The Senior Team

Kerryn Downey

Chairman

Kerryn has over 40 years’ business experience, including 32 years in business advisory and corporate restructuring in New Zealand and Canada. He obtained a BCA from Victoria University of Wellington, spent 24 years of his professional career in Canada and has been a partner in major advisory firms in New Zealand (KPMG and McGrathNicol) and Canada (KPMG) for 25 years. More recently, he led the receivership of South Canterbury Finance Limited, the largest receivership in New Zealand, and is completing the winding up of the New Zealand HIH Group of insurance companies.

Throughout Kerryn’s three decades in business advisory and corporate restructuring, he has worked closely with major corporates, boards of directors, government and regulatory authorities, legal practitioners and stakeholder groups.

Kerryn has held various advisory and restructuring roles for private and public companies on improving financial performance, board governance and effectiveness of board members. He is a member of the Institutes of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand and of Ontario, Canada, and a past president of the Rotary Club of Downtown Auckland. He is a former non-executive director of Guardian Trust.

Kate Alexander

Corporate and Financial Communications

Kate brings strong finance and corporate public relations skills to the marketplace, propelled by her trademark media savvy. She has been recognised globally for her work in the area of crisis communications and issue management.

A former South African Broadcast Corporation journalist, Kate has more than 24 years’ public relations experience in New Zealand and South Africa.

Kate has worked for several large listed companies and on landmark SA projects such as the launch of the first McDonald’s and the first democratic elections in 1994. She has dealt with a number of high-profile leaders including the late President Nelson Mandela (through the Africa Peace Awards) and subsidiaries of Anglo American.

As national director of the STWS Communications – at the time Africa’s largest PR consultancy – Kate led a team of national consultants before immigrating to New Zealand in 2001, where she held senior roles in two public relations consultancies before Alexander PR.

In New Zealand she has handled the communications for many prominent projects, ranging from IPOs to receiverships such as the South Canterbury Finance receivership.

Kate is a Paul Harris Fellow for Rotary International. She has served as a judge for the Workplace Savings NZ Communication Awards (2013 to 2015).

Dwayne Alexander

Asia Pacific Practice Leader

Dwayne has International and local media experience, from radio and TV to digital, print and multimedia. After travelling to Australia, Middle East and China and also working in Africa he has developed a special interest in cross cultural content and relationship development. He enjoys telling CEO’s stories through interesting content shared across platforms including what drives them and how they have come up against adversity. Dwayne has appeared as regular columnist at the New Zealand Herald called “Inspired People” doing just that – interviewing business leaders and is especially interested in getting interesting and quality business stories over the line in the New Zealand media.

With senior leadership experience at NZME. (as CEO of one of their Australasian digital companies with 200 staff across both countries) and Fairfax ( Sunday Star-Times Head of Advertising and Administration) under his belt as well as Advertising agency and client (marketing), Dwayne’s corporate and multimedia media experience ensures that if you are in need of a communication strategy he will be able to take you calmly through a step by step program that will assist you to leverage both traditional and digital media to achieve your business objectives.

Dwayne has more than 23 years experience in media and marketing. He has a post graduate Honors Degree in Marketing (cum laude).

Jemma Crook

Account Director

Jemma has returned to Alexander PR after five years in Australia where she worked as a Senior Sustainability and Communications Advisor for a global corporate, followed by holding a senior position at a Sydney public relations agency.

For almost a decade, Jemma has worked in the fields of media, public relations, digital, content development and corporate affairs. With experience in issues management, business to business, consumer and brand-building public relations, she has cultivated wide stakeholder, government and media networks in Australia and New Zealand. She works closely with her clients on ideas that will generate results, coverage and develops unique content and story angles that create real market engagement and impact. She has experience across a range of industries and areas including retail, fiduciary, home, building, sustainability, digital, FMCG, health, technology, agriculture and fashion.

Jemma first joined Alexander PR in 2008 after completing at Bachelor of Communications (Hons) with first-class honours from the University of Waikato, majoring in Public Relations.

Jemma’s interests include travel, running, fitness and the odd punishing boot camp session. All are balanced out by her love of good wine and food.

Laura Burns

Senior Account Director

Specialising in corporate, retail and consumer communications, Laura is one of the industry’s foremost consultants and is sought after in moments of crisis.

Leading to her near decade in the PR industry, Laura rose through the coalface of retail, managing the flagship store of an international brand. Her ability to foster the retailer and consumer mind-set has earned her an admirable level of trust both within the team and with her large stable of clients across various industries, from retail, hospitality and fashion to fiduciary services, sustainability and childcare.

A natural leader, Laura has nurtured and led teams while developing and implementing award-winning campaigns. Her combination of high-level strategic nous and finely tuned interpersonal skills are vital to her clients who rely on her sage advice and calm demeanour during both the best and worst of times.

