About Teri O’Donnell,  Founding Partner and Chair, Manara Global

Teri is a leading reputation management specialist with over twenty five years’ global experience advising a diverse range of clients across purpose-led marketing and communications.

Previously a partner at Freuds London, Teri counselled founders and  boards for the world’s biggest businesses and brands including Mars, EY,  BP, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Pepsico, PWC, The Queen Rania  Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and The Nike  Foundation.

Teri has worked with a number of NGOs, Foundations, particularly  focusing on women’s equality and empowerment. Teri has successfully  partnered with world leading CEOs, founders and UHNWI in reputation building.

Teri’s broad worldview, optimism and dedication is the key to her ability to  expand the possibilities for her clients.

Teri is on the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) strategy  board, was a founding board member of the Global Women in PR (GWPR), Mena chapter  and is a committed professional mentor.

About her thoughts for the industry

In a world full of complexity with wide-ranging challenges, there is a significant role for the communications industry to play through driving a positive influence in the work we do to contribute to making a better world. 

And the global challenges are significant, ranging from climate change, economic uncertainty, and rising inflation, causing many to experience a cost-of-living crisis to the ongoing war in Ukraine. As communication professionals, these challenges are real, and we live through them. 

So, this context is important. How we figure out how we as communicators help all our stakeholders try to articulate what is going on, what we are doing about it, how we can help them and why, and how we show we care about each other. 

Therefore, firstly, at a strategic communications level, at Manara Global we think it is important to have insight and evidence based on the problems we are trying to identify, understand and then solve. In my experience, this comes from forming a far more profound understanding of a client’s business, ‘their good bits, and their bad bits’ so you can advise – at a business and a human level.

Secondly, for the global clients I work with and me, it was always about being purpose driven. And with that, I don’t just mean initiatives around CSR, sustainability or ESG, and well-being; all are critically important, but strategic purpose for me sat above everything at a more macro and fundamental level in the boardroom. That’s where change happens. Where we can help a business drive change, growth and business and societal impact. That’s where reputations are built through the leadership to truly understand your place in the world and the responsibility to act for the benefit of all. There is an opportunity to do more in this ambitious region that we live in, especially as many companies are built around a strong values-based culture in how they do business and operate. 

And thirdly, let’s not forget how this great stuff we all do, day in, day out, manifests itself in the outside world – in the news and shaping a positive influence in our communities.   Through telling great stories, being authentic and human – making a difference by campaigning around something we believe in and creating daily impact.

Let us make 2023 where ‘the Wonder Women’, as a group of incredibly accomplished and diverse women in this region, can do something to make some long-lasting change.