Newsletter | November 2013

Dear PRISA member,

PRISA’s President, Solly Moeng APR, visited the various regional chapters last month and he gives us some valuable feedback on these “Meet and Greet – What relevance?” And PRISA’s intern student visited Thabisile Phumo APR and writes to us about her thoughts on the APR status. In the Trends in Industry, we look at how the public relations industry must adapt to a new social order.


Feedback from the Board Back to Index

The president’s take on the relevance of the various recent regional visits.

Meet and Greet – What relevance?

Visiting the regional chapters is an honour for the PRISA president to undertake.

Going around the country to visit PRISA’s regional chapters is the right thing to do for all PRISA presidents.

Being a member-driven organisation, PRISA exists because of and for its members; it thrives because of them and remains relevant through them.

As PRISA president, I have found a lot of value in each regional encounter. Granted, I have not had the opportunity to visit all the regions as yet, however I have enjoyed the visits that I have undertaken. I have met some of the most dedicated, inspired and inspiring practitioners and students in public relations and communication, listened to their issues and learnt a lot from them.

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Regional Feedback Back to Index

KZN Committee learnt valuable public relations lessons from big conferences
The KZN Durban Committee held a networking workshop last month 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.

She shared her experiences on what it took to host an event of this size, the complexity around it and, most of all, the valuable lessons gained from this experience.

From Left to right:
Philani Mabaso, Bronwen Abrahams, Julie-May Ellingson, Nomthandazo Mchunu, Renitha Rampersad, Troy Govender and Dionne Collett

Eastern Cape Region – The Art of Networking

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University - The Eastern Cape Region recently hosted a networking session led by Boomtown Strategic Brand Agency’s, Jane Stevenson. She shared the importance of networking in a very practical and picturesque way.

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Connecting the dots – bridging the gap between your qualification and the real world

On the 21 October, the chairperson of the PRISA Eastern Cape region, Brightness Mangolothi CPRP was invited to talk to public relations students at Varsity College, Port Elizabeth. Her speech was titled “Connecting the dots - bridging the gap between your qualification and the real world.” Some of the highlights from her speech were career engagement and considering the online presence.

Brightness Mangolothi talking to Varsity College students in Port Elizabeth
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Career engagement

Successful career development is a life-long process. The first step in successful career development is effective career planning. The principle of planning is setting goals that are measurable, realistic and achievable.

It is important to understand one’s skills and interests; this will also provide you with insights into your personality type, competencies and gaps.

Familiarise yourself with your career, understand the career requirements, salaries, working environment. Read and join online professional organisations that are aligned to your career path. Join a professional body and find a mentor or sponsor. Strategically volunteer your services – know why you volunteer and what you need to get out of it. Volunteer with a purpose in mind. There are more lessons beyond the classroom. Above that be careful on what you post online and what others say about you online.

Consider your Online Presence

Today more than ever employers are utilising the Internet to identify candidates and verify their qualifications and reputation.

  • Evaluate your Online Presence - Google yourself…often
  • Monitor your Online Presence - review and adjust your Facebook privacy settings on an on-going basis.
  • Enhance your Online Presence – start a blog, open a Linkedin account.

The ultimate goal is about ensuring that you plan today for your future and you avoid the possibility of finding out at a later stage that you are not interested in the career you have chosen.

Both students and their lecturer stated that they were empowered by the presentation and would like to have more talks. One student said: “I now know that public relations is more than just events management, importantly it is about seeing yourself as a brand and on that brand through what you say and do.”

Authenticity in public relations was made real

On the 5 October the Students’ Public Relations Association (SPRA) hosted its second annual conference at the University of Johannesburg’s FADA Auditorium. The conference was themed “Authenticity in public relations”, with industry leaders giving their opinions and views on this important topic.

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Adele Paulsen and the SPRA committee at University of Johannesburg

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programmes Back to Index

In November, PRISA is offering the following CPD programmes:

Johannesburg workshops
Corporate Messages: 13- 14 November
This two-day workshop will focus on:
  • Clear understanding of the differences and similarities between Vision and Mission statements and Corporate Messages
  • Ability to conduct a Corporate Messaging Workshop
  • Identifying the relevant stakeholders and compiling messages
  • Ability to present and use final corporate messages


How to launch your own Public Relations Career: 20 November
The hardest part of any journey is taking the initial stride. This is no different in your professional career. Before you can reach the top of the ladder, you need to get onto the first step and start climbing. As thrilling a time as it can be, making the transition from student to public relations professional is also an experience filled with anxiety.


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

Gauteng Regional Committee - upcoming regional event Back to Index
The conversation just gets better! Find out the benefits of Telepresence.

