Paul Dryden: A mighty kauri has fallen

It is with great sadness we let you know that PRINZ chief executive Paul Dryden has died 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. And, 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, he 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.

  • This obituary originally appeared on the PRINZ blog.
  • Tim Marshall is now acting chief executive of PRINZ. Marhsall is a life member and former president and he has been covering the role during the past few weeks of Dryden’s illness with the support of the PRINZ national executive.

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