Prism Awards Special Section

Prism Awards Young Judges 2022 share jury experience

The Prisa Prism Awards 2022 is taking place this Friday, 15 July. In the countdown to the Awards, we spoke to three Young Judges, Ziyando Ngobo, Ntombifuthi Ntanzi and Thando Xaba.
Source: © christina-wocintechchat-com  Young Judges get the opportunity to judge the Prism Awards
Source: © christina-wocintechchat-com Unsplash Young Judges get the opportunity to judge the Prism Awards

The Young Judges are a select group of young students and public relations practitioners of varying experience who judge the Prism Awards alongside industry experts.

Changing the perception of PR

Ngobo is 19 years old and a second-year Public Relations and Communication student at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Her primary motivation to enter the PR profession is to change the perception of PR, especially in rural areas. “I would like to show how PR can build beautiful relationships and convey important messages to the public,” she says.

Thando Xaba is an International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY)-Female Leadership 2022 co-programme manager. She is a 2021 Burson Cohn and Wolfe (BCW) Africa Starting Blocks Academy Alumni, a 2020 International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY)-Female Leadership Academy Alumni and a 2019 Young African Leadership Initiative Southern Africa (YALI SA) Alumni.

In 2020/21 She was the president/chairperson of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Student’s Public Relations Associations (UJ SPRA).

Her interest in PR came about after she was awarded a leadership in 2017 from the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (Gauteng DID) to work at the Sedibeng District Municipality in their Disaster Management Unit, under their Community Services Cluster. The work inspired her so much that three months later she enrolled at UJ to study PR and communications.

Ntanzi is currently a PhD student at the University of Pretoria. Although she has a decade of experience under her belt, she is always looking for new tools, ideas and projects to work on.

For her, the overall storytelling aspect of PR is what drew her to the industry.

“The numerous options for creativity, writing, media relations, and the fast-paced workplace piqued my interest,” she says.

Tuned into audiences

For Ngobo, being part of the Prism Awards judging this year showed her just how fundamental a role storytelling is in PR. “Storytelling promotes creativity while communicating important facts and messages to the public.”

Ntanzi says she learned that there is an abundance of skill and innovation in the industry. “The campaigns we judged demonstrated just how tuned into audiences PR agencies are.”

Being a judge also affirmed how much she loves the business and values the job that agencies perform.

“It provided me with an opportunity to recognise the effort that goes into PR, and I am pleased to see that the sector is highly conscious of the always-evolving field of communications,” adds Ntanzi.

Importance of PR

Xaba says what hit home for her was how the pandemic period demonstrates the importance of PR during the pandemic. “It also demonstrated just how agile the PR industry is and the impact it can make in society. I also learnt so much about various PR tactics,” she says.

The opportunity has excited her for the future. “I am excited to enter the world of PR and work with various stakeholders to make a positive impact."

Prisa is the professional body for public relations and communication practitioners in Southern Africa.

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.

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