Drive to make 2010 spectacular

first_imgKeynote speaker Sibusiso Ndebele,Minister of Transport, is adamant that theWorld Cup will unite the nation.(Image: Nicky Rehbok)MEDIA CONTACTS • Tiyani RikhotsoGCIS Chief Director: 2010 Fifa World Cup+27 12 314 2834• Margaret DingaloIMC Director: Stakeholder Relations+27 11 483 0122USEFUL LINKS• GCIS• Brand South Africa• National Communication Partnership• South African Police Service• South Africa: 2010• Fifa 2010 World CupJanine ErasmusThe fourth and final edition of the 2010 National Communication Partnership Conference saw communications experts from the private and public sector pledging to use their Confederations Cup experience to deliver an outstanding 2010 Fifa World Cup.The football spectacular kicks off on 11 June 2010 and ends 30 days later.The one-day conference was an initiative of the International Marketing Council (IMC) and Government Communications and Information System (GCIS).It aimed to provide professional communicators with the tools to launch an intensified and coordinated 2010 strategy, which will reach as many people as possible and set off a wave of excitement and support that will sweep the entire continent.“The World Cup is South Africa’s next defining moment,” said acting IMC CEO Paul Bannister in his welcoming address. “This is going to influence how the rest of the world looks at us from now on. We have to get it right – who knows when the next defining moment will be?”Among the issues discussed were the safety and security of fans, the mobilisation of people across the continent, and the increased use of tools, such as the diski dance and the national anthem, to build excitement and national cohesion.The diski dance is as unique a facet of South African football as is the vuvuzela and the makarapa (a somewhat modified hard hat). The dance borrows much of its style from the Beautiful Game, and with moves like the Header, the Juggle and the Table Mountain, it is as infectious as the spirit of optimism that is fast pervading the nation.Safety firstMinister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele said in his keynote address that his department’s prime responsibility is to get fans to the stadiums safely and on time, and back to their hotels afterwards.With around 500 000 fans expected to pour into the country during June and July 2010, said Ndebele, the safety of both citizens and visitors is non-negotiable.A tighter national strategy and better coordination between national and provincial government, he said, will assure fans of a secure environment. Part of this tighter strategy included the establishment of a single command structure to run the entire plan.Ndebele praised South Africa’s law enforcement agencies, saying that they have proven their capability during previous international sporting events. “They will continue to improve on their capacity to deal with crime incidents and will be ready to neutralise any potential threat.”He added that his department is waiting for Fifa’s final draw, which takes place on 4 December 2009. “Then we will have a better idea of where the big crowds will be and can plan accordingly, especially for the smaller metropolitan areas that may not be fully equipped to deal with huge crowds.”The transport department’s 2010 strategy involves a combination of various modes of transport including buses, trains and taxis.Negotiations with the local minibus taxi sector, which earlier in 2009 protested over the Rea Vaya bus rapid transport system, were continuing, but the minister expected a positive outcome.“Rea Vaya will go ahead,” he affirmed. “There is no turning back.”Feedback from the Confederations Cup, he said, was mostly positive but aspects such as the park and ride system still needed attention. These will not be neglected, he added.Marketing opportunityLocal Organising Committee (LOC) chair Irvin Khoza encouraged the country to make the most of the forthcoming extravaganza, and to understand the enormity of the project.“We won’t get another marketing opportunity like in this in the next 100 years,” he said, referring to the chance to promote South Africa in all its diversity to the international community.With the Confederations Cup now behind them, he said, the focus is firmly on the big event and communication must move into top gear. “We need to feel that the show is in town. This is the real deal.”Khoza likened the upcoming World Cup to a television commercial for South Africa, except that its duration is 30 days instead of 30 seconds.“This commercial will be watched by billions around the globe,” said Khoza, “and it is our chance to present South Africa as a dynamic and exciting place to visit”.Khoza said that the biggest legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, besides national pride, skills development, better infrastructure and more, would be to bury what he termed “Afro-pessimism”, and show that South Africa is on a par with developed nations in this sphere.He also urged South Africans to support all six African teams, and to shift support to a team from Africa should national team Bafana Bafana fail to make it to the later stages.Panel discussionsThe conference featured two panel discussions, chaired by TV veteran Jeremy Maggs and Paul Bannister respectively.The first session, centred on Confederations Cup feedback, featured transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele; Sindiswa Nhlumayo, deputy director-general in the Department of Tourism; Ron DelMont of Fifa’s local office; LOC marketing chief Derek Carstens; Gab Mampone, acting CEO of the embattled South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC); and assistant police commissioner Ben Groenewald.Each assured the audience that their departments and organisations were hard at work to address the flaws revealed during the Confederations Cup.Ndebele promised that the park and ride system would be overhauled, and that there would be smoother coordination between the various transport modes.Nhlumayo said the focus of her department would be on service excellence.