By Mbalenhle Buthelezi
MAKHANDA, South Africa – Government communicators have commended the media management short course run by the Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership that explores and analyses various media tools, especially crisis communications management, which can assist them to produce effective communications strategies for their organizations.
The participants of the short course, titled “Government Media: Essential Tools for Editors and Journalists” and took place in Makhanda from 15-19 July 2019, highlighted different ways in which crisis communications was a critical tool for all frontline and public-facing managers and officials of any organization.
Khoboso Lebenya, Communication Officer at Matatiele Local Municipality, said: “I have learnt a lot, especially in crisis communication, which was one of the areas I was lacking in.”
For Akhona Ndelu, Communications Practitioner at Umzumbe Local Municipality, the most thought-provoking parts of the training were those of “ the DO’s and DON’Ts of handling media, as we often cross the line.”
Musa Mhlongo, Communication Manager at the South African National Aids Council, said the Leadership and Management skills module emphasised that communication cannot be divorced from leadership, which impacts on the overall operations of organisations.
The course targets communicators who work in the national, provincial and district government communications departments, or those who regularly interface with the media such as municipal managers, councillors and mayors.
Mhlongo stated: “I would recommend this course to all communicators I encounter, whether they are from the government or private sector. I believe it would be of great value to everyone in the field of communication. I would hope that the course continues to make an impact to the upcoming communicators and even to the experienced communicators across all sectors -- public or private.”
The SPI runs a basket of other accredited professional media management and media business courses (please visit www.ru.ac.za/spi/) and offers the only formal postgraduate qualification in media management in Africa and the developing world.
The postgraduate course, currently offered on a one-year fulltime-basis although there are plans to start rolling it out as a distance course, has graduated more than 500 of these top-level aspirant media leaders since 2004, when this qualification was established. Most of these media management postgraduates today occupy senior positions in the media in Africa and internationally.
The SPI has also trained more than 5,000 media workers from across Africa on its accredited and certificated short courses since the Institute’s launch in 2002.
For more information about the SPI’s short courses, please contact the Institute’s Course Co-ordinator, Mbali Buthelezi, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her on 046 603 8949.