Written by PRINZ Fellows, Tracey Bridges and Joanna Murray
Jill Kinloch, the Group Finance Manager at SenateSHJ, died on Thursday morning (5 September) aged 64.
Jill Kinloch was the heart, soul and systems behind three of New Zealand’s leading public relations consultancies spanning four decades: from her role establishing and leading Logos Public Relations in the 1980s and 1990s, to the establishment of Porter Novelli New Zealand, and her crucial role with Australasian SenateSHJ Group, which she helped establish in 2003.
Although her title at SenateSHJ was “Group Finance Manager” that doesn’t come anywhere close to covering the scope of her role or her influence over generations of public relations professionals in the course of her career.
Jill started her career at Network PR, where from the get-go she proved herself with an eye for detail, an empathetic approach and a wonderful sense of humour. From there she set up Logos Public Relations with her business partners Sally Logan-Milne and Evan Voyce in 1986. Sally was Managing Partner, Jill was General Manager. In the 1990s they sold Logos to Clemenger Group and shortly after that, Porter Novelli NZ was formed. Jill retired to travel and play golf not long after that.
Her retirement didn’t last long: Senate Communications (later SenateSHJ) founders Neil Green, Tracey Bridges, Peter Hehir and Mark Blackham – who had all worked with her at Logos – enticed her out of retirement in 2003 to help them set up the new business. She became one of the first unit holders, and as many staff and former staff of SenateSHJ over the years will attest her influence as the heart and soul of the company was (and is) enormous.
Jill’s high professional standards meant she saw everything. No proofing error went unnoticed; no lapse in client service standards was accepted; and she was passionate about opportunities for the team to develop. Her judgement was incredible, her loyalty fierce and her friendship unparallelled.
She taught practitioners young and old the importance of customer service, care for detail, and respect for colleagues throughout the business, no matter what sort of pressure you were under yourself. Her love and care for her colleagues was immense, especially the younger team members, whom she adored and championed.
She worked hard and loved life. She always found time for golf, her friends, and for her favourite charity, the Friends of the Malaghan Institute. Her organisation of its highly successful fundraising charity golf tournament, which is now held in many places throughout the country, is testament to her work and support.
Jill was a force. A mentor and colleague and friend, who everyone trusted and liked. Her influence on Logos Public Relations, Porter Novelli NZ and SenateSHJ – and through them, our profession – has been huge.