PRIA admits it didn’t ‘think through’ the ramifications of asking photographer to work for free

Public relations industry body, the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), has issued a call for a photographer to work at its upcoming Golden Target Awards in New South Wales. In the callout, the PRIA noted that as a non-profit organisation, it couldn’t pay the successful applicant, but would provide dinner and lead generation, making it “worth every picture taken” for the aspiring professional.

Following questions from the industry and Mumbrella about the ethics of an industry body – advocating for best practice and professionalism – requesting somebody work for free, PRIA pulled the post and said it would revert to its “normal policy of engagement and full payment for all external support services”.

The ad, posted earlier this week, said PRIA was seeking “an aspiring, fun and awesome photographer to capture the essence” of the evening.

“As a non-profit organisation, we are looking for an eager photographer who is willing to work pro-bono with dinner provided,” the post explained. “Point to note: the lead generation from audience attending (all PR/ comms agencies and clients) will be worth every picture taken, not to mention using the event to boost your own promotional portfolio.”

Mumbrella understands PRIA was not seeking a fully-fledged professional for the night, but rather someone looking to get their start in the industry. Given the increased focus on intern exploitation, however, and questions over the ethics of the industry expecting people get their start by working for free, Mumbrella asked if PRIA was setting a good example.

PRIA acknowledged it had not thought the post all the way through, and noted it has “led the industry on this policy to ensure that all employees (freelance, services providers and staff) are paid their full wage or service fee as per market expectation”.

A PRIA spokesperson pointed Mumbrella to the Institute’s guidelines for interns. 

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