New PR text has a kiwi focus

Posted on 3 March 2020

A new public relations textbook is the first to focus on New Zealand’s unique cultural, communication, and information environment, says its lead author Associate Professor Gary Mersham.

“The majority of public relations books available in New Zealand are of American, British or Australian origin and completely ignore our cultural diversity and local and global communication challenges,” says Gary

“This text was written to fill that gap as we felt there needed to be a work that covered local issues and used relevant kiwi case studies.

“Public Relations and Communication Management – a New Zealand/Aotearoa Perspective” published by Pearson, was researched and written to be relevant to New Zealand-based students and practitioners.”

Gary is the programme leader for the Diploma in Public Relations and Communication Management at the Open Polytechnic, and teaches a range of communication courses through distance education with the Polytechnic.

The book, co-authored with Dr Petra Theunissen and Joseph Peart, Senior Lecturers in the School of Communication Studies at AUT University, includes contributions from Dr Elspeth Tilley from the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing at Massey University, well known media commentator John Bishop, and Aline Sandilands, Senior Lecturer at AUT University. All of the contributors have had extensive real world experience in public relations and communication management practice.

“Although it’s only been available from January, the book has already been adopted by a number of universities and polytechnics and feedback so far has been good,” says Gary.

The writing team focussed on ensuring the book is up-to-date with current industry practice, and includes the latest developments in social media, reputation management, government relations, human resource communication and communicating in cultural diversity.

“New Zealand is a small society which adapts and innovates quickly. That has meant the communications industry here is often at the forefront of best practice, with practitioners moving rapidly to take up, apply, and test new concepts and technologies long before larger markets do. This text reflects this experience,” Gary says.