TREND. report: The PR evolution

Public relations agencies and communication strategists need to reengineer themselves as social businesses to meet client communication needs.

This is a key finding to emerge from a report on the evolution of the public relations industry by trendwatching site, TREND. at, called ‘Social Communications’.

The public relations industry has reengineered itself in recent years to focus on acquiring digital skills to compete with digital agencies in the social media realm, as well as repositioned as reputation management specialists – a core skill needed by communication firms today.

In South Africa, steps to “professionalise” the industry are seen as hugely positive in setting professional standards for PR in the country. A green paper is ready to go before parliament.

“This is the most significant time to be a communication practitioner in South Africa,” says Louise Marsland, Publishing Editor of TREND. and the author of the PR report.

TheRoom promises strategic insight on digital

A new event concept has arrived in South Africa through the efforts of Nicola Staines, a Brit with over 12 years experience in the online and marketing industries. Staines, who worked on brands such as Microsoft, Vanguard Rental, Disney and O2, is launching TheRoom into the South African market based on the successful Econsultancy Digital Cream events.

Designed to facilitate face-to-face communication between high-level executives, allowing them to interact with their peers and discuss issues and share learning relevant to their sector, TheRoom gets to picks the delegates, while sponsors pick up the tab.

The first event takes place January 29 at Waterkloof (WC) while the second takes place January 31 at Turbine Hall in Gauteng.

Dave Duarte joins Ogilvy promising the “geekification of the ad industry”

Ogilvy Cape Town is making a tangible move towards integrating digital skills companywide and across traditional agency silos as ad spend continues its shift online. The agency has rolled out a comprehensive educational initiative with lecturer and digital strategist Dave Duarte, who joins the company to lead its Ogilvy Digital Marketing Academy (ODMA).

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