Newsletter | July 2013

Dear PRISA member,

In our newsletter this month, meet the incoming PRISA president, Solly Moeng APR. Experience the PRISA National Conference through the eyes of students in the Event section. In our PRCC corner we are focusing on measurement. This month we put the spotlight on two extraordinary APRs – Elvis Presslin and Jan Snyman, and we welcome the newest APR to the family!


Feedback from the Board Back to Index

Taking PRISA into the future; a shared journey
Meet the new PRISA president, Solly Moeng APR, a seasoned corporate communication strategist who took over from Tshepo Matseba APR at the end of his term of office at the recent AGM.

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Regional news Back to Index
Last month all the regions held their AGMs, read about your region here!

PRISA KZN Regional committee:
A new PRISA KZN Regional committee was elected during the region’s AGM during May.

From left: Nomthandazo Mchunu, Troy Govender, Dionne Collett, Philani Mabaso, Adele Paulsen (PRISA executive director), Renitha Rampersad, Bronwen Abraham, Mthobisi Thabede and Jo Cossavella

PRISA Gauteng Region AGM:
June 2013 saw PRISA Gauteng Region successfully host its Annual General Meeting at the Maslow Hotel.

The guest speaker was Colleen Larsen, CEO of Business Engage. Colleen focused on the issue of gender diversity and gender mainstreaming in South Africa and also showed through statistics how, as a nation, we are so far behind. All hope is definitely not lost because through various initiatives that are currently being put in place and with more to follow, there is light at the end of the tunnel and although the progress might be slow, we will surely achieve the targets that we need to achieve. Some of the key issues raised during the presentation were how women were excelling academically but not in the workplace, the WEGE Bill, the Glass Ceiling and the Slippery Ladder theory, lack of mentorship.

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The PRISA Western Cape region invited Alayne Reesberg, CEO of Design City Cape Town, as guest speaker at their AGM. She gave an overview on the World Design Capital awarded to Cape Town for 2014.

Alayne Reesberg, CEO of Design City Cape Town, at the PRISA Western Cape Regional AGM.

Re-elected PRISA-WC chairperson, Aloysious Gowne and vice-chairperson, Merle O'Brien with public relations students.

Adele Paulsen, excetuvite director of PRISA, is joined by PRISA-WC committee members at the AGM in Cape Town:
From left - Stefanie Elliot, Merle O'Brien, Karen Visagie, Ruth Bartes, Aloysious Gowne, Adele Paulsen and Luthando Tyhalibongo.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programmes Back to Index

The following workshops will be presented in Randburg and Cape Town during July and the first week in August:

Media analysis, 9 July - Randburg
This interactive workshop will give you the tools to understand the principles of analysis and enable you to measure media efficiently and strategically. Also, some great debates are expected where everyone will certainly be able to learn from each other.


Essential media relations, 11 July - Randburg
Media relations is one of the fundamental functions in building a solid corporate reputation. The strategic value of good media relations is having insight in how news and media organisations operate and knowing and understanding the important journalists who cover your specific economic sector.


Professional event management, 15 – 16 July – Randburg
Event management involves studying the intricacies of the brand, identifying the target audience, devising the event concept, planning the logistics and coordinating the technical aspects before actually launching the event.” - Wikipedia.


Effective public relations planning, 19 July – Cape Town

A plan helps you to ensure that your public relations programmes are right for the company and its stakeholders. It forces you to consider the “what” and the “how” of your actions - the desired end result as well as the way in which it is to be achieved. You become proactive in order to secure your goal against undesired influence and unforeseen change.


Project management, 22 - 23 July – Randburg
This two-day hands-on programme has been designed to give practitioners the skills and tools to manage projects or to assist project managers on large projects. It touches on the most important aspects of the project management discipline as captured in the internationally recognised Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®).


Business writing, 24 – 26 July – Randburg
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.


Proofreading and editing for public relations and communication professionals, 29 - 30 July – Randburg
Experienced writers understand the importance of professional proofreading and quality editing. They also know the difficulty in detecting one’s own mistakes in texts. Frequently the difference between a good article that belongs in the top drawer and one that lands in an editor’s file 13 (recycle bin) is a few grammatical errors and spelling oversights.


Communication audit, 31 July – Randburg
Communication audits are necessary in today’s business environment and will assist you in gaining insight and information about your organisation’s communication programme. It will also ensure that your next communication strategy is based on facts and not merely assumptions.


Crisis communication management, 2 August – Randburg
”Crisis communication is that public relations activity which has as its objective, the maintenance of an organisation’s positive relations with its publics during a crisis, in order to ensure its future successful existence.”- Lubbe


Change management for public relations and communication professionals, 6 August – Randburg
Managers and leaders involved in change are required to have the know-how of what to do to get an organisation from where it is currently to the place where the leadership wants it to be within a given time frame. Business and people related issues are discussed and advised on during this highly practical and relevant workshop.