“We want those 500 000 visitors to go home and become ambassadors for South Africa,” she said. “In this way we will penetrate markets we have not yet reached.”She mentioned that the tourism department had enlisted the help of the Disney Institute, the professional development and training arm of the Walt Disney Company, to conduct research, identify the weak spots and implement best practices across all service areas.She also announced the October 2009 launch of the National Service Excellence Initiative. This is a private-public partnership with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa to develop greater levels of service excellence, thereby increasing the sector’s US$19.7-billion (R159-billion) contribution to the South African economy, and ensuring its global competitiveness.South African Police Service (SAPS) assistant commissioner Groenewald stated emphatically that fans would be safe. The dry run of the Confederations Cup was a big success overall, he said, although there were a few critical areas that needed attention. Lack of communication and not enough standard operating procedures were identified as shortcomings that would be addressed.Fifa’s DelMont said the organisation was happy with the progress to date. He mentioned that although four stadiums were used for the Confederations Cup, there remained another six untried stadiums around the country. DelMont encouraged the six host cities to follow the example of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, which hosted events in its brand-new stadium before the Confederations Cup, and was therefore able to assess its performance in a live situation.Derek Carstens of the LOC reported that crucial targets for the Confederations Cup had been met. As an example, he said that ticket sales for the South African event had matched that of Germany, and in a world recession to boot.The LOC is also awaiting the final Fifa draw in December, said Carstens. “Then we will start driving hard.”Mampone of the SABC assured all present that the organisation would deliver on its promises. “Our plans are well advanced, and the resources we will need had been set aside a long time ago.”In broadcasting terms, he said, the Confederations Cup saw excellence all around, with over 200 countries receiving consistent high-quality signals.World media perceptionBetween panel sessions, the audience watched presentations by Wadim Schreiner of Media Tenor SA and Jos Kuper of Kuper Research.Schreiner spoke on the world media perception of South Africa and the 2010 Fifa World Cup, obtained through a survey of 42 countries across June and July 2009. Research revealed that, while recent strike action had dented the country’s image slightly, on the whole South Africa had recovered from its lowest point in May 2008 during the xenophobia attacks.He said it was likely that South Africa would receive strong international media attention from now until June 2010.Kuper reported that active engagement through, for example, the diski dance and the national anthem was crucial in order to stir up 2010 fever among South Africans.Igniting the nationThe second panel discussion, hosted by Paul Bannister, carried the theme Igniting the nation to deliver.Panellists included Rich Mkhondo and Derek Carstens of the LOC; Mvuzo Mbebe of the SABC; Wendy Tlou of South African Tourism; Kwakye Donkor of the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa; Themba Maseko of GCIS; Vish Naidoo of the South African Police Services; German branding guru Nikolaus Eberl; and David Smith of the Foreign Correspondents Association.All agreed that a multi-faceted strategy was necessary to galvanise the nation. Early and effective communication was needed, not only to reach the thousands of visitors but also the expected 18 000 media professionals.“We don’t want them to report on just the football while they’re here,” said Mkhondo.Maseko of GCIS agreed that communication was the key to delivering the best World Cup ever.“We need to develop an appropriate and resounding communication strategy,” he commented. “As government, we have set up a number of structures to enhance our marketing and communication plan and to ensure that government speaks in one voice.”To overcome communication and cultural barriers, said Naidoo, the SAPS plans to enlist police officers from other countries and bring them to South Africa to visibly patrol in their uniforms. This will help the SAPS to effectively police foreign nationals.UK journalist Smith commented that while the controversial issue of a “Plan B” host was over, the question of South Africa’s readiness was yet to be firmly established in the UK. “This is because we didn’t have a team in the Confederations Cup and there wasn’t much coverage,” he said.Smith encouraged the local media to accentuate the positives, but to be truthful about any shortcomings.The way forwardThe second part of the conference included four breakout sessions under the themes: domestic mobilisation, tourism, communication, and continental mobilisation. During the sessions participants pooled their ideas for boosting South Africa’s brand.The communication group decided to strengthen existing campaigns, and to integrate them in order to promote a positive attitude. For instance, the Football Friday strategy adopted by hotel group Southern Sun could be developed into a national event to be held later in the year.Getting the country behind the national football team, anthem, and flag were important elements of domestic mobilisation. The group also suggested the composition of a 2010 song.Continental mobilisation would benefit from better communication and wider access to information, it was decided. South African embassies abroad need more information, possibly in the form of an information package which could be easily distributed. It was suggested that other key events across the continent could be linked to the World Cup.The tourism group concluded that the diski dance and Fly the Flag for Football campaigns need to be used more extensively, in order to entrench them in the nation’s consciousness. It was suggested that the dance be taken to schools and performed at every domestic football game from now on.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.last_img read more

