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What NZ Media Changes Mean for your Business

GUEST: Pattrick Smellie, BusinessDesk Founding Editor

Pattrick Smellie, founding editor of BusinessDesk, joins us to discuss the changing face of media in New Zealand and the impact these changes will have on how businesses work together with the media.

He provides a behind-the-scenes look at how media are navigating these transformations and adapting.  Plus the HMC team provides a perspective on how businesses must also adjust communication strategies to suit.

Pattrick Smellie


Pattrick has worked as both a journalist and communications manager in Wellington since 1983. His career highlights include being The Australian newspaper's first NZ correspondent in the mid-1990s, working as a junior press secretary for then Finance Minister Roger Douglas in the 1980s and 7 years in corporate communications at Contact Energy.

In 2008, he co-founded BusinessDesk and remained managing editor after its sale to NZME in January 2022. He has recently passed over the reins to his colleague Victoria Young but still remains heavily involved in the publication’s editorial decisions.  

Heather Claycomb


Heather Claycomb founded HMC  in May 2004 driven by her passion to tell a great story and support Waikato businesses in making a difference.  In 2019, her business evolved into a social enterprise which now donates its profits to her family charity, All Good Ventures.

Passionate about the PR industry, Heather has been involved in the PR Institute of NZ (PRINZ) in a regional leadership and governance capacity since 2013.  She was elected to the position of Board Chair in May 2022.

Heather leads the team to help clients with crisis and issues management and has developed PR strategies and crisis response related to a wide range of subjects.

Born and educated in the United States, Heather earned her MBA from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) in 1992 after receiving a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Shippensburg University (Shippensburg, PA) in 1990. After several years working in sales and marketing with a division of Management Recruiters International, Heather established a marketing communications consultancy in Denver, Colorado before immigrating with her husband to New Zealand in 1999.

When she's not at work or volunteering, she's at her bach in the Coromandel, on the tennis court or golf course.  

Kate Webber


Kate joined HMC Communications in June 2019 bringing with her more than 22 years public relations experience.

Kate has worked in both agency and in-house communications roles giving her a breadth of knowledge and experience across sectors such as tertiary education, FMCG, local government, transport, apiary, energy, fashion, aviation, medical research, immigration and agriculture.

Kate’s key strengths include strategic communications planning, copywriting, leadership and team management, internal communications, event management and fundraising, stakeholder relations, and project management.