NWU awards top spokespersons
The North-West University (nwu) held its seventh annual Spokespersons of the Year awards evening for the 2015 period on 15 November 2016. Academics, researchers and other NWU faculty members were acknowledged for their positive contribution to the media landscape by sharing their expertise.
The awards are a way of recognising the outstanding efforts of various experts who keep the public educated and informed. In 2015 a total of 8 958 media mentions of the NWU were monitored. This is an increase of more than 1 700 on the 2014 numbers. The 2015 articles had a total advertising equivalent value of R 197 090 792. This is an increase of more than R 100 000 000, compared to the previous year. Of the media items that were analysed, 3 972 appeared in the print media, 775 in broadcast media and 4 211 in the online media.
The individual quoted the most in 2015 of all NWU spokespeople was Prof Raymond Parsons of the NWU’s School of Business and Governance. He was mentioned in the media more than 300 times. In addition to his prize money, Prof Parsons also received a floating trophy for his contribution. The first runner-up in this category was Prof Andre Duvenhage of the focus area Social Transformation in the Faculty of Arts, followed by Mr Theo Venter of the NWU School of Business and Governance.
“The aim of an event of this nature is not only to award our top achievers, but also to give recognition to those that are beginning to become household names, and then off course the ones that are only entering the media space. Recognition is also given to comments on a specific subject or an NWU event that caused a noticeable increase in media mentions during a specific period,” said Prof Dan Kgwadi, vice-chancellor of the NWU.
He said 2015 was a challenging year for the university, when the first wave of the Fees must fall movement hit the country. “The university also went through the process of having a new strategy approved by Council, a process which also presented its own challenges in the media. Ongoing topics which dominated the media were sport, expert opinions, quality of education and innovation, research and as always, achievements by alumni.”
The winners in the other categories were:
• Prof Rodney Medupe from the School of Physics in the Faculty of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Mafikeng Campus
• Adv René Koraan from the Faculty of Law, Potchefstroom Campus
• Dr Ina Gouws from the School of basic Sciences in the Faculty of Humanities, Vaal Triangle Campus
Spike in media coverage:
• Prof Albert Helberg from the Faculty of Engineering on behalf of the whole NWU solar car team.
Emerging voice of the NWU:
• Prof Peet van der Merwe, from the School of Business Management in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences
Most quoted in print and online media in 2015:
• Prof Raymond Parsons from the NWU School of Business and Governance
Most quoted in the Broadcast media in 2015:
Mr Theo Venter from the NWU School of Business and Governance
Enquiries: Willie du Plessis: 082 590 0692
Corporate Communication and Stakeholder Relations, NWU
Date: 16 November 2016