By Our Reporter
Burson-Marsteller Africa, a leading strategic communications and public relations firm, won the Gold Award for African Network of the Year, for the second year in succession, at the annual PRISM Awards held last week in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.
The PRISM Awards are Africa’s most sought-after awards in the public relations industry. Now in their 20th year, the PRISM Awards are presented to public relations and communication professionals who have successfully incorporated strategy, creativity and professionalism into public relations and communication programs and strategies that showcase a successful public relations campaign.
“We are thrilled to have received the Gold PRISM Award for African Network of the Year for the second year in a row. Our commitment to growing partnerships has underpinned our activities across Africa and this award is a tribute to our partners and to every member of our African team, in all 53 countries we cover on the continent. Each one of our partners is individually respected in their own country and collectively we are recognized as the pre-eminent African communications network,” said Robyn de Villiers, Chairman and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Africa.
Burson-Marsteller Africa Chairman and CEO Robyn De Villiers poses with members of staff after accepting the award.
Jerry Mpufane, Chief Cluster Judge in the African Network of the Year category for the PRISM Awards and Chairman of M&C SAATCHI JHB Group Of Companies commented, “Burson-Marsteller Africa is clearly a leading agency with fantastic credentials. The judges were immensely impressed by the depth of talent and their diverse roster of great brands on their client portfolio. The judges also commended their expansive pan-African network, where there’s good evidence that many of the offices actually do collaborate on the same client projects. This is an excellent and admirable African story to be proud of.”
In 2014, Burson-Marsteller rebranded the network it acquired in 2011 to Burson-Marsteller Africa and simultaneously announced branded partner offices in 27 countries. Later that year, the number increased to 29 with the signing of two additional affiliate partnership contracts, both of which had been long-standing exclusive affiliates. In October 2016, the number increased to 36 countries with the launch of Blast Burson-Marsteller in the Indian Ocean Islands, Marketing On Burson-Marsteller in Angola, and the extension of its existing partnership with Icon Burson-Marsteller in Cameroon into two new territories – Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon.
“In the case of Burson-Marsteller Africa, the African proverb ‘If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together’ is absolutely true. Partnership is everything to us,” De Villiers added.
The network’s South African business also won a Bronze PRISM award in the Business-to-Business category for its work with longstanding client, SES, across 15 markets in Africa.
Nyambura is a senior journalist based in Kampala