Newsletter | May 2013

Dear PRISA member,

In this month’s newsletter we highlight the importance of Board nominations for members. Our Regional News section welcomes back the Namibia region and provides feedback from Kwa-Zulu Natal and Eastern Cape committees. In the Public Relations Consultants’ Chapter (PRCC) corner you can read about its networking breakfast held with Brendan Seery, Media and Marketing Editor for Independent Newspapers. He was the guest speaker addressing the delegates on the topic of ‘Top mistakes public relations practitioners make and how to avoid them’, and the Trends section, Groundup-Media shared the story of Wayne and Cotlands Toy Library in ‘Videos are essential for social media strategies’.

Feedback from the Board
To function in an optimised manner, an Association or Institute requires a measure of proactive engagement by its members. Diaries have cyclical events and it is now that time of the year when PRISA needs to appoint its new President-elect and when member participation is crucial.

As a valued PRISA member, it would be appreciated if you could demonstrate your commitment to your Institute by nominating a candidate of your choice to be a part of the future leadership of PRISA.

The PRISA Board is the governing body of PRISA. Their responsibilities include discussing and voting on the issues deserving of the highest priority, setting organisational policies, and hiring and evaluating key staff. Board members are expected to act in the best interests of PRISA. They approve operating budgets, establish long-term plans, and create new revenue streams to boost the financial independency of the Institute.

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Regional news
All the regions will be having their Annual General Meetings (AGM) this month:
Eastern Cape – East London 8 May
Eastern Cape – Port Elizabeth 9 May
Free State – Bloemfontein 16 May
Northern Cape – Kimberley 17 May
Zululand – Richards Bay 20 May
KwaZulu Natal – Durban 21 May
Western Cape – Cape Town 28 May
Gauteng – Randburg 30 May

To find out details about your region’s AGM, please contact Lindiwe Majola at or 011 326-1262.

PRISA’s KwaZulu-Natal committee hosted a workshop on 16 April 2013 at the Riverside Hotel, ‘Managing Stakeholder Relationships in South Africa’.

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PRISA’s Eastern Cape Committee will be hosting a workshop on 'Crisis Communication' at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University on 31 May 2013.

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PRISA welcomes back the newly established Namibia committee in the picture below.

The Free State chairperson, Wium Adendorff presented the PRISA Award for The Top Corporate Communication Student of the Year, to Wesna Steenekamp.

The award was handed over during the graduation ceremony of the Faculty of the Humanities, University of the Free State on 16 April 2013.

PRISA uses own turf to align with Planting Season Day

In celebration of Planting Season Day on 20 March, over 400 South African companies united to plant organic vegetable gardens. The PRISA team got their hands ‘soiled’ to support sustainable living. A variety of vegetable seedlings including spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, spring onions and strawberries were planted as a sustainable gardening initiative, forming part of PRISA’s ‘Going Green’ project.

“Establishing our own vegetable garden is a huge step towards PRISA’s commitment to sustainability and reducing our environmental impact,” says Adele Paulsen, Executive Director, PRISA. “The benefits of growing our own produce are numerous. Our colleagues are now able to reap and enjoy what we sowed in our own back yard.”

PRISA staff members showing their support for Planting Season Day

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programmes
Strategy is a fundamental practice in public relations and communication management. PRISA’s department for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) held a workshop on 9 April 2013 themed 'Strategies to promote public relations in your company'. Lindy Goodfellow, a seasoned practitioner in strategic public relations, facilitated the workshop.

The workshop tackled the difficulties that practitioners face in approaching senior management in order to obtain their approval or ‘buy-in’. The workshop provided practitioners with pointers in developing effective strategies to get executive go ahead and support. Senior management often does not see the importance of a proactive communication strategy. The workshop did not leave any stone unturned as it addressed relevant tools that industry practitioners can access to promote public relations in their organisations.

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The following workshops will be presented in Gauteng and Namibia during May:
Effective media release writing, 9 May - Gauteng

Media releases provide public relations practitioners with an essential tool to disseminate information and secure publicity, thereby creating awareness to ultimately build the client’s brand. However, the achievement of these objectives hinges on whether they are effectively written. The 'Effective media release writing' workshop will equip you to do just this…


Stakeholder engagement and management, 13 – 14 May - Gauteng

Good stakeholder relationships are one of the key tools to attaining your company’s strategic goals. This forms the basis for building social capital that can take you and your organisation to new heights. As communicators, effectively developing a framework within a company tailored to maximising the value that each stakeholder carries is an invaluable skill.


Communication policies, 16 May - Gauteng

The Oxford dictionary defines policy as: “A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organisation or individual.” These principles act as the guiding light that provide direction to organisations and recommend certain behaviours in individuals. Commonly identified with governments and economics, policies also exist in communication. What are some of the common policies and how are they developed? These are some of the pertinent questions that this PRISA workshop is designed to provide answers to.


Internal communication management, 20 – 21 May - Namibia

Public relations practice involves the proactive management of employee communication as a two-way process, not only between management and employees, but also to give constant feedback to management on how their messages are received. It is, therefore, important for the business communicator to be able to design relevant internal communication strategies and execute them successfully.


Communication audit, 22 May - Namibia

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.


