By Babalwa Majikijela, DUT 3rd year PR student
The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) hosted it’s 2016 National Conference #PRISArise2016 at Elangeni Hotel in Durban on the 17 and 18 August with the theme ‘Rise, Advance, Grow’. Guest speakers from different organisations and fields from crisis management to branding were sharing their ideas, experience, achievements and views in presentations and panel discussions. After every presentation the audience would be engaged by being given a chance to comment and ask questions.
One of the speakers was Janine Lloyd, a PRISA registered Chartered Public Relations Professional (CPRP) who has been in the public relations and marketing industry for 27 years and was voted as one of South Africa’s most influential public relations people in the Annual 2010.
Janine is the founder of PR Expert, winner of South Africa’s most prestigious public relations award PRISM Campaign of the Year 2016. The campaign was for Hear Me Move (HMM) South Africa’s first dance movie, where PR Expert worked with 26 University of Johannesburg public relations students. In her presentation Janine was taking us through their journey of the campaign, from the Statement of problem, Research, Planning, Tactics Implemented through to Outcomes and Evaluation.
For a public relations student it was a great privilege to be part of the conference and to be surrounded by such people. An opportunity of listening to the things they go through in their working industry and being exposed to the great possibilities was a wonderful experience. When I saw an opportunity I could not help myself but grab it and ask for a few minutes of Janine’s time.
In an interview with her we touched on the following:
- There has been a dynamic change and evolution in the public relations and marketing industry which could sometimes be challenging in terms of learning and adapting to the changes.
- The biggest thing learnt so far is that you have to stay abreast of change, know where your market is going. The youth is bringing the energy with the use of digital and social tools. It’s about staying current and being abreast with the market as it is changing, the tools and the channels of communication.
- You should ask yourself “As I’m going to the market place, what is changing around me, what is happening?”
- The industry, young people and PRISA are working very hard and the credibility of public relations has risen and must be at the strategic level in the next five years.
- The importance of having a good and interesting profile is one of the best ways to get recognition in the public relations and communication industry.
- In order to have that profile you have to know who you are and what makes you different, what is your unique selling proposition; understand your competition, what you do better than your competition and what makes you stand out from your competition.
- Have a LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s up-to-date and accurate, stand out with a different CV and include everything you have done even if it’s outside your workplace.
- With public relations legends and the younger generation which are the aspiring professionals and with PRISA, the South African public relations industry has a brighter future.