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

Events Back to Index

PRISA’s National Conference held on 10 and 11 June was, as expected, exciting; attended by interesting people and addressed by some of the most inspiring speakers from South Africa and abroad.

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Sasha-Lee Dyer
PRISA gave third-year students an opportunity to attend and report back on the event.

Sasha-Lee Dyer, third-year public relations student from Varsity College Sandton spoke to Michael Abrahamson about mind reading - a learnt or natural talent?

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Eddy Madibo from College Campus wrote about his experience at the PRISA conference:

At day two of the PRISA conference, I was overwhelmed by the information that I got from day one. I guess the textbook wasn’t lying about public relations being a dynamic field.

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Eddy Madibo (left) with Solly Moeng, PRISA president, during the conference.
Conference tweets

Social media lessons with Astrid Ascar

Astrid Ascar
Social media is a very confusing task for many organisations to master. PRISA’s Public Relations Consultants’ Chapter (PRCC) held another successful breakfast session at the PRISA national office in Randburg, Ferndale.

The session was facilitated by digital media expert, Astrid Ascar who has worked for Carte Blanche as a journalist. The talk looked at how social media can be effectively used by organisations within the public relations and communications profession.

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Spotlight on APRs Back to Index

We would also like to extend a warm welcome to Ruth Mzaidume, as the newest APR to PRISA. You can read about Ruth in next month’s newsletter!

This month PRISA intern, Vincent Maake, caught up with two unique APRs, Elvis Preslin, managing director of Fundi Communications and Advertising and Jan Snyman. Varsity College, Sandton, lecturer.

From left: Jan Snyman APR, Ruth Mzaidume APR, Sue Charlton APR and Adele Paulsen (executive director PRISA)

Public Relations Consultants' Chapter (PRCC) Corner Back to Index
Inzalo Communication writes in a two-part series about management expectations of measuring effects, what does public relations deliver?

Management expects to measure effects: executives either deliver something on time or they don't, the target return on investment is x% and it is met or it isn’t, a factory produces so many cars at a specific cost or somebody is held accountable, the sales team meets their sales objectives or else... These are functions that can be measured and therefore managed by management.

They expect the same from communication, but in only a relatively few instances do the communicators know for sure the precise effect they are having on the company's fortunes!

Trends in Industry Back to Index
Jeremy Maggs, senior news anchor, wrote in a blog this month about lessons learnt from brand Mandela, and maybe this is the time to reflect on it.

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MyPRISA Back to Index

Maritha Pritchard shares with us this month her thoughts on how PRISA has enriched her professional career.

When I joined PRISA as an associate 15 years ago, my biggest frustration was queuing at the fax machine to send out press releases. Today I am a Chartered Public Relations Practitioner (CPRP) and my biggest challenge is managing the information overload from a multitude of ever-changing digital media applications. Which ones do I ignore and who should I befriend, endorse or follow? The way in which public relations is practised has changed dramatically over the years which makes continuous professional development important for any practitioner. I can honestly say that the knowledge and networking opportunities available at the workshops that I have attended and the wonderful people that I have met at events have really helped me to develop my career as a professional.

World Public Relations Forum Presentations Back to Index

Communicating and connecting in digital and social spaces:
The growth of social media as a core communication and public relations platform is transforming traditional public relations and communication.

With the explosion in online influencers, bloggers and social media and mobile platforms, are strategies and techniques developed for ‘old world’ public relations going the way of dinosaurs?

In this session facilitated by Joanne Painter, Icon PR, industry shakers Jane Burns, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre; Allison Lee, IMPACT Communications Australia and Roger Marshall, Bite Communication, explore the challenges of building brands and creating communities in this brave new world, and discuss topics including:

  • Beyond Facebook and Twitter – what are the new and emerging social media platforms for public relations and communication?
  • Mobile technology and apps – the new frontier
  • Making the global connection – why we should care about what people say about them in social media
  • Controlling the message versus free engagement – getting the mix right
  • How social media is changing the rules of engagement– and how to use this to your advantage
  • How technology is being used to enhance and support communities – where are the opportunities?
  • What does the future look like for professional communicators re: skills and knowledge gaps?

Great people in great places:
Career planning and keeping your best talent. Christine Daymon, Murdoch University; Susanne Roberts, Talent Partners and Robyn Sefiani, Sefiani Strategic Public Relations, a panel of experienced leaders in public relations practice and research, discuss how you can position yourself as one of the great people and sought after talent, and as an employer or manager how to foster a great place to work. From achieving a work-life balance to encouraging entrepreneurship in an organisation, from packaging transferable skills to making performance reviews meaningful – this panel will open debate and discussion in the balancing act to attract and retain the best talent. This session is facilitated by Ingrid Larkin, QUT

Solly’s Blog Back to Index
Talk to Solly this is your opportunity to share your views and opinions about YOUR PRISA with Solly.

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Until next month,
Adele Paulsen
PRISA: Executive director

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Compiled by Helena van Wyk