administratorLINKT Executive Profiles
Laura’s a regular at our LINKT events and always stocked with awesome stories to share. As a writer, some stories are her own, some are others’ she’s had the honour of telling. Either way – we knew she’d make a great yarn!
From breaking an international news story about the dirty habits of a beauty salon, to breaking the internet with the news Gemma McCaw had changed her surname – Sport Bay of Plenty’s new Communications Advisor Laura Weaser’s no stranger to gripping people with her writing.
It comes as no surprise when you realise just how passionate this journalist turned communications star is about her work…
A massive movie buff, Laura began her career in journalism because of her love of writing and film.
“It was a dream of mine to interview the names and people whose careers I followed on the big screen,” – which she eventually experienced as a staff writer for Rip It Up, Groove Guide and NZ Women’s Weekly.
Impressed? Us too.
Laura’s first gig at Tauranga’s The Weekend Sun newspaper saw her move into an editing role less than a year out of university. After a couple of years she made the move to Auckland – chasing her entertainment dreams at NZ Women’s Weekly.
There she clocked up countless interviews with famous and inspirational figures – her personal highlights include Gin Wigmore, Linkin Park and Radio New Zealand’s head of news Carol Hirschfield.
“I also consider getting an NZ exclusive with Ben Harper and his mum a win – they are hard to interview and I got them to talk about all kinds of personal topics outside of their new album (that’s always your goal).”
And then there was the interview with Duncan Garner… the hard-ass political reporter who Laura interviewed exclusively about how much he loves his chickens.
But as she started to get more experience and worked for a diverse range of publications, Laura found what she loved most about journalism was meeting new people from all walks of life, who had genuinely interesting stories to tell, and sharing them with the world.
“It’s quite an honour to be let into someone’s personal space, into their world, and get to know them in a way only their closest friends and family would.”
In 2015 Tauranga called Laura back home, and after a second stint at The Weekend Sun spearheading a rebrand and launching a new magazine-style publication Life + Style, she made the move to public relations to try her hand at a new skill.
“I found it hugely rewarding and a lot of fun! PR gets a bad name from journalists – ‘the dark side’ – but in my experience it was just about telling the stories of organisations and businesses who don’t have the time, or don’t know how, to.”
She got involved in challenging and interesting work for clients including Tourism Bay of Plenty, the Wright Family Foundation, and Assistance Dogs New Zealand.
This year an opportunity to combine her love of the outdoors and fitness with writing and her public relations skills presented itself, and she made the move to communications at Sport Bay of Plenty.
You can already see her passion in Sport BOP’s revived social media and savvy promotion of the current Cooney Lees Morgan Lunchbreak Battle.
“I’m so happy to be working on something I genuinely believe in and spread the word about the good work this organisation does in the community,” says Laura.
“I get to work with genuinely down-to-earth people who are passionate about what they do and committed to helping others. There’s so much good work begin done here and everyone is so down to earth/humble about it that it’s really inspiring.”
Outside of work, Laura’s got travel on the brain and is busy planning a trip to the Bay of Islands later this year and tackling Mt Taranaki. Oh, and she’ll be tying the knot to her fiancé in early 2018!
Quick fire questions:
Who inspires you?
People who know what they want and work hard to get it, be in a professional or personal capacity. And Hilary Barry, of course.
Best place to eat in Tauranga?
Too many to name but Johnny’s Dumplings at Rising Tide gets me EVERY time. #TreatYoSelf
Favourite place in the world?
It’s hard to beat the Bay! But Switzerland and Cape Town are two places very dear to my heart.
Number one professional goal for the next 12 months?
To continue to improve the communication channels for Sport BOP, particularly our digital presence and social media, to effectively showcase all the great work our team do in the fields of sport, recreation and health.
What do you love about living in Tauranga?
I love that I can finish work and be at one of New Zealand’s best beaches in less than 20 minutes!
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Do what makes you happy!