PR body PRIA told: You’re not relevant to consumer agencies

The Public Relations Institute of Australia needs a shake up if it wants to be relevant to consumer PR agencies, the managers of PR agency Mango have warned.

The comments came from Mango’s newly appointed managing partner Claire Salvetti, who has joined from Zing, and MD Simone Drewry.

Asked about this year’s PRIA conference and Golden Targets awards Drewry said: “The big consumer agencies are not represented there. The PR industry needs to PR itself better and the PRIA is probably part of that. It might be time to for it to refresh its image if they wants to attract some of the consumer PR agencies.

“I can see from the awards that have been given out, it’s an important place for government comms, issues in crisis comms, that kind of thing. But I feel as an organisation if they are going to attract some of the consumer agencies… to enter those awards and see them as important then it probably needs a refresh.”

Asked whether it felt to her like the PRIA was relevant to her as an organisation, Drewry said: “No it doesn’t. I probably will look at what’s happening at the Communications Council before I look at what’s happening with the PRIA.”

The Communications Council is the umbrella body for the advertising industry.

Salvetti added: “It’s not so much about the PRIA or not, it’s about who do I want to work with.”

Salvetti has rejoined Mango after a stint helping run Zing. She will work across the agency’s entire client roster, with a focus on the Telstra and McDonald’s accounts. Mango is part of the DDB Group.

Drewry said: “Appointing a Managing Partner was necessary following Mango’s significant growth over the past year. Claire’s experience of working in an integrated capacity is perfectly suited to the client base we have and the new business targets to which we are working.”

Before Zing and a four year stint at Mango, Salvetti worked for London based PR giant Freud Communications for five years.

She said: “I am thrilled to be back at Mango.”

4.40pm update:

PRIA issued the following comment from Nicholas Turner, the organsiation’s national president:

“I reject the criticism.  PRIA membership reflects the diversity of public relations specialisations in Australia today.

“That said, the PRIA is an evolving organisation – looking to grow in a way that benefits members, and I would always welcome any direct feedback on how we can improve our offering to communication professionals.

“Speaking specifically about the Golden Target Awards (GTAs), while we annually review the GTAs and like to hear from our members about their relevancy and what attracts them to enter, the awards present an opportunity for members to showcase their outstanding work, and also provide invaluable case studies for others to learn from.

“Reflecting on the awards presented in Sydney recently at our national conference, I was impressed by the diversity of communication projects undertaken by consultancies, the corporate sector, government and community organisations across all categories.  I also think there is some excellent work being undertaken in the consumer PR space in Australia.  Some of this work was recognised in the Consumer Marketing and Social Marketing category – a category that attracted 40 entries and was reviewed by 10 judges.

“We always welcome new members, especially those who are interested in change and contributing.”

And PRIA also offered the following comment from Jackie Crossman, MD of Crossman Communications, who won in the Consumer Marketing and Social Marketing categoryof the Golden Targets:

“The Consumer Marketing & Social Marketing category of the PRIA Awards is the most fiercely contested year on year and we are proud to have been judged by our peers – including those from the whole gamut of the consultancy world, in-house practitioners and leading academics – as the Golden Target Award winner in 2011.

“Taking out this category is widely perceived as a massive achievement for consumer marketing consultancies. We have put up our best over many years for consideration, and while we may not have won every time, we will continue to do so and accept the decisions of the judging panel.”


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