DUO Marketing + Communications, , a specialist provider of public relations and digital marketing solutions to business-to-business (B2B) technology companies in Africa, has registered as a member of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA). The PRCA is the world’s largest professional PR body, representing more than 35 000 public relations professionals in 82 countries worldwide. With offices in London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, and Buenos Aires, the association is a global advocate for excellence in public relations. Its mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry.
“We are delighted to be part of a global entity that has much traction and credibility within the broader public relations industry. The time is right for South African organisations to join a global framework that exists for the betterment of the people and employers, as well as the ultimate beneficiaries of this industry – our clients,” says Judith Middleton, CEO of DUO.
By working with the PRCA, Middleton says that agencies can better equip employees with the skills that are required for modern industry requirements, beyond and above what is being taught in tertiary institutions. This partnership will help ensure that talented individuals can keep growing and developing their skills, not only through working with mentors, but through an organisation that imparts global best practice. In addition, this exposure will help employees get clarity on what career development and the road ahead can look like for them.
“While the internet has democratised access to information and learning, there is something unique when it comes to sharing industry specific knowledge with your peers. There has been a need locally for a global standard to be set; through this forum we can look at best practices and how we can apply those locally for the benefit of our clients and colleagues,” says Patrick Mkala, Account Director at DUO.
“A growing number of our clients are looking beyond South Africa, and have expressed their interest in expanding into the African content and even further. A major benefit from being part of the PRCA is having access to insights from international markets and guidance from global peers, which will help us grow, and deliver the best possible service to these clients,” says Lesley Rencontre, Account Director at DUO.
Improving public relations
Middleton adds that past experience has shown that one of the biggest limitations to business growth has not been sales opportunities, but skilled employees, and accessing training provided by a globally-recognised organisation will go a long way in ensuring a better skilled workforce for the industry. Ultimately, having access to a choice of quality skills – people who are knowledgeable, experienced and commercially-savvy – will ensure broader and better services being provided to business clients.
“Joining PRCA makes DUO part of an enhanced global platform, with a huge opportunity for not just learning, but also teaching. Providing marketing and communications services across Africa comes with its unique challenges and we’ve had to find solutions where no obvious ones exist. Being part of a reputable global body is a safety net for employees, employers and customers alike,” says Middleton.
Additionally, Mkala was appointed as a founding committee member of the PRCA Africa NextGen, a group that is dedicated to supporting those just starting out or those that have been practising for years, while equipping practitioners with all the tools needed to achieve significant career progression. It will offer a forum for discussion, sharing peer-to-peer advice and experiences, and provide inspirational figures to learn from to encourage growth and creativity. Focused on igniting ambition and uniting young practitioners across the continent, the group will highlight best practices and champion PR’s importance in business and society.