Firmly anchored in a robust, non-negotiable set of core values that drives decisions and actions, Reputation Matters consistently strives to be Africa’s go to reputation specialists, building resilient businesses that people want to do business with, says founder and MD Regine le Roux. Read more about her successful career, achievements and goals going forward.
Q: What is your current position and what does it entail?
A: As the founder and managing director of Reputation Matters, it is my vision to position the company as Africa’s reputation specialist of choice. I am particularly proud of the Repudometer® reputation research tool that we’ve developed to quantify an organisation’s reputation.
Q: Briefly summarise your career since graduating from UP, with special mention of specific highlights/milestones.
A: After completing my BCom Honours degree (cum laude), I battled to find a job in the public relations (PR) and event management industry. It was the typical catch-22 situation: you don’t get a job because you don’t have experience, and you don’t get the experience because no one is willing to hire you.
Fortunately, because of my BCom degree, I was offered the position of research analyst at a market research company. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the prospect of doing research, as my heart was set on PR and event management, but I rationalised that as everyone needs research, it could lay a good foundation and be a way to get my foot in the door for other career opportunities.
During my time as a research analyst, I particularly loved seeing data and numbers come to life through analysis. One of the studies that I was involved in was measuring the reputation of the IT industry. It was a fascinating study where we identified the core elements that contribute to an organisation’s reputation. After getting the necessary permission, I was allowed to convert it into a master’s degree that I completed at the University of Pretoria within a year.
After graduating, I still wanted to get into the PR and event management field. With the research and project management under my belt, I got an opportunity to work at Adele Lucas Promotions. In 2004 I project managed the Soweto Festival for Adele Lucas. It was really a phenomenal opportunity to get my teeth into event management and PR.
I must admit that during that year, I did miss the research and found the “unstrategic” nature of communication and PR quite frustrating.
Long story short: I identified the gap to bring the research and communication (PR) world closer together and started Reputation Matters in 2005. The core focus is to quantify reputations, thereby giving communicators a voice around the boardroom table by being able to speak the C-Suite* language of numbers (*C-Suite = the room where you will find the CEO/CIO/COO/CFO etc.)
2018, 2019 and 2020 – Winner of the SABRE Award for Superior Achievement in Measurement and Evaluation.
2018 – Winner of the SABRE Award for Associations.
2018 – The SABRE Award Corporate Image Certificate of Excellence.
2016 – Rotary International Double Paul Harris recognition on a District and Club level.
2015 – I wrote and published the book Reputation Matter – Building blocks to becoming the business people want to do business with (ISBN 978 1920526429).
2015 – Hosted the inaugural international reputation management conference with four international and four local speakers.
2015 – Rotary International, District 9350 (South Africa, Namibia, Angola) Chairperson responsible for Public Image.
2015 – Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) Chairperson for the Western Cape.
2014 – Rotary Club Newlands: Board of Directors, with specific focus on Public Image.
2011 – Bronze Winner: PRISA Prism awards in the category: Corporate Communication
Q: To what extent did your studies at UP benefit you in your career and contribute to your success?
A: Besides the incredible lecturers, mentors and friends that I made over the years, I’ve also recruited the most amazing team members from the University of Pretoria.
Because I really struggled to get into the communication industry, I’ve given a number of BCom Honours students the opportunity to intern with us to gain some experience and to help them on their career journey in communications.
Q: Given your academic experience at UP, what advice can you pass on to current students?
A: Enjoy it!
Grab every opportunity that comes your way, you never know where it may lead you. Try new things and get involved in the different activities that are on offer.
I think that there is often a misconception that because you have a degree, you are going to walk into a glamorous/high-paying position. The reality is that you will first need to prove yourself. Be willing to start at the bottom and to work hard.
Q: What, in your opinion, is the foundation of a successful organisation?
A: Having a robust, non-negotiable set of core values in place that are communicated regularly. It does not help having wonderful values in place, but no one is aware of them.
These values not only need to drive decisions and actions; internally they must be communicated regularly with the team, as well as be included in external communication.
For example: our core value is excellence always, in all ways. This is driven by: Growth, Respect and Authenticity. Each week during our team meeting, each team member gets an opportunity to share an engagement/interaction relating to our values, either resonating or not resonating with our values.
Q: Which business/trade-related publications (magazines/newspapers/blogs, etc.) do you enjoy reading?
A: Leadership magazine, Business Brief, Bizcommunity and Retailing Africa.
Q: What really inspires and motivates you personally?
A: Success inspires and motivates me. Being able to empower others to grow and succeed, is definitely one of the greatest feelings there is. I absolutely love seeing people join the team as interns and then grow and develop to a point where they confidently manage their own research projects.
Q: If you could have a face-to-face meeting with an inspiring person, in any domain, who sets an example in transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same, who would it be and what would you like to discuss?
A: Jim Rohn. I have started listening to his podcasts while running and cycling. I have been listening to so many of his recordings that he is starting to feel like a personal friend. He just has so much wisdom to share.
Q: Going forward, what are your career and personal goals?
A: From a career point of view: To have a Reputation Matters-footprint across Africa. Also, for every company to know what their Repudometer® research score is.
On a personal front: To complete my doctorate as well as my Certified and Chartered Directorship courses through the Institute of Directors in South Africa.