PRIA appoints new chief executive officer: Louise Harland-Cox

The Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer, Louise Harland-Cox.

The decision comes after a six-month recruitment process, “with a high level of interest from an outstanding pool of talents”, according to PRIA.

Harland-Cox joins as the PRIA’s first full-time CEO since 2017. In the interim, the national office has been governed by the board of directors, with Tracy Harris serving as executive officer on a 12 month contract, which ended in December. The last to hold the role permanently was Anne Howard.


Harland-Cox has more than 20 years experience in membership organisations in Australia and the UK, across a range of different industries. She was most recently general manager for customer services at the Australian Meat Industry Council.

“The Public Relations Institute of Australia represents such a wealth of history and experience in the PR and communications field,” said Harland-Cox. “I’m thrilled to be leading the organisation at such a pivotal time for the industry, and look forward to building upon such a rich heritage to create outstanding value for our members.”

A statement from PRIA said: “This unique exposure to a range of industries gives Louise the right background to identify and address the challenges of our members, with direct and relevant experience in the very spaces our members operate.

“While the needs of Australia’s leading communicators are unique, the challenges we face as a membership organisation are shared across many sectors. Louise’s cross-industry membership experience will allow the PRIA to apply learnings and best practice from the wider association community, as we drive a new focus on member engagement, retention and growth.”

Leigh McClusky, national president of the PRIA, said: “I am confident that Louise’s appointment heralds a new era of member growth and member value for the PRIA”.


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