Flow Communications

Chief Justice of South Africa Mogoeng Mogoeng’s message that transforming society is our collective and individual responsibility, delivered at this year’s Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, inspired many across the country.

The Flow team who managed social media at the 2019 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation)

Flow Communications has been on hand to help the Nelson Mandela Foundation with more than 10 annual lectures. This year’s lecture – the 17th in the series – explored the topic “Constitutionalism as an instrument for transformation”.

Mogoeng delivered his message of unity through collective responsibility for defending and promoting the freedoms and privileges of post-democratic life in South Africa at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus on 23 November 2019.

A team of seven Flowstars worked to ensure the Chief Justice’s message reached the widest possible audience, through the Foundation’s social media accounts and via a live stream on its website, YouTube and Facebook page.

Chief Justice of South Africa Mogoeng Mogoeng delivered this year’s Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. (Image: Flow Communications)

“The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is always a highlight of the Flow year, and this year was no different,” says Flow Communications managing director Tiffany Turkington-Palmer. “Year after year it is an honour to be so intricately involved in the Annual Lectures, each of which delivers something uniquely magical.”

During the lecture, the Facebook live stream drew 32 000 views and 132 shares. Another
7 971 views were recorded on YouTube and 2 648 were created on the Foundation’s website.

Mogoeng’s lecture hashtag, #NMAL2019, trended at number one on Twitter from just before he started speaking until the lecture drew to a close.

1nmf sentiment graph
Nmf mentions
(Image: Flow Communications)

On 23 November, the lecture was mentioned 2 580 times on Twitter, and the #NMAL2019 hashtag was used 1 860 times. Social media sentiment around the lecture was largely positive or neutral.

Flow also worked to ensure that communications via the Foundation’s website were smooth. While social media always dominate large events such as the Annual Lecture, the Foundation website recorded 2 648 users on 23 November, most of whom logged on during the hours the lecture took place.

Since 1999, when Nelson Mandela stepped down from political office and established the Foundation, the organisation has worked to continue what Mandela viewed as his life’s work – improving and transforming South African society.

The Annual Lecture is the pinnacle of the Foundation’s efforts to ensure Mandela’s progressive and ethical ideals continue to be a part of the national discourse.

Soweto gospel choir
The Soweto Gospel Choir added local flavour to the formalities. (Image: Flow Communications)

Flow has guided the Foundation’s digital strategy for a decade, building and maintaining its website, creating compelling digital content and even establishing its social media platforms.

This year’s Annual Lecture resulted in largely positive post-lecture media coverage, which many viewed as a clarion call to work together to finish the task Mandela started long before he was inaugurated in 1994 as South Africa’s first democratically elected president.

“We need to be strong and united as the people of South Africa. We never used to be united as black and white people of this country, as you know, but unity is essential for the realisation of what [former] president Nelson Mandela referred to as ‘the vision enshrined in the Constitution’,” Mogoeng said during the lecture.

“We dare not forget that Madiba was so committed to the fundamental human rights that are embodied in our Constitution that he was prepared to die in the pursuit of that idea.”

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