She started out as an ad agency copywriting in 1986, working on FMCG, professional services and consumer brands before getting the break she’d been waiting for in the radio industry. After doing the rounds of the regions in a variety of roles including promotions management, news-gathering and subediting, she leapt at the opportunity to work with the legendary Blackie at Radio Hauraki – even if it was as a part-time traffic reporter. Within a year she was a newsreader and co-host in a Hauraki new breakfast team, The Morning Pirates, which quickly climbed to second place in the intensely competitive Auckland radio market, and won three prestigious Mobil Radio Awards.
Susi moved to Christchurch in 1990 to form a new breakfast radio team with Phil Gifford and Simon Barnett, two years later leaving to start the next chapter of her communications career doing freelance promotions, PR and events management. As the client list grew, so did the need for staff, and within three years Glass Tower had been formed and grown into one of New Zealand’s largest public relations companies, launching a Casino, an airline and a town and working with organisations of all sizes to deliver targeted and effective public relations services and crisis management.
Susi and Douglas married in 1995, and found themselves working together often on the same clients and as new digital channels emerged, began to see the huge benefits that a truly integrated marketing service could bring to clients. It wasn’t until 2000 that Douglas joined the company as Creative Director, enabling Glass Tower to offer clients truly holistic solutions based on what was best for the client, rather than being driven by the narrow focus of a consultancy or agency with a narrow and limited skill set.
Over the years, Susi returned to radio for stints as a morning talkback host for Newstalk ZB, and today is bringing together all that experience together into the world of podcasting.
Susi works with clients to help them set strategy, plan campaigns and projects, navigate difficult communications situations, develop values and engagement programmes and become better communicators. She is in demand as a speaker and coach, has been an Australiasian evaluator for the international IABC Gold Quill Awards for a number of years, and is an engaging and skilled group trainer.