23 May 2022

Jacquie Walters of Nelson Tasman public relations consultancy WaltersPR was admitted to the prestigious Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) college of fellows at the Institute’s annual award dinner in Auckland on Friday, 20 May 2022.

PRINZ has only admitted 150 members to its college of fellows since 1969. As far as Jacquie is aware she is the only public relations practitioner who has been made a PRINZ fellow while working in Nelson Tasman.

The honour is accorded to public relations practitioners who demonstrate a high degree of competence in the practice of public relations. New fellows must be nominated by two existing fellows and endorsed by the entire college of fellows before their nomination is confirmed. Candidates are put forward for consideration based on their significant contribution to the enhancement of the public relations profession.

Jacquie says that she is very honoured to be made a PRINZ fellow and thanks her clients, past and present, for the opportunity to do ethical public relations work that makes a difference.

“Since establishing WaltersPR in Nelson 10 years ago we have provided services to more than 130 clients based around New Zealand, in Australia, and in the United States.

“We’ve worked alongside many well known organisations in Nelson Tasman, including Cawthron Institute, OneFortyOne, Port Nelson, Nelson Airport, Nelson Marlborough Health, Nelson City Council, and Network Tasman. We are perhaps most widely known for our work with the team at Pic’s Peanut Butter during nine years of extraordinary growth for the business. Outside the region we’ve worked to deliver projects for O-I Glass and Auckland’s VOICE Brand Agency in Australasia.

“Currently our client work includes acting for international consultancy OSACO Group as its Global Media and Communications provider, and providing internal and external communications support for a range of clients based in Nelson Tasman including Taylors Contracting, Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles, and the group behind the proposed Maitahi Bayview development.”

Jacquie says that operating a public relations consultancy in a regional centre is very different from doing business in a city such as Auckland or Christchurch and she is grateful for the support she has received as a business owner.

“Nelson Tasman is a very special place to live and to run a business. I started with OneFortyOne (formerly Nelson Forests) as my first local client when my children were four and five years old. Combining being a single parent with developing a new business was a challenge but I will never forget then Nelson Chamber of Commerce CEO Dot Kettle telling me that there was always room for talent in Nelson. Those encouraging words and support from others such as Bill Findlater who was CEO of the regional development agency and Rob Hawkes who was Business Development Manager at Port Nelson were instrumental in the early days.”

Jacquie says that she has particularly enjoyed working with entrepreneurs with great ideas and helping them to grow their businesses from the emerging business stage through to national and international success. “Hybrid Bikes, IdealCup, Island Gin, and Aunt Jean’s Dairy are striking examples of this, but we’ve also worked with others such as Taupō-based Activated Carbon and recently-launched Nelson Tasman pet food brand WildHQ.”

Jacquie says that she also acknowledges the team of people who have worked with her as part of WaltersPR since 2012. “In particular I would like to thank Sandrine Marrassé who worked with me for six years.”

While presenting the new fellows at the PRINZ awards, PRINZ President Fiona Cassidy said that Jacquie has demonstrated commitment and professionalism in her advocacy of ethical public relations. “Jacquie is exactly the kind of practitioner we want in our profession,” said Fiona.

Jacquie says that she is a proud member of PRINZ and advocates for communications specialists to join the Institute and for businesses and organisations to actively choose to work with PRINZ members.

“PRINZ members sign a code of ethics and have a shared view of how to operate professionally and with high standards. People who work with a member of PRINZ, in particular members who are graduates of the APR (accreditation in public relations) programme, can be assured that they are receiving advice from a communications specialist whose skillset has been benchmarked against international standards.”

Jacquie achieved her APR via PRINZ in 2010 and won a national PRINZ award in 2012. Those two events rank as key milestones in her 30-year professional career, alongside having been made a PRINZ fellow.

“While much has changed in our industry during the past 30 years, the importance of developing strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect remains the same,” says Jacquie.