North-West University (NWU) awards its top spokespersons
Institutional Office – North-West University recently held its annual ‘spokespersons of the year’ awards evening for the 2012 period. It was here that academics, researchers and other NWU faculty members were acknowledged for their positive contribution to the media landscape in an effort to uplift and enhance the institution.
The awards are a way of recognising the outstanding efforts of various experts who share their knowledge with the media and thus keep the public educated and informed. In 2012 a total of 12 186 media comments were published, compared to the 7 730 in 2011, an increase of 57,6%. When the 2012 figure is compared to the number of articles which appeared in 2010, it shows an increase of 260%. The 2012 articles had a staggering total advertising equivalent value of R 285 004 666. In total there were 11 613 balanced items and 507 positive ones, while unfavourable coverage resulted from only 66 articles.
The increase in the number of articles in the press followed after a concerted effort of the Institutional Office in conjunction with the marketing and communication departments on the three campuses – Mafikeng, Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle – to improve the profile of the university.
“We are really proud to announce the winners of the different categories for 2012 and would like to thank them personally for their outstanding contribution,” said Dr Theuns Eloff, vice-chancellor of the NWU.
The individual quoted the most of all NWU spokespeople in all the categories combined, being print, broadcast and online, in 2012 was Prof. Andre Duvenhage, Director in the research focus area Social Transformation and professor in Political Studies on the Potchefstroom Campus. In addition to his R 20 000 prize money Prof. Duvenhage also received a floating trophy for his contribution. He was quoted 286 times across all different mediums. “I am very excited to have been announced as the North-West University’s spokesperson of the year, and it is an honour to be able to engage the press about our university, and how it positively impacts our country,” said Prof. Duvenhage.
The NWU also awarded second most quoted person to Theo Venter, special advisor in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and part-time lecturer. He received prize money of R 15 000. The person quoted third most, Mr Hannes Esterhuizen, the head coach of the NWU PUK rugby team, who was quoted 72 times, was awarded R 10 000 prize money from the university.
In the subcategories, winners each received prize money to the value of R 5 000. These winners included:
- Hannes Esterhuizen, the most quoted person in the category ‘print media’, who was quoted 72 times
- Prof Andre Duvenhage, the most quoted person in the category ‘broadcast media’, Prof. Duvenhage, who was quoted 155 times and was also the most quoted person in the category ‘online media’ where he was quoted 60 times
“It is always a tribute to our university when the media call upon us as spokespeople, and the fact that our mentions have increased by almost 58% shows that our contributions are shaping our society,” concluded Dr Eloff.