Reputation Strategy for leading lifestyle brands Over 20 Years Experience in Strategic Development, Executive Profiling and Issues Management Proactive Reputation Management is the central measurement for all of a business’ activities

Welcome to Pillar9

“A good start means everything. In a world where reputations and brands are being built daily, it’s important to know where you are going so you can hit the mark ,every time. Pillar9 delivers clean, clear, proactive reputation management strategy upfront to ensure business and communications activities are aligned to a common goal.”

Joanne Smith, renowned reputation strategist and Pillar9 owner

Pillar9 is the gold standard of reputation management for personality-led, premium brands in the hospitality sector. We work closely with public figures and superior brands to expand, embody and scale their reputations in traditional and new markets.

Pillar9’s track record of excellence, deep experience and objective position ensures our clients move from great to excellent leveraging reputation strategy to do so. The method? Cohesive, en pointe, and high quality activities that elevate our clients’ status.

Our goal is to shine a light on our clients’ world class execution in the food, beverage and hospitality industry. Pillar9 drives results through public relations, media activations, niche and exclusive events and moments, and other reputation-focused engagements.

Our Why

Reputation is everything. It’s management traditionally has eight pillars. Pillar9 provides the ninth. We encompass all elements providing the glue which brings and holds everything together.


With over 20 years of experience as a leading corporate reputation strategist, Pillar9 offers:

Strategic Development

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu

Bold, aspirational and trend-setting people and products are all created through thoughtful strategy. Pillar9 partners with you to map out a tactical, implementable and practical strategy that puts your business goals at the centre.

For your brand, PR, social media and marketing efforts, we help craft bespoke strategies that are proactive, clever and sustainable.

Our collaborative process starts with a one-day workshop built to deep-dive into your business and interrogate audiences and existing processes, objectives and plans.

Based on the insights our team crafts a clear, goal-orientated strategy that’s implementation ready, either by Pillar9 or your existing team.

Reputation Management

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” - Benjamin Franklin

Pillar9 is the guardian of your reputation. We understand the pressures of elevating and maintaining high-quality and prominent brands.

We work with you to bring clarity to what your personality or product stands for over time, the long arch of reputation. We build in luxury, legacy and exclusivity into the reputation journey while also helping humanise the process, persona and products behind your brand.

We also ensure you have the right partners and people behind you, so what you stand for, and the brands you affiliate with, are in golden alignment.

How? By prioritizing strategic positioning and reputation management. We manage the day-to-day requirements to make this happen on digital platforms, social media, traditional media as well as for brand endorsements, sponsorships and public appearances.

Pillar9 has a powerful little black book of top-notch contacts – from media to influencers; creators to commentators – to ensure your brand and messages goes the distance. We help connect you to opportunities that maximise and amplify your brand and notoriety.

Issues Management

“You don't make your character in a crisis, you exhibit it.” - Oren Arnold

Anyone’s reputation can come under threat at any time – sometimes of our own doing and sometimes due to external factors.

What defines how businesses and people in these crisis moments is how they navigate them. Pillar9 is all about preparedness for the positive moments and the more perilous ones.

Our issues management workshops plan for proactive moments and reactive issues. We provide a full view of how to tactical navigate operational and communications challenges – and maintain good reputation throughout.

We map and understand all the risks your company faces, policies and procedures that are in place to mitigate them, and who says and does what, if crisis hits.

We co-develop a risk matrix and issues management framework that guides the processes, channels and content for any crisis.

This helps you be as prepared and keeps your ready for quick, thoughtful and impactful responses in any crisis.

Interior Design & Decor

“You don't sell a commodity, you sell joy, gaiety, excitement. You aim at people's hearts, not their minds.” - Dorothy Draper

A beautiful interior can bring a story to life. We understand how your brand is embodied in space.

As a leading consultant to South Africa’s top restaurants and chefs, Pillar9 knows that the interior of your restaurant, hotel and bar must translate your philosophy from plate or glass to the walls, décor and detail. On entry, the space must communicate and craft the entire experience to come.

Our design team creates spaces that tell stories, connect with people, generate atmosphere and ensure a desire for discovery that keeps guests coming back to discover details over time.

Service Consulting

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Communications and reputation are underpinned the continuum and consistency of experience. In today’s hospitality market, consumers look for a curated, end-to-end encounter.

Dining has also become about so much more than just the meal. It’s a journey generated out of space, personality, quality, engagement, service and ambiance. It’s about the senses.

From the moment a booking is made the voyage has begun. Every aspect, from arrival to paying the cheque and giving feedback, is important when looking to create an outstanding consumer experience.

Our service consulting explores the entire experience from booking through to final review. We ensure that from start to finish your brand’s reputation is curated with a customer stamp of approval. The goal? Connecting with the customer to elevate and endorse you, time and again.



Pillar9 has worked with some of the best local and global brands from a range of fields including beverages, FMCG, infrastructure development, finance, automotive, consumer, multimedia, telecommunications, data analytics and technology.


Send us a message, we would love to hear from you and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.