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 former H&K Brazil CEO Patrícia Ávila, who  has joined Ágora as LatAm regional director.

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

Our industry has two major challenges ahead. One is effectively fighting fake news, as they pose serious threats to individuals, communities, brands and governments alike. The second is adapting to technological breakthroughs such as AI — which is also a huge opportunity to improve the way we work if well applied and combined to human insight.

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

I very much liked Penguin Random House’s “The Unburnable Book” campaign — a fireproof edition of the often-banned novel The Handmaid’s Tale. This campaign speaks close to my heart because it is about fighting censorship and radicalism and standing up for feminism and ultimately freedom of speech.

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

I am in love with the Netflix campaign to launch Bridgerton’s third season in Brazil. It featured stars Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton visiting Rio de Janeiro’s landmarks as regular tourists, taking selfies, and interacting with the public, and culminated in a Bridgerton-themed funk ball. I find it cool because it mixes a worldwide famous story with Brazilian pop culture and cleverly makes the most of the presence of the cast.

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

I am well into what I hope to be the second half of my life and consequently less prone to wasting precious time caring too much about “what people will say."  It is a sense of freedom I never experienced before.

How do you switch off and maintain wellness?

I meditate and exercise most days, I make time to be close to the people that matter to me, and I always put family first. My mantra has always been work smarter, not harder.

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

I have recently rediscovered the power of classical music as a means to enhance concentration and get creative. Having had piano lessons between the ages of 4 and 13, it is a sort of homecoming that sparks memories, references and inspiration.

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

If I wasn’t working in PR/comms I would be a geneticist.