Our People

Michele Hider


With more than 25 years' experience in public relations and journalism, a bunch of tertiary qualifications and a national award to her name, Michele took the plunge and started Priority Communications in 2013.

Three years later, she says she is still excited when she sets out for work each day. “It’s a dream job and I love working with such a talented team.”

“We have a fantastic mix of clients with an exciting range of communications challenges. Everyday, we are thinking of the best ways for people to reach their clients, be heard through the media, communicate better with those that matter to them…”

As well as providing public relations advice to businesses, Michele has worked as a senior advisor to local government and government agencies including the Ministry of Health, Housing New Zealand, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and Christchurch City Council. For four and a half years, she was Communications Manager for the Canterbury District Health Board – the South Island’s largest employer.

Michele has completed a Master of Management (Communication) with distinction, has international accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and is an annual participant in the PRINZ professional development programme, RIVER CPD.

She is a board member of Birthright Canterbury, which supports single parent families.

To find out more about Michele and connect with her, visit Linked In

Mason Head

Communications Advisor

Mason is the fresh-faced, floral-shirted member of the Priority Comms team.

Cutting his teeth in radio, Mason’s passion lies in ‘colouring outside the lines’ to create fun and engaging communication strategies that deliver results for clients. Having had a varied career to date – academic tutor; small business owner; creative writer – Mason has a knack of being able to communicate ideas to a wide range of audiences.  

With a Masters Degree in Media and Communications from The University of Canterbury, as well as a major in psychology, he not only understands how the media works but also – importantly – how people do.

Mason has red and black in his veins; he was born here, schooled here, and works and lives in the central city. He’s passionate about our city and excited about being involved in its resurgence.

Mason’s also our in-house music expert – you might even catch him playing drums on the weekend at some of the hippest haunts in town, including our local Stranges Lane.

John Hobbs

Communications Advisor


John comes to us armed with plethora of skills that he isn’t afraid to use!

With a Diploma in Journalism and a National Certificate in Media and Communication, years as a reporter with Fairfax, and roles in resource and community development, he brings a wealth of experience to the Priority Comms team. 

John is an avid photographer, videographer and pop-culture follower. He has his finger on the pulse of what’s trending on social media and counts Hilary Barry and Boh Runga among his followers on Twitter. 

When he’s not coming up with great ideas in the office, he likes whipping up authentic Italian dishes in the kitchen. Having recently shifted back to Christchurch, you're likely to find John out and about on the weekend scoping out the new coffee and brunch spots in town.

Emily Oakley

Executive Assistant


As the newest member of the team, Emily jumped on board with Priority Communications in January 2018. The move came after she graduated from University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Media and Communications and English in 2016.

As Executive Assistant, Emily provides the team with quality communications support across a wide range of channels, while studying towards a Masters in Business Management at the University of Canterbury. She is an expert editor, creative go-getter and multi-tasking juggler.

As a born and bred country girl from rural mid Canterbury, Emily continues to enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits while relishing work in the hustle and bustle of the central city.

While work and study keeps Emily busy, she always manages to find time for a hill climb up Rapaki Track on Christchurch’s beautiful Port Hills.