Copyright 2018

By Gert Klopper APR

Gert KlopperBeing part of many member-based and driven industries including other non-profit organisations with given representation and an advocacy role, I am painfully aware of the continuous battle for relevance and legitimacy these organisations have. In the case of PRISA, this battle has been much more pronounced than in many others, my long-held view being, because of it losing its relevance to the majority of Communication and PR professionals – thus resulting in oblivion of what the profession is - in practice, really about.

I would like to cautiously say that the new mission, vision and strategic objective, together with the implied promises made to members, display a distinct sense of the profession “going back to its roots” (something that I personally have been campaigning for, for many years). This addresses the issues at the core of the profession that we love and have decided to spend our life following.

At this point, however, these are merely words, and promises on paper. These words will have to be put into action otherwise the profession will still be faced with the same identity crisis, lack of credibility and legitimacy, as indicated.

My region, is one where being a communication professional does not involve any glitz or glamour. There are literally no prestigious PR agencies and consultants around. Those in the profession deal with daily issues such as crisis communication, building relations out of public-private conflict, internal communication in an environment where the organisation they serve do not understand the “supportive culture” needed for effective communication, and doing all of that generally with total deficient resources – human as well as financial.

Every success in such an environment becomes an achievement, and e.g. who got what at which glitzy award ceremony becomes irrelevant, and the antics of a strange and far-away nation. The new direction that the statements point towards, and the promises made, suddenly sound much more familiar to the professionals in the region, and holds potential as something that they could possibly believe in, and strive towards.

It will however be the task of the regional leadership to generate this belief, and vindicate it, to the few existing members and the many potential ones.

This will have to take place through initiatives focused on realising the different elements contained in the statements. If this can be achieved, PRISA will be adding value to their careers and lives as it has not done in quite a long time.

We are not there yet; as a matter of fact, we have not started the journey – but we can get there with the necessary focus and determination, keeping in mind that rebuilding trust and credibility will have to be the first difficult step.

Register for

PRISA Membership

Follow us on

facebook twitter Instagram youtube

Contact details

Telephone: (011) 326 1262 / 011 326 1626
Fax: (011) 326 1259


ProComm House, 108 Bram Fischer Drive, Ferndale
PO Box 2825, Pinegowrie, 2123, Johannesburg, South Africa