Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Partners with the University of Johannesburg

Department of Strategic Communication and integrated communications agency sign MOU
Feb 9, 2011 7:00 PM ET

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) JOHANNESBURG, 9 February 2011 -In 2010, the South Africa office of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and the Department of Strategic Communication at the University of Johannesburg signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to improve the skills of South Africa’s next generation of public relations (PR) and Communications professionals. With a focus on mentorship, the partnership saw Waggener Edstrom employee volunteers lead undergraduate and graduate lectures, support the annual SACOMM conference, develop career skills workshops, collaborate on research projects and offer curriculum guidance to the Department of Strategic Communication students and faculty. 

In 2011, the partners will invest specifically in the University of Johannesburg’s student community of disadvantaged individuals, who are looking to develop their academic and professional careers in the field of PR and Communications. By offering monthly workshops at the university campus, Waggener Edstrom employee volunteers will mentor a group of high-performing students on topics that range from PR measurement to social media trends. The workshops will culminate in the award of an internship in Waggener Edstrom’s office in Sandton to a top student in the Honours programme.   “Our department has a strong background in the theory and history of Strategic Communication, but what we lacked for years was the support of an industry leader that could bring the practical, business expertise into the classroom and the curriculum,” said Professor Sonja Verwey, head of the department of Strategic Communication. “With Waggener Edstrom, we have found a partner that is committed as much to the students’ growth, as to the sustainability of the partnership for the university.”   As a knowledge exchange between academia and industry, the partnership will help equip University of Johannesburg students with the latest tools and resources to enter the competitive field of PR and Communications, as well as support Waggener Edstrom’s 28 year history of corporate social investment in the fields of education and economic empowerment.    “With South Africa representing one of the most prominent emerging markets in Africa, we felt it was vital to invest in the Communications industry’s future professionals – beginning with undergraduate students at the University of Johannesburg,” said Marcus Sorour, general manager, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide South Africa. “We have a long-term business interest in seeing these local students succeed as our future employees, clients and industry leaders.”     About Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Waggener Edstrom Worldwide is a full-service, global communications agency, specialising in Analyst Relations, Consumer Marketing, Corporate Communications, Healthcare, Public Affairs, Social Innovation and Technology. For more than 25 years, Waggener Edstrom has worked with some of the world’s leading agents of change — a range of pioneering companies, organisations and individuals who have led the world in new directions. 2010 marked the arrival of Waggener Edstrom in Africa, where technology clients and social causes such as Microsoft, Kingston Technology, SYSPRO and One Young World have chosen the agency to give voice to their ideas and innovations.

About The University of Johannesburg The University of Johannesburg (UJ) was established in 2005. UJ’s mission is to provide quality education, leading, challenging, creating and exploring knowledge; supporting access to a wide spectrum of academic, vocational and technological teaching, learning and research – where partnerships with its communities is valued, contributing to national objectives regarding skills development and economic growth. The Department of Strategic Communication is the biggest department within the School of Communication. Going forward, the Department is developing a degree programme in Strategic Communication. This program will reflect the convergence that is currently emerging in terms of both theory and practice between corporate and marketing communication, and will incorporate the growing need for a strategic approach to communication management within these contexts.