Meet the Team

who we are

With over seven decades of industry experience across our team, we have the in-depth knowledge and expertise to effectively meet the needs of our clients.

Kevin Johnston


Kevin is responsible for the overall strategic direction of Johnston Associates and is a leading authority on crisis communications and media management. He oversees the press offices for United Airlines and Air Canada, in addition to working with organisations worldwide, as a speaker, advisor and trainer. He founded the company in 1998, after running BAA’s Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5) press office during its five-year public inquiry. Kevin has a background in the charity sector and the political world, having started his career in public affairs.

Donald Steel

Associate Director

Donald is responsible for crisis communications strategy and business development at Johnston Associates. For 11 years, he was the BBC’s chief media spokesman and handled some of the most challenging media stories of the last decade. Donald’s expertise in reputation and crisis management is globally respected, working as a speaker, advisor and trainer to organisations worldwide. He also provides strategic guidance on the changing media landscape and the evolving role of social media. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2009 and became the BBC Academy’s first associate fellow in 2011.

Gudrun Gorner

Senior PR Manager

Gudrun supports the management of Johnston Associates' airline and airport clients. She has over 25 years’ aviation PR experience and began her career with Lufthansa where she worked within the Corporate Communications division and was responsible for the airline’s press and PR activities in a number of key European markets including the UK. She additionally held the position of General Director of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, held annually in London. Gudrun has also managed communications at Qatar Airways with responsibility for the airline’s PR across Europe. Gudrun holds a MA Hons degree in German and Medieval History from the University of St. Andrews and is fluent in German.

Samir Nadori

PR & Digital Communications Manager

Samir provides support for Johnston Associates’ airline clients. He began his career working across a variety of PR sectors, including financial, hospitality and aviation. He brings expertise in editorial management across multiple platforms, innovative content creation and digital PR strategy. Samir holds a MSc (distinction) in Social and Public Communication from the London School of Economics and Political Science, in addition to a (first-class) BA Hons in Business and Management from the University of The West of England.


Our associate network enables us to offer leading expertise, skills and insight to suit any need at any time. We can bring in our associates to meet clients’ changing requirements and effectively handle any eventuality, such as in a crisis or a large-scale media campaign. We will always recommend the associate most appropriate to each client’s situation and, of course, ensure they are well briefed.

Mike Pearse

Mike, former Broadcast Journalist of the Year, provides strategic media relations guidance at Johnston Associates. With a special interest in aviation and travel, he has for 30 years been a leading transport correspondent with ITV News, covering major stories from Coronavirus to 9/11, as well as producing landmark documentaries and live programmes. Alongside his work for ITV News, Mike’s company, Mike Pearse Media, is a leading UK media training and video production organisation.

John Cotton

John supports the team strategically on selected clients and projects. He has over 20 years' experience in PR/communications, brand development and partnerships in a variety of sectors including transport, tourism, retail, F&B and environmental. John was PR Manager for Singapore Airlines for nine years. He has also dealt with numerous crisis situations over the years, including media relations for Singapore Airlines during the time of the Bali bombings and SARS.

Caroline Corefield-Rose

Caroline supports the team strategically on selected clients and projects. She worked at BAA for eight years, first launching the Heathrow Express, then as head of media relations. Caroline was instrumental in BAA’s campaign for airport expansion in the South East and managed the media response to a number of front-page crises. She has over 20 years' experience in the travel, professional services, education and environmental sectors.

Sabrina Weiss

With PR and digital media experience in the environment, aviation and technology sectors, Sabrina supports the team on selected clients and projects. Sabrina holds a MSc in Communication Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is fluent in English, German, French and Spanish.

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