In The News

Josh Kohnstamm Profiled in PR Council Monthly Newsletter

Each month, a PRC Member is spotlighted with a few questions — read on to learn something new about our Founder & President.

What is the first thing you do in the morning? I toggle between Morning Joe, CNBC and the NY Times out on my under-heated, Minnesota porch. My coworkers’ chat line lights up well before work starts, and I am grateful for the high engagement levels exhibited by this generation of PR pros — it wasn’t always that way. I can’t remember a time when I’ve enjoyed walking in the door of my own company more than I do now. Maybe it’s because their college years were fraught with economic uncertainty, but today I find twenty-somethings to have a low sense of entitlement and a healthy, holistic intensity to their work in much the same way I do, and I am hugely appreciative of that as I head to work each day.

Tell us something about you that we don’t already know. I cut my teeth as a political field organizer, working the presidential primaries for the likes of Mo Udall and Ted Kennedy — so I take a campaign approach towards building momentum and team work as a tone to my agency. As a 20-year old, arrogance caught the best of me when, after a string of successes, I failed at the most important time as the news networks actually had to reverse their initial win projection to our opponent due to results for counties I organized. Reckoning my hubris and shortcomings with a devastating outcome was hard. I tell my staff often that dealing with professional loss, and holding yourself to account for not locking in big wins when you have the chance is core to one’s ultimate success in the PR world.

What keeps you up at night? Trump, North Korea, opening up my online stock portfolio to someday see it’s all zeros because some sophisticated hacker prevailed. We’ve never, ever had times like this in terms of rewriting the rules and challenges to conventional wisdom — and it is difficult to neither turn it off nor lose faith in humanity. But then our own work kicks in around the PR impact that we’ve made over decades growing the organic and natural food space and its relation to health and wellness, we remind ourselves that there is a lot to celebrate. A lifelong vegetarian, I’ve seen how PR has helped reshape perceptions and normalize healthy, sustainable lifestyles. I’m reminded that, no matter what else happens in the world around us, we must in the end behold and live up to our better selves.