DevCom has been the communication partner for Timbali Technology Incubator for the past two years. DevCom introduced the value of strategic communication with the advantage of a development background, to Timbali. We ensured that the communication is measured, and showed tangible results quickly into our relationship. Because Timbali is a systems-driven organization, the DevCom methodology infused perfectly with the Timbali KPI system.
We’ve asked a couple of leaders at Timbali what the partnership with DevCom has unlocked for them.

Lungisa Matshimane (Centre Manager) says:
“The strategic communication process began with the survey conducted; the correct diagnosis of the problem was achieved. It improved the understanding about who, what, why, where, when and how Timbali is (we now use specific and common words/ terms when making a reference to issues). I believe the focus has been shifted from being trainees to being business owners (this has been demonstrated at the quality management meeting with their presentations) with the communication campaign. We had recently appointed staff/ pre-incubation farmers, I was empowered to be able to confidently present Timbali’s bigger picture.”

Lungisa also commented on the value of having a development communication practitioner as part of the Timbali resources. “Sharing the development knowledge has empowered me to be able to confidently present business skills in a simplified manner (AmaBucks). Farmers are beginning to understand and appreciate the value of what’s being offered to them; namely that development has cost implications. This has been an eye opening experience, in that you must manage expectations and unintended consequences.”

Louise de Klerk, Timbali CEO, says: “You may ask the question: Why has DevCom and Timbali been in a communication relationship for 2 years? The answer is that Timbali believes communication is our key success factor. It involves our staff, our Board, our clients, our funders and our stakeholders. Our clients, are small scale farmers located in rural areas and we have stakeholders from both key public institutions and private sector. We realised that what our clients want is probably significantly different from what we THINK they want. That is why we saw the value of measuring the effectiveness of our messages through an independent development company such as DevCom.

Through our communication relationship with DevCom, we have developed the habit of measuring our success by communication audits to be able to face the reality of becoming aware of unintended consequences. Without a proper audit and concrete numbers, we can’t possibly know where we are; let alone where we’re going.

From our association with Mari and her team at DevCom, we realise the value of system-based communication and that there is much more detail and more complexity to communication that we realised. We thank them for the value they have added to the way we communicate at Timbali.”

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