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#Newsmaker: Mikateko Chauke to head strategic communications and PR at African Bank

With over 19 years of experience in communications, reputation management, stakeholder relations, marketing, and advertising, Mikateko Chauke was recently appointed head of strategic communications and PR at African Bank
Mikateko Chauke, head of strategic communications and PR at African Bank
Mikateko Chauke, head of strategic communications and PR at African Bank

Chauke has worked for various organisations, including Sasol, FCB JHB, and Ogilvy PR, and played a pivotal role in developing turnaround brand strategies for clients such as Absa, Capitec Bank, Shell, McDonald’s, Siyanda Resources, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, Nokia Siemens Networks, Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited, and Anglo American. She will be integrally involved in managing the bank’s strategic comms around its new brand positioning.

We catch up with Mikateko Chauke to find out more...

Congrats on your appointment. How do you feel about it?

Excited, eager, and equally challenged. It is a huge opportunity to be part of a team that will not only grow the brand, but steer it in a way that repositions us as the financial services partner of choice for South Africans.

How and when did this come about?

I applied for the position and was shortlisted along with the few candidates who had the expertise that African Bank needed to turn a new leaf. After a rigorous interview process, it became evident that we all share the same ideals of a truly transformed bank that continually seeks to serve the needs of all South Africans.

What excites you most about taking on this new role?

Being part of a team responsible for strategic communication around our new positioning.

Tell us about your journey into the PR & Comms industry

I have worked for a few PR and ATL agencies, servicing a variety of clients in several sectors including banking. I have had the privilege of working and interacting with brilliant minds. As a passionate, intuitive, and analytical person; the banking sector has always been one of a few that truly challenged me not only to try and change the status quo but to also find ways to truly enable and empower our people

What do you love most about your career, the industry and what you do?

Creativity and the challenge of constantly finding new ways to reach out to our target audience in a manner that always changes the game.

What has been your biggest career highlight?

I am living it, and the best is yet to come!

With over 19 years of experience, playing a pivotal role in developing turnaround brand strategies for clients, what approach will you be taking at African Bank?

To be authentic, innovative (an overused phrase I know...) and establish a real human-to-human connection.

As part of your new role, you'll be involved in African Banks' new brand positioning. Could you perhaps elaborate on this more?

My role is to ensure we continue to build and maintain trust with all our stakeholders and provide clarity and direction as we embark on this journey, and most importantly ensure smooth and efficient communications to position us as the preferred financial services partner.

Can you share the reasoning behind this, the brand positioning?

We are doing all this in a move designed to meet the rapidly changing needs of our customers in a digital-first environment using one powerful and overarching positioning word – audacity.

Financial institutions always want to get closer to its customers. What influence did this have on the repositioning?

This is in line with our stated commitment of being a valued, trusted, and interlocked partner with our customers and stakeholders and staying true to our long-time promise of being a bank “for the people, by the people and serving the people”.

Can you share any info on any upcoming campaigns that align with the repositioning?

The future is exciting “we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future”.

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