Laura has managed many watershed issues for clients: consumer fall-out with major brands; on-site incidents including fires, injuries and theft; and to the large-scale and round-the-clock management of trans-Tasman communications for AMP Capital Shopping Centres during the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes and their aftermath.

From launching shopping centre developments that achieve in excess of half a million dollars in PR coverage and widespread buy-in and anticipation, to navigating and managing delicate crises, Laura’s strategic approach and well-honed skills produce outstanding results.

Laura also brings a creative edge to her work through her photography, forever in search of the perfect picture to capture and illustrate moments in a world where the fastest growing media platforms are visual.

 

Stephanie Jones

Specialist Senior Writer

Stephanie has led communication strategy for global and national companies across more than two dozen industries, ranging from financial services to technology and SAAS, healthcare, real estate and property development, manufacturing and production, and retail. She is experienced in all facets of media and stakeholder strategy, corporate and consumer communications and crisis and issues management.

Stephanie has managed crises for companies large and small, including New Zealand-based businesses caught up in events affecting their global parents. During and after the GFC, Stephanie was behind the crisis management, regeneration and rebrand of AIG Life after the $180 billion bailout of AIG by the US government, and worked closely with financial services sector clients through GFC-related issues.

More recently, her management of the effect of Greenpeace’s global attack on Asia Pulp & Paper helped ensure that the New Zealand business, Cottonsoft, retained its market leadership and attained Environmental Choice New Zealand certification. Her strategic insights and ability to see through an issue to formulate a successful resolution have been commended by her global clients.

Stephanie is also a content specialist, having begun her career as news editor of Craccum, the student magazine of the University of Auckland, where she earned a BA (Hons) in history and literature, with first-class honours. She has produced content for national media outlets including metro daily newspapers, business publications, regional newspapers, vertical / industry media, TV, radio and digital.

Before going into PR she served as publications manager for the New Zealand Automobile Association, where she was responsible for four magazines in print and online, including the highest-circulating magazine in New Zealand, AA Directions, which reached a peak of one million readers during her tenure.

Stephanie is a long-time book reviewer, contributing weekly broadcasts and reviews on Coast FM and writing for Crime Watch; a contributor to the New Zealand Book Council’s Talking Books podcast series; and a judge of the 2016 Ngaio Marsh Award for New Zealand crime fiction. Stephanie can be found on Twitter @ParsingThePage.

Jade Alexander

Account Manager

Jade joined Alexander PR as a Bachelor of Science graduate majoring in environmental sustainability and animal sciences. A huge supporter of animal rights for her whole life,has allowed her to establish a number of valuable networks in both government agencies and NGOs. Jade is an enthusiastic participant in lobbying, having led her own rally at 20 years old with more than 1000 people gathering to show their support over important welfare issues. As well as being a specialist in environmental and sustainability PR, Jade trains dogs and takes part in many dog rescue organisations.

Her passion extends beyond the world of science and animals. A people enthusiast, driven by people with a common interest, she enjoys building relationships and culture and humanitarian issues. Her interests also include the world of media and social media, with her first article being published at the age of 10. She also has experience with both TV and Radio.

Jade assists with many Alexander PR client accounts, involved in research, media monitoring, database compilation and management, and the writing of a variety of client collateral for internal and external use, as well as heading up the sustainability sector of Alexander PR and helping companies realise their  corporate social potential.

Jess Manson

Account Manager

As an Account Executive at Alexander PR, Jess is involved in writing, visual content, photography, videography, and editing for clients in the retail and technology sectors.

An avid writer with a special interest in social media and digital culture, Jess is passionate about harnessing multimedia platforms to achieve PR outcomes. Her firm belief that a strong, well-structured online presence is critical to commercial success and reputation management drives her client work on social media strategy and content.

Colin Kennedy

Senior Writer – The Content Place

Colin Kennedy is a former news journalist, editor and marketing manager who has specialised in digital and content marketing for the last 12 years, during which time he has combined his unique mix of news journalism, public relations and digital marketing skills and experience to help brands educate, inspire and inform audiences with relevant, thought leading content marketing.

A HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified Partner, Colin is passionate about content marketing that yields tangible, bottom line results for clients. His experience includes director level management in PR, marketing and sales – for example, he is a former CEO of New Zealand Agritech (the body charged with promoting New Zealand agricultural technology offshore), marketing director for BNI New Zealand and online duty editor for the New Zealand Herald.

Colin is also a professional speaker and workshop facilitator – conducting both training and client strategy planning workshops – who works with clients at executive level to create relevant, story driven strategy and content that uniquely differentiates the client’s business adds value to their audiences and delivers tangible results.

In 2017 he will be speaking at the New Zealand Content Marketing Conference, the Marketing to the Rural Sector Conference and facilitating the Content and Digital Marketing Workshop series for the NZ Employers and Manufacturers Association, among others.