PR Report purchased by the journalists’ union for undisclosed amount

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 11.22.33 AMThe union which represents journalists, actors and musicians has made a major play into the public relations space purchasing The PR Report, one of the main newsletters of the PR industry.

The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s (MEAA) decision to buy The PR Report from Glen Frost, who founded it seven years ago, comes after major “turmoil” in the main PR industry body the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), which saw wholesale changes to its leadership earlier this year after then president Terri-Helen Gaynor was rolled and the board resigned en masse.

MEAA spokesman Paul Murphy denied the move was aimed at the main PR body PRIA. “It is absolutely nothing to do with that. This is about improving our offering to members in that space and we have always had members there,” said Murphy. “We’ve always had members in public relations and communications and if anything we have an increasing number of members in that area.

“We are keen to improve our service offering there and our communication with that section of members. We are reviewing our service offering and communications across all areas, and Freelance Pro is an example of that.”

Murphy said the PR Report would now be edited by Ross Neilson and run out of the communication unit of the MEAA, but said there would be “synergies” with other parts of the organisation such as The Walkley Foundation.

“It will run as its own thing, mainly as a communications offering and be run from our communications team but obviously there are linkages to the Walkleys and the Walkleys run a conference every year and there are obviously synergies there.”

Frost told Mumbrella he was pleased to see the PR Report being bought by the MEAA.

“It started as an email to people I knew in the industry. They emailed it to their friends and then people would email me asking to be added to the list and it went to 600-700 people and then I realised there was a market there and it had grown and grown,” said Frost.

“It needed a greater level of journalistic input and I’m delighted that the MEAA has purchased the publication. They have the skills and talent to take it to the next level.”

The purchase has caused some surprise among members of the media arm of the union, but Frost added: “There will always be people who are surprised by transactions.

“The number of people in public relations is now larger than the number of people in journalism and most journalists who leave go into public relations. So I don’t see it as a surprise.”

Frost said he would now be turning his attention to a new education and schools focused newsletter. “I am working on a platform called Schnewz, which is an abbreivated name for school news.  I’m very keen on the digital world and Schnewz is a start up I’m now working on and also doing consulting for start ups.”

He and the MEAA both declined to comment on the price paid for the newslist, which is thought to have some 7,000 email subscribers.

“The MEAA has asked that the (financial) details be kept private and I’m not in a position to comment,” said Frost. “It may well appear in an annual report but that’s not for me to comment.”

“We don’t comment on commercial arrangements,” said Murphy.

Nic Christensen 


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