Associate Professor Terri Grant, head of the Professional Communication Unit (PCU) in the commerce faculty's School of Management Studies, will host the first ever Association for Business Communication (ABC) conference in Africa from 6 to 8 January 2016.
The ABC is an international body committed to excellence in business communication scholarship, research, education and practice.
Titled "Figuratively speaking – the facts and fictions of business and corporate communication", the conference will bring together academics and practitioners to debate and discuss the opportunities and pitfalls that characterise and inform global communications.
"More than ever, questions of communicative honesty, integrity, transparency and disclosure are being asked of individuals, companies, even countries," said Grant, co-author with colleague Rea Borcherds of Communicating @ Work, now in its third edition.
"Sustainability may have become a buzzword but as we witness the unsustainable actions that have destroyed large entities, it should remain a watchword," she added.
As a multidisciplinary conference, themes comprise a variety of topics from professional discourse to financial literacy, from change communication and diversity management to digital and virtual communication. Stakeholder relations, brand and reputation management are key topics.
Reporting on the conference, Cape Times columnist Pierre Heistein commented: "This uptake of personal internet access not only gives customers more access to change the message around company branding, but it also gives companies new access to create a conversation with their customers – if they choose to do so."
And choose to do so they must if they wish to avoid the crises and ethical dilemmas so often reported in the press, says Grant.
A number of interesting names and topics already features on the schedule, including international academics and workplace practitioners. Keynote speaker Mervyn King will speak on the role of communication in corporate governance while Rob Paddock, co-founder of Getsmarter, will discuss digital platforms and online education.
Judge Dennis Davis will chair a panel comprising financial journalist Bruce Cameron, executive producer of Carte Blanche George Mazarakis, and international academics and practitioners Professors Gina Poncini and Melvin Ayogu.
Photo by Michael Hammond.
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