Mairi Barton is a Melbourne-based strategic communication and public affairs leader who has influenced and delivered outcomes at the highest levels of the Australian corporate, government and non-profit sectors.
She is an award-winning former journalist who served in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canberra.
Mairi currently operates her own strategic communication consulting firm: Pinch Yourself Communication.
A writer and blogger, Mairi is currently writing a memoir about her father's life and she blogs from time to time about creative life via her personal blog: pinchmyself.org
She also enjoys photography and posts to her Instagram gallery: @pinchmyself
Pinch Yourself Communication’s Mairi Barton has been recognised on the global stage today with a Gold Quill Award in 2020 for her pro bono work with client Fearless Flyers Inc.
We are delighted to share this honour with our Fearless colleague Vicki Huggins – a dedicated and skilled volunteer, communicator and stakeholder manager – and all the aviation expert volunteers who make Fearless Flyers so special.
Fearless Flyers is a non-profit organisation staffed by expert aviation sector volunteers and we’re proud to contribute to their mission to help people overcome their fear and enjoy the freedom of air travel.
You can learn more about their great work at: fearlessflyers.com.au – including the history of the inspirational female aviators, such as Nancy-Bird Walton, who helped pioneer the organisation’s courses.
It’s a bittersweet time for this award given the disruption to the aviation sector, with so many aviation companies and workers facing uncertainty, and Fearless courses on hold for now. We will get through this and Fearless will get back to helping people overcome their fear of flying.
The Gold Quill Awards are presented annually by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in recognition of communication excellence.
Our award was presented for the Fearless Flyers digital hub – an integrated digital and social media strategy and channels including a new website. This has given Fearless Flyers a low-cost, resource-effective way to connect with potential new clients, foster a community among course graduates, and process bookings and payments.
It is an honour once again for Pinch Yourself Communication, and another of our wonderful clients, to be recognized among so many outstanding communication professionals and organisations globally.
Congratulations to all the winners, including all those from here in Victoria!
In a world prior to the disruption and devastation of the coronavirus (COVID-19), this week Pinch Yourself Communication’s Mairi Barton was due to present on mental health communication at IABC Asia Pacific’s Fusion 20 conference in Wellington, New Zealand.
This heart graphic is one Mairi planned to share as part of a conversation about the known mental health impacts for business communication professionals from being at the frontline of crisis and issues management. The research findings related to the mental health of communication and other creative professionals from the United Kingdom (2019) and Australia (2018) are significant cause for concern.
‘You can’t help others if you don’t look after yourself.’
This message of self care feels more relevant than ever as communication practitioners – and other professions and trades, none more so than health and emergency services staff – work tirelessly across the globe in response to this unprecedented and rapidly-evolving pandemic and its health, and economic impacts.
Strategic communication plays a key role in helping organisations to plan and manage through a crisis, and there’s no doubt communication folks are working their hearts out right now.
Please look after yourself both physically and mentally, which we know are intrinsically linked. beyondblue, an Australian independent non-profit organisation working to address issues associated with mental health, has some simple tips on staying well.
At times like these communication practitioners – and other members of staff – rightly get swept up supporting our organisations and ensuring management, staff and stakeholders have what they need.
But you can’t maintain that, if you don’t look after yourself. Stay safe and well.
Our work to help build stronger community engagement and internal communication for Ambulance Victoria was last night recognised by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Victoria with two Bronze Quill Awards for 2019.
The two pieces of work have previously been recognised with IABC international Gold Quill Awards for 2019.
The two Bronze Quills were awarded for:
The Better Together program.
When we set out at Ambulance Victoria to improve community engagement we never looked at it as a one-off communication and engagement campaign.
Backed by real commitment from the leadership, we were given the freedom to develop a new model for community and stakeholder engagement, working to fundamentally shift the way the organisation used community insight and participation to plan and manage its business, and meet local and diverse needs.
It’s wonderful to know that our efforts to give the community a greater say in their ambulance service will contribute to better patient experiences and better health outcomes for Victorians.” Mairi Barton
The 30 Years of Women in Ambulance commemorative album.
The first female paramedics permitted to work in Victoria arrived for duty in an all-male ambulance workforce in 1987 and paved the way for many women who have served since.
The courage and resilience shown by pioneering female paramedics Andrea Wyatt, Pat Richards, Mel Buckingham and Georgie Hall in pursuing their career dreams is truly inspirational and the history of these first female paramedics has been preserved in a commemorative album.
“It was an honour to help share the stories of women in ambulance to celebrate their significant contribution, show how far we’ve come and to open a conversation about the work that’s left to do to create a gender-balanced workplace.” Mairi Barton
Last night’s gala dinner in Melbourne also commemorated the 20th anniversary of IABC Victoria. Pinch Yourself Communication acknowledges the outstanding contribution to developing our communication profession by IABC Victoria over the past two decades and congratulates all the outstanding Bronze Quill recipients recognised last night.
Thank you to Ambulance Victoria for the opportunity to contribute to their important work and congratulations to former Executive Director Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Kate Bradstreet on a total of three Bronze Quill Awards in 2019 for communication projects at Ambulance Victoria.
Outstanding internal and external communication strategy and implementation by Mairi Barton, of Pinch Yourself Communication, for client Ambulance Victoria was this week recognised by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) with two Gold Quill Awards for 2019.
Gold Quill Awards are presented to the best of the best globally and we’re thrilled to receive this prestigious recognition for our contribution to the Ambulance Victoria (AV) team building stronger community engagement and internal communication to employees.
The two Gold Quills were awarded for:
The Better Together program.
This program is not only improving the way Ambulance Victoria engages with the community and fosters community participation in a local health emergency, but is also enhancing the way this government agency operates and continually improves its business to meet local and diverse community needs.
The judges offered congratulations on reaching and achieving the program goals and objectives.
“Community engagement models have likely experienced lots of changes over time. Yours could be the one that creates a blueprint for true two-way communication and engagement.”
“Great uptick in community feedback. Challenging budget and resources!”
The 30 Years of Women in Ambulance commemorative album.
This album told the stories of the female paramedic pioneers who entered an all-male workforce in 1987 and the women who have followed in their footsteps, both to demonstrate progress and to build further momentum for diversity and inclusion at Ambulance Victoria.
The work was described by the judges as masterful and inspirational.
“(The album) both commemorates a milestone and also was presented as a catalyst to conversation and advocacy of women’s roles throughout the system at AV. It is inspirational. By focusing on stories of pioneers and current AV staff, interwoven with statistics and also challenges in the environment, the message came through clearly.”
“Healthcare can be an emotionally appealing topic and you’ve done a masterful job of going beyond the story of delivering care to develop the key message around progress in diversity and inclusion.”
“It recognises the past in a series way…yet it is still light-hearted and human. It also sets the stage for the future with public commitments to continue the progress of women in leadership and technical roles.”
Pinch Yourself Communication would like to thank Ambulance Victoria for the opportunity to contribute to their important work and congratulate Executive Director Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Kate Bradstreet and her division on the total of three Gold Quill Awards for Ambulance Victoria in 2019.
Congratulations to all the 2019 winners, who represent the considerable value being delivered for organisations by the strategic communication profession globally.