The Brag Media
News March 15, 2023

Jake Challenor Unveils New Comms Agency Sound Story

Senior Journalist, B2B
Jake Challenor Unveils New Comms Agency Sound Story

Jake Challenor is back in business with Sound Story, a new strategic PR and communications agency.

Backed by Jaddan Comerford’s UNIFIED Investments, Sound Story begins life with a mission to help its “clients launch, grow, and manage their reputations on the world stage,” and boasts offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Those foundation clients include a range of music, media and live-focused businesses — from Australia’s leading youth publisher The Brag Media; to tourism and live entertainment startup Cedar Mill Group; K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment; talent management firm Marchmedia; and independent music juggernaut UNIFIED Music Group.

Sound Story is formed around a team of storytellers, led by Challenor and general manager Brian Lawlor, along with the business’s first hire Zanda Wilson, who is named senior communications specialist.

“We are building Sound Story to support leaders and founders who are disrupting the entertainment industry for the better, and building the blockbuster brands of tomorrow,” comments Challenor.

As a journalist, “I found myself writing more and more about many of these organisations in recent years — Australia’s entrepreneurial spirit is truly remarkable.”

Jake Challenor

With business of entertainment continuing to “enjoy exponential global growth, backed by unprecedented investment from both the government and private sectors,” he adds, “the need for an agile, strategic and specialist communications offering has never been greater. Alongside Brian and Zanda, and with the support of UNIFIED Investments, we are ready to muck in.”

Challenor is a veteran of the recorded music and print/electronic publishing spaces, and a name especially familiar to readers of The Music Network and its sister titles. He’s the former publisher of TMN and Radio Today, founding executive editor of Variety Australia, and co-founder of Social Family Records and partner in Jaden Digital before that.

Sound Story launches following Challenor’s departure last month as executive editor, B2B at The Brag Media, where he was responsible for leading the editorial team across its trade brands, including Variety Australia.

The Brag Media acquired TMN from Challenor in February 2022; he continues consulting as print editor of the quarterly Rolling Stone AU/NZ magazine.

Meanwhile, Sound Story GM Lawlor brings to the table extensive experience working across agencies and media, leading trade and digital campaigns for several prominent music, media and entertainment brands.

Wilson joins the team with a CV stacked with writing, editing and comms across consumer and trade publications, including The Music Network, Mumbrella and Media + Capital Partners.

Sound Story offers a range of services, from corporate and crisis communications, media relations and publicity, executive profile building, sponsorship management, and stakeholder engagement, and “is well-positioned to help each client craft and communicate their brand stories,” reads a statement.

Jaddan Comerford

UNIFIED Investments now adds Sound Story to its stable alongside such partner companies as The Annex, Lonely Lands Agency, Red Hill Entertainment, Sound Story, STL Tones, and the recently-launched Side Stage Ventures.

“When Jake approached me at Bigsound 2022 and presented the idea of Sound Story, I said ‘yes’ on the spot,” says Comerford, CEO of UNIFIED Music Group.

“Sound Story immediately fills a much-needed gap in the market, and his vision aligns with ours as we continue to build an ecosystem for creative talent to thrive. The team’s strategic-first approach, and understanding of how media works from the inside, has already been a great asset to us, and will be for many others as well.”

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