At the 15th PAMRO Meeting and All Africa Media Research Conference, held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, last month, Dr Paul Haupt, CEO of the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF) was awarded the Piet Smit PAMRO Achiever of the Year Award.
This is the Pan African Media Research Organisation's (PAMRO) top honour, awarded to an individual or group deemed to have made a significant contribution to media audience research.
Contributions to the industry
He was honoured as "an icon of audience measurement across Africa, a pioneer par excellence," the words of organisation's president, Josiah Kimanzi of TNS RMS Nigeria, which appear on the certificate.
Sifiso Falala, CEO of award-sponsor Plus 94 Research, said that what stood out for him in particular was "Paul's bravery, tenacity and diplomacy when it comes to championing the greater good in the field of media audience research."
Others who nominated Dr Haupt for this award were the organisation's vice president, Joe Otin, MD of Ipsos Pan-Africa and Jennifer Daniel, MD of Telmar and the previous president of PAMRO. Otin felt that based on "the immense value Paul has contributed, not only to PAMRO but to the entire audience research industry on the continent, he is most certainly worthy of this award."
Daniel added, "without Paul, who has driven and arranged every conference, PAMRO would not be happening."
In accepting the award, Dr Haupt recalled the early days and expressed his gratitude to everyone present who had helped to build the organisation into a body of people with a common cause, namely the promotion, development and harmonisation of African media audience research across the continent.
"There was a wonderful atmosphere at the conference, a feeling that we were friends rather than mere colleagues gathered from all corners of the continent," says Dr Haupt. "Kimanzi even called up Ezette, my wife of 42 years to share in the moment with me ... it was a really unexpected and special touch."
Dr Haupt retires from SAARF in March 2014, after nearly 16 years of service to the media, marketing and advertising industries through his leadership of SAARF.