As the nominated candidate of the PRISA Board, public relations expert Bridget von Holdt has been elected as the African region president of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO). As a result, this will open doors and will pave the way for domestic PR practitioners to excel in the industry.
“Increasing Africa’s voice and collaboration to expand the continent’s business footprint sits high on what I want to achieve in my new appointment,” says Von Holdt.
The ICCO is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations representing 48 countries across the globe: from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Australasia. Collectively, these associations represent over 2 500 PR firms.
Charlene Corrin, the general manager of the ICCO says the organisation is excited to have its African region led by a person of von Holdt’s calibre.
“She has a long history in the industry and served as a board member in our organisation prior to taking on the role as African Region President. People elected in this position are expected to direct regional group activities and represent their region at global board meetings. They are also expected to grow membership within their region and serve on the global executive committee,” explains Corrin.
Von Holdt has been a pioneer in the public relations profession in South Africa for more than three decades and has set the benchmark for excellence in the industry, evidenced by her leadership roles in PRISA where she was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Commenting on her recent appointment at ICCO, Von Holdt says, “Africa tends to be the forgotten continent, yet is identified as a focal growth point for so many international companies. As the regional president, I will use the ICCO platform to position Africa and the agencies represented on the continent as strategic partners, as innovative and, of course, as the experts within the region.”
In May 2017, the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) will host the ICCO Board in South Africa – an opportunity for the practitioners to get closer to the international team and forge relationships as well as interrogate trends.
“As a region, we need to encourage more of our colleagues to join ICCO and take advantage of the benefits. We also need to take advantage of technology and communicate, share and collaborate more,” concludes Von Holdt.