University of Johannesburg: University Relations bags prestigious accolades at annual MACE and Radio Awards

Not one, but two units in the University Relations Division did the University of Johannesburg (UJ) proud this past week. Not long after the news that UJ’s Facebook Page was placed amongst the top university pages in the world, the Marketing and Brand Management team walked away with three silver, two gold and a special award at the MACE (Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education) awards. UJFM took three awards at the annual Radio Awards.

The MACE Excellence Awards recognises and celebrates excellence, and the achievements of specialists and practitioners in marketing, communication and advancement in the higher education sector. In total, UJ walked away with six awards at the 2020 virtual awards ceremony that was held.

“These awards are for the current brand campaign that the Marketing and Brand Management Unit is rolling out to the mature market segment, nationally, on the African continent, and internationally,” says Lesmarie Bentley-Steyn, Senior Manager: Marketing and Brand Management. “We are thrilled to have received an award for every element we entered this year.”

The foundation of the campaign titled, ‘the future belongs to those who reimagine it’, is the creation of 4IR content which lives on a 4IR website and is then used to market UJ and ultimately position it as a leader in 4IR.

Silver awards were received for the University’s website ( and for two of the 4IR in Action stories – Gwakwani and Saving Lives. 4IR in Action stories show how UJ is living in the 4IR space – UJ is not just talking 4IR … we are doing it.

A gold award was received for the innovative e-zine ‘Beyond Imagining’ that brings an interactive experience to the reader.

A gold was also awarded to the full brand building campaign, which brings all of these elements to life in a multi-channel media campaign which spreads the UJ story far and wide. To date, the campaign has reached over 447 million people with print, radio, TV and digital, and with an added social media reach of 4 billion. Since the campaign launched, the campaign has also seen awareness levels increasing by 7% with 51% of respondents now seeing UJ as a leader in 4IR. The research has shown that UJ has a strong 4IR positioning, and is seen as innovative, futuristic, and a trendsetter.

UJ also received one of three special awards – the Outstanding Research Award. “Research informs all Marketing and Brand Management campaign elements, and we are therefore immensely proud that this is being noticed,” adds Lesmarie.

UJFM also shone brightly at the annual Radio Awards for 2020. ”The Radio Awards honours outstanding achievements in the radio industry, and sets a benchmark for all radio stations and professionals to strive towards,” says Anathi Sidali, Acting UJFM Station Manager.

The 2021 winners of the eleventh edition of the radio awards were celebrated in an online award ceremony, with UJFM this year scooping three awards. These were received for the:

Afternoon Drive Show Campus – UJFM Drive 95.4;
the Breakfast Show Campus – UJFM Breakfast with Nick Explicit;
and best Afternoon Drive Presenter for a campus radio station which went to Bolele Polisa.
Dr Nolitha Vukuza, Senior Executive Director, University Relations, Student Affairs and UJ Sport, said the awards were yet another recognition of the University Relations’ creative and robust marketing and communication strategy in a rapidly changing digital world.

“These accolades are a testimony of the University Relations’ creative spirit that ensures that UJ not only pays lip service to its fourth industrial revolution (4IR) objective, but that it is a currency that lives in its community. Congratulations to the team for these prestigious awards and I hope it will inspire future success.”

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