Ex-PRIA president Terri-Helen Gaynor made Burson-Marsteller APAC CEO



Terri-Helen Gaynor, the former president of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), has been named the new Asia Pacific president and CEO of communications firm Burson-Marsteller.

Corporate communications expert Gaynor, who has run her own PR firm Reputation for the last 12 years, is taking over from  Patrick Ford who has been chair of the region since October 2012, and who will continue as worldwide vice chair and chief client officer for the agency.

The new role is based in Hong Kong.

She chose not to stand for re-election as president of PRIA last February amid unrest in the executive, which saw a new committee elected to run the body under academic Mike Watson.

Gaynor will report into global CEO Donald Baer, who said in a statement: “Terri-Helen is widely respected across Asia-Pacific and the global communications sector as an expert strategist with broad expertise managing complex issues in partnership with CEOs, boards of directors, financial authorities and government ministers.

“She is an extraordinary communications professional who brings strong entrepreneurial drive to the role of building our business prospects and expanding our reach in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region. Her success in building a leading firm across Australia, her unparalleled commitment to client service and her great passion for nurturing the next generation of communications professionals will make her a tremendous addition to our firm.

Baer also paid tribute to Ford, adding: “Under his strong guidance, we have grown our business, added exceptional talent and produced award-winning work, all while leading the region in ideas-driven, evidence-based communications. Pat’s dedication to excellence and professionalism has made him one of the greatest contributors to Burson-Marsteller and the entire public relations industry, and we are very fortunate to have his continued service as a leader and colleague in his ongoing role as our worldwide vice chair and chief client officer.”

Gaynor’s career has spanned 30 years and focussed around corporate communications, including internal comms and investor relations. Reputation has worked with clients including Qantas, Optus, Deutsche Bank and Marriott International.

She said in a statement: “The firm has built an outstanding business in its more than 40 years in the region and boasts an enviable roster of talent and clients. I am eager to build on this most impressive foundation.”

It is unclear what will happen with Sydney-based Reputation, which Gaynor is managing director of.

Alex Hayes


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