Comms Council launches PR arm to address consumer agency gap

The Communications Council has launched a PR arm, a move that could see membership to the current public relations industry body, PRIA, dwindle.

While the new ‘Public Relations Council’ (PRC) is not intended to replace PRIA and the two bodies have expressed their intent to work cooperatively together, there will be considerable overlap between the two organisations.

The distinction between the two is a focus purely on consumer PR agencies for the Comms Council’s new body, while PRIA works across every stream of PR. Calls for PRIA to be more relevant for consumer focussed agencies emerged last year when agency Mango’s managing director, Simone Drewry, and managing partner, Claire Salvetti, said it lacked relevance to consumer agencies in an interview with Mumbrella.

CEO of the Comms Council, Margaret Zabel, says, “Our industry can only grow stronger with the addition of the PRC and the calibre of work we undertake can only improve with their input. Our business goal is simple: ‘to champion commercial creativity’ and we know that the new PRC will only further reinforce that position.”

Stuart Gregor, managing director of Liquid Ideas, has been installed as the inaugural chair of the PRC. Gregor will be supported by Drewry as deputy chair, and Michelle Hutton of Edelman, Kat Thomas of One Green Bean, Gabriel McDowell of Res Publica, Tiffany Farrington of Social Diary and Jess Nunns of Undertow Media as committee members.

Gregor says, “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.”

Founding members of the PRC include: Access PR, Baker Brand, Briggs Communications, DEC Public Relations, Edelman, Frank PR, Fuel Communications, Hausmann Communications, Keep Left PR, Klick Communications, Liquid Ideas, Magnum PR, Mango PR, Maxted Thomas PR, n2n, NAC Group, One Green Bean, Porter Novelli Sydney, Red Agency, Res Publica, The Cru Media, Social Diary, Thrive PR (Sydney), Tsuki, Undertow Media and Zing PR.

It will come into operation on October 1 2012.