One Plus One

Kelly Bennett is the founder and fearless leader of the award-winning PR firm One Plus One Communications. With a staunch belief in honest storytelling for the corporate world and 20-plus years of international experience, Kelly is supported by a committed team that move seamlessly between the corporate, creative and non-profit worlds, and they've been a generous partner of One Percent Collective since way back when. We sat down with Kelly for a wee look-see into his world.


What's rockin in the world of Kelly Bennett and One Plus One? 

I’m in good form, as is the business, which is now a little over 2.5 years old. We’re no longer a start-up, but we’re still young and hungry to grow. And we haven’t deviated from the things that we all signed up to in our manifesto, which is awesome…

  1. To put the culture of our business first, alongside the needs of those we work for.
  2. To be honest with each other and what we can deliver by staying engaged and connected.
  3. To constantly realign our vision to be better than we were last week, last month, and last quarter.
  4. To focus on providing tangible benefits for our clients that make a genuine difference to their business.
  5. And to not be complacent: about growing and developing both personally and professionally.


What businesses, organisations or business trends are inspiring you at the moment?

I’m consistently impressed with what Josh Helm and his business partner Tom Hishon, who founded Orphans Kitchen, keep doing, week in and week out.

They’re two young Kiwi guys who came back from overseas with the plan, vision and the balls to do something different. It’s a fun environment; they create beautiful, sumptuous food and they always role model impeccable service. What’s not to like?


What place does generosity have in business?

A crucial one, I believe. If you work in the corporate world, as I do, then you’ll often have to make decisions about what’s right or wrong. Your moral compass is all that can guide you, and hopefully, that stands you in good stead more often that not. 

I like this quote from Winston Churchill, which expresses the sentiment of treading the line quite neatly: “You make all kinds of mistakes, but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.” 


Tell us three things that inspire you and why?

The Funding Network. It’s kind of like a cross between live crowd funding and the Dragon’s Den TV show.  I went last year (our client Macquarie Private Wealth are a sponsor) and it was a heart-warming experience listening to the social entrepreneurs who presented.

The attendees raised some serious money, with my favourite cause being Assistance Dogs New Zealand, a charitable trust that trains dogs to assist individuals and their families whose lives are impacted by disability.

My colleagues are big fans of Generation Zero, the youth-led organisation focused on transitioning society away from its' dependency on fossil fuels and combating climate change.  They're role modelling what it means to bring about the change you want made in your own life time.

And on a personal level, lately I’ve been inspired by musician, DJ, label-owner, author and family man Ben Watt. He’s now in his mid-fifties but is consistently creative in a range of different mediums. I read his book Romany and Tom last year and have been recommending it ever since. It’s the most beautiful, compelling memoir by a musician you'll read for a very long time. 

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