Wednesday, August 17, 2016

PRISA Conference 2016 Durban - Day One

Today I attended the PRISA (Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa) Conference.  It is being held in Durban as part of the Loeries Creative Week.

These were some of the highlights from Day One:

There is now new terminology in PR.

Roela Hattingh of the University of Johannesburg gave us the following insight:

‘’Gatewatching – the idea of watching without taking over’’

‘’Gatekeeping has been changed to gatewatching’’

‘’Learning is an active constructive process, learning also depends on rich contexts’’

‘’What are the products that you have memories with?’’

She went on to show us how students were using Instagram for an alcohol brand campaign because that is where their target audience is.

Prof. Sonja Verwey looked at the rise of PR or the fall of the agency model.  She reminded us of the following:

‘’Agencies don’t trust their clients anymore’’

‘’Clients complain of overpricing’’

‘’We are now in the age of digital disruption’’

‘’PR Agencies need to understand their clients business needs’’

‘’Clients don’t have agencies that tell them what the data means’’

Clarissa Muir of the University of Johannesburg reminded agencies to embrace digital as a business tool.  She also emphasised that to maintain a thriving business you need to change the business model when necessary.

Rene Benecke of the University of Johannesburg gave us insight from the history of PR education in South Africa, a critical analysis:

‘’There needs to be an Afrocentric model of PR’’

‘’Communication happens on all levels’’

‘’Listening is important’’

Tasneem Carrim gave us insight from GCIS Research and she shared the following:

‘’In order to influence the public we need to talk to the influencers’’

‘’South Africans take politics very seriously’’

She showed us various sections of South Africans:
S1 – Rooted Realists – They stay where they are
S2 – City Seekers – Majority are young
S3 – Safely Suburban – Middle Class People and People who live in Gated Estates
S4 – Metro Mobiles – City Bound
S5 – Cosmopolitan Capital – LSM 9 – 10 and Older People and Affluent people
We also heard from Adolf Spangenberg on The Next Generation and how brands will communicate.
He had the following to say:

‘’Video will lead’’

‘’Every single one of us every single day engage with video’’

‘’Make sure that what people click through to is of value’’

He also stated that video needs to be at the beginning of your strategy not as an add on.

The conference continues tomorrow.

For more info visit:


Article by Fred Felton

Twitter @fredfelton 

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