Newsletter | April 2013

Dear PRISA member,

This is truly an exciting month for us, not only are we celebrating the PRISM Awards, we are closer to the PRISA National Conference - PRofiting from a Convergent World, which is taking place on 10 and 11 June at Leriba Hotel and Spa, Centurion. In our Trends in Industry, Prof Ronel Rensburg shares with us insight on why we, as professionals, should reflect on the reaction of the ANC on the FNB “you can help” campaign.

Feedback from the Board
This month PRISA will be celebrating the 16th PRISM Awards on Sunday 7 April 2013. Once again, as the Board, we realised the value the PRISM awards are adding to the public relations industry. It is a platform on which we:
  1. Celebrate our industry’s achievements
  2. Showcase the innovating public
    relations campaigns
  3. Position public relations as a strategic
    role player in industry
  4. Provide a benchmark for industry
This year the PRISM awards received entries in the 37 awards categories. Marilyn Watson, one of the chief judges, described this years 32-judging panel for the 2013 awards as: "…the group of judges is a very good mix of media, experienced and knowledgeable industry professionals and academics who are committed to the awards and giving fair, insightful and useful feedback during the judging process."

We wish all category participants the best of luck with their entries!

Regional news
PRISA Western Cape recently hosted a workshop on "Writing for different mediums"

The workshop was aimed at media professionals, public relations and communication practitioners, freelance writers and journalists.

Western Cape workshop delegates

The main objective of the workshop was to equip delegates with the necessary tools that would enable them to distinguish between the ‘mine field’ of media platforms out there as well as enable them to write effectively for these various platforms (including social media). Lesley Schroeder-McLean, a public relations guru whose career spans over 20 years in various public relations and communication field, facilitated the interactive workshop. Twenty-five delegates, from various industries, attended the workshop. The delegates are involved in various forms of writing for different publications/organisations, using both online and traditional media platforms.

KwaZulu-Natal Public Relations Practitioners get a treat from Media Experts

The PRISA KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) committee hosted its first network session for the year at the Riverside Hotel and Spa, themed “Understanding and Maximising Media Relations”. This network session is part of PRISA’s on-going continuous development programme for its members and other public relations practitioners in Durban.

KwaZulu-Natal regional committee

More than 40 practitioners had the privilege of interacting with experienced media experts sharing experiences on how to build good and long lasting relations with media.

The panel consisted of seasoned media experts Mary Papaya, General Manager, The Times KZN, Sthembiso Shanganse, News Editor Gagasi99.5 FM and Thobile Nxumalo, Regional Editor Daily/Sunday Sun.

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Student news
PRISA’s intern, Vincent Maake, writes about his experience during one of PRISA’s presentation road shows to Varsity College.

The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) is well known for its level of involvement in promoting public relations to both professional practitioners and students. It held presentations on the 12 March 2013 at three Independent Institutions of Education namely Varsity College Sandton, Midrand and Pretoria.

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programmes
The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) hosted a workshop on Reputation Management, on 4 March 2013. The workshop was facilitated by Peter van der Schyff CPRP, communication consultant and owner of Pringle – Scott Communication. Peter opened his presentation with a quote by George Washington: “Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad company.”

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The following workshops will be presented in April and beginning of May:
Strategies to promote public relations in your company, 9 April - Gauteng

This one day workshop is designed to provide participants with strategic tools needed for the journey of promoting public relations in a company - tools which aim to elevate public relations’ status within the organisation and restore it to its rightful position. Corporate communication and strategic public relations should be able to stand on its own as a creative force in a company, contribute to the bottom line, and thereby, directly impact the achievement of the company's business goals.

Communication strategy, 11 April - Gauteng


During this one-day workshop, we shall discuss the reasons why strategies, and specifically communication strategies, are not implemented. We shall review the classic principles of strategic planning before we apply these tried and tested principles to the fast moving communication environment we work in. Aimed predominantly at senior practitioners and communication managers, the focus will be on aligning the communication strategy, which is a functional strategy, with the business strategy.

