Journalism runs through my veins. Though I studied Economics, I wanted to be a journalist because I like muckraking. Several years after I left the profession for the proper corporate and became enamored with the important contributory work of public policy lobbying and government relations, I remain alive to the fact that without telling the story which builds or protects reputation, these new-fangled communication realms go nowhere.
That is why during the course of 17 hours of flight from Nairobi to Atlanta via London for #JourneyOn, I spent the idle time reading stories – in newspapers or downloaded onto my iPad. I spent a disproportionate amount of time reading about the erratic Malaysian flight and the probable ill-fate of those who were on board, but also the PR challenge facing the team at Malaysian Airlines. This story is being told for Malaysian Airlines by experts from all walks plus and every Tom, Dick and Hurry. Torrid!
In my role as the Public Affairs lead for Coca-Cola in East Africa, I write so many stories every week, some just speeches for my bosses – they are stories. I maintain the traditional newsroom style of printing and revising my articles with a pen then I make the changes on the computer. I always try to own the initiative. But we live in unprecedented times. People will want to tell your story. They will try to set your agenda.
So on my first day at the #JourneyOn training, it
was reassuring to know from our SVP of Public Affairs and Communications, Clyde Tuggle, that while the platforms for telling
stories may have changed since he first worked on the hard copy magazine of Journey
in 1989, the fact that those stories must continue to be told is not up for
debate. In the so-called "liquid and linked" flat world, where journalism has
been redefined, my challenge is to leg up for the new platforms to tell the story
The Public Affairs and Communications function is nimble enough and adequately equipped to tell the Coca-Cola system story in an era where all the rules have changed but the game remains the same.
It is a mark of the peerless greatness and innovativeness of The Coca-Cola Company that we have premised to make journalism core to telling our system story using our own platforms so we can shape our destiny as those before have done. #CokeJourney is an incredible platform for me to tell the system story of an East African market that is not only diverse with opportunity and challenge in equal measure, but also a pace setter in new edge information communication technology (ICT) adoption.Bob Okello is Public Affairs and Government Relations Manager at the