Join PRISA Gauteng Regional Coffee Hour where BT One, leaders in global conferencing will be presenting a live demonstration of what Telepresence entails and how this innovative technology can offer a number of business benefits:

  • Overcome barriers of time and distance and collaborate more effectively with national and global customers, board members, investors, employees and suppliers.
  • Save time and money by reducing travel and accommodation expenses
  • Enhance the communications experience for a more efficient organisation.
  • Implement sustainable business practices and reduce your C0 2 emissions!
Update your communications technology with minimal disruption to your business.

Public Relations Consultants' Chapter (PRCC) Corner Back to Index

How to have a successful public relations career

‘A career in public relations is immensely rewarding and it offers many opportunities to those who are willing to work hard and put in the effort to perfect their craft’ writes Nevasha Naidoo, Platinum Public Relations consultancy. ‘Unlike many careers, there are not many limitations standing in the path of success. However, there are certain personal and professional qualities that will set you apart from the rest. In this article, I will lay out the professional components that I believe will put you on the fast track in the demanding world of public relations.’

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Spotlight on APRs Back to Index

This month, PRISA’s intern, Evidence Mashitoa, visited Thabisile Phumo, head of corporate communication, Anglo American Platinum, to talk to her about the APR designation.

Most of you will agree with me that learning is a continuous process. The accreditation programme provided by the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) is a stepping-stone to a continuous learning process offered to public relations and communication management practitioners.

I had the opportunity to visit Anglo American Platinum’s head office in downtown Johannesburg, where I interviewed an amazing woman, Thabisile Phumo, head of Anglo American Platinum’s corporate communication.

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MyPRISA Back to Index
Lindie Goodfellow shares what PRISA means to her.

My relationship with PRISA over the past few years has contributed greatly to my professional development as a public relations practitioner. As a lecturer, facilitator and business owner in public relations and corporate communication, my affiliation with PRISA has enhanced my professional credibility and created opportunities for me that I believe I would not otherwise have had.

Belonging to the professional body for public relations and communication management in Southern Africa has also given me recognition as one of PRISA’s facilitators for continuing professional development (CPD) programmes. It’s a privilege to be part of this programme of lifelong learning - to share knowledge and at the same time have the opportunity to enhance my own skills. As a lecturer at Varsity College and presenter of communication related subjects at other corporate companies, this membership has also enhanced my work ethics and contributed greatly to my growth within the profession.

PRISA has afforded me recognition and credibility with clients, and a platform for dialogue, networking and sharing of best practices with the best minds in public relations. It has also enabled me to stay in touch with developments and trends in the industry.

I value this relationship, and believe that PRISA has a key role to play as the industry evolves and transforms itself in addressing the challenges facing public relations today.

Public relations is my passion. I’m excited to be a member of PRISA as it faces the issues in public relations head on.

Bill Gates summed it up when he said:

"If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I'd spend it on PR!"

Trends in Industry Back to Index

The public relations industry must adapt and model itself for a new social order

(Courtesy of the PRCA)

The public relations industry has always been and will continue to be impacted by trends in society. Take for example the enormous impact social media is having on public relations practice as well as on our personal lives.

Understanding these trends and how they affect the structure, style and work flow of organisations, and, most importantly, reflecting them in our services as public relations professionals for clients, is the only way forward for our industry. As Charles Darwin once said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change", and this holds true for communication professionals and the industry in general.

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World Public Relations Forum Presentations Back to Index

Upon closing of the World PR Forum at the Melbourne Convention Centre in 2012, a number of ‘Lightning Talk’ sessions of 15 minutes or less were held. The sessions ranged from social media marketing to essential principles of world class client management.

Lightening Talk Session 1: ‘50 Practical questions about social media marketing’ was presented by Brian Giessen (Ogilvy Public relations) while Chris Rose (Campaign Strategy) presented ‘What difference is ‘online’ really making?’ Both talks were facilitated by Nick Turner (Public Relations Institute of Australia).

Lightning Talk Session 2: ‘Content obesity: an organisation’s silent killer’ presented by Sally Bagshaw (Snappy Sentences) and ‘Truth may not need to get in the way of a good story – but lack of trust will’ presented by Warren Kirby (Weick Australasia). Both talks facilitated by Jeff Naqvi (Pier Advisory).

Lightning Talk Session 3: The final lightning talks of the day facilitated by Tracy Jones (Creative Territory) included ‘The client imperative: essential principles of world class client management’ and ‘The Business Plan is dead’ presented by Amanda Little (Intermedia Consulting) and Alan Scott (Asmosys) respectively.

Solly’s Blog Back to Index
This is your opportunity to share your views and opinions about YOUR PRISA with Solly Moeng APR, PRISA president.

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Until next month,
Adele Paulsen
PRISA: Executive director

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Compiled by Helena van Wyk