Copyright 2017

By Thabisile APR

Phumo APR

The pleasure of joining the public relations profession in my case was soon replaced by the dynamism of the environment into which I was “trading”, so to speak.  The qualifications provided the basics, but the environment required agility and the ability to cope with dynamic publics and technology that do not seem to have a stop button.

So, how was I going to catch up and most importantly keep up to date to stay relevant? PRISA…  This question always comes up. Why should I join a professional body when accreditation is not a legal requirement? What value would I get from such a membership? Like me, you probably have questioned why you should become a member.  

If you are happy to end where you started in terms of professional growth then you are probably right to decide not to become a member.  The worst thing about starting a great career is allowing it to die a slow death by not improving and expanding your knowledge and exposure. But, I agree that it is important to ask questions, but the answers are up to you? PRISA is its’ members - you will get full value by participating in shaping what PRISA does for you and all its other members. As for me, it has allowed me to grow my career, network with my peers and expand my knowledge through its CPD programmes.

One of the pitfalls is that although accreditation is not a requirement, some practitioners get left out in the cold. Others do a disservice to the profession by not delivering according to the professional standards. It is the Code of Ethics that has enabled PRISA to survive since 1957 and states that all registered members of PRISA are bound by these standards which are globally aligned to ensure professionalism amongst all that embodies public relations.

In this ever changing landscape, our profession should rightfully assist in all spheres of influence, to ensure that we develop a populace that can buy into the clearly articulated vision of SA Inc. We have the potential to encourage and influence them to deliver.

So I am going to make sure that in 2015, my relationship with PRISA is not just a financial one, but a relationship which will benefit me and my peers who have for the past 20 years walked the public relations journey with me…

Thabisile Phumo is a communications professional in the mining industry, a course facilitator and a Board member of Provox

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