Expert provides vital METS PR insights

Staff reporter

‘If you want to grow you’ve got to do effective PR’

Perth Media founder Cate Rocchi says Australia’s mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector has a fantastic story to tell the world, and so do many of the individual firms in the space. But a lot of them are hesitant to step into the realm of professional public relations, she says, which can come at a cost.

“We believe the culture in Western Australia sometimes doesn’t value public relations as much as the rest of the world,” says Rocchi, who has worked closely with mining and energy companies, government agencies, industry groups, a host of innovative small firms, and their stakeholders, in a 30-year career in media and public relations.

“Research and Markets data indicates the public relations market has grown strongly in recent years.

“It is likely to rise from US$106.93 billion in 2023 to $114.1 billion in 2024.

“You are more likely to get public relations or marketing experts sitting on boards in Europe and in the US than you are here.

“But we do have some outstanding examples here of companies running highly effective communications programs, and reaping the benefits, and I see this as an opportunity, given the overall success of the Australian METS sector, to help more firms find and tell their story effectively.

“We are looking for ambitious companies that want to grow.

“If you want to grow, if you want to leverage your success and your world class products from your regional base to the world, we’re a very good place to start.”

Rocchi has drawn on her extensive work experience in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia to put together public relations and media masterclass events for business leaders and companies focused on industry sectors such as agribusiness.

She has been involved with the success of mining and metals tech start-ups such as GeoMoby and Blockhead Technologies, but her April 5 masterclass will be the first event of this type dedicated to leaders in the sector.

“A masterclass is a good way to run through all the key basic questions to see what’s feasible,” Rocchi says.

“People often say to us, oh, we’re only a small company, we’re turning over $2 million a year; we’re too small for public relations.

“No, actually that’s a perfect fit for us because if you want to grow, you’ve got to do effective PR.

“You pay your accountant and your lawyer. You budget for equipment. You’ve really got to have PR in your budget from the start, too.

“It’s demonstrably as important a part of your profile and growth strategy as other components.

“Often people don’t even know what public relations is. It’s all stakeholder management.

“That can be media, government, it can be business development, community relations, indigenous relations, and it can be your internal communications as well.

“In WA we have this situation where labour shortages are preventing the growth of industrial manufacturing and agribusiness companies, and if companies don’t send a message out to the wider world that they are a great place to work and they’ve got a great management system and a great company, that is actually limiting their growth.”

For Rocchi, the answers to basic PR questions revolve around strategy and actions, quarterly and 12-month plans, and effective and objective measures for evaluating success.

“You can be so much more effective in the way you integrate and interact with your stakeholders with a rolling 12-month plan built on the correct understanding of your stakeholders and how they perceive you, and what they really want from you,” she says

“And across different industries, and even companies, the primary stakeholders can vary.

“This is why we tailor these courses specifically to different types of companies.”

For more information on Perth Media’s METS Public Relations and Media Masterclass, go to


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