In our Headliners series of conversations, we get under the skin of PR and communications leaders around the world who have made PRovoke Media headlines recently, uncovering what they see as the greatest challenges and opportunities for the industry, where they find inspiration (and how they switch off), what they’ve learned about themselves, as well as the creative campaigns they love and the work they are most proud of.

In this week's Q&A, we speak to Kat Thomas, founder and chief creative officer of One Green Bean, and president of this year's PR Lions jury in Cannes. 

What are the greatest challenges and opportunities for the PR and communications industry over the next 12 months?

Three things that double as both challenges and opportunities in the comms world currently – staying two steps ahead of the ever-evolving world of AI, navigating the darker side of deep fakes and misinformation, and flexing PR strategies to effectively reach people, as the traditional media landscape continues to shift, and in some places, sadly decline.

What’s the best PR campaign you’ve seen recently and why?

Coming off the back of my recent jury president role at the Cannes Lions, my mind is swirling with hundreds of world class examples of earned-led comms. I will champion The Misheard Version for Specsavers, which picked up the PR Lions Grand Prix. A truly standout campaign, from its creativity and playful tone, right through to its commercial impact.

What work from your team are you most proud of over the past year?

I’m very proud of my team. They give a shit and they’re fun to work with. So many highlights… I loved the partnership with the World Cup Guy for Tourism Australia to support the Women’s World Cup (IYKYK). Also, our Chief Good List Officer for TUI to promote Lapland. So many bangers for Domino’s too, from jet pack delivery trials to the Heatsuit. We made the Cannes shortlist in 2023 and took home a bronze Lion in 2024. Eyes on 2025…!

What have you learned about yourself over the past couple of years?

Putting in the years pays off. You get a healthy dose of pragmatism after a couple of decades in this game. You rarely encounter an issue or problem you've not experienced before. Also, a sense of humour is vital. Everyone experiences those ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’ moments. Believe me, finding the laughs in the dark times will get you through.

How do you switch off and maintain wellness?

I feel the correct answer is yoga, pilates, running, baking and pottery, right? However, my team would call me out immediately. In truth it’s hanging out with my dog, scrolling on TikTok and tomatoes. I bloody love tomatoes. My team will attest to this, too.

What cultural source (eg book/podcast/movie/TV show/music artist) has provided creative inspiration for you lately?

I power through a lot of podcasts while out with the dog. The News Agents, The Conversation, The Enquiry and The Food Chain are all regulars. Workwise, the Uncensored CMO lands some decent guests, I enjoyed the interviews with the big dogs from Specsavers, Just Eats, Guinness and Monzo. Also, Anselmo Ramos talking about how he took Gut from start-up to Cannes Lions Agency of the Year in just five years. Impressive stuff.

If I wasn’t working in PR/comms I would be…

A tomato influencer on TikTok.