Head of Department: Mrs L McCollough
Secretary: Ms E Giddings
Tel: 033 845 8851
Location: Riverside Campus
Human Resource Management
Public Relations Management
The PRISA Student Conference
The PRISA student conference takes place annually and is normally organized jointly by PRISA (Regional) and both campuses’ PR departments. As a result the venue is interchanged between Durban and Pietermartizburg. This conference is structured to educate and inspire learners of the various critical elements of the profession, as well as skills, expertise, and behaviour expectations from a PR Practitioner. It is therefore based on the current trends and developments in the communications industry at large and its various sectors. Guest speakers range from advanced PR/Communication Practitioners from the private sector, the non-profit sector as well as the government sector. The speakers reflect on daily activities that they are engaged with, the challenges in such a sector as well as opportunities.
It is also the involvement of local sponsors that bring about the success of the conference. The sponsors who have been involved in previous conferences include, African Bank, Virgin Active, Cadbury, Sterkinekor and i-talk cellular. There are other sponsors throughout the history of this conference over years – including the Independent Newspapers.
PRISA Conference 2007
Major topics of discussion ranged from:
- Media and censorship: The right to know VS the right to privacy Presented by DUT (PMB) second year students- a debate
- Understanding the setup, activities and skills and expertise of a Corporate PR Practitioner: Kwezi Zulu from Mondi Paper
- Disaster Management and the role of communication: Ms L. Serero from Umsunduzi Municipality Disaster Management
- Importance of media monitoring for your company: Your image and the Media: Alma Maxwell from Newsclip
- Primary purposes of PR in Non-profit organizations: Shubnum Ismail from SANBS
- Understanding PR, doing personal analysis versus what the profession requires- entrepreneurship skills: Aziel Gangerdine: Cold Flame Communications (Conference organizing team leader 2007).
- Developing a communication strategy for government: Speaker from KZN Provincial government: Mr. Masemola.
The conference is often spiced up with competitions or prize draws as well as entertainment and some goody bags with vital information for future and current practitioners.
The Prestigious PR Annual Awards
The student awards are hosted every year in October, when most assessments have been handed in. The main purpose is to award learners of their academic excellence and this encourages them to aspire to reach the top. The criterion for selection of winners is through their annual performance compared across different major subjects. Basically, it would be someone with the highest DP marks added compared to others. There is a runner up and a winner in all three levels and only a winner for B-tech.
The Leadership Camp
Public Relations Practitioners are expected to be leaders in the communications field, as a result every year (since 2004) around August/September the second years are taken to a leadership camp which is outside campus. This camp is facilitated by trained personnel who take learners through a variety of challenges they would face as leaders. This builds up leadership capacity of participants through problem solving and people’s skill since a leader has to deal with people and tasks. It is therefore regarded as a different way of learning and a different environment and setup altogether different. The places where our learners have been are L’Abri Outdoor outside Greytown centre and Forest Lake.