Meet the Assisters
Katie Martel

Katie Martel

Katie Martel

Founder and Director, Croft Public Relations

Katie is founder and director of Croft PR, Brisbane’s leading PR and marketing agency for creating ‘PR with Purpose’. She's a 15-year award-winning brand and PR consultant and strategist who was named as Inside Small Business 'Top 50 Australian Small Business Leaders.' Katie founded Croft PR in 2013, and today she leads a creative, savvy and collaborative communications team working with some of Australia’s leading brands – including Shine Lawyers, Craft’d Grounds and Medela Australia. Her mission is to help other leaders - in business, charities and government organisations - drive PR with purpose - meaning there is a greater, positive purpose and impact to championing their mission, than just driving bottom-line results. She is also podcast host to the Thriving in Business podcast. As a mum of two young boys, she's committed to empowering more women and mums in the industry - providing greater opportunities for growth and leadership.

Career & Background

What inspired you to do what you are doing now?

I love sharing stories and amplifying the impact of purpose-driven people and brands – those who are inspired every day to make a positive impact within the communities the operate. 

Whether it’s working on the PR and brand development behind the next music festival like Brisbane Winter Sessions; sharing the powerful story behind Australia’s first self-warming Lula Eye Masks’ – founded by cancer survivors passionate about championing self-care; leading the creative PR, social and brand strategy behind leading non-profit Financial Basics Foundation promoting financial literacy for young Australians; or directing the brand, social and digital marketing behind the stunning Australian country-wear label, Little Spurs and Co. 

Every day is diverse, awe-inspiring, and motivating. 

I’m someone who loves building relationships with people, thrives off the positive energy of others. I love diving deep to understand the motivations behind these brands, their people, and their challenges and opportunities, and scouring for the best, creative, ground-breaking ways to share this through media relations, social media, events, and other digital and stakeholder engagement activities.  

What was your journey and where are you headed in your career right now?

Before founding Croft PR, I had a 10+ career working in other international PR agencies and client-side in council and industry body roles in Brisbane and Melbourne. 

But as I entered motherhood, and finding it difficult to see a healthy career path ahead for mothers/women in leadership roles, I made the leap to found Croft PR – to have more flexibility, while also creating a purpose-driven focus and positive culture. 

Now, I’m passionate about building our small but mighty female team, working with incredibly inspiring brands and the people behind them, and looking for ways to also do better, and have a positive impact on those within our world.

Your favourite food for thought


  • Big Magic, Elizabeth Gillbert
  • Educated, Tara Westover
  • Phosphorescence: On Awe, Wonder and Things That Sustain You When the World Goes Dark
  • Untamed,, Glennon Doyle
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  • The Happiest Refugee, Anh Do
  • I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, McCormick, Patricia
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, Malcolm Gladwell
  • Not Just Lucky, Jamila Rizvi

Podcasts / Thought Leaders

  • The Imperfects
  • The Squiz Today 
  • Stop Everything
  • Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner
  • A Life of Greatness with Sarah Grynberg
  • Chat 10 Looks 3, Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb
  • Mamamia Outloud
  • Ted Radio Hour 
  • The Daily 
  • We Can Do Hard Things Glennon Doyle 
  • The World Today ABC

What drives and inspires you

What are your core values?

  • Working with purpose – always thinking of ways to have a positive impact on the communities we work with
  • Working with kindness, empathy and honesty 
  • Creativity – thinking outside the box with ideas 
  • Thinking of ways to work smarter not harder 
  • Work life balance – we work to live, but you also need to enjoy what you do!

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

As cliche as it is, it would be my mum Sue Croft – founder of Sue Croft Physiotherapy,  author and who was recently awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2023 for her services to the field of physiotherapy. 

She’s spent 46 years as a physio, 34 of that helping countless women and children with pelvic health issues, tirelessly advocating for change with this silent and pervasive issue.

She’s written just books on pelvic floor dysfunction (including on urinary incontinence, urgency, frequency, prolapse management, bowel dysfunction and pelvic pain) held positions as President and VP and committee members for the @continenceaus, presented at countless conferences, written hundreds of articles, and spent hours unpaid on the phone to patients and others in times of distress.

She’s also built an incredible practice with some of the most beautiful physios. And she’s an awesome mum and grandma!!

You as a Mentor

Why have you decided to become a mentor?

We all have a role to play to bring the ladder down for those “behind” us – making it easier to navigate the highs and lows of the world of PR, marketing communication and business – and sharing our stories and “wisdom” on our own experiences to help the next generation of leaders. Plus Assisterhood is a fabulous program for meeting and being inspired by so many amazing women of all experiences and levels! You grow from teaching and mentoring.

What are the top 5 skills or qualities you bring to mentoring?

  • Years of experience with “indirectly” mentoring many others I’ve worked with – including those who’ve been part of our Croft team. 
  • Many connections in the industry – having worked for over 17+ years in Brisbane and Melbourne. 
  • Compassion/understanding about the overwhelm of first starting in the industry.
  • Experience across many sectors / areas of communication – from small business, to non-profits, corporate, agency, and in-house roles. This also includes experience in traditional PR/media relations, digital marketing, SEO, social media management, social advertising, stakeholder engagement, and events management. 
  • I also have been through many highs and lows throughout my own career – and how I “managed” these experiences – aka in Taylor Swift’s words, 

brisbane mentorship program

Ready to be a part of Assisterhood as a Mentee?


We are now up and running in QLD, VIC and NSW – and we’re only just getting started! Let’s shoot for the stars – together!