Our People

Image courtesy of Metropol Magazine.

Image courtesy of Metropol Magazine.

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.

Five 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, and 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 Little Company of Mary, Christchurch which provides low-cost housing for elderly people. Priority Communications also provides pro bono public relations support to Birthright Canterbury.

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 the likes of Hilary Barry and Boh Runga among his followers on Twitter. 

When he’s not coming up with great ideas in the office, he is an avid reader and carpool karaoke enthusiast. 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

Junior Communications Advisor


Emily jumped on board with the Priority Communications crew at the start of 2018 as an Executive Assistant.

She graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Media and Communications and English in 2016, and a Masters in Business Management in 2018.

Now a Junior Communications Advisor, Emily provides the team with quality communications support and is an expert editor and creative go-getter.

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

Away from the office, Emily enjoys jumping on the tractor at the family farm, hunting out new brunch spots in the city, or going for a hill climb up Rapaki track on Christchurch’s beautiful Port Hills