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The Nelson Photo News



Public Relations - in or Out?

The substantial increase in grants made by Marlborough local bodies to the Marlborough Public Relations Office recently have highlighted the comparatively destitute state of the Nelson Public Relations Organisation. If the situation here wasn't so serious, it would be almost farcical. The Marlborough local bodies, showing an awareness that our own local bodies could well emulate, are not waiting for the tourist boom to hit Marlborough before it acts. It is laying the foundations now to ensure that any cream on the tourist milk is skimmed off before it passes out of Marlborough. Here, in Nelson, we should be making preparations too. But it is difficult to plan for the expansion of the tourist industry in this province - and make no mistake, it is coming - when our public relations organisation is hamstrung for finance. The situation here is so bad that if the landlord of the premises in which the office is located insisted on the organisation paying the rent, the office would have to close tomorrow.

In the next four pages we are going to examine the part played by our public relations office in Nelson; its problems (which are almost entirely financial) and how best these problems can be overcome. This article is written with the knowledge of two of the organisation's officers (the P.R.O., Mr Sean O'Hagan, Left, and the president, Mr Jack Auton, Below), but views contained in it are ours and ours alone. We do not expect it to be universally acclaimed - quite the opposite, in some quarters. But if it does stimulate interest in the problem, then we will be well satisfied.

As a starter, look at the picture Below Left. In the middle of that sea of highly-coloured industrial and tourist brochures, is Nelson's effort - incomplete because of lack of finance.