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Executive leadership team strengths Thrive's future

Thrive PR + Communications has strengthened its senior leadership across its Australian and New Zealand offices, with the establishment of its first official executive leadership team.


The female-led team will see executive directors Clare Basire, Snezna Kerekovic and Carol Qiu work more closely with founder and CEO Leilani Abels.

Thrive PR's executive leadership team seated on white boucle chairs at the Sydney office. From left to right: Carol Qiu, Snezna Kerekovic, Leilani Abels, and Clare Basire.
Thrive PR + Communications’ new executive leadership team. (L-R): Carol Qiu, Snezna Kerekovic, Leilani Abels and Clare Basire.

Basire has been at Thrive PR since 2017, leading the Sydney office’s operations. Now working as chief growth officer for the agency, she is focused on driving the growth of its global and local portfolios, while her operations management has expanded to include the Auckland office.


She said Thrive’s new executive team has decades of combined experience in creative and strategic PR roles. “Helping brands to stay relevant and connected to their customers has never been more important,” Basire said. “Our unique experience coupled with a genuine passion, energy and drive to be hands-on and involved with our client’s work sets us apart.”


Kerekovic, who has over three decades of experience across multi-national agencies, has been at Thrive PR since 2020 across the people and culture category. She continues to lead the agency’s P&C culture, while managing the Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast office operations.


Kerekovic said she is committed to creating a sense of community that is centred around innovation, and she’s proud of the local talent the agency has attracted, and the team’s shared values, diversity of thinking and ability to surpass its limits.“We are always looking at how we can do better for our people to create an agency that is very “un-agency”,” she added.


Meanwhile, finance director Qiu has expanded her remit to now include IT and legal operations. She said her role is to continue the commercial strength of the agency, to better compete with the world’s best. She said: “The Australian PR Industry revenue grew in FY22 to reach $546 million and the industry both locally and globally is expected to continue to grow in key categories that Thrive specialises in.


“During some of the toughest times in history for the industry, Thrive has outperformed the Australian market growth trends, achieving a 20 per cent growth rate in fiscal years 2020, 2021 and 2022. Our commercial muscle allows us to continue to invest in our people and in resources that directly impact client service excellence,” continued Qiu.


While managing her CEO duties, Abels will focus further on elevating the agency’s integrated services including digital, creative, innovation, business and purpose, and community.


Abels said consistent leadership has been key to Thrive’s growth since its inception in 2000, and in a turbulent economy, it is more important than ever to have a stable leadership team.


“Elevating and identifying leaders from within the business, providing new opportunities and nurturing growth. This starts at the top and filters through every level of our agency,” she said.


“Thrive delivers a unique intersection of communications to global and local brands bringing brand reputation (corporate communications), brand love (customer communications) and digital creative services together. Few PR agencies combine these services effectively under one umbrella,” she continued.


“The ELT’s [executive leadership team’s] capabilities and clear responsibilities allow us to strengthen this high demand of services.” The establishment of the executive leadership team come as part of a wider review to become an ‘agency of the future’, in line with the agency’s evolution strategy.


Abels concluded: “I am proud of Thrive’s history and all who have contributed to who we are today.


“This ELT and other leadership appointments soon to be announced have now set us up for the decade ahead in what promises to be a new era for the public relations industry and for Thrive.”

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