Staff retention is one of the major challenges for PR agencies in the region. Brazen MENA, a Dubai-based boutique agency that has The Walt Disney Company among its clients, prides itself on an employee-centric culture.
Managing partner Louise Jacobson says this year the agency has introduced the Year of Wellbeing at its agency.
"Brazen has a family-feel culture with trust and respect at the core," she says. "We have five different nationalities in our team of twelve and I adopt an employee-centric approach with annual initiatives such as our ‘Year of Wellbeing’. Since we launched this, we dedicate an hour a week to learning more wellbeing techniques, so this week for our #WellbeingWednesday we did some colouring in with these amazing adult colouring books for an hour listening to chill-out music."
The PR shop also introduces regular motivational initiatives to stimulate staff such as monthly wellbeing hours, duvet days and kayaking trips.
Jacobson said the Middle East is a "very-competitive landscape" with a fresh wave of PR agencies launching "all the time".
"Yes, there is the budget factor, but some clients prefer a small agency environment and offering versus that of a large agency and vice versa," she said. "Our clients benefit from direct access and time from senior team members, cost-effectiveness, we are very nimble and quick when it comes to activations and plans, and all the strategy, creativity and decision making is made here in one office."
Brazen’s clients include The Walt Disney Company MENA, Atlantis The Palm and The Galleria on Abu Dhabi's Al Maryah Island, as well as homegrown success stories like Freedom Pizza and Kcal.
Jacobson said Middle Eastern agencies are keeping up with the global heavyweights when it comes to an ever-changing PR landscape.
"PR people are used to keeping up with change, it’s been happening since the industry was established and, having judged the very high calibre of award entries recently across the Middle East, we are more than keeping up here in the region," she said.
"In PR we have always worked with different audiences whether that be online, vertical media, broadcast etc. so we’re used to multi-channel campaigns and an integrated approach."
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