In our Headliners series of conversations, we get under the skin of PR and communications leaders around the world who have made PRovoke Media headlines recently, uncovering what they see as the greatest challenges and opportunities for the industry, where they find inspiration (and how they switch off), what they’ve learned about themselves, as well as the creative campaigns they love and the work they are most proud of.

In the latest Q&A in the series, we chat with Current Global's Meghann Johnson, who early this week was promoted to the agency's North America corporate operations lead in recognition of her contributions to the firm’s corporate practice growth.

What are the greatest challenges and opportunities for the PR and communications industry over the next 12 months?

Top of mind is helping clients navigate during another contentious election cycle. As we’ve seen in the past, the sociopolitical landscape can easily become a lightning rod for companies in terms of scrutiny around how and what they communicate. It will be important that brands have a clear understanding of their business and values, and are aligned on their responses to social issues to operate in a way that is right for them in the year ahead.

What’s the best PR campaign you’ve seen recently and why?

I have to give a humble brag to my Current Global colleagues for their award-winning work on behalf of Kingsford. Their campaign, Preserve the Pit, was built on the insight that the root of American barbeque began with Black pitmasters. However, through the years, those stories had been lost, forgotten, or ignored. Launched in 2020 at the height of the racial injustice movement and continuing through today, this initiative not only celebrates the history and people who have contributed to BBQ, but also ensures a better future for young Black pitmasters through a fellowship grant program. What I love most about this work is that it was built on a cultural moment, tied directly to the brand, and drove real change in the world.

What work from your team are you most proud of over the past year?

Oh wow. It’s hard to choose because I admire so much of the work my team does. I’d say that ESG (environmental, social, governance) communications holds a special place in my heart and is an area of growth in our industry and our agency. Beyond simply the desire to do good, companies are expected to demonstrate commitments to better environmental and social practices, and even more importantly, real action that drives change. We’ve worked with several clients to build impactful programs around their ESG efforts, and I’m proud to support them in their pursuit of creating a better future for us all.

What have you learned about yourself over the past couple of years?

I’ve learned that who you’re surrounded by matters just as much as who you are. Funny enough, this was a toast I gave to my bridesmaids when I shared how each one had shaped my path. And this philosophy holds true in the business world, too. I’ve been lucky to have spent my career among some incredibly bright and inspiring people who motivate, challenge and push me as I continue to grow.

How do you switch off and maintain wellness?

I have the good fortune of being a mom to two young, active, and energetic kids. They keep me busy in my “off hours” and motivate me to unplug so we can spend quality time together. As most working parents can relate to, my chosen activities have slowly melded with theirs. Now I find moments of wellness through our walks around the block, outings at the park, and even pinch-hitting as an occasional soccer coach.

What cultural source has provided creative inspiration for you latel

Documentaries! I majored in non-fiction writing, and I love an amazing story that is beautifully told. The number of documentaries that have come on the scene is incredible – you can scratch nearly any itch in terms of subject matter. In my line of work, I view my colleagues and myself as truth seekers. Documentaries inspire me to find that truth and use the power of the arts to tell it in interesting ways.

If I wasn’t working in PR/comms I would be…

An English literature professor. I love to read and teaching is a hidden passion of mine too.