The sky’s the limit for former journalist, turned public relations businesswoman, Deanna Nott. There comes a time in life when you must spread your wings and fly solo, and for Deanna, this time has come more than once – and she always welcomes the opportunities, pesky feathers and all.
Deanna is a woman unafraid to seek new heights. Cadet Journalist by 17, Bond University Graduate, fully fledged journalist, and writer for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong by 20, Air Force Reserve Officer leading PR teams at 21, 20 years in Department of Defence public affairs roles, head of media and communication at Logan City Council, and now Director of her own firm Wings Public Relations, this 45-year-old professional has travelled a long way in her working lifetime.
Take off: Deanna first took flight and marked herself a leader at the age of 17 when she headed a campaign to prevent the immediate closure of her Gold Coast high school. Since grade eight a career in journalism was on her horizon. In a persuasive plea, Deanna sent a letter to the editors of newspapers across the country presenting her case. Not long after, Deanna’s voice was heard and media savvy rewarded, with her school remaining open for an additional year and a half.
It was this success as well as the inspiration Deanna found in renowned Gold Coast Bulletin sub-editor, the late David Jack that gave her a competitive edge when she applied for the inaugural cadetship offering by the Gold Coast Bulletin, in partnership with Bond University.
Being named the inaugural Gold Coast Bulletin/Bond University cadet scholar meant braving a coordinated study cycle with one semester at the university, then one with the Gold Coast Bulletin. The alternate schedule meant by age 21, Deanna graduated from both her degree and cadetship.
In 1992, Deanna won the News Limited Regional Cadet of the Year Award. She was then posted to Hong Kong for three months where she worked for the South China Morning Post. As a wide-eyed, young journalist, she thrived during her 12hr days.
Climbing…with some Turbulence: Deanna did hit a little turbulence during the initial climb. She spotted an advert in The Australian, that saw her flight path take a slight diversion. Her desire to give back to the community saw her join the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Specialist Reserve.
Deanna was the only woman in Queensland selected in a 12-person national recruitment drive. In 1995, she was given her first taste of field work during a Kangaroo Exercise. It was here, at the ripe age of 23, Deanna served as Second in Charge of the Public Affairs Unit at Larrakeyah Barracks in Darwin. She felt the weight of enormous pressure – like the g-forces she was soon to experience when taking to the sky with her RAAF colleagues.
Not long after the Kangaroo exercise, Deanna joined the Department of Defence as a public servant. Her role was as deputy editor of Royal Australian Navy News. It was here she glided alongside the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Pierce Brosnan and Angry Anderson in her duties, and became the first woman on a submarine before a promotion to Defence Force Recruiting in Canberra to head up their PR.
She rose quickly to Executive Level ranks, serving as the Staff Officer Public Information for the RAAF’s Headquarters Air Command at Glenbrook in New South Wales. From there she was sent across the globe, serving close to home on drought relief operations in Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya, and providing prosthetic limbs to land mine victims in Cambodia and as far afield as Alaska on one of the world’s biggest fighter jet exercises. After leading the Defence public affairs effort for South Australia for four years, she then was promoted to a national role, directing communication for Reserves and Cadets. This was a role she held of 10 years.
Cruising altitude: Leveling at optimum height, Deanna cruised into the position of Media and Communication Manager/Director of Media Relations at Logan City Council. Here, she developed campaigns to change perceptions of the city. In 2014, Deanna nominated her team for the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s In-house PR team of the year, which they won.
Deanna attended the awards night where she met Marie Howarth, Queensland’s immediate past president of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA). Inspired by Marie’s energy and experience, Deanna decided to nominate herself for the PRIA Queensland Council. As a councillor, she has attended, and been involved in the organisation of many functions and events.
Deanna’s ongoing desire to give back to the community led her to apply for a Director’s position on the board of Common Ground Queensland and following two years of solid commitment she was recently appointed the Chair of new Supporter Engagement and Advocacy Committee. Deanna shares in the organisation’s vision to end homelessness in the community by striving to create a supportive housing solution through effective public, private and community partnerships.
Descent into destination: Stemming from her supportive network and sheer desire to soar to new heights, Deanna launched her own firm, Wings Public Relations, in mid 2016. Shortly after, she became a member of PRIA’s Registered Consultancies Group. She has already looked after more than 20 clients across the nation and most recently secured national and international coverage for several key clients.
Landing: It is here Deanna currently rolls on the tarmac in 2018 as the Director of Wings Public Relations, Councillor for the Public Relations Institute of Australia (QLD) and Director on the Common Ground Queensland Board. Deanna has been in the Air Force Reserve for almost a quarter of a century and continues to serve as a Squadron Leader. Most recently she coordinated media to welcome home our nation’s Air Combat Group personnel from the Middle East, in the presence of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. She is also the Community Engagement Public Affairs Officer for Australia’s largest air force base RAAF Amberley, near Ipswich in Queensland.
To top it all off, she was humbled and honoured to be named a PRIA Fellow in September last year, joining her esteemed colleagues in the College of Fellows.
Most important to Deanna is being a caring, loving and supportive mother and wife to her husband Patric, who is an international QANTAS pilot, and their two children, Isabella, 13 and Alexander, 11. Always willing to help her friends, to take on a challenge and welcoming of change, Deanna soars through the media communications industry where she pilots her own career.
Wings Public Relations designs PR campaigns that get results. Deanna works with you and for you to proactively promote your outstanding qualities, helping you soar to great heights! They tell your story, crafting messages and information to inform and educate your audience. Contact Deanna at 0422 504540 firstname.lastname@example.org – or visit her website www.wingspr.com.au