Newsletter | October 2013

Dear PRISA member,

In this month’s newsletter we report back on regional activities and we give you guidelines on how to successfully complete your APR status with PRISA. In our PRCC corner, Marie Yossava APR, founder and owner of Grapevine, shares the importance of Brand Power.


Feedback from the Board Back to Index

PRISA, being a founding member of the Global Alliance in 2002, has played an active part in both the Stockholm Accords and the Melbourne Mandate. As a local pioneer it will lead the first global Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) study in South Africa and Africa together with a community of expert practitioners and key role players at the University of Pretoria.

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Regional Feedback Back to Index
South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government – SME Sector, is no other than Renay van der Berg APR, PRISA Free State Vice-Chairperson. She was recently awarded in recognition of her achievements in the SME Sector. Renay’s affiliation with PRISA dates back to 1984, when she decided to switch careers – from journalism to corporate communication. In 1994 she received the accreditation (APR) designation. She also served as vice-chair for the province in 2002. Another hat she is wearing this year is as vice-chairperson of Business Women Association (FS). Her business, PRoComm Brand Management and Business Development Services, is based in Welkom.
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Western Cape member receives the Ivan O’Brien award

During a PRISA Western Cape Committee function, Biren Valodia, chief marketing executive of Mediclinic, received the PRISA Ivan O'Brien Leadership Award.

From left:
Alice Scott (PRISA WC Student executive member), Marcus Brewster (marcusbrewster CC), Solly Moeng APR (PRISA president), Merle O’Brien APR FPRISA (PRISA WC vice-chairperson), Biren Valodia CPRP (recipient of the PRISA Ivan O'Brien Leadership Award and chief marketing executive of Mediclinic), Aloy Gowne CPRP (PRISA WC chairperson), Karen Visagie APR (PRISA WC executive member), Stefanie Elliott (PRISA WC secretary), Luthando Tyhalibongo CPRP (PRISA WC treasurer)

Maximum potential through inspiration

PRISA’s Gauteng Regional Committee launched its first coffee hour in August. The objective of hosting this bi-monthly event is to provide our members the opportunity to attend short sessions which will either be motivational, case studies or insights - not forgetting the opportunity to network. We kicked-off with the topic “Own your value”; presented by Jodie Sherwin Hill and Matseleng Mogodi from Jomat Investments (Pty) Limited, a female, black majority owned company.

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Eastern Cape Region hosts the PRISA president

On the 22 August, the newly appointed PRISA president, Solly Moeng APR, addressed a group of students and public relations practitioners at the NMMU North Campus Conference Centre, Port Elizabeth.

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programmes Back to Index

PRISA members enjoyed the warm hospitality of the Bloemfontein region when they attended the PRISA Social Media workshop there last month.

Judging from the feedback received, delegates valued the hands-on approach to learning all the ins and outs of corporate social media engagement. The workshop was presented by Maritha Pritchard, lecturer at the University of Johannesburg. Delegates brought their laptops and tablets to practically experiment with the various social media platforms available, how to use a content calendar and applying social media metrics to measure and monitor corporate social media.

PRISA presents the following workshops in Johannesburg and Cape Town for you this coming month.

Johannesburg workshops
Stakeholder Engagement: 14 -15 October

Good stakeholder relationships are one of the key tools to attaining your company’s strategic goals. This is the basis of 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.


Measurement and Evaluation: 17 October
  Is evaluation or measurement an exact science? Is there a standard? Is there a formula? How do practitioners report on ROI, the value of campaigns and the impact on the target audience? What is important to know is that campaigns can be measured. The principles are based on the PRISA endorsed Barcelona Declaration – we will review the update on the international standard, look at ways of measuring the digital element and analysing practical examples of evaluation. These are the issues that we will explore in this session.


Digital impact on the South African Market: 23 - 24 October

The digital domain is becoming increasing popular as a channel to acquire and engage with customers. Given the local growth in smart devices and the decreasing cost of connectivity more and more people are replacing traditional media time with time on their device. This has led to a culture of instant gratification and information on-demand underpinned by our reliance on the Internet.


Communication Audit: 25 October
  Discovering the exact value of a brilliant communication campaign or perfectly pitched public relations plan is an integral part of a communicator’s professional life. Without this crucial skill, a communicator could easily fail to translate great ideas into great rewards. Unfortunately, many professionals do not know how to properly measure their communication efforts. This workshop looks to reverse that trend and impart the invaluable skill of how to conduct a communication audit.


Professional Events Management: 28 - 29 October

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.


Cape Town workshop
Proof reading and editing for public relations and communication professionals: 23 - 24 October
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

Spotlight on APRs Back to Index
What does it take to become an APR? We thought this month we would provide you with some guidelines to help you achieve your APR status.

