Spotlight: Tel Aviv

Timna Shetrit, marcomms manager at Sarona TLV, discusses why the PR landscape in Tel Aviv is in a state of flux.

Spotlight: Tel Aviv

Timna Shetrit, marcomms manager at Sarona TLV, discusses why the PR landscape in Tel Aviv is in a state of flux.

What is the PR and communications industry like in Tel Aviv?
Tel Aviv is the Israeli capital of PR. There are 15 top agencies, and some of them are global affiliates. The industry is relatively small and, for large accounts, clients do not switch easily from one PR firm to the other.

Most of the agency owners have a good relationship with each other, but that does not mean it is not a competitive market in the city.

How has it changed in recent years?
You now see new agencies rising, established mostly by PR senior account executives who have experience. Some firms have survived, some have not. We can also see journalists and editors crossing the borders and joining PR agencies.

Digital platforms also affect the PR work, but one major change is mergers. Due to the recession, drop in the rate of the dollar, and a small market to begin with, some agencies have merged.

What are the fastest growing sectors?
It changes from year to year. At the moment, the biomedical industry is growing and has a need for PR and investor relations, while commerce, for example, is dropping.

Does communications have a role to play in the startup and tech scene in Tel Aviv?
Startups and seed money companies are a segment that demands PR attention and we see more of that, but most of them manage a low PR budget. The municipality of Tel Aviv conducts a massive campaign to promote the city as a tech hub, hosting TEDx Tel Aviv and other leading global conferences.

Check In

Haaretz daily newspaper
21 Salman Schocken St., P.O. Box 35029
Tel Aviv, Israel 61350
Tel: (+972) 3-512-1212

Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce
84 Hahashmonaim St.
Tel Aviv, Israel 67132
Tel: (+972) 3-563-1020

Foreign Press Association in Israel
Beit Sokolov, 2nd floor, 4 Kaplan St.
Tel Aviv, Israel 64734
Tel: (+972) 3-691-6143

What PR services are popular at the moment?
Traditional PR, including press conferences, tour releases, interviews, crisis management, media training, digital PR, and paid content.

How has social media impacted the industry?
It is a great platform that cannot be ignored. The amount of users is unbelievable and, with the right experience and knowledge, you can reach your target audience.

Both creativity and knowing how to create a message in a short, but memorable way is a talent. Social media should not be treated as an add-on, but rather as a meaningful way to reach a PR, marketing, and sales platform.

Is finding talent difficult?
Absolutely. Just as in many other services, you get good service from a person and not necessarily from a company. As a client, you become attached to the people that you are used to dealing with. The owners of PR agencies are starting to understand this and realize they cannot compromise on personnel.

What are the greatest challenges that PR and communications professionals face?

Strategy-oriented results, niche market solutions, out-of-the-box ideas that generate coverage, and ideas that serve the client's objectives. One of the biggest challenges is finding people who can write creative, correct, and accurate copy.

What do you love most about Tel Aviv?
There is always something to do. I love that I can go to my local coffee shop and supermarket and get special service because they know me - similar to being in a small village - but then I can go to another area where nobody knows me. I also love how it has developed in the last decade in terms of services to its inhabitants.

I get to work on an amazing project every day. Sarona is the largest entertainment e-commerce center being built in the city. It symbolizes Tel Aviv: the new and old, urban, but with a great heart.

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