PRISA CONNECTING STUDENTS
By: Nhlanhla Ndlovu
The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) held its first students’ conference at the Durban City Hall on Thursday.
PRISA represents professionals in public relations and communication management throughout the Southern African region and has registered practitioners in Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa.
Organiser of the conference, Chris Skinner said the aim of the conference was to bring together students from different institutions.
“We would like to instill some enthusiasm for them to get together, to make contacts and network amongst themselves,” Skinner said.
He said they also want students to discuss the course, so that next year they will have the students’ conference organised by students.
“It’s a pre-curser of the conference of the future, which we hope it will be held annually in Durban,” Skinner added.
Organisers invited 250 students from five different institutions to the event and Skinner was happy with the turnout.
“We have got a good attendance. We are very happy that the students supported us,” he said.
The Durban University of Technology (DUT), Public Relations B-Tech students also graced the event.
Njabulo Thabede, a DUT student, was encouraged by Philani Mabaso, AmaZulu’s Football Club’s Public Relations officer who told them about the industry.
“Our last seminar was on Sports PR. We gathered a whole lot of insight of what sports PR really does and what it deals with,” Thabede said.
“We know now that better relationships with the media are very essential.”
Mabaso revealed to the future practitioners that their career path is not easy as they will be working to maintain the image of their companies.
Although Thabede, a student and sports fanatic, admitted that previously he had no working knowledge of how sports companies operate.
“I found the talk interesting- as a soccer fan myself this might be my career path,” he added.
He believes that networking within PR is crucially important and liaising with journalists at this stage will help him when he gets to the corporate world.