PRofiting from a convergent world: The reality of converging technologies and PR disciplines uncovered at PRISA’s annual conference
Key presentations at the recent annual PRISA national conference focused on the theme “PRofiting from a Convergent World” which, according to PRISA Executive Director, Adele Paulsen, “reflects the rapid rate of technology and how the disciplines of public relations, marketing, advertising, digital, human resources and management are all interlinked, coming together from different directions to form the convergent world in which we live and work”.
Keynote speakers included Elias Masilela, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Investment Corporation and Commissioner of the National Planning Commission, who revealed public relations and communications opportunities in respect of the National Development Plan; and Professor Anne Gregory of Leeds University and chairperson of Global Alliance as of 01 July, who discussed values-based organisations.
Industry leaders Greg McKenzie Forbes -Lion’s Wing Consulting; Merle O’Brien - Brand Leadership lecturer; and Janine Hills - Vuma Reputation Management, provided insights into the future of digital, crisis, reputation and brand management. A panel of powerhouse media and communication experts including Gordon Patterson -Starcom Mediavest; Nick Grubb -Kagiso Broadcasting; Justin Spratt -Quirk Digital; Barry Bateman -Eyewitness News and Thebe Mabanga -Magna Carta comprised the media panel which debated the convergence of media platforms.
Concurrent sessions covered topics ranging from strategic to digital were delivered by public relations industry figureheads including Senior Professor Ronél Rensburg - University of Pretoria; Solly Moeng – Woolworths; Mulligan George Pearce -Vuma Reputation Management; Maritha Pritchard (University of Johannesburg), Johanna Mc Dowell - HMC Seswa and past president of IPRA; Megann Outram -Atmosphere Communications; Tasneem Carrim –GCIS; and Karin Du Chenne -TNS South Africa.
Practical sessions provided delegates with insights into achieving behaviour change when applying social marketing theory and values-based auditing, while Ingrid Lotze – Puruma, provided guidelines for integrating digital into service offerings. Dustin Chick -Ogilvy Public Relations, overall Gold winner of the 2013 PRISM awards; and Mike Sharman - Retroviral Communications and winner of the 2013 PRISM award for Best Small Public Relations Consultancy, provided invaluable insights into winning strategies.
Other highlights included the inauguration of the new PRISA president, Solly Moeng, at the 56th annual AGM, the presentation of the O’Brien Award to Biren Valodia, Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Mediclinic Southern Africa, as well as intriguing entertainment by mentalist, Michael Abrahamson. As part of a community outreach programme focussed on education, PR Worx sponsored a unique DeskBag for each delegate - a foldable, portable desk made from recycled billboards designed for school children in South Africa who have no desks at school.
For more information please visit www.prisa.co.za or call (011) 326 1262.