Assistant Vice President of Media and Public Relations Benjamin J. Johnson serves as The Ohio State University’s chief spokesperson and leads the university’s media and public relations team.
Johnson is a member of the Office of Marketing and Communications senior leadership team and advises the Office of the President and President’s Cabinet on media strategy. He works closely with communications, marketing, public relations and sports information professionals across Ohio State’s five campuses to foster coordination and collaboration.
Within the Office of Marketing and Communications, Johnson leads a team of writers, editors and videographers charged with enhancing visibility, fostering accuracy and generating goodwill through daily work with local, regional, national and international media. His team also oversees the university’s central news program, Ohio State News, which delivers news about university programs, research and people to key stakeholders via web, social media, email and text.
Johnson has 20 years of experience in public relations, marketing and broadcasting. He joined the university in 2016 as director of media and public relations and deputy spokesperson. Prior to arriving at Ohio State, Johnson served as director of communications for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, where he led all communications and marketing efforts for a multibillion-dollar state government agency serving many of Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens. During his time at the agency, Johnson led communications and marketing for numerous statewide projects and was awarded the 2013 President’s Award for exceptional service. Before entering public relations, Johnson worked as a news and sports anchor, talk show host and producer, and play-by-broadcaster at radio stations in Bucyrus, Newark and Columbus, Ohio.
Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications and Associate of Science in Audio Technology from Indiana University and a Master of Public Administration and Leadership from Ohio State. He lives in the Columbus neighborhood of Clintonville with his wife and two sons, close enough to campus that he can hear the victory bell ringing at the ’Shoe. When not at work he enjoys camping, listening to live music and cheering on the Cleveland Guardians with his family.