sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd BrandArena: Magna Carta marks 20 Years of managing Africa’s Blue Chip Clients

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Magna Carta marks 20 Years of managing Africa’s Blue Chip Clients

Magna Carta has marked its twentieth year by celebrating its evolution from a traditional public relations firm to a truly global African reputation management consultancy, highlighting the firm’s ongoing commitment to evolve along with the rapidly changing media and information landscape.

Since its birth in 1994, the year of South Africa’s first democratic elections, the Johannesburg-based company has grown into one of Africa’s most recognised reputation management consultancy offering the full spectrum of new media positioning solutions. Its long-term client base includes the likes of Standard Bank, Engen, Deloitte, Oxford University Press, Samsung, Syngenta, Emirates Airlines, Starwood, Medscheme, Bonitas, Vedanta and Eskom as well as a rapidly expanding portfolio of new business opportunities.

“In acknowledging the enormous success that Magna Carta has enjoyed over the last 20 years of managing the reputations of Africa’s top companies we now have to confront ourselves with where we go next,”  Vincent Magwenya, CEO of Magna Carta said at the side-lines of the consultancy’s Africa network conference.

“The massive changes that have taken place in the manner  news and information is disseminated and consumed, along with ever-evolving regulatory regimes, means that we have to be agile enough to adapt to the threats and opportunities faced by both our clients and ourselves.”

In keeping with its philosophy of continual evolution, Magna Carta revitalized its service offering at the end of last year to mark its transition from a public relations agency to a consultancy offering the full ambit of end-to-end reputation management solutions. New services include Investor Relations geared to take companies from an initial public offering through to defined market positioning; Advanced Media Training covering digital, print, financial and broadcast channels; and Public Affairs Management that assist clients in their advocacy efforts on regulation and policy.

Magna Carta’s Investor Relations unit has already built up a significant portfolio of clients while the Public Affairs team has four active briefs at present covering both regulatory and policy advocacy. Advanced Media Training has been rolled out to several of the company’s long-standing clients and is rapidly gaining a reputation as the go-to outfit to prepare for media engagement.

“Our transition to a Reputation Management Consultancy is not just a matter of semantics but a fundamental shift in how we do business,” says Magwenya. “Our comprehensive service offering analyses and assists on all factors that impact a client’s reputation, either positively or negatively.”

Magna Carta has also bolstered its presence on the rest of the African continent over the last eight years through the creation of a 16-country partner network, which includes six new affiliate agreements with consultancies in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Zambia and Angola. The company is also currently in the process of securing an additional affiliate agreement with a partner in Mozambique.

“The six new affiliate agreements carry a level of exclusivity that includes access to our intellectual property as well as some of our most senior consultants,” said Magwenya. “This gives us an almost unrivalled breadth and reach on the continent which is a compelling competitive advantage for us when serving clients that are expanding their own operations throughout Africa.”

During the course of 2014 Magna Carta has been able to on-board a prestigious portfolio of new clients that include Transnet Port Terminals, British American Tobacco SA, Clicks, Pernod Ricard, Nissan, Basil Read Group, Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Shanghai Zendai and Pembury. In addition to this, Magna Carta is also working on a strong pipeline of additional new business opportunities.

“It’s been a productive year, we are on track to deliver on the financial targets agreed with our shareholder TBWA,” says Magwenya. “That’s due to our strong track record of being able to retain our key clients as well as our ability to attract new business.”

In line with its evolving service offering, Magna Carta continues to attract top reputation management talent while also investing in building the capacity of its existing employees.  The company continues to research and integrate global best practice into the service of its clients by leveraging its partnership with TBWA as well as its exclusive African affiliation with Ketchum.

“Our clients’ reputation journey is also our journey - from navigating complex policy and regulatory environments to finding relevant ways of engaging on digital platforms and enabling clients to meet the expectations of today’s consumers and investors,” says Magwenya. “Thanks to our strong partnerships we can confidently say that we as Magna Carta are a truly global African Reputation Management Consultancy.”

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