Newsletter | December 2013

Dear PRISA member,

We’ve come to the end of another year and we would like to thank you, the members of PRISA, for being the reason behind PRISA’s success in 2013.

One of the initiatives that PRISA embarked on in 2013 was to invite its members to contribute towards its dialogue to ensure that PRISA remains relevant in 2013 and beyond. The PRISA regional committees went out of their way to ensure that there were enough networking opportunities for you, the member, and the PRISA president, Solly Moeng APR, who went on a road trip visiting and meeting the practitioners and students in the various regions.

Here is a round-up on what happened in your region during 2013:

The Eastern Cape Committee
  • During April Brightness Mangolothi presented a workshop on Strategic Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • In July they hosted Debora Patta. Her talk to members focused on Handling Media in Times of Crisis.
  • This region hosted the newly-appointed PRISA president, Solly Moeng. He addressed a group of students and public relations practitioners at the NMMU North Campus Conference Centre, Port Elizabeth.

The Free State Committee

  • This region celebrated Renay van der Berg APR, PRISA Free State Vice-Chairperson’s elections as South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government – SME Sector.

The Gauteng Committee

  • June 2013 - Colleen Larsen, CEO of Business Engage, spoke at the Gauteng Committee AGM. Her talk focused on the issue of gender diversity and gender mainstreaming in South Africa.
  • August saw the first of a series of PRISA Coffee Hour! This region hosted Coffee Hours once a month from 08:00 to 09:00 at various locations in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
  • November saw the Committee hosting a networking opportunity with SANRAL.

The KZN Durban Committee

  • The region hosted a panel discussion with media experts Mary Papaya, General Manager, The Times KZN, Sthembiso Shanganse, News Editor Gagasi99.5 FM and Thobile Nxumalo, Regional Editor Daily/Sunday Sun on “Understanding and Maximising Media Relations”.
  • Dr Corné Meintjes presented a workshop on Managing Stakeholder relationships in South Africa.
  • The KZN Durban Regional AGM feedback had Honorable Mtholephi Mthimkhule, Deputy Speaker: KZN Legislature, speaking about the important role PRISA plays in South Africa, and also highlighting the important role public relations can play in the development of the image and Brand SA.
  • In October the Committee held a networking workshop on public relations lessons learnt from big conferences. The speaker, Ms Julie-Ellingson, CEO of the Durban ICC, presented on the Cop17/CMP7 Conference of Parties of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the largest event ever hosted in South Africa.
  • Solly Moeng APR and Adele Paulsen visited the Region for a meet and greet.

The Western Cape Committee:

  • Lesley Schroeder-McLean hosted a writing for different mediums workshop.
  • The region invited Alayne Reesberg, CEO of Design City Cape Town, as a guest speaker at the AGM. She gave an overview to members on the World Design Capital awarded to Cape Town for 2014.
  • During a PRISA Western Cape Committee function, Biren Valodia, chief marketing executive of Mediclinic, received the PRISA Ivan O'Brien Leadership Award.

From a Board level, the President Solly Moeng APR, did a road trip to various regions to meet and greet practitioners and students. We’ve written about his experiences in our November newsletter, but the most important point to remember in his own words is:

    “For me, the hardest challenge is determining what undertakings I can reasonably make on behalf of PRISA without creating unrealistic expectations at each of the forums that I attend. 

    I believe that PRISA can only be the organisation that public relations and communication practitioners want it to be if the level of engagement between members and leadership continues to be open and dynamic, and if leadership is seen to be responsive to member expectations. Success depends on all of us!”

    Solly Moeng

PRISA reached out to students this year on a number of occasions – we have sponsored the Best student award at the University of Free State. 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, UFS on 16 April 2013.

PRISA formed a partnership with the SPRA - UJ student body initiative and through the year the PRISA management team visited Higher Education Institutions to speak to students to foster a culture of engaging with their professional body. SPRA also hosted a very successful conference this year.

This year saw record numbers of members participating in CPD workshops around the country. Members’ feedback on these workshops is important to us to ensure that these workshops add value to your everyday work. You can find the schedule for the 2014 workshops on our website:

PRISA has been working hard to ensure PRISA’s involvement globally. Being a founding member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management (Global Alliance) in 2002, has played an active part in both the Stockholm Accords and the Melbourne Mandate and will now embark as a local pioneer to 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.

The world’s first ongoing study of public relations and communication management practice is a partnership between the Global Alliance and the Strategic Communication and Public Relations Centre at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The global survey will allow each participating country to customise the questionnaire to be country specific in order to obtain specific information about the public relations and communication management industry including trends, new developments and current practices in the field of public relations and communication. The survey will provide a global benchmark based on each country’s data and provide a comparative analysis of the practice between countries including Canada, Brazil and Australia.

Adele Paulsen and her community of expert practitioners and academics will form part of the GA Education and Research Committee that will lead the South African portion of the GAP Study. Their key responsibility is to create awareness of the Global Alliance GAP Study in both South Africa and Africa and to encourage all members to participate.

Data collected from this study will prove to be invaluable on a global perspective as it forms part of a global benchmark, and will also assist in identifying our current professional landscape. It will also develop a good South African model as the team will be able to identify key specialisation areas and examine major issues affecting the profession.

“Being part of the team to represent South Africa as we undertake the first public relations and communication management practice global study of its kind, makes me proud to belong to PRISA.” concludes Adele Paulsen.

But most recently we are pleased to share with you that PRISA is extending its footprint not only in South Africa but in Africa. We would like to welcome on board the latest regions: Botswana, Limpopo and KZN Midlands. Our members can expect great networking opportunities in 2014!

Without your involvement and support, PRISA and the e-newsletter would not have been the success it is. I am deeply appreciative of all your contributions and participation throughout the year. I think we have done well in 2013, and we can look forward to a great 2014.

As always, if you have any suggestions or feedback about how we can improve the experience, please let us know.

Wishing you all the very best this festive season.

Adele and the PRISA Team

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