Africa Travel Week
Regine le Roux

ATW Podcast

Behind the Mic with Regine le Roux

Regine le Roux completed her Communication Management Honours Degree Cum Laude at the University of Pretoria in 2001 and completed her MCom within a year. Regine founded Reputation Matters in 2005 and hand picks and manages several teams that run reputation research assignments and develops communication strategies and plans. She is very proud of the team’s most recent accolades of winning SABRE Africa awards in 2018,2019 and 2020 for research and evaluation. 

Regine developed the Repudometer®, which is one of the first tools that has been developed to measure organisational reputation. 

Regine was the Chairperson of the Western Cape Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) Committee, on the Board of the Rotary Club of Newlands responsible for Public Image and Rotary District Committee Chairperson for Public Image in 2015. She is the author of Reputation Matters: Building blocks to becoming the business people want to do business with (ISBN 978 1920526429). Regine also wrote a monthly column on reputation management for Leadership Magazine for several years 

Regine is passionate about South Africa and launched a Re.Bag.Re.Use initiative in Hout Bay, teaching ladies from the Harbour Imizamo Yethu how to crochet shopping and beach bags made from empty bread bags. These ladies are able to put bread on the table from empty bread bags, while at the same time also keeping the plastic from going to landfill or our oceans. [www.instagram.com/re.bag.re.use]. 

Q&A with Regine 

What are you hoping could ignite enthusiasm on what you’re going to speak about? (without giving away too much) 

We as Africans need to see our value and start changing the way that we speak about ourselves. We have so much to offer, yet we tend to sell ourselves short. It’s every person’s responsibility to change the way we talk about Africa. What have you done today to change the way you talk about our beautiful continent? 

What have you missed with regards to face-to-face contact in the events speaking space? 

Definitely connecting with people; there are nuances that you just can’t pick up on over a computer screen.  

Breaking bread, sharing stories and laughing together! 

How did you come to do what you do, tell us a bit about your career advancement? 

Years ago, I thought I wanted to be in public relations, particularly the event management space. Unfortunately, as I didn’t have experience, it was very difficult to get my foot in the door. After completing my Honours Degree in communication management at the University of Pretoria, I was appointed a research analyst at a management consulting firm. Definitely a far cry from event management, but my rationale was that it was afoot in the door of the working world. During this time, it was marvellous to see how research helped with decision making and was used in the working environment. One of the projects I worked on was measuring the reputation of the IT industry. I was allowed to convert this study into a Master’s Degree. But I still wanted to get into event management. So, with a bit more experience under my belt, I got a position at Adele Lucas Promotions to project manage the Soweto Festival. As they say, be careful what you wish for! I was slam-dunked into the deep end and had to learn how to swim very quickly. I am incredibly grateful for the experience I gained during this time.  

With the research background and understanding of how the world of public relations and event management worked, I realised that there was (is) a very large chasm between the two. PR had not PR’d itself particularly well and had very little to no say around the board room table. I then developed a research tool (the Repudometer®) to empower communicators, give them a voice around the board room table, and help themspeak in numbers. 

In 2005 I founded Reputation Matters. Initially, we had offices in Sunninghill, Gauteng. But since 2008, we have been working virtually. In 2019 we started working very closely with the African Public Relations Association (APRA) and have been measuring ethics and reputation on the African continent on a personal, company and country level for the past three years.  

Based on your five senses, what are you looking forward to most at the show this year: 

  • See:  Colour! Africa is so wonderfully bright and vibrant! 
  • Taste: A bit of everything from across the continent!  
  • Feel: The warmth of the delegates’ smiles. 
  • Hear: Drumming!  
  • Smell: Braai 

What makes Africa Unique? 

Our stories! 

What is the first thing you will do once you set foot in Cape Town? 

Even though I live in Hout Bay, my ‘go to’ whenever I get a chance is ride/drive/run the Camps Bay route and enjoy the 12 Apostles.  

Looking back as past events that you have been to, what business connection/relationship stands out that made it truly worthwhile? 

There isn’t one specific incident. I have made the most incredible connections and friendships at every conference. We start the week as strangers and leave as friends.  

Tell us a story about a past event where something truly memorable happened (funny or serious)? 

 Not really a story, but a blog I wrote in 2018: Businesswoman’s Blog: 40 things to keep in mind when travelling for a conference: (dynamicbusinesswoman.blogspot.com) 

Find me at WTM Africa:  

Topic: Managing Africa’s reputation 

Date: 13 April 2022, 10:30 – 11:15 

Stage: Global Stage 

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.