A mighty kauri has fallen

It is with great sadness that we let you know that PRINZ chief executive Paul Dryden died today as a result of  complications while being treated for cancer.

We realise this news will be shocking to many who didn’t know Paul was ill. This was because Paul had stoically continued working for PRINZ through his cancer treatment, telling only those who needed to know about his illness. It says loads about his character that Paul dealt with the cancer so matter-of-factly and strove to carry on his normal working life.  

Our hearts go out to Paul’s wife Jill and son James.  Both have been closely involved with PRINZ in recent years. Jill is a PRINZ Fellow and a director of Star PR who many of you will know through her PRINZ public relations strategy courses. As a tertiary student James was often called into PRINZ by his Dad for projects such as compiling the PRINZ Consultancy Guide.

Paul was appointed PRINZ executive director in December 2004 to run and develop PRINZ. Applying his considerable commercial skills, long experience in sponsorship and sports promotion and a passion for our craft, Paul has worked with PRINZ members to mould our professional body into something we can all be very proud of. To name just a few of his achievements, Paul developed a comprehensive continuing professional development programme, reinvigorated the College of Fellows, represented PRINZ at the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management meetings and signed major sponsorships with partners such as Media Monitors and GEON. During his time in the PRINZ hot seat membership grew from around 600 to over 1,000 members. Last year the PRINZ National Executive changed Paul’s title to chief executive to recognise the new role he had forged.

Paul found his niche at PRINZ and worked his magic on the organisation. PRINZ is enormously grateful for the contribution he has made – and to Jill and James for their support of Paul in his role and for their personal contributions.

Paul was a much loved and respected leader in our profession, supporting individual members and caring deeply for their professional welfare and recognition. We know that many members will want to express their sympathy to Jill and James and we will convey those messages on your behalf.

It is a great loss to us all.

Update (2 March 2011): A Service will be held at the Millennium Institute, 17 Antares Place, Mairangi Bay on Friday 4 March at 2pm, followed by private cremation. In lieu of flowers, donations to Cancer Society Relay for Life, PO Box 1724, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140 would be appreciated.


Tim Marshall

On behalf of PRINZ

Following the death of PRINZ CEO Paul Dryden, Tim Marshall is acting chief executive. Tim is a life member and former president of PRINZ. He has been covering the role during the last few weeks of Paul Dryden’s illness with the support of the PRINZ National Executive.

13 thoughts on “A mighty kauri has fallen

  1. So sad on such a sad day of remembrance. To Jill and James go my condolences and those of everyone surrounding me right now at Pead PR. We are but frail human beings when the dust settles. Paul was giant among PR men. RIP Paul.

  2. Such very sad news – the New Zealand PR industry will mourn Paul’s loss for a very long time. He was a great CEO and a great man. I will miss his banter, particularly at the after match drinks at the end of APR viva voce. RIP Paul.

  3. Very shocked to hear this news – the Public Relations industry in New Zealand has lost one of its best today.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Jill and James at this dificult time.

    Rest in Peace Paul

  4. E tika ana te korero, kua hinga te kauri.

    Saddened to hear this news. Paul contributed to the review of MIT’s Business Faculty’s degrees in 2010. Paul’s support and advice was excellent and he was a most amiable and refreshing member to the panel.

    MIT will feel the loss of his support.

    Haere ra, moe mai ra Paul

    Naku iti nei, Verna Tuteao
    Manager, Te Tari Matauranga Maori
    Maunkau Institute of Technology

  5. Communications practitioners from the central government sector send their condolences to Jill, James and PRINZ colleagues on the tragic loss of Paul. As others have said, Paul was an exceptional public relations practitioner and communicator. He was a bridge builder and fence mender. He was someone who would broker deals and put together alliances. He was generous and always looking to advance the whole profession, while keeping a beagle eye on business matters for the more sophsiticated operation PRINZ has become during his time. We in the public sector will miss him sorely. We note that Tim has stepped into the breech and can think of no better person to keep things moving forward during this sad time. I regret that quake matters mean we won’t be represented officially at the service to celebrate Paul’s life on Friday but you will all be in our thoughts.

    Michael Player
    Chair of Communications
    Government Sector

  6. I am completely shocked by this news and very sad. My heartfelt condolences go out to Paul’s family. Paul was a great mentor to myself and a great leader. I am pleased to say that I had the pleasure of knowing him and the honour of working with him as he helped us to set up the MCSA and PRINZ affiliation. RIP Paul.

  7. The sudden death of Paul Dryden shocked faculty and students at the Waikato University Department of Management Communication. Paul recognized the benefits of PR education for the industry and supported it in many ways. He provided valuable opportunities to our students to gain professional experience and connected them with practitioners. We will miss his problem-solving attitude, his open mind, and his friendship a lot. May his memory be blessed.

  8. To Jill, James and all of the Public Relations community, and for those who knew Paul long before then, I am absolutely shocked and saddened to hear this news. I only left a message on Paul’s mobile this week. I had no idea. Bruce, Hannah, Lauren and I send all the love and support we can muster at this very sad time.

  9. Time stands still as our hearts sink and ache at rooms hollowed out by loss. The mute bellowing of an empty chair stands testimony to all that has been taken from us.

    From a calm office in Auckland, Paul led a tiny comms team to implement the strategies put together by the many great minds on the PRINZ national executive. Since 2004, his work to ensure higher standards of professionalism in the industry has impacted thousands across the growing network of communication practitioners in New Zealand. Through him we have become one family with opportunities to meet, share and grow.

    As a leader, he brought great mana to PRINZ and he will be greatly missed. Savvy and pragmatic, with a charisma evidenced by the pleasure and steady confidence his presence brought into a room, Paul was the best kind of leader. Modest and empowering of others, he was a true supporter of each person’s ability to reach their potential.

    Such leadership style has ensured that none of his work will be lost with his passing. And this is Paul’s remarkable legacy. We are still a family; we can still support each other to practice our profession with the highest integrity; and our work building and maintaining effective relationships and healthy reputations, though thick and thin, goes on.

    As a man he will be missed much more, and to Jill and James, I send my sincere condolences. Friendly, with an easy unaffected manner, courteous and good humoured, Paul was a gentleman. We all loved and respected him so much and I am deeply saddened he walks life’s journey with us no more.

    Tamsin Ewing
    Former Marketing and Communications Officer, PRINZ (2008)

  10. It is with a heavy heart that I write this memorial. Paul was a great boss, and an even better person. A great leader to work with and guide me through my role at PRINZ. I send my love and thoughts to James and Jill, both also wonderful and open people, who while working for Paul I got to know well too. May you rest in peace Paul, your life was taken from you too soon. And may your family and loved ones left behind grow stronger from your passing.

  11. Pingback: Paul Dryden: A mighty kauri has fallen :: StopPress :: Breaking news from New Zealand Marketing magazine

  12. I was shocked and upset to hear of the tragic news of Paul Dryden’s death. I was mightily impressed with Paul’s energy, passion and commitment to representing and promoting public relations in New Zealand when I visited not so long ago as a speaker to the PRINZ conference. My deepest sympathy to his family, PRINZ and the PR profession of New Zealand for such a loss. Your Australian colleagues mourn with you.

    Jim Macnamara, University of Technology Sydney

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s