Professional event management, 15 – 16 April - Gauteng

Managing events is not easy. It requires many skills including consultation with the correct stakeholders, creativity, logistics and budget management, to name a few. However, events are critical to get right and not a variable you can risk your company’s reputation with. Understanding the science of event management goes a long way to appreciating the art of it. Join us for this interactive two-day workshop. Our facilitator will share with you skills and techniques needed to plan that perfect event.

Protocol and etiquette, 17 April - Gauteng

Will Guppy once observed, “Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential”. This is the basic premise for applying protocol and etiquette rules and guidelines correctly. By doing more than what is deemed essential in the right manner, you could enhance your brand tremendously. Conversely, by doing the wrong thing, often quite innocently, one could destroy brand value surprisingly fast. The discipline of protocol and etiquette is, however, a lot broader in scope and material than what one might reasonably expect. It is imperative to understand at least the basic principles and then to know where to find the rest of the information.

Government communication, 19 April - Gauteng

Governments are unique and pose a different challenge to communicators than business or non profit organisations. The expectation on government communication efforts, due to its wide audiences, is complex. Therefore government communicators need to develop layered public relations strategies that will address their communication needs, engage with stakeholders and allow for meaningful feedback from the targeted audiences. By understanding the specific conditions in which the essential public relations principles can be applied, this one-day workshop seeks to equip you with the tools to be an efficient government communicator.

GREEN Public Relations, 22 April - Gauteng

In an effort to communicate a company’s green intent or sustainability initiatives sincerely and effectively requires the assistance of public relations. Being able to leverage your green products, services and initiatives amongst key target audiences by means of generating positive editorial coverage, will help to increase brand value and the reputation of your company.

Business writing, 24 - 26 April - Gauteng

As the 'wordsmith' of your company you need to be able to write professionally and be an expert on words. According to Richard Nordquist, “Business writing can be defined as memorandums, reports, proposals and other forms of writing used in organisations to communicate with internal or external audiences.” Although this definition is accurate, it merely represents the tip of the iceberg of the skill of effective business writing. To acquire a clearer understanding of what business writing entails, PRISA is offering a three day workshop.

Fundraising, 7 May - Gauteng

This highly acclaimed and practical fundraising workshop is based on actual experience in the South African context. It includes a presentation on “How to market your institution/company”. In other words, how do you go about telling your prospective donors of your needs, dreams, aspirations and/or what your organisation stands for?

To book for any of the above mentioned CPD workshops contact Ivonne Blom at

To view a list of all our programmes for the rest of 2013

PRISA Annual National Conference
PRofiting – ‘to obtain an advantage or benefit’
Convergent – ‘having the tendency to become similar while adapting to the same environment’
Converge – ‘to come together as if to meet or join when approaching from different directions’

Date and Venue: 10 and 11 June at Leriba Hotel and Spa, Centurion

PRISA's annual conference PRofiting from a Convergent World will explore how we, as individual professionals, as well as the combined talents of the profession, can benefit and take advantage of our convergent world.

Not only is technology converging at a rapid rate, but the disciplines of public relations, marketing, advertising, digital, human resources and management are all interlinked and coming together from different directions to form the convergent world in which we live and work.

The keynote opening address will discuss the opportunities and advantages of the National Development Plan and how you can benefit by contributing to this important initiative.

International and local experts will share their knowledge on 360 degree communication, the latest trends in the public relations profession globally, ethics, the realm of social media, the convergence of corporate social investment and community relations as well as practical sessions on media, what makes a successful consultant, how to manage your CEO, minister, professor, immediate manager, and best practice case studies.

Register now and claim your early bird discount. Click here for the registration form and rates.

Spotlight on APRs
This month Sandile Xaso visited Riana Sinden and talked to her about her association with PRISA over the last 17 years.
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated” was one of the many pearls of wisdom that acclaimed writer, poet and controversialist Oscar Wilde gave the world. The gist of his message being that mastery of a craft lay in always expanding the horizons and seeking new knowledge through academic endeavour. He also saw nothing wrong with wearing a blouse with a denim dungaree and silk waistcoat at evening cocktails, but that’s beside the point. This article is not a sartorial critique, rather a profile of another PRISA blueblood and APR, Riana Sinden.

