Kat Thomas becomes One Green Bean’s ECD as Matt Buchanan steps up to MD

Managing Director of One Green Bean Matt Buchanan and Executive Creative Director Kat Thomas.

New One Green Bean MD Matt Buchanan and ECD Kat Thomas

One Green Bean has become Australia’s first major PR agency to appoint an executive creative director, with founder Kat Thomas moving into the role, Mumbrella can reveal.

Meanwhile, Matt Buchanan has been promoted to MD to run the business side of the Havas-aligned agency.

Australian public relations agencies do not generally have the title of creative director. However, the agency has made the appointment after a series of campaigns, including Virgin mobile’s Doug Pitt campaign, where the agency held the creative lead.

“Creativity has always been a priority for us,” said Thomas.

“When Virgin Mobile handed us a lead creative role in their latest brand campaign… we were able to really demonstrate the value of putting an earned media strategy at the heart of a through-the-line campaign.”

“Big creative ideas are currency for clients, they’re less focused on where they come from and more focused on the impact they can have and the earned media they can generate.”

Buchanan, who joined the agency as managing partner late last year, is the former managing director of Oglivy PR consumer agency Pulse.

He joined One Green Bean last October as managing partner and will have now have responsibility for the agency’s staff of more than 50.

“Knowing that Kat has grown the agency from scratch, it was a fantastic feeling to come into a thriving business, yet immediately see areas where I could add value and support the recent growth,” said Buchanan.

Since joining the firm Buchanan has worked on major agency accounts including Weight Watchers and Commonwealth Bank.

One Green Bean is also rumoured to have recently won the social media management for Coca-Cola.

Nic Christensen


  1. UMMMM
    25 Feb 13
    11:54 am

  2. First major PR company to appoint an ECD?

    Unless you count Eleven PR as not major. They have two.

  3. Nick
    25 Feb 13
    2:27 pm

  4. Congrats Matt & Kat, you guys make a great double act.

    @ UMMMM – don’t your/their ECDs primarily work for Wybin TVWA? How many people work at Eleven PR?

  5. Rob Lowe @ Eleven PR
    25 Feb 13
    4:59 pm

  6. Hi Nick – as a division of Whybin/TBWA, Eleven PR uses a number of strategists and creatives from within the building. It’s one of our advantages, it works well and I’m very proud of what we do as a team.
    I totally agree with everything that Kat is doing. PR has a place in leading through the line campaigns and PR companies need to start being more creative in order to do that. What’s interesting about the announcement is not that a PR company has ben first to name an ECD, but that PR companies are realising the need to incorporate pure creative roles into the mix.

  7. Catherine
    25 Feb 13
    5:48 pm

  8. Congrats Kat and Matt! I agree with Rob, however integration with creatives shouldn’t be where it stops. Complete PR integration with planners, strategists, researchers and psychologists, etc, needs to be part of the process and is something Naked has been doing since it started its PR offering years ago.

    Also a bit cheeky of OGB to claim it’s the first major PR agency to hire a creative given Hausmann hired one around a year ago. They just didn’t formally announce it.

  9. Kat Thomas
    25 Feb 13
    8:24 pm

  10. Hi Catherine – thanks for the congrats. We didn’t go out with the claim to be the first, that was Mumbrella’s take on our role changes, I agree that’d be pretty cheeky. I know lots of really smart people in the PR industry championing integration and creativity, we’re definitely not alone on that front!

  11. RDH
    25 Feb 13
    8:45 pm

  12. Congratulations guys, great news! Having worked with Kat in the past, I know creativity comes as second nature to her; a remarkably talented and driven individual. Looking forward to seeing more fantastic creative work coming through.