PRISA Award honours ethical, socially committed leader

Bridget von Holdt, MD of Inzalo Communication in Johannesburg has been awarded the 8th PRISA / Ivan O’Brien Leadership Award 2012.

The prestigious annual award honours her for 25 years of outstanding leadership as a volunteer of PRISA where she has raised the level of ethics and professional standards among South Africa’s public relations consultants.

Bridget has been the driving force behind PRISA’s PRISM Awards. As chair of the PRISM committee, now in its 16th year, she has seen the number of entries grow from an average of 40 to over 250 in 2012.

Says Adele Paulsen, PRISA CEO, “Under Bridget’s leadership, the PRISM Awards team is motivated to achieve higher targets in 2013 with our local public relations agencies. Through increasing the quality, number and credibility of the PRISM Award, Bridget builds reinforcing feedback loops that help to drive sustainability of the public relations profession in South Africa, and Africa.”

Von Holdt was nominated by former PRISA CEO, Margi Moscardi who said, “Bridget’s vision is to unite the public relations as one profession. Her passion is infectious and she gives clear direction to teams of volunteers from diverse backgrounds. Her persuasive skills motivate team members to achieve beyond their own expectations. Her ethics are unquestionable and she instills a sense of value in others. Her tenacity and natural magnanimous nature flows into the community and sustains projects over years. She clearly has a heart for people and a head for public relations practice.”

Bridget has served on PRISA’s committees, boards and councils as chairman of the Southern Transvaal region, chairman of the Public Relations Consultants’ Chapter and current chairman of the Council for Communication Management. She is also the profession’s representative on ICCO, the International Communication Consultants Organisation and has participated in the OFO (Organised Framework for Occupations), the Public Relations & Communication Committee of Experts at the Services SETA, led the Consulting Management Standards team in establishing and promoting these standards for the Public Relations Consulting Industry and served on the committee for the Marketing & Communication Charter.  Von Holdt’s NGO and charity projects include:


  • Fundraising for SANCA Horizon in Boksburg through media relations and events. Sanca Horizon is a rehabilitation facility for alcohol and drug abuse.


  • Organising the annual Nicarela Christmas Market– community project which benefits Twilight Children Hillbrow, various schools, the Soup Kitchen, the Pantry and St Giles Association, among others.


  • Nelson Mandela Day, for whom von Holdt has assisted in developing a local and international awareness programme for the campaign.


Says former PRISA President and Fellow, Merle O’Brien, “Having worked with Bridget to transform the sector during the early phases of South Africa’s transition, I had first-hand experience of her ability to lead with head and heart. Back then, Bridget already understood the importance of striking the right balance between opening the industry to the global world, while cultivating a culture of inclusivity and empowerment among local practitioners. I was humbled by working with her in co-drafting the BEE Charter for the marketing, advertising and communication industry and proud that she has won this year’s Ivan O’Brien Leadership Award


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