[We’re especially good at making complex matters, easier for your audience to understand.]
But if we have to get technical about it, then you could call us a public relations and communications agency. What our clients know however, is we’re a whole lot more than that.
Affectionately known as Commshake to our friends, the agency began in early 2016, when owner/director Courtney Blacker launched it from a laptop on her loungeroom floor. Fast forward to now, and we’re now operating a fast-paced firm with a local office, growing team and more than 50 clients on the books.
We’ve supported our clients to score major international media coverage, attract positive front page news, built creative communications strategies on national award-winning projects, delivered successful rebrand initiatives and deliver exceptional social media campaigns.
Our small, passionate team is made up of professional and creative communicators, journalists, photographers, digital marketing strategists, social media experts and more. We also work alongside exceptional local graphic designers, web developers and animation artists to ensure we can offer the full range of creative services to small, medium and large organisations.
Our goal is to boost the public reputation of our clients, recognising that good communication, takes great skill. Everyone can ‘communicate’, but few do it well.
People come to Commshake for support on their ideas. Often this is because they don’t have the skills in-house, or the time to deliver effective communications and media work (or complex PR and marketing strategies). Others simply understand the importance of good communications strategy and want to outsource this work to experts in the field (ahem, yes that’s us). Other times it’s because business owners are so busy ‘doing the doing’, that they don’t have time to do things like maintain their social media feeds, learn how to build Facebook ads, write press releases, publish e-newsletters, start blogging, or even contemplate an organisational rebrand.
Here’s the way we see it: You bring in an accountant as your expert in tax, a caterer to make sure you have good food (and wine) for events, a recruitment company to find the perfect person for your team … and you bring in Commshake (again, that’s us) as your expert in communications. Because of course, when all of these things are done well – you can just focus on doing great business.
Our Creative Team
Owner and Managing Director
Courtney’s sleeves-rolled-up, hands-on approach to public relations has won her accolades from clients around South Australia.
Dynamic leader, writer, strategist and savvy businesswoman; Courtney has earned a five-star reputation for the quality of her work, clear approach and ability to put her clients in the spotlight.
As Managing Director of Commshake – a business she has built in her beloved Murray River region – Courtney has developed strong working relationships with stakeholders from all walks of life. She has a natural flair for writing and strategy development, delivering numerous successful and highly praised multi-channel communication programs for a range of clients – all treated with the highest level of respect by Courtney and her team.
‘Through Commshake, my real desire is to help regional communities and businesses reach their potential, and to give our clients the support and confidence they need to succeed.’
When she’s not bending over backwards to reward clients with quality high-profile campaigns, social media content, creative marketing ideas or conflict resolution, Courtney dedicates time to her other passions – family (with two little ones she can almost recite Moana word-for-word), sport, the beach and wine.
Although her real life goal is to become a full time food/wine blogger (just imagine getting paid to eat and drink the world’s best produce on a daily basis and then write about it!), she’s pretty chuffed with the exceptional agency she’s created, which allows her help boast globally about the best parts of SA’s regions.
Lisa has had a love affair with beautiful prose since she can remember. Her exceptional writing skills and love of sharing a everyone else’s great stories are the only things getting in the way of her real desire to become the next best-selling novelist.
Lisa began her writing career as a journalist and then Deputy Editor in the Riverland, before quickly being promoted to the senior journalist and sub-editor role at an Adelaide Hills newspaper. From here she discovered a passion for research and storytelling, uncovering some exceptional news across the State’s regions and picking up awards for her coverage.
Because being a mother-of-two and senior journo wasn’t enough, Lisa recently threw herself back in to uni and has graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations – adding this weapon to her creative communications tool-kit. From here she went on to freelance as a media writer, before being snapped up by Commshake as one of our best creative minds (and we’re wondering how we ever survived without her).
Lisa’s greatest asset is in the way she respectfully and thoughtfully approaches her work. She always wants to ensure our clients are getting the best of her skills to suit their specific goals, and quite often you’ll catch her fist-pumping the air when she knows she’s managed to land them a lead news feature somewhere.
Head of Digital Content
Our digital savvy (almost millennial) Jess keeps us on top of all things social media at CommshakeHQ. Her constant desire to capture the perfect Insta-worthy moments – coupled with her knowledge of all things trending online – means we’re always at the forefront of new developments in Facebook, Instagram and every other worthwhile platform being used in the PR and digital marketing space.
With a uni degree in Marketing and Communications, Jess has the perfect talent and passion to help deliver a range of digital marketing campaigns, e-commerce management, EDMs, and other content creation for our clients.
Her natural flair for content creation, means she has an exceptionally bright future in the field and we’re excited that she’s starting it with us – helping to provide our clients with their daily, weekly and monthly social media calendars and marketing strategies. Just ask her about hashtags… seriously, you’ll discover something you never realised about this iconic symbol-led social phrasing culture!
Jess regularly makes the rest of us in the office feel like geriatrics with her talk on how to take the perfect selfie, which gin bars are trending and her exceptionally on-trend wardrobe.
