November 2012 Newsletter
Dear PRISA members
In this month's newsletter our Spotlight on APR interviewed Chris Skinner and Gert Klopper, our PRCC corner is looking at How to have a successful public relations career and gives us some insight into Becoming knowledge seekers. We share with you our first My PRISA section in which we've asked Peter van der Schyff to tell us about how PRISA has added value to his career.
Feedback from the board
PRISA's Board of Directors has decided NOT to increase the membership fee for the upcoming 2013 registration, so take advantage of this promotion before 20 November 2012!
Existing members can renew or upgrade their PRISA membership at the 2012 registration fees and the new Renewal Payment Option plan, approved by the Board, offers members an opportunity to pay the renewal fee over a three month period.
In addition, members can look forward to a host of IMPROVED benefits and exciting NEW benefits from PRISA, including:
  • Participate, promote, interact and share knowledge globally with automatic
  access tothe Global Alliance for Public Relations & Communication Management
• Exclusive discounts for workshops and industry events
• The opportunity to broaden your skills set with access to LIVE webinars
• FREE subscription to both the printed and online version of Communika,
• Access to over 35 Continuing Professional Development opportunities in 2013
• New facilitators and exciting new workshops, including Script & Speech
   Writing,BusinessWriting and Green/Environmental Public Relations
An exciting new Membership Referral Programme is the latest initiative implemented by PRISA. Refer a new member to PRISA and receive referral CREDITS to use for membership, future workshops and events!
Contact Susan Richardson at
Region news
Thought leadership remains an untapped opportunity in public relations
At a recent forum hosted by PRISA's Gauteng Regional Committee at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton; PRISA President, Tshepo Matseba APR shared his insights, trends and observations about developments in the public relations landscape. Speaking at the event, Matseba highlighted the significance of constant engagement and participation in industry initiatives "for public relations to maintain its stature as a key role-player in driving business strategy and competitiveness."read more
"A significant number of events have taken place recently in South Africa. Public relations practitioners have not fully capitalised on the opportunities to provide direction and thought leadership on issues of reputation management, crisis communication, and generally how organisations handle the complex needs of different stakeholders," he said. "While there were pockets of commentaries about how the whole Marikana situation could have been handled from a crisis communication perspective; there was a vacuum which public relations experts could have filled to provide strategic insights on how business, government, trade unions and society could have responded to the Marikana crisis."
read more
Continuing Professional Development Programmes (CPD)
Our 2013 CPD Programme is available. Click here for the programme and
fee structure.
During the month of October 2012 members can enroll in a number of workshops in Gauteng:
Gauteng CPD Programmes:
Stakeholder engagement and management: 8 - 9 November 2012
Stakeholder management is a process which engages stakeholders internally and externally thus lending it to opportunities of discussions and agreements with regard to the values and principles by which all should abide. It is there to support an organisation in achieving its strategic objectives by interpreting and influencing both the external and internal environments.
Click here for more information
  How to start your public relations career: 12 – 13 November
Media and public relations writers know only too well how easy it is to overlook one's own errors. Without meticulous editing and proofreading, many a well-intended text (and probably a good story!) has landed in the editor's bin.
Copy editing is one stage of a process through which value is added to written material before the final print. This process applies, to a greater or lesser degree, to all written material, such as books, magazine articles, film scripts, newsletters or even documents with limited distribution, such as in-house reports or business proposals. Proofreading, on the other hand, refers to the final check to ensure that all changes that had been made and authorised during the editing process, have been effected correctly in the final proof.
Click here for more information
  How to start your public relations career: 20 November
Most of us have to work for a living – and usually this process begins with going for a job interview. More often than not, we only have one opportunity to make a good impression.
You might be in that exciting phase of your life when you've completed your studies and are now ready to kick-start your career in public relations. But how do you go about taking those first steps? How do you ensure you are well prepared for what lies ahead?
Click here for more information
To view a list of all our CPD Programmes for the rest of 2012, you can click here.
The PRISMs are awarded to those professionals who have successfully incorporated strategy, creativity and professionalism into public relations and communication programmes. The PRISMs are a great way of gaining exposure for your organisation and consultancy and sharing the honours with your clients.
Who may enter? This competition is open to government departments, corporate companies, in-house public relations departments, consultancies, individuals and a special student competition has been added.
