Who We Are
Established in March 2008, Gabara Strategies is a communications consultancy focusing on government and media relations, reputation and crisis management and election campaign management. Our advisers are accomplished professionals with backgrounds in government, international organisations and journalism. We bring together decades of knowledge, experience and an extensive network of contacts in media, politics and government across Europe and the US. As a boutique firm, we service at all times a limited number of clients. This enables us to offer each client a fully dedicated and tailored service provided by our most experienced professionals. We focus on each client’s specific needs and target those opinion and decision makers who can most directly and effectively impact on our clients’ goals.
Media relations and reputation management
We provide the full spectrum of media relations and reputation management services. These include the drafting and placement of opinion editorial articles in top-tier media, as well as message development, media training and acting as spokespersons for our clients. We also organise press events, draft media materials, such as Q&As, fact sheets, background notes, and generate materials for websites and social media campaigns. Our backgrounds as former senior spokespersons and journalists, mean that we truly understand what has to be done to secure positive and prominent media coverage. Our team has provided media relations services for clients in seven different languages - from the shores of the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean and right across to the Tian Shan mountains in Central Asia. Yet as we so often tell our clients, it is the English language media in London, New York and Washington DC that truly shape reputations and impact on the value of businesses. This is why we take London as the hub of all our global media work. We identify the target audiences that truly matters to our clients, develop the message that will resonate the strongest with the target audience, and then convey this message through the most effective media to reach the target audience. Aligning the message, the media and the audience is the simplest and most effective approach to media relations and is always the core of what we do.
Over the years, we have conducted complex advocacy campaigns covering the EU Institutions in Brussels to the national authorities in most of the EU Member States. In doing so, we have further developed our extensive network of contacts at the most relevant levels of government and parliament across the EU. Much as this helps, we firmly believe that the success of an advocacy campaign rests not so much on whom we know, but rather on the strength of what we have to say and whom we represent.
This is where our experience comes to the fore. We can confidently tell our potential clients that there is nothing that a crisis can throw at us that we have not already been through in the past … several times over. This enables us to anticipate and prepare for a crisis, but also keep a firm hand on the tiller if or when a crisis strikes. Only direct experience can equip you for this and members of our team have been through crisis such as the 1999 NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia through to factory closures, punitive fines imposed on corporations by the EC, or a crash landing of an aircraft with VIPs on board.
Online and social media
Whether it is the development of an appealing, user-friendly website, Search Engine Optimization, or the development of viral campaigns through social media, we support our clients with all of their communication needs through modern technologies. Indeed, all of our communication campaigns, whether media, advocacy or crisis management are always supported by an online and social media campaign as an integral part of our approach.
Electoral campaign management
Over the past eight years we have conducted Presidential, Gubernatorial and Parliamentary elections on three continents. We provide a full service, starting with research (national polls and focus groups), all the way through message development, media relations, candidate time and resource management, fund raising and Get Out the Vote Operations on Election Day. Our consultants are on the ground for the duration of the campaign, whether it is for two months or two years, and provide both strategic and day to day advice to our clients running for office.
Political risk assessment
Our network of researchers and analysts enables us to support our clients who are interested in venturing into new, unfamiliar markets, where reliable and accurate information is hard to get. This is where we bring our experience and skills to provide our clients with political risk assessment reports that inform their business and investment decisions before they venture into a new market. In a saturated and highly competitive market, we specialise in emerging markets of Asia and Africa. Recent examples of our work encompass detailed political risk assessment reports on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kazakhstan, Nepal and Uzbekistan.
Past and present clients include:
Ivo Ilic Gabara
Former journalist accredited to the EU
Former Spokesman of the European Commission for the Western Balkans
Set up and managed APCO Italy, APCO Media, BGR Gabara Ltd and Gabara Strategies Ltd.
Ivo holds a Masters Degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and is fluent in five languages
Former NATO Spokesman in Russia and Head of Moscow Information Office
Former TNK-BP international affairs adviser
Former Managing Director of the PBN Company’s London office
Associate Fellow of the Russia & Eurasia Programme at Chatham House
John is a Cambridge Graduate and holds a Diploma in International Relations from the John Hopkins University and is fluent in four languages
Former Official in the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representation to the European Union
Former Spokesperson in the European Parliament
Former Political Advisor in the Scottish Parliament
Head of Online and Social Media Practice
Served as new media counsel for Families USA, the Arcadia Foundation, the Zimbabwe Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T/N), 1 Minute to Save the World and World Bank Senior Director for Fragility, Conflict, and Violence Betty Bigombe in her role as a leading Ugandan Parliamentarian (NRM)
Graduate of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Ambassador Donato Chiarini
Former EC Ambassador to: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Cyprus, Macedonia; and Romania.
Former Special Envoy of the EC in several crisis areas, including: Iran; Iraq; and Chad where he facilitated the resolution of the dispute between the Republic of Chad and the World Bank over the management of oil revenues.