PR reps gather for gab-fest

PUBLIC relations professionals and journalists often enjoy a love/hate relationship, but The Note has begrudgingly considered this month’s inaugural state conference of the Public Relations Institute of Australia worthy of some publicity. The who’s who of Perth’s flak-catching and communications community will descend on the Broadwater Pagoda in Como on July 26 to hear a range of guest speakers divulge the latest trends in employee communication, climate change communication strategy, stakeholder orientation and social media. A panel comprising Purple communications principle Caroline De Mori, former BHP Billiton Iron Ore vice-president external affairs Stedman Ellis and Chamber of Minerals and Energy director policy and external relations David Parker, will discuss the impact of WA’s mining boom on the PR profession. Attendees will also get the inside story on Golden Target award-winning campaigns by industry doyen Marie Mills for the Kaleeya Hospital Maternity Unit and Robyn Sermon for the Rio Tinto Future Fund. PRIA WA president and director of media and communication at Tourism WA Sheryl Fewster told The Note the state’s mining boom and growing environmental sustainability focus had created more demand for strategic PR know-how and provided many practitioners with an open door to the boardroom. Ms Fewster said practitioners were constantly seeking cutting edge information on PR strategy in a local context, and the conference would provide delegates the chance to share ideas and more importantly, mingle. The institute has 300 active members and its numbers have grown 10 per cent over the past year.

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