If the horse you’re riding dies, get off!

She spices up her days with the comic Madam and Eve and tones it down with Command your Morning by Cindy Trimm because public relations has taught her how to balance life.

Recently appointed as the head for communications and external relations for Communications Regulatory Association of Namibia (CRAN), Basson is one of the few young female Namibians who have succeeded to put to bed all stereotypes about women.

Basson who started her professional career by joining Old Mutual as an administrative clerk, has brought to the table a wealth of experience, which includes lecturing as well as policy drafting.

Her career stepping stones include reputable corporates such as Meatco, Sanlam, Agra and Nam Brew. She notes that the time she spent with Meatco served as a massive learning curve, which has contributed greatly to her professional development.

“The meat indusry is a very dynamic market, so intricate, I learnt a great deal there,” says Basson.

During her tenure at Meatco, she spent her significant amout of time exploring new markets as well as building a strong brands.

Basson who is a seasoned public speaker is of the opinion that PR is one essential aspect of business not fully executed; a failure of such execution she mainly attributes to lack of funds and a huge skill shortage in the industry.

Meanwhile, she urges that the public should work hand-in-hand with the media in understanding the urgency of information delivery.

“I have always viewed the media as partners or colleagues. I think it is key to always remember that journalists are always on tight deadlines and need to find information immediately – meaning right that moment,” she states.

While most people percieve PR as advocacy, Basson emphasises that PR is essentially about words.

“Sometimes written, sometimes spoken, sometimes with images, PR is always about words. And it is driven by strategy – essentially comprised of the whos, the whats, the whens, the wheres, the whys and the hows of communication and engagement – which is sometimes made to sound more complex than it actually is,” she explains.

She draws her inspiration from an African-American phrase, “If the horse you’re riding dies, get off”.

This helps her to continually question intelligence and make required mid-course corrections necessary to save the day.

Basson further notes that her employer’s challenges range from the basic issue of structuring a regulatory agency to the complexities of licensing service providers but adds that its opportunities outvotes any challenge.

“Opportunities are immediate and profound. As a newly established regulator, CRAN is in a position to have a significant and positive effect on a national, regional and international basis. CRAN plays a pivotal role in ensuring that our country maximises its resources to build a strong and inclusive telecommunications and information infrastructure.

“Principled decision-making will not only benefit consumers and the industry of the domestic market but will also enrich the global information community. In addition, establishing an independent regulatory authority is a crucial factor in the success of any country’s effort to introduce competition,” she stresses further.

This Communication Practitioner spends her free time outdoors and with loved ones and regards herself as a family person.

Her message to Namibian women is clear; to plan accordingly and go out and fetch their best lives.

“Be clear about your values and expectations. Be yourself and do not follow any stereotyped belief about what women can and can’t do, or how they should act when in professional positions.

“To career mothers, I advise them to make both motherhood and careers part of their vision – and plan accordingly. Simply be prepared for the life you want!

“This is an exciting time in history for women who are smart, hard working and open to new ways of planning their best lives,” stresses Basson.

She is a certified public relations practitioner on PRISA standards.

Additional educational courses include Managers Development Programme and Managing Marketing Assets courses from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

However, her masters dissertation in Business Administration has a pending final approval from the Management College of Southern Africa. PF