Public affairs

Corporate Image public affairs icon

Corporate Image was founded in 1987 primarily as a public affairs consultancy.

Our experience in dealing with a range of stakeholders and issues spans nearly three decades. The company is retained by a number of national and multinational companies to research, analyse and identify socio-political trends and developments which affect their business.

‘Public affairs’ is a term generally used to describe a company’s relationship with external stakeholders and as an industry has evolved over the last 20 years to being an operational necessity. Stakeholders could range from politicians to public servants, environmental pressure groups, local communities, trade associations, think tanks, business groups, charities and unions. While public affairs is often confused with lobbying, the latter is in fact only one aspect. Importantly, PR activities should never put a strain on public affairs relationships.

We have been extensively involved over the years with the financial, industrial and political sectors. Corporate Image has completed successful bids or tenders in key industries including those in contentious industries. We have also conducted successful JSE listings, communications with organised labour, investment issues, major corporate image revamps, and employee programmes ranging from transformation to share schemes.

Our aim is to help influence public policy, build and maintain a strong reputation and find common ground with stakeholders. We help companies engage stakeholders to explain organisational policies and views on public policy issues, assisting policy makers and legislators in amending or introducing better policy and law. Additionally, Corporate Image assists in providing statistical and empirical information, and lobby on issues which could impact a client’s ability to operate successfully.

We have developed a bespoke stakeholder mapping tool that assists companies in prioritising stakeholders and issues, and acting on these in an organised and methodical way. We identify influencers in the digital space so that our clients can interact on the platforms most used by those who influence their licence to trade.

Additionally, Corporate Image assist clients to appreciate, prioritise and then engage with their most important stakeholders. We help our clients engage across the spectrum, from those at community level to global organisations and transnational pressure groups. Our task is to help influence the influencers and provide the credible information required to make an informed decision about policy.

We work with a range of academics and advisors to help formulate options to public policy initiatives and investigate a range of information that could be useful in influencing those who affect our clients’ licence to trade. From economists to social and political scientists, we have a range of experts at our disposal who work together with us to create a platform for discussion, debate and coalition building.

Corporate Image’s goal is to help open doors for our clients, even in controversial industries. We help to recruit third party activists or ambassadors in support of the company’s viewpoint, and have good relationships with a wide range of influencers who work at community, trade and political levels and work together with them in advocacy programmes which enables sensible and well researched public policy or views in support of the company’s strategy.

With access to some of the continent’s finest thinkers, we supplement their research know-how and credibility with traditional political research tools to prepare defensive strategies for clients who may be facing negative criticism from activists, legal opponents or politicians.

We help interpret detailed data from myriad sources to present a comprehensive yet easily accessible summary, which enables our clients to react appropriately to changes that could affect their business. We help diagnose information from a wide variety of sources which could pose a threat to our clients. Our crisis management expertise complements our research and analysis capability.

Our ability to access social and political scientists and economists means that we have access to some of the best industry research available across a multitude of industries, from problem gambling to the politics of road-building and the economic impact of tourism.

As a fully accredited, through-the-line advertising agency, Corporate Image is the agency of record to a range of clients who require innovative advertising to influence a wide range of stakeholders. From educational campaigns seeking to change behaviour, to advertising which explains a company’s position on a contentious issue, we have the capability to create high impact issues advocacy, social investment or public policy campaigns which build both understanding and reputation.


Our clients

“We are able to contact them at all hours of the day and night, nothing is too much trouble, and I look upon Corporate Image’s MD as one of our most valuable assets.”
Chairman, one of SA’s largest retailers
“Thank you so much for all you have done for us at a pivotal time in needing to communicate the outcomes of the retail turnaround relative to what we set out to do.”
Director of one of the “big four” JSE-listed banks
“Many PR firms dispense advice, but very few genuinely understand the context and challenges facing corporate PR departments and are able to put themselves in the client’s shoes before suggesting a course of action.”
Communications Manager, JSE-listed telecoms company
A key attribute which sets them apart is their international experience and the ability to take corporate head office decisions and turn those into operational reality across multiple countries”.
Communications Manager, JSE-listed telecoms company
“I can’t say enough about the team at Corporate Image. The service they provide is the absolute best – they understand our business and our unique needs which ensure productivity and proven results.”
PR Manager, major JSE-listed leisure company