Helping journalists tell SA’s story

The International Marketing Council of South Africa have launched a new web-based service for journalists and communication practitioners wanting to know more about the country in the lead-up to and beyond the 2010 Fifa World Cup™.

MediaClubSouthAfrica.com, launched at the International Media Forum South Africa in Johannesburg on Wednesday, offers free access to content on the country, including a comprehensive image library.

The website provides background and current affairs updates on South Africa’s economic performance, socio-economic development and achievements across various sectors. It also profiles significant cultural and social trends, as well as phenomena that make South Africa a winning country.

Registration on MediaClubSouthAfrica.com is not required, except for full access to the image library, which offers hundreds of high-quality photographs of the country, its people, places, economy and stunning natural beauty, all available for use on the web or in print – free of charge.

The International Marketing Council of South Africa, custodian of Brand SA, is a public-private partnership responsible for marketing the country internationally.

Brand South Africa General Manager Tyrone Seale, speaking at the launch of the site on Wednesday, said MediaClubSouthAfrica.com would provide “relevant, mind-opening, up-to-date and verifiable information in the build-up to 2010.”

While not explicitly tied to the World Cup, the new service will take advantage of the unprecedented international media interest in the country that the event is likely to generate.

“We took this step because we recognise the importance of media – local, African and throughout the world – in shaping perceptions of South Africa and our continent,” Seale said.

The initiative took its inspiration from Germany’s Land of Ideas campaign, which established a similar media service for the 2006 Fifa World Cup.

MediaClubSouthAfrica.com will complement the World Cup-dedicated media services offered by the Local Organising Committee, South African Tourism and the Government Communication and Information System.

Its content will be of a high standard, accurate and credible, allowing media practitioners either to use the content as is in their own publications, or as a resource with which to develop their own content.