Customer relationship management, 23 – 24 May - Gauteng

Customer Relationship Management, mostly known as CRM, is a strategic component in the successful business of today. This programme focuses on attracting and retaining customers through excellent service, cooperation, trust, commitment and sharing of information. CRM is all about business relationships and how the organisation can create new value for its customers, suppliers, employees and investors by managing these relationships.
The aim of this programme is to equip organisations to manage relationships with customers and all other stakeholders, and to apply CRM as a professional business tool.


How to conduct research – 27 May - Gauteng

This one-day workshop will guide you to formulate your strategy enabling interventions in such a way that you will be able to determine their impact and calculate the ROI.


Proofreading and editing, 29 – 30 May - Gauteng

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.


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’s PRCC networking breakfasts presents:
Johanna McDowell: 'Success with the pitch process'. With so much concern about getting our pitches perfect, Johanna shows us how to ensure we are successful in the pitching process.

PRISA will be hosting its much-anticipated annual conference at the Leriba Hotel in Centurion, Pretoria, on 10 and 11 June 2013. Celebrating PRISA’s well-established 56-year history in the industry; this year’s conference is titled: 'PRofiting from a Convergent World'. It will explore how public relations and communication professionals can contribute to, and take advantage of a convergent world.
The theme of the conference was chosen in recognition of the fact that technology is converging at a rapid rate, while the disciplines of public relations, marketing, advertising, digital communication, human resources, procurement and management in general are all interlinked, coming together from different directions to create the convergent world in which we live and work.
For more info contact Susan Richardson at or
click here for the programme and booking form

Spotlight on APRs    
For years men have been dominant in the public relations and communication industry, however this has changed tremendously. This month, Ivonne Blom from PRISA, investigates the views of ‘male versus female’ in this profession and she interviews Michelle Robertson APR and Takalani Dzaga APR.

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Michelle Robertson

Takalani Dzaga

Public Relations Consultants' Chapter (PRCC) Corner
Esther Labuschagne, Cambial Communications, attended the PRCC’s networking breakfast in Johannesburg. She spoke to Brendan Seery, Media and Marketing Editor for Independent Newspapers, the guest speaker addressing the delegates on the topic of Top mistakes public relations practitioners make and how to avoid them.

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PRISM Awards: A resounding success
This year’s PRISM Awards evening topped all others for panache and style. The Who’s Who of the industry turned out in their finery to celebrate the best campaigns and industry players of 2012.

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Legislation is the phoenix of our profession
The Legislation and Regulation Committee is pleased that PRISA has been recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the professional body for public relations and communication management professionals and its designations have been recognised on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
Says Lorraine van Schalkwyk APR, committee chair: "This is positive news for the committee and its work around professionalisation, because the process being followed by the qualifications authority is to recognise one body and one set of professional standards for each profession. PRISA was one of only 40 bodies, and the only communication management body, recognised in this first round of professions receiving this recognition."

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Do you watch video’s online? If you answered yes, you are not alone. Over eight million South Africans regularly use the Internet and many of them watch, comment on and share videos. Chantal Storbeck, from Groundup-Media, writes to us about the role videos play in the social media strategy and share with us the Cotlands Toy Library video.

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My relationship with PRISA began in the mid-eighties, when I started lecturing some of the first courses designed to improve the skills of public relations practitioners in South Africa. I was one of the first practitioners who qualified as an APR, under the umbrella of the then “grand-father clause”. In addition, I completed the Public Relations Management course in the mid-nineties, to officially qualify as an APR, under the excellent guidance of Anne-Marie Honiball. This course, more than anything else, made me realise how important the profession and the work that practitioners do on a daily basis, actually is. It has also served as a yard stick and compass for my career ever since.
Following many years in the public and private sector as a practitioner and public relations manager, my lecturing career at PRISA and Varsity College started in earnest in 2003. The constant exposure to PRISA and its work on virtually a weekly basis, as well as my membership of the Accreditations Committee, reinforced the role PRISA had on my career - especially from a professional point of view.
Teaching and lecturing the public relations practitioners of the future affords me the opportunity to inform these young prospective practitioners, what a critical role PRISA will play as a professional body in their professional careers.

World Forum Feedback
Integrated Reporting: The role of corporate communication and investor relations in demonstrating strategy, governance and financial performance in social, environmental and economic contexts’
“Integrating reporting is an idea whose time has come. The market-led momentum behind integrated reporting is making its implementation inevitable. This is your invitation to shape the future of business.” - Professor Mervyn King, Chairman IIRC.
Integrated Reporting (IR) is a process that results in communication, most visibly a periodic “integrated report”, about value creation over time -
Hear from Paul Druckman, CEO of the Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and fellow panelists, Daniel Tisch (Global Alliance) and Rhodri Ellis-Jones (Ellis-Jones) about how IR is the latest tool available to organisations to demonstrate their sustainability, enabling stakeholders to gain a holistic view of their performance. As an advocate of your organisation’s sustainability, it is crucial for you to understand IR and how it will shape reporting in the future.
Communication and global crisis: A discussion on natural disasters and recoveries
The recent natural disasters in the Asia Pacific region have affected communication networks in profound ways. This session is led by the mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker (Christchurch City Council), Jungae Lim (Amapro Inc.) and Sherryl Yao (TV5), who will share how these events have affected communication and how communication affected these changes. Facilitated by Ritzi Villarico Ronquillo (IABC), the panelists will discuss some of the strategies and tactics employed, lessons learned, and the realities of producing and implementing crisis communication plans.

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 next month,
Adele Paulsen
PRISA: Executive director

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Compiled by Helena van Wyk