Amid tough competition from universities nationally, students from the Department of Strategic Communication at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) won both a gold and a silver award for student campaigns. These were recently awarded at the 20th annual Prism Awards, Africa’s most sought after awards for excellence in the public relations industry.
Judges commended student entries for their abilities to overcome strategic challenges, creativity and innovative storytelling using both digital and traditional media. Judges also said that the gold entry was of an international standard while addressing pertinent issues facing South African communities today. The Prism Awards are held by industry body, the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa. This year, UJ won the student campaign category for the first time.
The gold campaign entry created awareness about the dangers of human trafficking in partnership with the NGO, International Organisation for Migration. The bronze campaign entry stimulated conversations about food security and urban farming in partnership with NGO Izindaba Zokudla and Lead SA.
“Having won two Prism Awards in the category for student campaigns is testimony of our students’ readiness to meet the professional requirements of the workplace. It also demonstrates how our qualifications provide graduates with critical communication skills to raise support for the problems facing communities today,” says Prof Sonja Verwey, Head of the Department of Strategic Communication at UJ.
Last year, 25 students from UJ worked as interns on an award-winning campaign to announce the first local dance film Hear Me Move for the public relations agency PR Expert. The campaign won a gold and silver award at the Prism Awards in the category, South African PR Campaign of the Year in 2016.