Get to know our Kaiwhakahaere, Katie and discover what drives our Social Good team. This is a blog series to get to know our team a little more so you know who you’re working with ✨💚

Kia ora Katie, can you please introduce yourself:

Kia ora koutou! I’m Katie and I’m the owner of Social Good. Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Raukawa. I grew up in Timaru and live in Te Awa Kairangi now. 

I’ve worked in social media almost my entire career, about 18 years! In 2018 I set up Social Good with a clear goal: Use social media to make an impact. For people, for planet, for purpose. 

So, Social Good is my way of using my digital marketing, social media and comms skills to make a better impact on the world. There’s a lot of scary stuff online but there’s also some pretty wonderful stuff. I’m here to amplify all of that. 

What’s your background?

I have a degree in Marketing and Management and I’ve always worked with social media in some way. I worked at Trade Me during and after my degree, then for a web development firm. I moved to the public sector at ACC to set up and grow their social media function. It was a time when social media was new for the government so I set up the Government Social Network at the same time, connecting anyone working in government on social media to share knowledge and learn from each other. The fact it’s still running and thriving 9 years on is a buzz!

I started Social Good in 2018, keen to focus my time on using and growing social media for good kaupapa. Since then, I’ve had the honour of delivering hundreds of campaigns, training and digital strategies for private organisations, and central and local government agencies. 

My grandfather was the generation of Māori who had te reo Māori beaten out of them, so reclaiming te reo for my whānau is important for me. I have a Level 6 Diploma in te Reo Māori (rumaki) and working on Level 7 Diploma in Te Reo Māori – Te Pīnakitanga. 

The other pōtae that I wear is as CEO of Te Ao Matihiko, a kaupapa for Māori in digital and tech. The same values of impact, equity and amplifying good apply to this work too. The roles complement each other. 

What gets you up each day?

My team. They are such a talented group of wāhine who share the same values. 

The mahi. Knowing the work we’re doing is always going to be good and making an impact. 

The people we get to work with. I’m blown away at the work that’s happening across the motu led by these people and grateful for the work we can contribute to.  

What do you love about the work you do?

I love the tricky challenges that our clients are navigating. Fun content is easy, but I love the complex messaging, the crises, the systems behind the scenes, the different campaigns. I also love training people and seeing them take something new on, then see it applied on their socials straight away. I love that in digital, we get feedback on things straight away and we can pivot or keep going. I love that our systems are constantly changing so I’m always learning – it’s a great state to be in! 

If you could work on anything, what would it be?

A few things! My Dad died of bowel cancer in 2016 and I would love to lead a behaviour change campaign to support knowledge and prevention here and abroad about bowel cancer. It’s absolutely survivable if caught early – I wish more people knew this. 

I’d love to lead some sort of global behaviour change campaign for climate change or cultural understanding that I can measure. I’ve seen some really heavy and negative conversations about Māori, Te Tiriti etc and I truly believe that connection and understanding can happen through social media. I’d love to lead a campaign that could achieve that.

What are you most proud of?

My proudest moment was leading the all of government response to Covid-19 on social channels: Unite Against COVID. I set up the Unite Against COVID channels and the team and we worked around the clock to make sure everyone in NZ had access to the info they needed as we went into lockdown. It was a scary time and I am grateful my leaders trusted me and supported the decisions I made. It was the longest hours and hardest work I’ve ever done, but it was also where I felt I knew exactly what I was doing. There were important things to get right, like making sure high-risk messages were prioritised and that we could respond to vulnerable people quickly. We managed thousands of responses on all our social media channels, and delivered audience-led content. Most important to me was that the leaders making decisions knew what the people were thinking – so bringing social media comments to them was critical in decision making. 

Any advice for people using social media? 

Social media is about the people. I always start with the audience, learning about them and what they need, what they like and then find our shared connections that way. I can build my strategy or campaign from there, focused on them. You don’t need to be on all the channels, just where your audience (currently) is.