#PRISMAwards2021: PRISM Young Voice of the Year - Sicelo Vilakazi
What does this recognition and opportunity mean to you?
Being selected as a PRISM Young Voice of the Year is a great achievement for myself as it is reward for all the hard work I have put in over the last year or so.
I see it is a platform that I can use to set my mark in the industry and be counted amongst the young people whom are selected to lead the necessary need for change in the industry.It is also an opportunity for me to inspire other young people to get involved, to begin to have an opinion about the work that we do within the industry so that they all begin to love it, enjoy it and use it as a tool to change not only their own lives but the lives of many others who they come across in their journey as communicators.
Briefly tell us about your experience in the industry.
I am currently enjoying my fifth year in the industry. I started off as an intern and then soon promoted to a public relations consultant at Meropa Communications. I moved on towards the direction of working in a field that I quite enjoy, which is strategy and creative work.
I currently work as a creative strategist for DNA Brand Architects. In my two years at DNA Brand Architects, I have learnt many important lessons which have directed and assisted in fast-tracking my growth, as well as the understanding of delivering work that is able to touch the lives of people, just like the work done for Tastic which won 2nd place in the COTY category.
It has taught me to love what I do and to appreciate every opportunity I get in perfecting the art of communication whilst tailoring it to each and every client that I work on. It has taught me the important need to inspire students studying in any field of communications, to focus on their skills and to find the belief in them, in their capabilities and their dreams through the work they are inclined to do.
What makes winning work stand out?
It is all about the impact that work is able to do for the client and the consumers of the brand. Winning work has to be true to the work we do in PR which over the years has been overlooked. PR is about stretching ourselves, for instances the work done during Covid pandemic demonstrated the importance of the work we do for our brands.
What do you think young minds bring to the table?
Young minds bring in a fresh and dynamic perspective to a number of topics up for debate in the industry. We are not afraid to challenge and encourage debate. We as young minds bring a different perspective driven by a voice that is resoundingly loud in voicing out the opinions of the young people who are often ignored on the basis of the being young or being junior to those who are decision makers.
As young minds, we bring in the necessary energy, hunger to learn and share our knowledge which is as equally valuable as the knowledge shared by those who are more experienced than us.As young minds, we bring in the necessary views on the vision of the PRISM awards and the inclusive involvement of young people.
Comment on the current state of PR.
The current state of PR shows us developing faster than we did in the past and by breaking down many barriers we have been able to ensure the sustainability of public relations, however there is still a lot of work that still needs to be done.
The future of PR is bright and with the involvement of young minds it will continue to grow without being overshadowed by other aspects of the communication field.PR will no longer by undermined in terms of its impact and its capabilities of changing the way brands conduct their business, the way that PR practitioners conduct their work and of course the lives of those who are engaged through public relations.