Louis Hartley

Louis Hartley

Associate, GRC Partners + Porter Novelli
Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations

Te Atiawa (Taranaki)

He loves that it’s his job to be informed, says Louis Hartley who studied a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations and now works for GRC Partners + Porter Novelli.

“You have to know what is happening in New Zealand’s media and news landscape, and to know all the different movements in business and politics. I get to do a lot of brainstorming for creative ways we can help our clients gain media coverage, help clients through emergency reputational events, and keep them up to date on all things media and politics. Every day is different and it’s almost always fast paced but rewarding.

“The most satisfying part of my job is seeing a project I’ve worked on for a client get published or aired – nothing better than seeing your work pay off and having a grateful client. Another great thing is the people. PR and comms people have the best sense of humour, and so far in my experience are some of the most genuine and kind people you will work with.”

Meaningful learning experiences
Louis came to AUT after initially studying politics and communications at another tertiary institute.

“I had only heard good things about the practical and meaningful learning experience AUT offered. I chose to study public relations because I wanted to make a career of my gift of the gab and passion for people. For me studying at AUT was such an awesome experience.”

The industry project in his final year as a PR student was the highlight of the degree for him.

“Getting to work with a client and learn everything from the basics of account management to brainstorming creative stakeholder engagement strategies was so valuable for starting in PR. In my group’s project we helped a community zero waste programme develop an online engagement strategy. I was tasked with identifying and reaching out to national celebs and local community members that had a public profile – a pretty wild thing to be doing as a uni student!”

Advice for other students
Louis – who graduated from AUT at the end of 2021 – has some great advice for other students.

“My number one piece of advice is to make sure you have fun and don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll make mistakes but you won’t grow without making them.”

Make sure you’re also looking for additional experiences to enhance your learning and build your resume, he adds.

“Reach out to an organisation you think is doing cool stuff and see if they need an extra pair of hands or if they have any advice for you too. You’ll find that most people are really helpful. For example, I worked part-time for my local member of parliament during my time at AUT, doing social media and communications. The chance he gave me to develop the skills I was learning in the classroom in a professional environment gave me the confidence and experience to get into the profession straightaway.”