Accredited in Public Relations (APR) news
Article by: Lebang Idah Dikeledi – APR
My name is Lebang Idah Dikeledi commonly known as Idah. I have been in the communication and public relations field for as long as I can remember and studied at the University of the North West towards a Bachelors Degree in Communication majoring in Public Relations, Broadcasting and Psychology.
One of the best decisions I made in my life was this career choice because I enjoy my career whole heartedly and am very passionate about it. The initial highlight for my career was when I was selected to do my internship at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 where I was exposed to not only career wide concepts, values and principles but to international trends within the industry. This opportunity also unleashed other talents that I wasn’t aware of at that time, one of them being public speaking and skills such as leadership and interpersonal skills.
This remarkable work experience at the beginning of my career afforded me an opportunity to experience communication holistically. I believe that for one to confidently be pronounced as a communication expert is due to one’s understanding of all facets of communication including public relations, marketing, branding, advertising, media relations, events management, taking one to where I am now at a strategic communication level. I have been part of strategic management teams for some of South Africa’s state owned and government entities including North West Parks & Tourism Board, Rustenburg Local Municipality and Magalies Water, this has given me experience in consultation work ranging from project management of big events to managing an advertising account.
My interest in attaining the Accredited in Public Relations designation (APR) developed in 2004 when I first learned about PRISA and registered for the Provox Public Relations Management course and obtained the Chartered Public Relations Practitioner (CPRP) designation. I started understanding the accreditation process and the importance thereof. Knowledge of the PRISA accreditation process came in at that time in my life when I was tracking down knowledge and experience in the field and gearing up for academic excellence.
A need for academic excellence and therefore accreditation as an APR was influenced by a number of factors, one of which is the “strategic” function that communication plays within organisations. Often organisations do not acknowledge that public relations practitioners have the power to set direction and affect structure in the organisation. The communication field in itself has a practical nature which poses a challenge to strategic positioning of the organisation.
What influenced my interest to be accredited as an APR was a quest to enhance my performance at a strategic level and to gain these skills by contributing to a body of knowledge. My Master’s in Professional Communication Management research topic was also influenced by this challenge. The topic is, “Investigating positioning of Strategic Communication Management function within state owned entities” with the emphasis on Excellence in Communication Management, was also influenced by this challenge.
PRISA is now well established and well recognised and it is time to interact with industry professional bodies to promote excellence in communication management. Students registered within this field must be informed about PRISA in a form of physical presentations, links with institutions’ websites and encouragement by communicators who qualified from PRISA to present papers as a way of motivating leaners and attracting them to PRISA.