Public Relations Consultants' Chapter (PRCC) Corner

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Marisa Louw from Emlo Communication writes to us about the public relations practitioners’ loathsome social media behaviour.

Social media is a wonderful thing. It allows people and brands to engage with each other. It is also a source of valuable information. Earlier this year I read a Tweet about the things public relations practitioners do and say that drive journalists crazy and, because I’m passionate about my profession as a communication practitioner, I downloaded the Buzzword report referred to in the Tweet immediately.

Trends in Industry
Prof Ronel Rensburg reflects on the lessons learnt from the FNB advertising campaign.

Her article "Leer ‘n les uit FNB-moles” was published in Sake 24.

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Victor Sibeko CPRP FPRISA shares with us what PRISA has meant to him in his professional career.

Being a member of PRISA has given me identity and recognition within the industry, with my professional peers, friends and the feeling that I’m well connected and not alone. My affiliation did not only provide a value for me as an individual, it enhanced my performance and ultimately benefitted PRISA and the profession as I still continue to do so.

Membership improved my career and professional growth. I am both humbled and grateful that starting as a student member, progressing through the professional ranks to being the President of the Institute. The PRISA Fellowship – the highest honour to its members was bestowed on me.

Through strategic alliance with various associations, PRISA offers me a solid representation. The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme offers opportunities to participate in both local and international conferences, workshops and other strategic seminars. These platforms enabled me to stay abreast with public relations and communication management best practices.

PRISA offers me benefits such as experience in the code of good practice and professional standards. I feel safe knowing that I am part of a professional organisation with sound and good governance. Most importantly, the biggest benefit is the professional networking advantage which is critical in our profession. Both for general networking value and strategic professional contacts with access to international affiliation and participation has opened many doors for me.

I would question any professional who does not belong to a professional body, as it is the right thing to do. I am fully aware that belonging to a professional organisation has some drawbacks and strain especially when one is part of the structure. I served on the PRISA Council and many other strategic structures and still diligently paid my membership dues. Over and above this, I fulfilled my responsibilities firstly as a member then President, and went beyond the call of duty whilst I had my own life and career to deal with. The benefits of belonging to a professional organisation far outweigh the drawbacks and strain.

Ideally, getting the most out of any professional organisation, membership is like anything else in life, “You are going to get out of the organisation as much as you put into it.” I attribute my career growth to the benefits of being a PRISA member. I appreciate how I have grown in the profession and earned other international professional organisation’s respect and honour.

Join your professional organisation. If you haven’t yet, it’s the right thing to do! You too can earn the stripes and be a sought after professional.

World Public Relations Forum Presentations
Melbourne Mandate Symposium  
Facilitated by Virginia Trioli, ABC journalist and television presenter, the apogee of debate, discussion, and decisions on how communication is changing our world, our organisations and our profession. The symposium discussion is anchored by comment
from international thought leaders who have facilitated conversations around three cornerstones of the Melbourne Mandate and incorporate input from the World Public Relations Forum delegates in shaping the recently released Melbourne Mandate. This session includes audience participation and group discussions held during the symposium. 
Consumer and lifestyle brands: from fast moving to the slow movement

Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically over the past five years. With new online and mobile app technology, the collapse of traditional consumer buying priorities, coupled with the evolution of the new global consumer has created a new world for consumer communication. Consumer brand loyalty can be built up and demolished in a heartbeat, forcing companies to have intimate, meaningful and honest contact with their customers through a number of ‘touch points’ frequently. How professional communicators operate and provide counsel in this new environment where communication has no borders requires new tactics, strategies and a constant eye on the brand reputation. Facilitated by Emma Sturgiss (Tourism Australia), join top professional consumer communicators, Samantha Allen (Liquid Ideas) and Andrew Ure (OgilvyEarth, Ogilvy Public Relations), as they dissect the new environment and look into the future at the role communicators will be playing to influence consumer behaviour.

Tshepo’s Blog
Talk to Tshepo is your opportunity to share your views and opinions about YOUR PRISA with Tshepo.

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Until May,
Adele Paulsen
PRISA: Executive director

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Compiled by Helena van Wyk