WHO WE ARE
Tony Leon – Executive Chairman
Tony has extensive political leadership experience in South Africa and the world. After having served as leader of the opposition in the South African Parliament, he was appointed by President Zuma as SA Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, where he enhanced trading, commercial and public diplomacy ties very considerably. An accomplished writer, he is the author of four books and writes a weekly newspaper column, lectures to corporates and high-end audiences locally and overseas; has extensive network of business, government and media contacts. He has been awarded Fellowships to Harvard University, the Cato Institute of Washington DC and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies. His background is in law, and he is an attorney of the High Court. He was one of the key negotiators of South Africa’s democratic constitution.
Gavin Davis – Chief Executive Officer
Gavin was previously a Member of the South African Parliament from 2014 to 2018, where he served on the Communications, Basic Education and Energy Portfolio Committees. Before then, he held several other high level posts in politics and government including as Communications Director for the Democratic Alliance, Special Advisor to the Premier of the Western Cape and Chief of Staff to the leader of the opposition. He has also lived in London where he worked at a public relations consultancy and at the UK Electoral Commission. Gavin has a BA (honours) in politics from Rhodes University, an MA in politics from the University of Cape Town and recently completed an MSc in economic policy from the University of London. He has published numerous articles and papers on politics and communications.
Lauren Kent – Chief Operations Officer
Lauren is an attorney with a background in commercial and insurance dispute resolution at a pre-eminent global law firm where she advised and represented multi-national corporates, financial services institutions, and professionals including auditors, engineers, architects and other attorneys. She holds an LLM in commercial law (awarded with distinction) from the University of Cape Town, where she lectured in commercial law and co-authored the Commentary on the Companies Act, 2008.
Nick Clelland – Strategic Advisor
Nick is a communications strategist and one of the founders of Resolve. He was elected to the Durban Metropolitan Council in 1996 and as a Member of Parliament in 1999 at the age of 27. Nick has directed political communications operations on three continents: he was Director of Strategic Communications for the Western Cape Government in South Africa, headed up media communications for the Auckland City Council in New Zealand and, in Britain, was part of the Media Team for the Liberal Democrats’ 2005 General Election campaign. He was Director of Communications for South Africa’s Democratic Alliance and served as Chief of Staff for the Mayor of Auckland. He is the author of Spin: The Art of Managing the Media (Penguin 2018).
Liesl Peyper – Principal Consultant
Liesl is a communications consultant with extensive experience in political economy. An accomplished journalist, she has worked as a political correspondent for a number of online and print publications in the Media24 stable. Having reported from Parliament, she is well acquainted with parliamentary and legislative processes and procedures. Liesl also has extensive experience in the corporate communications sphere where she was responsible for media campaigns, including the drafting of press releases and opinion pieces. Her past work experience includes teaching English in South Korea and being a government spokesperson. She majored in English and Economics and has a master’s degree in journalism.
Sithabiso Ndhlovu – Client Liaison Associate
Sithabiso has experience in traditional and digital communications in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. She holds a BSc in Journalism and Media Studies from the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe, as well as various qualifications from the Civic Education Network, the Radio Netherlands Training Centre, the Global Health Training Centre and Google Africa. She is currently studying towards an MSc in Gender and Policy Studies with the University of Great Zimbabwe.
WHAT WE DO
We influence government policy, at all levels,
to align with your business needs.
We change people’s minds about you.
We take your issue to the heart of the public debate.
We are at your side throughout the media storm.
1. Lobbying and Advocacy
We navigate our clients through the political landscape with tailor-made plans aimed at changing political opinion and winning public support.
We connect our clients with relevant decision makers and stakeholders who can affect their organisations.
We give our clients the strategic understanding of how best to achieve their required outcomes.
We place our clients – and their business needs – at the centre of the policy -making process
We enlist and leverage influential third party advocates to foster a multiplicity of views complimentary to those of our clients
We craft integrated and impactful campaigns that win public support for our clients.
