, and unbelievable as it seems, has become a factor that communicators need to work around. Given the rampant spread of unverified, unquantified informationon social media and the resulting erosion of trust in the traditional media, it will become even more important for news organisations to scrutinise content that looks and sounds like the real deal. And while doctored content might not pass the scrutiny of a rigorous newsroom, there’s real potential for public relations, political and diplomatic disasters arising from grainy videos going viral on social media.
The advent and uptake of fake news is a direct consequence of ‘the rise and rise of social media’ and this phenomenon has also shaped how ByDesign is gearing for its future. “Social media, influencer marketing and paid-for content are all interconnected concepts and the role of the influencer, especially, has become a critical aspect of a successful strategy.