Tebogo Ditshego - PRISA President

Tuesday, 20 April 2021 – The response to my appointment as the President of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) was remarkable, as I take over the reins at a time when the industry requires pointed direction, greater organisation, enhancement of standards and a greater understanding of the essence of the Public Relations and Communication profession.

At the heart of the progress of mankind has been our ability to collaborate on common causes and standing on the shoulders of those who came before us while planting seeds for the next generation. Working together requires a profound mutual understanding which extends to a well-informed comprehension of our cultural diversity, and communication is the glue that binds the relationships we form. Therefore, it can be argued that communication is at the heart of the progress of organisations and humanity.

This augments the gravity of our responsibility to organise the industry, united behind standards that will establish fertile ground for the Public Relations and Communication profession to add value, manifest a mutual understanding with the public at large and command a profound sense of mutual respect with stakeholders.

A few challenges that have inhibited the advancement of the industry include the low barriers to entry in the industry, amplified by the lack of the widespread uptake of Public Relations and Communication agencies and practitioners joining a professional body as a screening mechanism to authenticate the bona fides of agencies and practitioners.

Furthermore, in their interactions with PRISA, some agencies have expressed concerns regarding some of the tight timelines to bid for contracts and requests for strategies as a part of proposals without remuneration, compromising their bottom line and creative capacity to execute the proposals.

A general understanding of the value of Public Relations and Communication is often inadequate. Consequently, PRISA would be required to develop a broader understanding of the profession’s influence in society and the measuring tools available to evaluate milestones.

Therefore, as President of PRISA, in consultation with the Board my plan is as follows:

  • To organise the industry and increase individual membership by amplifying the institute’s presence throughout the lengths and breadths of Southern Africa through our head office and regional structures, ensuring that PRISA offers real value to its members.
  • Enhancing efforts to increase membership of Public Relations Consultancies and maintain close relationships with Public Relations Consultancies by establishing a structure of Consultancies that will advise the board.
  • Encouraging greater cooperation with institutions of higher learning to improve the relevance of the Public Relations and Communication curricula.
  • Reaching agreements with the public and private sector to broaden member benefits, conducting skills audits and making PRISA membership a favourable asset when accessing employment and business opportunities in the Public Relations and Communication profession.
  • Endorse the Barcelona Principles as the industry-standard measurement tool.
  • Nurturing relationships between the Public Relations and Communication profession and all communication-related sectors through periodic engagements.

We extend our gratitude to the previous leaders in the profession who have reached significant milestones. Our role will be to carry the baton and deliver results that will benefit future generations.

For more information contact:
Mr Victor Sibeko
Chief Executive Officer
email: victor@prisa.co.za