'So much things to say right now...' -- Bob Marley
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Kathleen Johnson: Jamaica's PR trailblazer
The cover of the Programme for Kathleen's Thanksgiving Service.
Farewell dear Kathleen! Members of Woman Inc, of which Kathleen was a Founding Member formed a Guard of Honour for their beloved colleague.
Members of the PR fraternity are mourning one of our trailblazers, the insightful, dedicated Kathleen Johnson. Kathleen was a dynamic founding member of the PRSJ and a legend at Desnoes & Geddes Ltd. Later she started her own PR company KJ Associates and did yeoman's service for the Jamaica Society for the Blind. She was also a passionate supporter of Woman Inc. Journalist Rowena Christene King has noted, "She was a PR stalwart and pioneer. She was a Founding Member of Woman Inc. She gave so much ... Eternal Rest Kathy." Kathleen inspired her younger colleagues - we noted her dignity, professionalism and forthright manner. She was a woman of high principles. We are grateful that Kathleen Johnson brought so much respect to the PR profession. Our thoughts and prayers are with her beloved family. May Her Beautiful Soul Rest in Peace.
Below is a tribute from the PR Society of Jamaica: Dear Colleagues, We pause to note the passing today, July 11, of Honorary Member of the PRSJ, Miss Kathleen Johnson, and express condolences to her family. In her pioneering role as the first Public Relations Officer, promoted to Manager, at Desnoes and Geddes from 1968 - 1984, Miss Johnson was a business leader who was also a dedicated volunteer. On retirement, she ran her own boutique PR consultancy until a few years ago. Kathleen was an exemplar of how to connect the related business streams of public relations, marketing, sponsorship management, media relations and community relations, thereby vaulting the role of business communicator into the corporate boardroom as well as staying relevant on the sports playing field and at the domino table. She is the recipient of the Prime Minister's Medal for Community Service in the Field of Sports. Kathleen was the Founding Secretary when the PRSJ was formed in 1981, and she later served for more than 20 years as the Treasurer of the society. Her dedication helped to ensure that the PRSJ was financially viable as it undertook the nurturing of a generation of professional communicators. Kathleen's last contribution to the PRSJ was an article in the August 2013 edition of the society newsletter PR Brief. A link to that article is set out below. Do take a refreshing dip in her recollections. Volunteerism, a great way of living. "When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve." said Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms We remember Kathleen as she communicates to us, her own farewell to arms.