If you have never entered before, or if you want to increase your company or consultancy's chance of winning an award, make a point of coming to our Prepping for the PRISMs workshop.
The morning will include presentations by speakers who have entered the PRISM Awards. They will share their winning campaign formulas with you at this interactive morning workshop.
The following Prepping for the PRISMs programmes will take place during November:
Wednesday, 14 November – Gauteng, PRISA Randburg (more information)
Thursday, 15 November – Western Cape, The Alphen Boutique Hotel, Cape Town (more information)
Friday, 16 November – KwaZulu Natal, Riverside Hotel, Durban (more information)
Spotlight on APRs
In boxing, the difference between a champion and a pretender is a sleek, gold championship belt. The very best exponents of the craft are given these titles and accorded the ensuing respect. Similarly, public relations also has its champs and their title is Accredited in Public Relations (APR). This month, PRISA caught up with two of these, one a heavy weight-Chris Skinner and the other an emerging force- Gert more  
Public relations consultancy chapter (PRCC) corner
This month Nevasha Naidoo CPRP, from Platinum Public Relations, and Martin Snoek APR, from Marketing Service and Communication, write to us about How to have a successful public relations career and Become knowledge seekers.
How to have a successful public relations career – by Nevasha Naidoo CPRP from Platinum Public Relations
A career in public relations is immensely rewarding and it offers many opportunities to those who are willing to work hard and put in the effort to perfect their craft. Unlike many careers, there are not many limitations standing in the path of success. However, there are certain personal and professional qualities that will set you apart from the rest. In this article, I will lay out the professional components that I believe will put you on the fast track in the demanding world of public more
Become knowledge seekers – by Martin Snoek APR from Marketing Service and Communication
Following a three year internship in publishing I spent most of my working career on the client side with one of the world's largest electrical and electronic engineering companies (Siemens: Corporate Communications) and for the last five years managing my own consultancy. Regrettably the book, 'The Black Swan' by Nassin Taleb was not published many years ago and it only caught my attention recently as I may have tackled my communication assignments with a different perspective over the years.
It is the most thought provoking book I have ever read. In a world of Black Swans the first step is to understand just how much we will never understand. It is about the impact of the highly improbable and about random events that underlie our lives. It underscores the fact that we should try to predict everything and take advantage of uncertainty. Much credit therefore goes to companies like Siemens for investing on average 8% of turnover in research and development having 'banked' around 20,000 patents that ensure the longevity of the organisation and providing for the 'improbable'. read more
Trends in Industry
Marisa 'eM' Louw CPRP, Emlo Communications, writes social media's Big Five (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogging and YouTube) changed the life of public relations professionals in ways that could be both cataclysmic and awesome.
Cataclysmic in the sense that the pace at which communication takes place has developed from snail mail to tweeting in real-time. The result? News often reaches the journalist before the official press release lands in their e-mail inbox.
Take the recent Miss World pageant, which I followed on a direct (albeit slightly delayed) broadcast on television, the official web site as well as Twitter, as an example. Four decades ago, before South African television, the public had to buy the newspaper the following morning to see who has been crowned the most beautiful woman in the world. Today you simply log onto Twitter and use the hash tag #missworld to see the results before it has even be announced on the so-called direct television broadcast. It is clear why this could ultimately be disastrous for the public relations professional who does not keep up with digital technology. read more
For Peter van der Scyff CPRP, PRISA's value is found not only in his personal growth, but also the doors PRISA has opened for him as a coach, mentor, confidante and friend to so many students and practitioners.
"Although I was employed in an unrelated role as a corporate Human Resources Director at the time, I started lecturing on a part-time basis at PRISA and its then Training Centre in Braamfontein in 1987. That was with my dear friend, the late Annemarie Honiball who was then the Training Director. I never looked back and have, since then made PRISA my home away from home. Over the past 25 years I have seen several of my former students become PRISA presidents, professors at university, corporate leaders and leading communicators. If I could turn back the clock and choose my life all over again, I would have done exactly the same, but I would have started much, much earlier."
Tshepo's Blog
Talk to Tshepo is your opportunity to share your views and opinions about YOUR PRISA with Tshepo.
Until November,

Adele Paulsen
PRISA: Executive director
Compiled by Helena van Wyk