ANZAC DAY: How different is PR practice in New Zealand and Australia?

On the eve of ANZAC Day, it is a good time to think about the cooperation, connections and close relations between New Zealand and Australia – after all, recent news reports even go as far as claiming that the 23 millionth birth in Australia may well have been a Kiwi.

While there is a strong degree of jostling and friendly rivalry between our two nations (mainly sports related), the fact remains that cooperation between the two countries is strong and there is no time when that kinship and bond is more evident than ANZAC Day.

PR practice across and between the ditch

This all got me thinking: what are the differences and similarities between public relations practice in New Zealand and Australia? Without putting my formal research hat on, I think it is worth considering if and how practice in the two countries differs.

While PR practice in the United States seems to be quite far ahead of Asia-Pacific nations in terms of the scale of social media practices, use of press release newswires, and the media-business relationship as a whole (i.e. product launches, celebrity endorsements, press conferences, media scandals etc.), it is perhaps more relevant for PR and communications professionals living and working Down Under to think about what joins us and what makes us different in this area.

Theory says that the development of PR in Australia and New Zealand has been rather similar, particularly with regards to the trend of former journalists going into PR and also with regards to the increasing number of female practitioners in the profession. But so far as practice goes, where are the similarities and where are the differences?

While that data might be harder to track down, we can take a look at each nation's professional PR institute and how they compare.

Professional Institutes:

Both countries have professional institutes that PR and communications practitioners can join and do professional development through – New Zealand has the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) and Australia has the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA).

While of course there are major differences in the population size between each country, with New Zealand's population sitting at around 4.45 million and Australia's sitting at around 22.97 million, it is nonetheless interesting to examine how membership for each of the institutes stacks up - let's take a look at membership figures from each of the websites:

  • PRINZ has 1000+ members
  • PRIA has 3000+ members
Interestingly, one might think PRIA would have a greater number of members than 3000+ considering the Australian population is 4-5 times larger than New Zealand's.

LinkedIn groups

It is also worth looking at how each institute compares with their respective LinkedIn groups:

· PRINZ Network : 211

· Public Relations Institute of Australia: 6,610

Does this tell us anything about the state of the public relations profession in both countries? Or does it merely indicate differences in the use of LinkedIn?

Do you have any insight in this area?

Have any readers worked in both countries or have additional insight into the differences between the two countries?

I encourage you to comment below or via LinkedIn – I'd love to hear from you so we can all learn more about how the profession is developing in each area. Thanks for reading.


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