Rory O’Keeffe is an international reporter and author, who specialises in political and contextual analysis, as well as communications, for national and international aid organisations.
In 2011, he changed roles from Political Editor of a daily newspaper in
the UK, to work in Tunisia and Libya during the Arab Spring and the latter’s first civil war – an experience which led to his first book, The Toss of a Coin: Voices From a Modern Crisis, in which refugees from the war, and Libyan people who experienced it, tell their stories first-hand.
Since then, he has worked with humanitarian organisations in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia, but his primary focus has been the Middle East and North Africa, on which he has regularly commentated for international media including the BBC, Sky, and Al Jazeera.
His career has focussed on helping aid organisations perform their work – working in the field with aid workers and the people who need their services, as well as local, national and international politicians and organisations, to guide them on what is needed, where, how to deliver it in ways that are culturally-sensitive, timely and appropriate, and providing them with regular updates and points of interest so they can anticipate and respond to changes as they happen.
He creates, delivers and manages communications plans, writes speeches, press releases, articles, blogs, advocacy and analyses for CEOs, field managers, as a spokesman for organisations, or for any employee.
Online, he has created social media and website plans, editing and analysis, and set up and managed multi-channel conversations with the public. His video work – including documentary ‘My Name Is Not Refugee’ – has been internationally commended, and his photography, too, has been used in national and international campaigns.
He also has a strong record in communications training, preparing aid workers for interviews and press conferences with international broadcasters, on radio as well as television, and delivered the general, day-to-day communications skills necessary for people working in sensitive places, at sensitive moments.
In emergencies, as well as at moments where there is time and space to develop and deliver a plan, his work has helped organisations strike the right tone; communicating to donors and the public at large not only what they do, but also why it is important.