Anastasia Khoo is currently the CMO of Conservation International. Prior to joining CI, Khoo was the CMO for the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality. She led historic marketing efforts associated with three U.S. Supreme Court cases, federal legislation ranging from the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to the introduction of the Equality Act, five election cycles and many other media moments that have helped change the course of history. Khoo was the architect many of HRC's high-profile public relations campaigns including the historic #LoveWins campaign, which garnered more than 7 million retweets worldwide.
Nowhere has Khoo's leadership been more notable than in the record-breaking "red equal sign" campaign in 2013. As historic marriage equality cases reached the United States Supreme Court, Khoo developed a strategic campaign to give HRC supporters an opportunity to show their support for marriage and be a part of history by changing their Facebook profile picture to a red-and-pink version of the HRC logo. In just a few short days, as many as 10 million people used the image on social media--including celebrities, major corporations and leading politicians. The logo was named 2013's "Symbol of the Year" and Facebook declared the campaign one of the most successful viral efforts in the site's history.
Here's Anastasia Khoo, in her own words:
My first job in PR was: Selling newspapers when I was 13. It gave me a love of news and helped me to develop the art of persuasion at a young age
I chose PR because: I think it chose me. I love to do things that move the needle and PR has been an outlet to help me change the world.
If I weren’t in PR, I’d be: A diplomat.
The last great business book I read was: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Nike creator Phil Knight. This was a great memoir about trusting your instinct and building an innovative business.
The best personal advice I’ve ever received was: Everyone's replaceable.
The best advice I’ve given is: Be curious. And follow up.
If I could solve one big challenge for communicators, it would be: How to train everyone to be an effective communicator. Some days, I'd love to put myself out of business.
The last vacation I took was: I executive produced a film at the Sundance Film Festival ("Dulce," a short film) and while it was officially "work," it was really restorative to be around so many creative people and projects. And Park City is lovely so it felt a bit like a vacation!
The technology I can’t live without is: My phone.
The technology I could certainly live without is: My phone. It's an addiction.
My dream three dinner guests would be: I'm loving all the women running for president this year. Ideally, I'd like to have the women candidates over for dinner to reflect on how far we've come as a nation and how far we still have to go.
And I’d serve them: I wouldn't serve them, my husband would. It's all about equality!
Want to be considered for First Person? Contact content director Melissa Hoffmann at email@example.com