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5 Questions with Sarah Johnson


Sarah Johnson

Q1. What’s the best part of your job?


I get a kick out of seeing a story come to life, but it’s the strategy behind the piece of storytelling I really enjoy. Determining exactly what the client wants to achieve, and then finding the right media outlet and journalist to tell that story, is a challenge I embrace. Equally, meeting new people and building relationships in the industry is a fun part of my job and crucial to being a successful PR. Knowing your client well, and then knowing the right people to call, makes a PR’s job much easier, so it’s important to take the time to build and maintain those relationships.

Q2. What skills have been the most useful in your work?


Remaining calm under pressure is a skill I have developed over my career; it has helped me through challenging times. Many of my roles have been high pressure, so an ability to shake it off and not sweat the small stuff is vital. Also, the ability to adapt quickly; the news cycle moves fast so you need to be ready to adapt and change course – but that’s all part of the fun!

Q3. Who, or what in the media, inspires you?


I have been lucky enough to have many fantastic female leaders and colleagues over the years and I have learnt so much from them, all while continuing to be inspired by what they taught me and the careers they have forged. Stella Wong (App Store, Apple) has been an inspiring mentor who has given me so much valuable career advice (and still does); Serena Leith (Global Marketing Director, TikTok) was an amazing leader with infectious passion and enthusiasm who taught me a lot, but most importantly that you should love what you do; and Kirsty Wilson (Lead, Creator and Public Figures Partnerships, Meta), who inspires me with her ability to push for more, adapt, and juggle a million things at once. It was her recent advice “we have a long life to live, so we have to keep learning”, which really resonated with me.

Q4. What’s the most useful advice you’ve had?


It’s OK to say ‘no’. It’s a simple piece of advice that I learnt early on in my career, and it stuck with me. When I started out, I was keen to get press coverage en masse. As a young PR, my boss at the time – comms legend Maria Farmer – taught me that there is power in saying ‘no’, and that strategy behind each piece of press is critical to building a brand or talent’s profile. From that point on, the word ‘no’ seemed easier for me to say.

Q5. What are you looking forward to?


The changing media landscape continues to motivate me. Adapting and learning new things is exciting and embracing social media, AI, and all that’s to come in the future, keeps me eager to learn, be challenged and grow. That being said, this year has been a great time to join SKMG – not only as a growing business – but as I find myself working across a diverse range of clients that are somewhat challenging, but more so rewarding. I look forward to seeing the business evolve even further over the next year.


 

About Sarah Johnson


Sarah is the PR Director at strategic communications consultancy, SKMG, former Head of Publicity for Paramount Australia and New Zealand where she led campaigns for MasterChef Australia, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! and The Bachelor/The Bachelorette.

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