Corporate Affairs Director

What does a corporate affairs director do?

Corporate affairs directors are responsible for creating and communicating a favourable public image for employers or clients. They often do this through media campaigns designed to reach investors, consumers, employees, industry analysts, customers, government agencies and other stakeholders.

A corporate affairs director’s tasks may include the following:

  • use working relationships with clients, government officials and media representatives to develop new business opportunities
  • write press releases, prepare information for media kits, and develop and maintain company internet or intranet web pages
  • identify main client groups and audiences, and develop and implement a communication plan
  • assign, supervise and review the activities of public relations staff
  • develop and maintain the company’s corporate image and identity, which includes the use of logos and signage
  • direct activities of external agencies, establishments and departments that develop and implement communication strategies and information programmes
  • draft speeches for company executives, and arrange interviews and other forms of contact for them.

Interview with a corporate affairs director

Kershnee Govender | CORPORATE AFFAIRS DIRECTOR | M-NET

Why corporate affairs?
From a very young age, I’ve had a passion for storytelling and the written word. That, coupled with my penchant for engaging with people, made choosing a career in corporate affairs an easy decision. These inherent skills allow me to tell the corporate story to key stakeholders through the disciplines I oversee: corporate marketing, corporate communication, events, and corporate social investment.

What training did you do?
I have a BA (Hons) Degree in Organisational Communication from the University of South Africa. I am also an accredited Chartered Public Relations Practitioner with PRISA.

What type of personality is best suited to this work?
Corporate affairs work is fast-paced and highly pressurised, and no two days are ever the same. If you want to succeed in this industry, it’s about the hunger to learn, the willingness to get your hands dirty, possessing curiosity and passion, and always testing that what you do is aligned to the organisation’s strategic goals.

Experience vs training?
Formal training is important because it gives you the foundation of what the career is about and the theory aids understanding of how things come together. Having said that, the experience is what catapults one to the next level. I mean, if we look at M-Net alone, my time here has allowed me to learn so much about the broadcasting industry, and the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from past positions has assisted in my growing and positioning the M-Net brand.

Describe a typical day
I oversee the following functions: corporate marketing, corporate communication, corporate social investment and corporate events. By managing these disciplines, the M-Net corporate brand is positioned through strategic sponsorship and advertising opportunities, targeted socio-economic development programmes, strategic corporate communication messaging to all stakeholders, and relationship-building efforts via eventing.

Any exciting new ventures going on at the moment?
M-Net Magic in Motion is M-Net’s rebranded Corporate Social Investment initiative that comprises two flagship initiatives: the M-Net Magic in Motion Academy and the M-Net Career Expo. In August 2015, the M-Net Magic in Motion Career Expo targeting Grade 11 learners will be held in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. We want to showcase the many and diverse careers on offer in this very exciting film and television industry and create awareness of opportunities at an early age. Entry is free, so we encourage all learners to follow us on twitter@MNetMM for key dates and times.

What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
As a firebrand of youth development and transformation, I was behind the launch of the M-Net Magic in Motion initiative, with one of the initiatives being the M-Net Magic in Motion Academy. The academy offers high-achieving graduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to fast track their experience in the industry to secure gainful employment. The M-Net Magic in Motion campaign has seen stakeholders from all corners of the industry rallying behind it and lending their support to the initiative, which is just growing in leaps and bounds! However, what is definitely most rewarding for us as a team is observing the tangible difference we are making to 12 of the country’s best film and television students

Describe your job in three words
Professional, creative and strategic.

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED?

Corporate affairs directors typically need a bachelor’s degree, preferably in public relations, journalism, communications, English or business. Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, political science, and creative and technical writing are helpful. Some employers prefer a master’s degree in public relations or journalism. Experience in public relations is a huge advantage.

WHAT SUBJECTS DO I NEED?

Contact each institution for their specific requirements, but these subjects are recommended: 
• Languages

WHERE CAN I STUDY?

Durban University of Technology
Advertising, Corporate Branding and Marketing
www.dut.ac.za

University of the Witwatersrand
Degree: Public Relations and Communication
www.wits.ac.za

North-West University
Degree: Public Relations and Communication
www.nwu.ac.za

University of Johannesburg
Degree: Public Relations and Communication
www.uj.ac.za

University of Pretoria
Bachelor of Commerce: Communication Management
www.up.ac.za

UNISA
Bachelor of Arts: Communication Science
www.unisa.ac.za

Cape Peninsula University of Technology
National Diploma: Public Relations Management
www.cput.ac.za

Tshwane University of Technology
National Diploma: Public Relations Management
www.tut.ac.za

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFO?

Africa Institute of South Africa: Corporate Affairs, Outreach and International Liaison (OIL) Division - www.ai.org.za
Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa - www.prisa.co.za
Institute of Marketing Management - www.imm.co.za

Sources:
www.woman.thenest.com
www.careersportal.ie