July 2017 e-Report

  • President's Pen
  • Chief Executive's Report
  • PRINZ News
  • Industry News
  • Partner News
  • New Members

President's Pen

Unabridged and proud of it

You know that communications and PR people have made a success of producing their own content when journalists complain that it’s competing with theirs, as they did recently for the Emirates Team New Zealand America’s Cup coverage (RNZ Mediawatch, 2 July).

It’s not surprising that we produce more owned content, because news agencies have cut back on the number of journalists, and so you can’t rely on your event being covered on the day.

There might also be a flavour of being more in control too: we can tell our own stories, in our own way, to our own audiences with whom we are building a following.

The other thing about owned content is that you can give your sponsors due recognition, balancing viewers’ tolerance for it, of course. News media won’t always recognise sponsors, unless, like Emirates, you make it completely unavoidable by planting an air stewardess on the parade float beside Grant Dalton and Pete Burling.

Social media and consumer gadgets like iPhones, GoPros and simpler editing apps have made all this possible without big budget professional production or lengthy training. I expect all members of my team to be able to produce usable, zeitgeisty footage: it’s now a standard part of your comms toolkit. (Ironically, that’s what news agencies are expecting of journalists too.)

Owned content is, of course, different from hard news, but we do nevertheless compete with news media for the consumer’s viewing time. Consumers will watch owned content, particularly if it gives them extra access that news media isn’t supplying. There’s also no doubt that consumers are savvy enough to know that they’re watching owned content.

Journalists are right to be a bit piqued, if not afraid. But they’re not right to cast aspersions on owned coverage and call it spin. Because we have the PRINZ Code of Ethics, our members’ owned content is always going to be accurate and honest. We don’t pretend it’s news, but it’s always going to be unapologetically our own, unabridged story.

Katie Mathison, FPRINZ
Twitter:@Katiemmmathison #PRINZPresident

Chief Executive's Report

Spotlight on Ethics

Many of you will have seen the recent news about the “fake review” posted by a PR person on the Consumer NZ website.

I contacted Sue Chetwin, chief executive of Consumer NZ, to explain that while there's no requirement to belong to PRINZ in order to practise PR in New Zealand, to be accepted as a member of PRINZ, you must commit to an internationally recognised Code of Ethics. Key principles in the code include honesty, professionalism and balancing openness and privacy. From a practical viewpoint, the Code provides an actionable framework that guides our day to day behaviours and decision making.

Public relations builds and sustains the relationships organisations need to keep their licence to operate. To do this successfully, it’s essential that our organisations, clients and communities know that our 1400+ members are going to act ethically.

I don’t know whether or not this person who posted the “fake review” is a PRINZ member but when a PR person chooses to participate in deceptive practices, it brings our whole industry into disrepute. Not disclosing a conflict of interest is a breach of our Code of Ethics and it was great to have Averill Gordon, MPRINZ and curriculum leader for public relations at the Auckland University of Technology highlight the Code in her media comments.

Over the years, PRINZ has received just a handful of complaints regarding the ethical behaviour of members. In many instances, we have been able to inform the complainant that the PR person is not a PRINZ member, and in other instances we convene our Ethics Panel - Ursula Cheer, Dean of Law at the University of Canterbury and two senior PRINZ Members from the College of Fellows – to review the complaint. However ultimately, whether the complaint is upheld or not is often secondary, the main purpose of the process is to educate and continue to raise the standards of our profession.

It is timely that in August we have a focus on Ethics. In Auckland (and replacing this month’s Learning Lunch) Tim Marshall LPRINZ, will host a free workshop on Ethics. This is a great opportunity to talk about how to apply the Code of Ethics to your practice and workshop various ethical dilemmas – and there can be many shades of grey in these!

We have also secured Judge Peter Boshier, the Chief Ombudsman, to present on the role of Whistleblowers and the Official Information Act at a free event on 8 August. This event will also be live streamed. Details pending.

Click here for more information on these events or to register.

Elaine Koller
Twitter: @PRINZ_Events


Click here to read more about each of the headings below

  • PRINZ Awards 'best of' case study booklet available now
  • Getting the most out of your PRINZ membership

Industry News

Click here to read more about each of the headings below

  • ICCO World PR Report - Survey of trends and challenges in your market
  • Global Alliance Update

Partner News

PRINZ warmly thanks its valued partners, click here to read more

  • Research First: Where is my jetpack?
  • AON: Professional indemnity insurance and cyber security
  • Getty Images: Cinema-grade VR content is now available to everyone

New Members

Alice Paine, Vodafone New Zealand; Amanda South, DPMC; Amelia Haysom, Colenso BBDO; Bradley Fulcher, Campbell Squared Communications; Celine Kao, University of Waikato student group; Dana Williams, Worksafe New Zealand; Danielle Balmer, Manawatu District Council; David Hawkins, Watercare Services Limited; Deidre Mussen, Ministry of Health; Emily Ferguson, Youth Horizons; Gemma Bridge, Watercare Services Limited; Gemma Burrows, Worksafe New Zealand; Gerard Campbell, St John; Hayley McLarin, Colenso BBDO; Jacqui Lane, Colenso BBDO; Jamie Adams, Massey University Wellington - Student group; Jennifer Gensch, SKYCITY Entertainment Group; Jessica Cushing, Campbell Squared Communications; Jevan Goulter, Goulter & Associates LTD; Laura Kavanagh, DPMC; Lisa Tovey, Scion; Marian Papasin, Ministry of Education; Maxine Clayton, Watercare Services Limited; Megan West-Hill, Wright Communications Limited; Mel Verran, Watercare Services Limited; Ngawai Riria Smith, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa; Nick Wilson, Unitec Institute of Technology; Paul Gunn, Colenso BBDO; Rachel Hughes, Watercare Services Limited; Rhiannon Hughes, Wright Communications Limited; Richard Irvine, Campbell Squared Communications; Yannis Naumann Campbell Squared Communications.