|Public Relations Practitioner (PRP)
||Chartered Public Relations Practitioner (CPRP)
||Accredited in Public Relations (APR)
Dr DC Jacobs, University of Pretoria Communication Manager: Alumni Relations,
Dr Jacobs shares with us his views on what PRISA means to him. “Being a member of PRISA and especially an APR through the years gave me the confidence and benefit of knowing that business leaders and academics acknowledge my professionalism and value my inputs. It helped me to add strategic business value to my organisation and rise above the numerous sales and other similar positions, which are often referred to as public relations.”
Riana Sinden APR
Riana Sinden shares with us what PRISA meant to her in her career:
Remaining “relevant” in a highly competitive industry is a demanding reality which specialists face 24/7. Professional membership enables courageous conversations with associates about “things that matter”. PRISA provides professional platforms for information-sharing and sound-boarding and so membership provides me with the opportunity to remain close to fellow peers who face similar challenges. Apart from having to stay on top of current industry developments and future trends, PRISA membership gives me the opportunity to hone my existing levels of insight and understanding, assisting me to deal with ever-changing dynamics and influences.
Victor Sibeko CPRP FPRISA
Victor Sibeko shares with us what PRISA has meant to him in his professional career.
Being a member of PRISA has given me identity and recognition within the industry, with my professional peers, friends and the feeling that I’m well connected and not alone. My affiliation did not only provide a value for me as an individual, it enhanced my performance and ultimately benefitted PRISA and the profession as I still continue to do so.
Membership improved my career and professional growth. I am both humbled and grateful that starting as a student member, progressing through the professional ranks to being the President of the Institute. The PRISA Fellowship – the highest honour to its members was bestowed on me.
Through strategic alliance with various associations, PRISA offers me a solid representation. The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme offers opportunities to participate in both local and international conferences, workshops and other strategic seminars. These platforms enabled me to stay abreast with public relations and communication management best practices.
PRISA offers me benefits such as experience in the code of good practice and professional standards. I feel safe knowing that I am part of a professional organisation with sound and good governance. Most importantly, the biggest benefit is the professional networking advantage which is critical in our profession. Both for general networking value and strategic professional contacts with access to international affiliation and participation has opened many doors for me.
I would question any professional who does not belong to a professional body, as it is the right thing to do. I am fully aware that belonging to a professional organisation has some drawbacks and strain especially when one is part of the structure. I served on the PRISA Council and many other strategic structures and still diligently paid my membership dues. Over and above this, I fulfilled my responsibilities firstly as a member then President, and went beyond the call of duty whilst I had my own life and career to deal with. The benefits of belonging to a professional organisation far outweigh the drawbacks and strain.
Ideally, getting the most out of any professional organisation, membership is like anything else in life, “You are going to get out of the organisation as much as you put into it.” I attribute my career growth to the benefits of being a PRISA member. I appreciate how I have grown in the profession and earned other international professional organisation’s respect and honour.
Join your professional organisation. If you haven’t yet, it’s the right thing to do! You too can earn the stripes and be a sought after professional.
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.
Angela Barter, a leading ‘Green’ public relations specialist and consultant, a qualified GCX Residential Eco Auditor, highly regarded keynote speaker and founder of @ Communications Green Public Relations.
Integrity and ethics are crucial when communicating a company’s green credentials and sustainability initiatives. Public relations professionals and communicators have a responsibility to ensure that their messages are truthful and communicated with sincerity, to ensure their sustainability initiatives are not undermined by ‘greenwashing’ and ‘spin-doctoring’.
As a member of PRISA, I have personally committed to the principles and values contained in the PRISA Code of Ethics and Professional Standards, adopted in line with the Global Alliance Protocol. This not only guides me in terms of ethics for the public relations profession, but has enhanced my professional standing among clients and peers. It also forms an integral part of my Sustainable Communication Framework and Keynote presentations on Sustainable Communication and ‘Green’ public relations, which I now present to corporate companies and public relations consultancies I consult with.
PRISA provides me with a platform to educate, inspire and motivate public relations professionals and their clients about sustainability issues and the initiatives they can take to reduce their environmental impact. Most importantly, it allows me to empower public relations professionals and their clients to ensure that what they communicate is for the good of the planet, for the people and for the company’s profit, and that these messages are communicated sincerely, honestly and ethically to their stakeholders.
Peter van der Scyff CPR
For Peter van der Scyff CPRP, PRISA’s value is found not only in his personal growth, but also the doors PRISA has opened for him as a coach, mentor, confidante and friend to so many students and practitioners.
“Although I was employed in an unrelated role as a corporate Human Resources Director at the time, I started lecturing on a part-time basis at PRISA and its then Training Centre in Braamfontein in 1987. That was with my dear friend, the late Annemarie Honiball who was then the Training Director.
I never looked back and have, since then made PRISA my home away from home. Over the past 25 years I have seen several of my former students become PRISA presidents, professors at university, corporate leaders and leading communicators. If I could turn back the clock and choose my life all over again, I would have done exactly the same, but I would have started much, much earlier.”