Strategic communications consultancy Manara Global launches in Dubai

28 March 2019 2 min. read

Two former Edelman executives – Robin Gordon-Farleigh and Teri O'Donnell – have teamed up to launch a new communications consultancy in the Middle East; Manara Global.

With the tag-line ‘Where Reputation Matters’, the Middle East has this week welcomed its newest consultancy, Manara Global – established by experienced ex-Edelman Middle East duo Robin Gordon-Farleigh and Teri O’Donnell. According to the founding partners, the Dubai-based Manara Global will focus on strategic reputation management and purpose communications.

Together, O’Donnell and Gordon-Farleigh can claim over 50 years of combined experience advising ‘governments, royalty and some of the world’s largest corporates and individuals’, and despite only a brief overlap at Edelman – with O’Donnell joining in March last year and Gordon-Farleigh departing three months later – the pair believe their approaches to be highly complementary.

“The power of our partnership is the convergent and creative thought we bring to the table – global inspiration with local understanding, always driven by insight. We start from different places, but end with a plan and a unified focal point,” the consultants state. “With the coming together of backgrounds, skills and experiences, Manara Global provides a unique and fresh perspective.”Strategic communications consultancy Manara Global launches in DubaiTaking its name from an Arabic word roughly meaning beacon, radiance, or source of light, Manara describes itself as globally-focused firm, and its founders further point to their international professional and personal backgrounds as informing their far-reaching world-view, with New Zealand-born O’Donnell having spent time in London and New York before moving to the UAE, and Gordon-Farleigh having grown up in Zimbabwe, the US and Wales.

Both, however, have made their biggest mark in London; O’Donnell spending nearly a decade at Freud Communications, latterly as a Director, and Gordon-Farleigh serving for six years as a Senior Communications Strategist with the Prime Minister’s office – one among a number of high-profile public sector positions which further included Head of Media Planning & Strategy for the UK Department of Health.

Joining in 2017, Gordon-Farleigh then spent close to a year and a half as the Regional Director for Government Strategies for Edelman Middle East, before taking on a Director of Communications role for Princess Haya of Jordan, who is married to UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. O’Donnell, meanwhile, joined Edelman as a Managing Director in March last year.

“We believe it is an exciting opportunity to break down siloed working practices, provide greater creativity and joined up thinking to business and societal challenges and problem solving,” O’Donnell said of the new venture, with Gordon-Farleigh adding, “It’s an exciting time in the UAE’s ambitious journey to becoming a global hub for so many things underpinned with its ambitious agenda and with the eyes of the world upon us with Expo 2020.”