Young Guns: Zanda Wilson at Sound Story

By AdNews | 19 March 2024

In this series, AdNews spotlights young talent in the Australian media, marketing and advertising sector. This time it's Sound Story's senior communications specialist Zanda Wilson.

Time in current role/time at the company:

One year as senior communications specialist at Sound Story, a strategic communications firm for ambitious brands disrupting the entertainment industry. 

How long have you been in the industry?

12 years across journalism and communications.

How did you get here? Was this always the plan?

I’d always been fascinated with media, I was reading the Sydney Morning Herald cover to cover in my early teens.

I started my media career with internships at a few magazines, followed by an internship at Nine’s A Current Affair. My first paid gig was as a freelance music journalist, and after a few years I started working on the industry side in reporter and editor jobs.

Close to 10 years, and a pandemic later, I made the jump to communications. I learnt a lot working with startups and tech businesses for corporate comms legend Justin Kelly, before reuniting last year with my former boss Jake Challenor at entertainment-driven agency Sound Story. It’s been a year already and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

Who is your right-hand person/who guides you day to day?

We’re an extremely tight-knit team at Sound Story and we work as a ‘brains trust’ across all clients. But working alongside the likes of Jake with his years of experience across music and media, and also PR industry legend Jane Elliott, is fantastic. They are both not only extremely talented at what they do and amazing leaders, but they also inspire me while also trusting my instincts.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?

Music, entertainment, and media are inherently fun sectors to be a part of, and the people within them are always incredibly passionate about what they do, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. 

And the biggest challenge?

The media industry has become increasingly polarised in recent years, making it more challenging than ever to be a communications professional. The music industry also seems to be perpetually up against existential threats, but that’s why people within it are always so passionate and dedicated to success.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?

I’m lucky enough to be in a situation where my current job can grow and transform with me, but I hope to take on more leadership roles in the future and to foster young media professionals making their way in a tumultuous media landscape.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Honestly a lot of the time it’s our clients. The awesome stuff that UNIFIED Music Group, Spotify, The Brag Media, Vinyl Group and more are doing on a day-to-day basis, and seeing their passion for what they do, is fantastic inspiration.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

It was a 50/50 decision as to whether I went into music or sports journalism when I finished university. Glad I took the music route!

In five years' time, I'll be:

Hopefully continuing to work in an industry and with clients that I’m passionate about, and with as great a work-life balance as I have now.

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