Comms Council launches PR arm, ‘We will not replace PRIA’

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Stuart Gregor

Stuart Gregor: new PR Council chair

The Communications Council has launched a PR arm – a move it says will not replace the existing public relations industry body, the PRIA.

Comms Council boss Margaret Zabel told Mumbrella: “The intention is not to replace the PRIA. Not at all. What we can offer Australian consumer PR agencies is complementary to their current membership plans.”

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PRIA: 'will not be replaced'

“We would like to think that PR agencies have a strong and prosperous relationship with both groups,” she said.

The group is to be run by Liquid Ideas boss Stuart Gregor as chairman.

“The idea has been in the works for some time,” said Zabel. “The marcoms industry has become increasingly integrated, and there’s a need to represent the interests of consumer PR agencies.”

The PRIA’s CEO Jon Bisset told Mumbrella that while there would be “overlapping interests” between the two bodies, “we can work cooperatively together.”

“I don’t see this as a negative development. The PRIA works across every sort of PR – not just consumer PR. The future of our industry is about getting all organisations working together,” he said.

The Public Relations Council is geared towards building the reputation of PR agencies, setting benchmarks for best practice, promoting creativity, as well as developing education and training, Zabel added.

Besides Gregor, the PR Council’s committee will include:

Simone Drewry – Mango, deputy chair
Michelle Hutton – Edelman
Kat Thomas – One Green Bean
Gabriel McDowell – Res Publica
Tiffany Farrington – Social Diary (representing smaller agencies)
Jess Nunns – Undertow Media, Melbourne

The idea was first mooted in an interview with the management of PR agency Mango last year.

The PRIA’s CEO added: “Yes, there is a risk that our members could stray to the PR Council. But remember that our organisation has 3,000 individual members, and 140 agency members. We have been through considerable change over the last three years, merging from nine organisations to one.”

“Like most organisations there are some things we do well, and somethings we could improve on. We are always looking to improve what we offer,” he said.

Stuart Gregor said in a statement: “The Communications Council is a terrific organisation, they have a really great program of events, their graduate program is second to none and they pull together some excellent industry standards such as the recent Social Media Guidelines, which is a terrific, and much needed initiative. We are thrilled to be on board.”



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