Tony Christodoulou: a visionary leader

Published OnAugust 3, 2023

Tony Christodoulou: a visionary leader

Published OnAugust 3, 2023

Known as a trailblazer in the PR industry, respected as a charismatic leader, remembered as an inspiring mentor, and loved as a caring friend and family man. A father of two and a grandfather of six, Tony Christodoulou’s legacy extends far beyond his immediate family. It encompasses the company he founded in 1971, a family of professionals who continue to work by Christodoulou’s ethos that remains deeply ingrained in Action Global Communications’ culture.

Published by IN Business Magazine (August 2023)

Gregarious, wise and the epitome of motivational energy, Christodoulou was a true titan of the PR industry, a dreamer who rewrote and redefined the rules of PR.

The spark that would grow into Action Global Communications was ignited back in 1971 following a meeting with British Airways (BOAC then), marking the beginning of a 40+ year collaboration. Out of the humble spare room of his apartment in Nicosia, Christodoulou embarked on a journey that would span over five decades, expanding the Action name, network, and client portfolio across more than 40 countries.

Way before the era of smartphones, social media networks and Zoom meetings, Tony made the decision to push the network East, putting down roots in markets where specialised PR services were not available at the time. In fact, Action’s offices represented the first dedicated PR presence in several countries and Christodoulou worked tirelessly to recruit and train talent to effectively introduce the practice to the market.

Following the natural move to Greece in 1989 and opening Action Hellas, he set his sights on Egypt in 1990. During the 90s, he moved on to Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and the UAE, launching Action Dubai in 1994. Over the course of the next decade, he expanded into 10 more markets, including Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Georgia. By 2015, Action was present through offices and affiliate partnerships across the whole of Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean.

It was said by one of Action’s long-time clients, ‘Anytime British Airways asks Tony for help in some far-off country, you can bet he’ll be on a plane, ready to parachute in and set up an office’. Christodoulou was a visionary, and he was also driven. Once he set his mind to the task, he was willing to put in the work to make it happen, going as far as embarking on an epic road trip across Eastern Europe and the Balkans to set up the network there.

And his vision did not end there. Besides Action’s core network, Christodoulou forged partnerships with agencies across the globe and also introduced Action Public Sector that would later deliver high-profile projects across the EU, Asia as well as the Americas. In fact, Christodoulou left his mark on every continent, including Antarctica where he led a pro bono project for a team on an expedition to the South Pole.

Always eager to get behind a good cause, in the early 80s, Christodoulou also teamed up with Johnsons to help them roll out a social and environmental initiative (way before CSR became a buzzword), with the material later being adopted by the Ministry of Education and distributed across all the classrooms of the island.

Collaborating with renowned partners such as BA, BI, Coca-Cola, the EU, InterContinental Hotels, Siemens, and Unilever, Christodoulou exemplified the values of hard work, dedication, wisdom, compassion, resilience, and tenacity.

His impact even reached as far as New Zealand, where Christodoulou served as the Honorary Consul in Cyprus for 22 years, ultimately receiving the prestigious Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit from HRH Queen Elizabeth II.

Wherever he went, he possessed an extraordinary ability to connect with people, forging genuine and meaningful connections that transcended languages, cultures and borders.
His innate gift for storytelling captivated audiences as he shared countless memories, anecdotes, and jokes. His magnetic character charmed all who crossed his path. His influence resonated in the communications and media landscapes, leaving an indelible mark on the PR industry.

Read the article in Greek HERE

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