The criteria

You will be eligible for accreditation if you have at least 10 years experience in the professional practice of public relations and communication management in all of the tasks listed on the application form or in the teaching of this field at an accredited education institution. (

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Public Relations Consultants' Chapter (PRCC) Corner Back to Index
Never underestimate the power of a brand. This is the message to all business owners from Marie Yossava APR, founder and owner of Grapevine Communications, a Johannesburg public relations and communication consultancy.

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MyPRISA Back to Index

Rene Benecke CPRP, senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, shares her views on what PRISA meant to her in her career.

Being asked the question “What has PRISA meant to you?” took me back to the early 1990s when I did the Certificate in Public Relations Practice with PRISA. I can still recall being seven months pregnant with my twin daughters at the graduation ceremony and receiving my prize as the best student while feeling very uncomfortable! This relationship is now 21 years old.

During this period there have been times of much involvement and times of less active participation in professional body activities. Reflecting back on this made me wonder why? Was it because the organisation did not speak to my needs, was it because I did not want to be associated with the members because I questioned their professionalism or was it just due to the rhythm of life? Being a graduate with a BA Communication degree, a good position in the industry, working hard and raising a family it was easy to lose interest in the professional body. Losing contact with the industry and fellow practitioners during that time, often struggling to solve challenges most likely experienced by others resulted in isolation and a feeling of disconnect. During such times it’s also easy to criticise because ignorance breeds arrogance.

Luckily, I again joined the team at PRISA and have been paying my membership diligently for a number of years now. Being a CPRP member, serving on the Education, Research and Training Committee and involving my students in PRISA activities as student members gives me a sense of belonging and an opportunity to play an active role in PRISA. I do live by the motto that you can only change things by being involved in processes and the organisation, sharing and learning from experiences for a purpose greater than ourselves.

Trends in Industry Back to Index
PR Boutiques International™ Survey results reveal Insights into members

PR Boutiques International (PRBI), a global network of 31 boutique public relations companies in 13 countries, released its first report of data from its 2013 member survey in September.

PRBI members are distinguished by a business model of focused, customised services by hands-on senior practitioners. Their clients include international conglomerates, Fortune 500 corporations, trade associations, and fast-growing companies in industries such as technology, energy, financial services, government, tourism, education, lifestyle and healthcare.

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How to increase your clients’ reach

It’s not often that public relations consultancies are asked “Do you have anything on the public relations industry sector. We have a lot of space to fill, but no material.”
That is music to your ears as it virtually guarantees publicity and looks great in the news clippings files especially at times when clients are demanding added value or are reviewing their relationship with their public relations consultancy.

We at KZN Industrial & Business News and Eastern Cape Industrial & Business News are experiencing unprecedented growth and with that growth comes the need to fill those additional column centimeters with informative material particularly for the broad range of features that we run each month.

While we focus on the KZN and Eastern Cape regions, our new product pages – in features and run of paper – tend to “gobble up” editorial and we often find ourselves on our knees to our regular suppliers to supply us with meaningful news, case studies, product punts etc.

So just as we are expanding our news offerings, we offer you the opportunity to extend your client coverage. Have a look at our latest issues electronically on  to get a feel of who we are. Then please send an email to and we can all reach our goals.

World Public Relations Forum Presentations Back to Index
The Asian Century:

This extremely interesting session led by Mark Sheehan, a Senior Lecturer from Deakin University / Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal together with key industry experts Ava Lawler, the Global Consultancy Director of Text 100 and Jenny McGregor, Executive Director of Asia Link at The University of Melbourne and founding Executive Director of the Asia Education Foundation, will examine the opportunities, pitfalls and implications for the public relations profession as the world’s centre of economic, industrial and political centre of gravity shifts towards Asia during the coming century. Ava has had a 23 year global career in communication spanning the Australian, Chinese, Asia, Pacific, UK and South African Markets and has spent 13 years establishing and managing business either locally or across Asia Pacific. Jenny McGregor has been closely involved with the development of the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ White Paper which the Australian Government commissioned to consider the likely economic and strategic changes in the region and what more can be done to position Australia for the Asian Century.

Have we found the “Higgs Boson” of public relations in our advances measuring value?

The International Coalition for Public Relations Research Standards was formed earlier this year to create a broad platform of standards and best practices for public relations research, measurement and evaluation. This session, facilitated by James Wright from Red Agency and a noteworthy panel comprising John Croll, Sentia Media; John Paluszek, Ketchum; Michael Ziviani, Precise Value and Kieran Moore, Ogilvy Public Relations Australia present the latest developments and discuss the evolution of public relations measurement and the commitment and advances made in this space. A crucial session for all public relations and communication practitioners.

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