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The Durban University of Technology (DUT) scooped four awards at the Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education (MACE) Excellence Awards and Gala Dinner held at the Maslow Time Square Hotel in Pretoria on Thursday evening, 17 November 2022.

The university was recognised for its outstanding performance among practitioners in marketing, advancement and communication in the higher education sector. Under the Student Recruitment Campaigns category, DUT was recognised for the CAO Applications campaign and the DUT Business School Recruitment Digital campaign. The third award went to the Faculty of Arts and Design’s Softcopy Magazine under the Digital: Internal Magazines and Newsletters category. Meanwhile, the last award was for the momentous launch of the DNA Helix Monument under the Events: Single and Multi-day category.

Representing DUT at the awards ceremony were four staff members under the Corporate Affairs namely; Ms Noxolo Memela, Communications Manager, Ms Noluthando Mchunu, Design Studio Manager, Ms Asanda Gibisela, Marketing and Public Relations Practitioner and Ms Simangele Zuma, Media Officer. The team was excited and proud to accept the four awards on behalf of the university. They were also pleased that they will not return home empty-handed.

The MACE Excellence Awards and Gala Dinner was held on the last day of the 2022 Annual MACE Congress which took place at the Future Africa on the University of Pretoria’s Hillcrest Campus on Wednesday, 16 November 2022 and Thursday, 17 November 2022. This year’s congress was themed: The Power of Staying Relevant.

The four DUT staff members mentioned above were also part of the two-day MACE Congress where they got an opportunity to listen and engage with experts from the fields of marketing, advancement and communication who took turns to address about 150 guests from the various higher education institutions and shared their experiences and best practices.

The highlight of the Day One of the MACE Congress 2022 was the keynote address by Mr Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership. His address titled: African Relevance. Ikalafeng delivered a powerful presentation, leaving many inspired and motivated to take pride in being Africans and embrace it rather than looking down on the continent. He indicated that it was about time that the people of Africa started working together and contributed in building a better Africa for the generations to come. Still on Day One, Ms Regine le Roux, Managing Director: Reputation Matters spoke on the importance of maintaining reputation during uncertain times and give the institutions tips on how manage their reputation. Meanwhile, Mr Ricky Naidoo, Chief Content Officer: African News Agency gave a media’s perspectives on the challenges facing higher education institutions and shared advice on how the institutions can form mutually beneficial partnerships with the media.

Closing the Day One presentations on a high note was the vibrant speaker, Mr Setlogane Manchidi, Head: Corporate Social Investment at Investec who shared insight on Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and how the strategic intent should not be for public relations but it should be to drive change in the society. He cautioned the higher education institutions from parading the vulnerable during the CSI and urged them to come up with programmes that will include social economic freedom for the surrounding communities. The day ended with a welcome event held at the Javett Art Centre, University of Pretoria on Wednesday evening, where the guests got a chance to network over good food, music, art and comedy.

On the first half of Day Two, the DUT team attended two parallel learning and sharing sessions, the first one being the panel discussion facilitated by Mr Rikus Delport, Director: Institutional Advancement in the University of Pretoria. The discussion was based on social media platform management, looking into whether TikTok is the place to be. There were also tips on how universities can enhance their social media pages. The second session was facilitated by Ms Yonela Tukwayo, Executive Director: Marketing, Communication and Advancement at the Walter Sisulu University. During the second half of Day Two the DUT team attended the session facilitated by Ms Marick Hornsveld, Deputy Director: Digital Communication, Stellenbosch University. She spoke at length about POPIA and what it says about photography. Furthermore, she shared practical tips and insights on how the higher education institutions can stay ‘above the law’.

Closing the congress was the powerful speaker, Ms Sadika Fakir, Integrated Media and Digital Director at Tiger Brands. She spoke about the Integrated Channel Strategy and how different units with the university should work together in driving reach and relevance. She left the teams ready to go back home and put their heads together and come up with innovative ways that will lead to the success of their university.

The 2023 MACE Congress venue is still to be confirmed with also a request from the MACE Board for the higher education institutions along the coast to volunteer to host as most guests have expressed that they would like to be in a venue near a beach setting.

Pictured: The DUT team at the MACE Excellence Awards, Ms Noluthando Mchunu, Design Studio Manager, Ms Noxolo Memela, Communications Manager, Ms Simangele Zuma, Media Officer and Ms Asanda Gibisela, Marketing and Public Relations Practitioner.

Simangele Zuma

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