Johanna (Jo) has some 20 years experience in senior public relations and communications roles including Press Secretary for the former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister the Rt Hon Don McKinnon. She managed the public relations for McKinnon's campaign to become Commonwealth Secretary-General in 1999, media relations during the historic 'Special Meeting on East Timor' when New Zealand hosted APEC in Auckland during September 1999, and also throughout New Zealand’s involvement in the Bougainville Peace Process.
She has also held communications management and marketing roles for a number of major corporates - the New Zealand Tourism Board, The National Bank of New Zealand Limited and AMP. In 2004 Jo launched Coughlan Communications with a client list that included a range of public and private sector organisations, including the Office of the Commonwealth Secretary General, New Zealand Post, EECA, Ministry of Education, AJ Park and the high profile NZFlag.com Trust. In 2008, with business partner Bridget Abernethy, Jo launched Silvereye Communications and has subsequently worked with a wide range of public and private sector clients across diverse industries.
Jo was a Wellington City Councillor, Chair of the Economic portfolio for six years, Chairperson of Wellington City Life Education Trust, a Board member of Positively Wellington Tourism and a national Board member of the Life Education Trust.