Case Study - Lobbying and Advocacy
Our client – a major player in their industry – faced an uncertain future with the introduction of new legislation the effect of which would have completely destroyed their future business prospects. As part of a Strategic Plan, Resolve Communications:
- Conceptualised and instigated the formation of the Industry Association through which our client’s interests could be articulated on an industry-wide basis.
- Developed an industry-wide response to the Legislation in the form of media messages and formal Parliamentary submissions.
- Ensured all of the constituent Industry Association members’ Parliamentary submissions were on-message
- Trained all of the constituent Industry Association members’ on Parliamentary procedure and prepared them for their specific oral public submissions to the Portfolio Committee.
- Leveraged an independent report citing the massive potential economic benefits of the industry to South Africa with a prominent headline story with a major business newspaper and, thereafter, other selected South African financial media.
- Facilitated meetings for our client (including preparing and training the client on how best to approach and achieve maximum results) with relevant senior politicians, party–political leaders, business leaders and analysts.
- Built a massive national profile for, and understanding of the Industry Association’s message via the media.
- Advised and counselled the client on the tactics and thereafter the process of negotiation with the Government to re-draft the relevant regulations.
- Ultimately assisted our client to re-negotiate the legislation to their satisfaction.
2. Reputation Management
We have created, defended and grown reputations in the most aggressive media and public environments on the continent.
We use our own, tried and tested, communications tools to protect and grow our client’s reputations through:
A radical departure from traditional communications practice, this approach draws on our deep understanding of what creates news, our situational judgment and our creativity by selecting and driving issues that generate the debate. This positions our clients favourably in the eyes of the selected target market.
We have unparalleled experience in designing and delivering successful and cost-effective campaigns which change opinions. Our campaign methodology – from design to delivery – has rendered outstanding results in both traditional and social media.
Media issues and risks system
We offer our clients access to our systematic analysis tool that not only identifies all potential reputation-related risks, but that designates the requisite communications and organisational response for each.
Media relationship management programme
We take the time and effort to build meaningful relationships with the most important and relevant editors and journalists.
Advanced media and communications training
We provide rigorous media planning exercises providing clients with the tools and techniques to handle any media scenario.
Thought leadership communications
We position our clients as thought leaders by leveraging opportunities to demonstrate their authority on relevant topics and by providing answers to the biggest questions on the minds of their target audience.
We provide a comprehensive crisis communications service including:
- Strategic counsel and tactical implementation – from outset to resolution to debrief.
- The preparation of coherent, consistent and credible communications message – internally, to stakeholders and to the media.
- Access to a crisis expert 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Around the clock spokesperson advice and counsel.
- Media Management and Briefing.
- Social Media Management.
Case Study - Reputation Management
Senior members of our client’s agricultural company were unfairly implicated in a criminal offense and charges were laid against them. As a consequence, our client received nation-wide negative media attention impacting on their reputation and the viability of their business.
As part of a Crisis Communications & Reputation Management plan, Resolve Communications:
- Immediately stepped in and took control of all media requests.
- Undertook a quick yet exhaustive study of the matter at hand.
- Prepared a holding message script for our client and a series of Q&As for every conceivable question that presented the facts of the matter in a credible, clear and consistent manner
- Secured an exclusive background story and interview for our client with a national television programme, which based on the information and contacts we were able to provide, presented a major in-depth analysis of the matter on prime-time television. Our client’s reputation was significantly restored.
- Provided our client with communications and media support throughout the trial process until the not–guilty verdict was finally delivered.
3. Strategic Communications for Governments
We have decades of experience in government strategy, politics and communications in Africa.
We do more than help governments demonstrate what they have delivered: we help governments create real relationships and make credible connections with the people they serve.
We understand the intricacies and difficulties governments face in communicating complex or unpopular messages.
We have developed a brand strategy process that synchronises the party political mandate with the government’s value proposition.
We have developed and delivered campaigns that have changed behaviour and saved or improved lives.
We help governments to deliver better.
What our clients do
We have represented clients ranging from community organisations to internationally listed corporations from the following industries and sectors :
Oil & Gas Mining
Gaming & Leisure
Health & Wellness
Construction, Infrastructure & Engineering
Information & Communication Technology
Community Groups & non-profit organisations