2016 has been an eventful year for PRISA. We took the opportunity to do some navel gazing, which resulted in the commissioning of a membership survey, “Reputation Matters PRISA Research". We refocused on our founding principles of a ‘membership centric’ Institute, which was about and for members. With the feedback from the survey we revised our vision and supporting programmes, and restructured the organisation to make it fit to serve our members.
We end a year, with a focused team geared to deliver value for the current and potential members. The lowlights remain the reputational challenges facing our industry which we all should all be concerned about. It is to end, that we will continue to work with relevant stakeholders on creating a legislative environment that raises the barrier of entry to the industry. We are optimising our Continuous Professional Development programme (CPDs) to ensure that we are well positioned to serve the development needs of our members. We will also expand our networking activities to ensure that our members can collaborate and create strategic connections with their peers. This is the start of a journey we wish to take with all our members. We recently had to also consider our position around the Bell Pottinger issue, which based on media reports, we believe is a learning experience for local and international practitioners and agencies
Next year is bound to be one of our exciting years ever as we celebrate 60 years of existence and the 20th anniversary of the PRISM Awards. We are looking forward to launching an information hub, which is a depository to the latest industry research and case studies – this is meant to be collaborative. We are calling on all our members to share best practice and use the hub to unskill themselves or benchmark their work.
Our focus next year will be on young practitioners. Through JumpStart, our chapter for young professionals, we are excited at the prospects of launching the PR Starter Pack for new professionals. We trust that this will ensure that our young professionals are adequately supported as they enter the profession.
PRISA operates in a much broader society and therefore as we seek to make a difference, we will be venturing out to launching a “PRISA Volunteering Programme”, which we hope at fruition will result in us impacting on our members and the community at large.
Benjamin Franklin once said ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’ – this is exactly the tone of our approach of the PRISA of 2016. We are venturing into new territories with the hope that with your support we will as an industry gain recognition and regain our credibility.
On behalf of the Board and the staff, I would like to thank you for your support. May you have a safe and a peaceful festive season and a great start to 2017.
Kind regards Thabisile Phumo