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The Public Relations Institute of NZ has recognised excellence in the fields of public relations and communications, with the induction of three new Fellows in 2015.

Avon Adams (Wellington), Heather Claycomb (Hamilton) and Brian Finn (Auckland) will be recognised for their contribution to public relations at an awards ceremony on May 21 in Wellington where they will be inducted by PRINZ president Bruce Fraser.

To be selected as a Fellow, PR & communication professionals must have made an outstanding contribution to the public relations industry over a significant period of time.

“All three incoming Fellows have demonstrated this, and between them, have made a contribution not only to the public relations industry, but to the sectors and organisations here and overseas in their careers to date, Fraser said. “These include corporate and consultancy, not for profit, local and central Government and its various agencies.”

“Whether it is behind the scenes, or out in front of a news camera, public relations professionals in this country play an important role in helping organisations operate through smart, effective communications. These three practitioners are great examples of this and I am pleased to induct them into the PRINZ College of Fellows.”

Avon Adams is a communicator, broadcaster and academic and a respected PR professional. She has worked in communication roles in the UK, Australia as well as NZ where she led communications and corporate affairs for some of NZ’s best known brands including Air NZ, Vodafone and TVNZ. She is currently the director of communications with the Department of Conservation.

Adams has a strong interest in communications as a key driver of business excellence and has extensive experience in mergers & acquisitions and change communications. She has consulted for many government and private sector organisations and lectured at Massey University and AUT University in journalism and communications. Shehas also worked for a number of television networks around the world as a journalist, presenter and director.

Heather Claycomb founded HMC communications in 2004. Coupling her MBA education and APR certification (2009), Claycomb brings a unique perspective to her clients with the ability to approach communications issues from a strategic business perspective.

Prior to forming her own consultancy, she worked as a senior consultant with Baldwin Boyle Group.

Claycomb immigrated to New Zealand from the US in 1999. She is on the boards of Habitat for Humanity Central North Island, the Hamilton Science Awards Trust (Chair) and Willow Creek NZ. She is currently the Waikato representative on PRINZ National Council.

Brian Finn is an experienced and awarded public affairs professional who has worked in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Europe. He was head of public affairs for the NZ Rugby Union from 2004 until 2011 and for several of those years he also led communications for Rugby NZ 2011, the organiser of Rugby World Cup in 2011.

His work on the RWC 2011 bid won the PRINZ Supreme Award in 2006. Finn developed the long-term communications strategy for the management and hosting of RWC 2011 and led and managed all media management and communications for the 2005 British & Irish Lions tour.

He was an associate partner with Ideas Shop for three years, establishing the company’s Auckland office in 2014 and is now director of his own consultancy, Engage Group, working with clients on their public affairs, brand and communications needs. He is a member of the board of Special Olympics NZ and is one of the organisers of the bi-annual Southland Party at Parliament.

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