How does the Australian 2011 Census relate to Public Relations?

Public relation practitioners utilise data (such as the Australian 2011 Census) to back up their campaign.

For example;
while promoting a local youth festival, I would first, look at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) site ( enquire how many youths reside in Wynnum (there are one thousand, four hundred and forty two youths between the ages of fifteen and twenty four) to decide whether the festival is viable.

I have broken up the ABS Service Charter ( into a (very) basic public relations strategy plan:

Key Messages
Assisting and encouraging informed decision making, researching and discussing within governments and the community.
To run a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service.

Key Stakeholders
The Australian public, Governments and the ABS.

Primary Stakeholders
ABS, Governments and the Australian public.

Secondary Stakeholders
Individuals, organisations (public and private sectors), state and local governments, the federal government, employees of ABS, and community groups.

Organisational objectives
To accurately measure the number and certain key characteristics of people in Australia on Census Night and the dwellings in which they live.
To provide timely, high quality and relevant data for small geographic areas and small population groups, to complement the rich broad level data provided by ABS surveys.

Communication objectives
To be professional and courteous.
To explain clearly what information we need and how the statistics compiled from this information will be used.
To work with the public to resolve any difficulties caused by ABS requests for information.
To listen and respond quickly and fairly to any issues you may have.
To protect the secrecy of the information you provide, as required by statistics legislation.

The ABS is there to provide you and I with the facts to back up our arguments, like a public relations campaign or for a new day care centre (

Census information is used by all sections of the community, from federal, state and territory governments to town planners, community groups, students, large and small businesses, and more:
to estimate the population of each state, territory and local government area
to determine electoral boundaries and calculate the number of members to be elected to the House of Representatives from each state and self-governing territory
to determine the distribution of federal government funds to the states and territories
to show characteristics of Australia’s people and their housing within small geographic areas and for small population groups
to give governments and other users information they can use to support planning, administration, policy development and evaluation activities
to help plan basic services such as housing, social security, transport, education, industry, shops and hospitals.

The use of this information or data is reliable and will enhance any public relations campaign because any solid PR campaign includes data to support the claim of the campaign. “Without the data provided by research, practitioners can only claim they know the situation and can recommend a solution; they don’t have the figures to back up their claims” (Harrison, 2011). So it is with the utmost of care that the pr practitioner must include accurate data to support their exciting new campaign.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011). Service Charter: The relationship between the ABS and the Australian public. Retrieved from (
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011). What is the Census? – details. Retrieved from
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011). 2011 Census QuickStats: Wynnum. Retrieved from
Harrison, Kim (2011). Strategic Public Relations: A practical guide to success. South Yarra, Australia: palgrave MacMillan.

Published by Julie-Ann Pearl Ellis

Sharing and caring since 1974.

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