Senior Communications Consultant
Emma is an exceptional creative and professional communicator. Her talent lies in understanding how language, design, layout and the tools we use to connect audiences to them, work well.
Emma has spent more than 15 years working in the communications, engagement, education and partnerships industry – building exceptional skills and networks along the way. Her objective and strategic approach to developing effective and engaging communications planning, ensures our clients are able to get the right message, to the right people, at the right time, with the right feedback loop.
Outside of work, Emma is a mum of two beautiful girls, and loves spending time exploring Adelaide and regional SA with her family. Our team particularly loves Emma for her kind nature and ability (and adaptability) to work with any industry – from education to government, and engineering to tourism.
Administration and Finance Officer
Elise is our admin and finance guru and keeps us all on track and in line. With more than a decade of experience in office administration and management, she provides the team with all of the support so we can deliver for our clients on a day-to-day basis.
Elise is also the mum of three adorable kids, and we love her quirky sense of style, and humour to match.
Our newest arrival Beka, is the youngest of the team, and has joined us while undertaking a uni degree in International Relations and Media.
She’s been a familiar face to Murray Bridge for a few years now, earning the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Award for her level of community involvement.
Beka’s got a love for all things creative. From reading and writing, designing and drawing, to listening to music and podcasts. She’s even mastered the art of language, having extensively studied Japanese and French (and even spending some time in Tokyo).
Growing up in the age of social media, she has an in-depth understanding of how the world is now borderless thanks to technology – and sometimes confuses a mobile phone as an extra appendage.
Her bright, friendly personality is something everyone loves to have around. Often matching her colourful clothes with statement earrings, you can’t miss her. She loves to help other people in any way she can, and our clients are no different.
Beka’s wildly driven to succeed in her professional life, and constantly pushes herself to be a high achiever. She has a sense of competitiveness and knows what she wants – and does what she can to get it!
A writer and creative at heart, Aimee spends her days taking complex communications problems, and simplifying them into easy-to-understand and succinct messages (give her a raw document to edit, and watch her turn it to gold).
Aimee is one of our most experienced team members. With her exceptional background in communications and 20+ years of working to engage regional communities, Aimee helps lead much of our client work.
A typical day for Aimee includes client meetings (mostly over Zoom) and then working with them to create communication strategy or PR pitches to reach targeted audiences across South Australia.
Aimee began her career as a journalist, working around South Australia at various newspapers (including editor roles), before landing a senior position at the Stock Journal. Since then, she has settled back in her home town of Cummins (Eyre Peninsula, SA) with her beautiful young family, where she worked for 13 years as the communications and media advisor for the local MP. During this time Aimee expanded her political nous and worked across a wide range of regionally-focussed communications planning and strategy.
Aimee is a mother to three gorgeous country kids, and is married to one of SA’s emerging street artists – so their lives are busy and full of creativity. She’s an avid bookworm and also a former superstar country netballer (but you should see her on the basketball court too!) – although now she spends more time volunteering on committees than shooting hoops.
Our Creative Partners
No Anchovies Studios
Hailing originally from Sydney, but now based in the Clarendon, Brad is an animation and graphic design expert, and the director of creative agency No Anchovies Studios. His work is meticulous, and his creative genius is second-to-none. Each time we see Brad’s graphics come through, there’s a collective ‘gasp’ in the office at his pure brilliance.
We’ve collaborated with No Anchovies Studios on some fun projects like the award-winning Coorong Healthy Highways program, the Coonalpyn Merchandise design portfolio, the Murray Bridge High School rebrand, and the video component of the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong 2019 Major Tourism Campaign (to name a few). He’s our go to guy on all things creative design, and a master of it all.
Outside of the work he does with Commshake, Brad has delivered major projects for companies such as SA Power Networks, NBN Co, BHP Billiton, and Cadbury. See more of his work here.
Jacob Jennings Photography
Jacob is one of South Australia’s best emerging photographers. While his main passion is in wedding photography, Jacob’s exceptional talent for capturing moments, faces, landscapes and icons ensures we can trust him on any of our projects.
After expanding our Commshake building in mid-2020, Jacob has joined our office space to base his work and make it easier for our team to collaborate with him on projects. He has been a perfect fit for our team environment with his easygoing, quirky nature – and now, we couldn’t imagine not having him around!
Some of Jacob’s significant work with us includes, helping the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong Tourism Alliance win the State’s best tourism destination marketing campaign in 2019, filming Mid Murray Council’s video entry for Mannum in the Tourism Industry Council South Australia’s 2021 Top Tourism Town Award (Small Tourism Town category), and creating a suite of images and short videos for use across Murray Bridge Lutheran Villages’ rebranding project.
He also helps us build brilliant image galleries for our clients websites and social media pages.
Paul and his team are experts in digital design and branding, and have supported our team to develop modern and unique campaigns. We love the subtle design and artistry in the Ocho concepts, making these guys one of our favourite partners on our most creative projects.