Question 1: What’s the best part of your job?
The best aspect of my role is the diversity of our team. I feel lucky to be working with people from different cultures and countries. My role requires working with teams across Asia, the UK, the US, North Africa, and the Middle East. It has opened my eyes and made me appreciate what unites us.
Question 2: What skills have been the most useful in your work?
Adaptability is probably the skill I’ve relied on most over the past few years, especially during COVID. Being able to adjust your approach, see things from other angles and adapt, has made me embrace uncertainty and helped me to grow.
Problem-solving is a skill I frequently draw upon, whether it be with our Insights teams or consulting with clients. I love the problem-solving process because it requires a mix of logic, creativity, and confidence.
Question 3: Who, or what, in the media inspires you?
Investigative journalists and foreign correspondents have always inspired me more than anything. These roles require a unique combination of determination, resilience, interpersonal and technical skills. Investigative journalists have the power to change people’s perceptions and behaviours. Their work helps to change policy, highlight injustice, and prompt global action.
My first job out of university was as a research assistant for foreign correspondent, Ratih Hardjono (foreign correspondent with Kompas in the 1990s). Her approach to research and writing, and her commitment to understanding the world, was truly inspiring. Most of her reporting was in a period when many countries were making the transition from military rule to democracy. She was fearless, and had inventive ways of collecting information from war zones amongst total chaos.
Question 4: What’s the most useful advice you’ve had?
“Be here, be nowhere else." This is deceptively simple advice, yet I still struggle to live it. I frequently catch myself lost in my own head or captured by TikTok. Being present is the key and this simple reminder helps me get back on track.
Question 5: What are you looking forward to?
I’m excited about continuing to develop our Insights teams so that they have strong career paths in the measurement and evaluation industry. I’m also excited about the potential applications of ChatGPT for media research and reporting. The technology will enable us to provide deeper insights to our clients at record-pace.
Personally, I’m excited about travelling as much as possible this year to make up for lost time. It is exciting to see the world open again and I’m ready.
About Khali Sakkas
Khali Sakkas is currently Head of Insights at media analysis and monitoring company CARMA. She is an expert in communications measurement and spent 16 years as Chief Insights Officer at media data and research company Isentia. Through her knowledge and connections, she has been a strong supporter of Women in Media’s research agenda, has served on a number of boards and presented at conferences for Mumbrella, the IABC and The Walkley Foundation. As well as holding a BA from Charles Sturt University, she recently completed an Applied Business Analytics Program at MIT Sloan School of Management where she developed her ideas on how predictive analytics could benefit PR and communications.