• Communications: skilled at developing cost effective marketing strategies to raise profiles and engage target audiences.
  • Media Liaison: very successful at building relationships and placing stories in the media.
  • Research:  researcher, writer and editor of interesting and accessible material for exhibitions and websites.
  • Writing: experienced at writing high quality copy for range of media from newspapers and magazines to websites.

Relevant Work Experience

Royal New Zealand College of GPs Senior Communications Advisor, 2017

A very busy two month contract with work including writing and editing the monthly e.magazine GP Pulse, developing a communications plan for the Quality team, and media liaison for the nationwide digital postcards’ campaign which resulted in media coverage across television, radio and print media.

Halo Communications, 2017

Communications plans and writing for this consultancy which included work for clients Wellington Water and Kapiti District Council.

Massey University Senior Communications Advisor, 2016

A very successful six month contract with Massey University in Wellington where I mainly worked with the College of Creative Arts who were pleased with the number and range of stories I wrote for the Massey website and media releases- as well as the resulting media coverage for their stories. Here is a small selection:


I have an excellent nose for a good story and am a quick and effective writer who is able to package targeted content into accessible and interesting stories for publication and media releases. Very skilled at crafting large amounts of information into compelling stories.

Here  are some examples of feature stories published in North and South and the NZ Listener :

NZ Listener: Joy Cowley: New Zealand’s grandma of writing

North&South:Gourmet oils which are good for you as well

The Prow website researcher, writer, marketing   2008-ongoing

 In 2008, I was contracted to write history and heritage stories for an initiative funded by Digital NZ and jointly managed and funded by Nelson and Marlborough’s libraries. Since then I have written about 70 well researched stories for which currently has an average of 6500 visitors per month, with more than 15,000 views/month.

I have also been involved in developing publicity initiatives for the website including the placement of stories in local media, publication and layout of newsletters, running workshops and presentations, and the use of social media.

 Expressions, Upper Hutt 2010- 2012

Wrote and edited content for exhibitions and media releases for Upper Hutt’s civic gallery and culture centre.  Developed marketing plan and carried out media liaison for two Bohemians of the Brush: Pumpkin Cottage Impressionists’ exhibitions.  Marketing plans and media liaison for further exhibitions, concerts and festivals put this gallery on Wellington’s cultural map!

Massey University       2006 Post-graduate Diploma of Business and Administration in Communications Management
Canterbury University 1984 Post-graduate Diploma Journalism
Victoria University     1980 B.A. English Literature and Classics





Wow! Huge amount of work done Joy. You have been fantastic to work with and we will really miss your drive and eagerness to help the College of Creative Arts. Your interest in all the stories overflowing from CoCA is what has made working with you easy. There have been huge demands from us and I want to thank you on behalf of all CoCA staff that have worked with you, for your help with ensuring CoCA has been represented well.  I certainly hope we can see you again on campus.

Heather Crichton, Massey University, College of Creative Arts Account Manager. November 2016


Our gallery was gifted an historic art collection last year and we commissioned an art historian to curate the exhibition ‘Bohemians of the Brush: Pumpkin Cottage Impressionists.  Joy Stephens provided editorial services for all of the text (information panels and catalogue) for the exhibition. Her linguistic expertise and her ideas about organisation of the content added great value to an interesting story.

Joy then offered to assist with promoting the exhibition. It was fantastic to work with someone with Joy’s expertise and experience, who took such an interest in the project, and went the extra mile to add to its success. It was a wonderful story to tell and a marketable product, but without Joy’s professional skill at working with the media, we would not have enjoyed such significant publicity across radio and print at a local and national level. I am delighted we found Joy, you will be too.

Stephanie Cottrill, Director , Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre, 2010



Joy has proved to be a real asset as a contractor on the Prow project ( The partner institutions contracted Joy to research and write stories and assist with marketing the project. She has performed in each of these areas with energy and enthusiasm, delivering well researched and written stories on time, and always ready with a new idea to promote the site.  Joy has also proved to be a good team player and worked well with others to deliver what is best for the project; often going above and beyond strict contractual requirements.

Nicola Harwood, Prow project manager, Nelson Public Library 2010