The calamity that recently hit Botswana Telecommunications Corporation which placed it at the top search of social media following the employee’s social misconduct.
A Botswana Stock Exchange-listed communications service provider that strives to operate and deliver to a truly international standard found itself delivering more than what it strives to offer, and yes, to the international eye.
Social media trembled with the news that Mmamotse Monageng, the General Manager-Support Services and Human Resource, and Sydney Mganga, the company secretary, allegedly had interconnections and relationships with multiple partners, which is the same as the employer deeming itself as having interconnections and relationships with multiple service providers in the region, and a trusted partner for provisioning of services to neighbouring countries. Are they still trusted? The point is that trust is earned.
The Business Perspective: Analysing Organisational Brand Positioning
The dishonourable behaviour of corporate leaders can have serious impacts on the reputation and performance of their organisations. In the position of Mrs Monageng, she should have known better. As Human Resources practitioner, you are expected to be the mediator between the management and the employees, resolving any issues that may arise, one of them being sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace.
HR is expected to create a positive and inclusive work culture that aligns with the company’s vision and values. Corporate leaders have a responsibility to act with integrity, honesty and respect in all their business practices and promote a culture of ethical conduct within their organisations to avoid lack of trust and confidence from stakeholders such as customers, employees, investors, regulators and the public. In some cases, the organisation can be exposed to legal risks.
It seems some corporate leaders do not look beyond their social statuses for the benefits of the organisations they lead, including the impact that their social engagements and behaviours have on the organisation. Social media can be a powerful tool for communication, marketing and engagement. But on the other hand, it can carry several threats to a company’s credibility and reputation. This comes with a possibility of serious harm from negative comments, reviews or feedback from social media users about an organisation or its employees.
Therefore, the expectations and obligations of all stakeholders are that the penalties for handling social media incidents must be clearly communicated while organisations should also keep an eye on and respond quickly to their social media presence. Trending corporate social media topics can have a significant influence on competitors in the same industry. Therefore, an organisation should take Organisational Brand Positioning as a tool to create a distinctive and memorable image of the organisation in the minds of its customers, differentiate itself from the competitors and communicate unique approach.
In her Journal titled “Brand Positioning and Brand Creation,” Anne Bahr Thompson says “If a brand is to be a source of value for an organisation, its positioning in the market and the minds of consumers will be critical to the actual value created. Positioning starts with a product, a piece of merchandise, a service, an institution, or even a person. But positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect.”
Similarly, in their 1981 book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout define Positioning as “owning a credible and profitable ‘position’ in the consumer’s mind, either by getting there first or by adopting a position relative to the competition, or by repositioning the competition”. A continued positive Organisational Brand Positioning can lead to increased brand awareness.