Tuesday, November 27, 2012

OSISA media management scholarships for SADC women leaders

Rhodes University’s Sol Plaatje Institute (SPI) for Media Leadership invites applications for postgraduate scholarships from Southern African women media leaders who wish to study media management and leadership at the SPI in 2013. Successful applicants will register for the SPI’s one-year, fulltime honours-degree level Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management (PDMM), the only university-level media management course in Africa and the developing world.

The scholarships are sponsored by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and they are for women media leaders in OSISA’s 10 Southern African countries of Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Women media leaders from Mozambique, Namibia, the DRC, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe are particularly encouraged to apply.

English is the language of instruction on the PDMM and applicants need to be proficient in both spoken and written English.

The scholarships cover: • The full cost of PDMM tuition • Accommodation and meals in one of Rhodes University’s postgraduate residences • Course materials and books • A monthly subsistence allowance • Medical aid • The Rhodes University Levy for SADC students; and • Mid-year internship costs.

The PDMM is a one-year, fulltime programme designed to provide people working in the media industry with critical skills and knowledge they need to perform more effectively and strategically in their organisations and to fast-track their careers into management positions.

The PDMM is equivalent to an honours degree -- it is pegged at Level 8 on the National Qualifications Framework set by South Africa’s qualifications-setting agency SAQA -- and combines rigorous theoretical and practical grounding.

The diploma is composed of eight compulsory modules covering media economics and financial management; media markets, audiences and advertising; managing media content; managing circulation and distribution; media management and leadership; media management contexts, policy and institutions; new media and convergence; and human resources management.

Application details and procedures: Only female students from OSISA’s 10 countries of Southern Africa listed above are eligible to apply for these scholarships. Applicants should ideally come from media companies. Successful applicants will be required on completion of the PDMM to return to their employers in their home countries to work there for a period of at least a year in partial fulfilment of having been granted the scholarship. Applicants should ideally have completed an undergraduate degree from a recognised university. Experienced media practitioners with diplomas in journalism or mass communication studies might also be considered.

Prospective applicants should:

• Complete the Rhodes University’s standard Honours Application form and the New Student form found at www.spiml.co.za under the Courses section or at the main Rhodes University website at www.ru.ac.za under Applying section, Postgraduate Studies. Alternatively, they can request these application forms from the SPI, telephone no: +27-46-603-8949/8851.

• Submit a detailed Curriculum Vitae, including contact details

• Submit a certified academic transcript for their highest qualification; and

• Submit a 1,000-word letter of motivation which explains why the student is interested in doing the PDMM, how the PDMM will assist the student’s career and why the student believes she/he qualifies for the OSISA scholarship.

The CV, academic transcript and letter of motivation may be submitted by email to Linda Snam at l.snam@ru.ac.za or faxed to her at +27-46-603-7527, clearly indicating which scholarship the students is applying for. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted after the applications close on 14 December 2012.

Monday, November 26, 2012

5 tips for drawing up your social media crisis plan

The social web is largely public. Yes, everything that gets shared, published, tweeted, liked, uploaded, pinned, +1’d or commented on. Everyone is now a citizen journalist, capable of sharing anything at any time. That means anyone with internet access. The web has gone mobile and so have all the users making use of the various social media channels available.

Did you know that it can take 140 characters or less to make or break a reputation in today’s digital business environment? Bad news spreads like wildfire and the days are long gone where a business that received negative feedback could wait and devise a plan before it published. If you are worried about your digital reputation or if you want to start promoting yourself on social media, having a social media crisis plan can help you when a negative comment about your brand or business snowballs online.

Here are a few tips to help you get started with your social media crisis plan:

1. Monitor the social web Set up a couple of listening outposts on the social web to monitor the conversations going on that are relevant to your business. This can help you to be notified of any issues before they turn into a wild-fire. When a crisis hits, assess and research everything you can about the situation.

2. Use social media as your communication vehicle Social media is an important communication medium to handle potential issues that erupt online. Determine where you will be integrating social media in your business communication strategy to ensure your message is consistent and efficient.

3. Build your digital footprint before a crisis If you already have a couple of social media profiles on popular channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, it will be easier to respond when a crisis hits. Start promoting your social media presence so that your clients will know where to turn in case of an emergency. To ensure you have a connection with them in advance, use these channels to engage and communicate with them on a regular basis.

4. Social media policies The middle of a crisis is not the right time to consider who can access various social media channels and what they can update on them. At a bare minimum, create a basic social media policy and guidelines around access restrictions, personal data, and comments. Outline what comments and information will be deleted and who has access to what.

5. Have an escalation procedure in place Determine who from senior management or the communication department in your company needs to be contacted in case of a social media crisis. This list must be updated often with personal emails and numbers. Who will be contacted during office hours and after hours?

In today’s digital business world it’s important to use social media as your vehicle of communication when you are part of a crisis online. Your customers, employees, and the public expect it because they are already using the social web to talk to each other.

Article first published on memeburn