Taksali leaders are B-team of the Congress, says Sukhbir

first_imgShiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said by tying up with former Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Taksali leaders have proved themselves to be the Congress ‘B-team’.Taksali (old guard) leaders MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Sewa Singh Sekhwan and Rattan Singh Ajnala had formed SAD (Taksali) party after raising a banner of revolt against the SAD leadership. SAD (Taksali) is now part of the Punjab Democratic Alliance which comprises Khaira’s Punjabi Ekta Party, Bains brothers and suspended AAP MP Dharmvira Gandhi. “The so called Taksali leaders have proved that they are the B-team of the Congress by tying up with another closeted Congressman Sukhpal Singh Khaira,” Mr. Badal alleged. Interacting with party workers at Attari and Baba Bakala, the SAD president said however much Mr. Brahmpura may deny his Congress links, the tie-up with former AAP leader Khaira has proved that he as well as Mr. Sekhwan and Mr. Ajnala were working as per the “Congress party’s agenda”.‘Conspiracy hatched’ “Mr. Brahmpura hatched a conspiracy during a meeting with the Chief Mnister. However he denies this… but the people will never forgive him for betraying his ‘panthic’ past to become a Congress agent,” he alleged.last_img read more

Rahul Gandhi reaffirms Amethi connect

first_imgCongress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday reaffirmed his personal connection with Amethi on his maiden visit to the Uttar Pradesh constituency after suffering a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha election.“I am happy to be in Amethi. It feels like coming home,” he tweeted.Earlier, addressing Congress workers at the Gauriganj Guesthouse in Amethi, Mr. Gandhi assured them that though he was elected MP for Wayanad in Kerala, he would not abandon the U.P. constituency and would continue to visit it.“Don’t think that Rahul Gandhi is not yours,” he told them in an indoor meeting.He said he would continue to raise the shortcomings of the Union and the State governments regarding Amethi in the Lok Sabha.Mr. Gandhi explained to the workers that it was his responsibility to develop Wayanad, but he would also give time to Amethi.“Don’t you think I won’t come here. I will keep coming here,” he said to loud claps from party workers.The Congress leader advised his party workers to start doing the job of the Opposition in the constituency. Referring to corruption and the state of the economy and trade, he said there was no shortage of issues. “It is more fun doing the work of the Opposition. It’s easier,” Mr. Gandhi said in a lighter vein.Sarvesh Singh, who was the chairman of the Congress election committee in Amethi, said the meeting lasted two hours and was attended by over 1,200 people.Mr. Singh said that while there was no discussion on the factors behind his defeat, Mr. Gandhi told the workers that there may have been “shortcomings” from both ends, his and the workers, leading to the defeat. Victory and defeat are a part of life, he told the workers.Mr. Gandhi ignored the workers’ requests to continue as party president, Mr. Singh said.last_img read more

