IPREX NEWS

February 24, 2020

Sydney, Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs

5 Questions – Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs

IPREX has more than 60 high-quality communications partners around the world that work together in variety of ways. Get to know Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs in this month’s 5 Questions column.

Who are you?

Benjamin Haslem, Managing and Founding Partner of Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs based in Sydney, Australia.

 

If your agency had a senior superlative, what would it be?

Most outspoken

 

What has been the most meaningful work you have done in your career?

Several years ago I provided PR support to Sascha Chandler, then a senior banker at the National Australia Bank. Sascha was the victim of repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a cadet officer in his school cadet unit about 15 years prior.

Sascha had the courage to report the abuse to police many years later. With no witnesses or physical evidence, it was Sascha’s word against his abuser.

Sascha spent five days straight in the witness box. The abuser was found guilty.

It was through Sascha that other victims were located and their abuse proven in court, leading to the abuser receiving the longest jail term in the State of New South Wales’ history for child sexual abuse.

I helped Sascha talk to media. His overarching aim was to warn parents to be aware of signs that a pedophile may be grooming their child.

Sascha’s story appeared on the flagship ABC TV program Australian Story and in several major newspapers.

He continues his fight to protect children as a volunteer community ambassador with Bravehearts – a leading charity dedicated to preventing child sexual assault.

I consider Sascha a hero.

What do you see as the biggest challenge in the communications industry today?

Young people, those under 35, do not consume traditional media. Finding channels to successfully communicate with this group is a challenge. Social Media is the obvious answer but coming up with creative ways to engage with a broad audience takes skill.

How is your agency working to solve this challenge?

We have invested heavily in staff and consultants with expertise in the social media and digital space. We are training staff in video production; graphic design and other skills that are essential in the digital space.