Snow Queen: Kim dominates to take gold in women’s halfpipe

first_imgMOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. So is her riding.Competing in front of her extended family, a group that included her Korean-born parents and her South Korean grandmother, and apparently on an empty stomach — she actually tweeted during the competition that she was “hangry” after failing to finish her breakfast sandwich — Kim put on a show that delivered on her considerable pre-Olympic hype. She put together a 93.75 during her first run, one that included just one 1080, not the two that have become her trademark. No matter. The perfection-flirting third run provided a cathartic exclamation point.“I knew that I did put down a really good first run, but I was also like, ‘I can do better than that. I can one up myself,’” Kim said.She’s the only one.Liu Jiayu took silver with an 89.75 to become the first Chinese snowboarder to medal at the Olympics. Gold, who pondered retirement last summer, overcame a dislocated shoulder suffered during training to edge teammate and three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark for third.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises PH bet Tio, Swedish star Kappel top kiteboard Boracay leg Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next She’ll figure it out as she goes.“The one thing I learned was just give everything a shot,” she said. “You don’t want to live in regret. I feel like no regrets is the best way to go.” 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Kim’s parents were born in South Korea and moved to the United States, putting their daughter in an interesting position heading into her first Olympics.While she understands the urge to build a narrative around her that turns her into a connective tissue of sorts between the host country and the one she calls home, it’s one she has politely sidestepped. She views herself as just a kid from Torrance, California, who likes music, the mall, ice cream and, oh, by the way, putting down the kind of gravity-escaping, physics challenging runs that have made her a dominant force in her sport.Kim would have made the Olympic team with ease four years ago, only to have the calendar get in the way. She was 13 at the time, too young to make the trip to Russia. She entered the quadrennium between the games with the kind of expectations reserved for the Shaun Whites of the snowboarding world. She has exceeded every one.Standing atop the hill at calm and brilliant Phoenix Snow Park — a stark contrast to the windy mess that turned the women’s slopestyle final into an ugly, borderline unsafe and crash-filled mess 24 hours earlier — Kim looked down at the crowd that included her parents, three sisters, three aunts, two cousins and her grandmother Moon Jung ae and proceeded to waste little time while turning the final into a global coming-out party.She drilled her opening set, throwing in a 1080 — basically, three twists high above the pipe — before following it with a pair of flips (or “corks”). Kim celebrated at the end, pumping her fists as “USA! USA!” chants rained down. When her score flashed, she clasped her hands atop her head and drank in the moment.Kim’s teammates made serious bids to give the Americans only their fourth-ever Olympic podium sweep.Gold, who dislocated her right shoulder during training for the Sochi Olympics and didn’t compete then barely made the 12-woman final, brushed off a fall during her first run and stomped an 85.75 on her third run. Clark, the 2002 Olympic champion still going strong at age 34, couldn’t quite catch Gold with an 83.50.Liu came the closest to providing Kim with a serious threat. She threw down a 89.75 during her first set to take the lead, only to watch Kim top it during her first run moments later.Liu then washed out on her last trip down the longest Olympic halfpipe since the sport made its debut in 1998, turning Kim’s last run into a victory lap. Rather than playing it safe, she went for it.Her No. 1 bib soaring into the South Korean sky, she put on a display that left the rest of the field and the thousands packed near the finish roaring their approval and vaulting her to a level of stardom she’s not quite sure she’s prepared for. Kim is well aware she’ll become a role model for other Korean American kids whether she wants the role or not. AFP official booed out of forumcenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LATEST STORIES Chloe Kim, of the United States, celebrates winning gold in the women’s halfpipe finals at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Gold medal already in hand and Olympic dream fully realized, Chloe Kim could have turned her third and final run in the women’s snowboarding final into a victory lap.Only she didn’t. She couldn’t. Gold medals are nice and all, but to the 17-year-old star, the journey is the point, not the destination. It’s about proving something. Not to quiet whatever doubters may remain in a sport where she’s stamping herself as an all-time great as a teenager, but to herself.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers So she went for it. She had no choice.“I knew that if I went home with a gold medal knowing I could do better, I wasn’t going to be satisfied,” Kim said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThat shouldn’t be a problem. Kim turned her coronation into an exclamation point, stomping a pair of 1080 spins (three complete turns), then practically diving into a hug with American teammate and bronze medal winner Arielle Gold to seal a moment four years in the making.“I don’t really know what’s happening and I’m actually feeling a little anxious right now,” Kim said. “I’m a little overwhelmed. But this is the best outcome I could ever ask for and it’s been such a long journey. Ahhh, just going home with the gold is amazing.” Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH View commentslast_img read more