How to work with clients on a budget in MENA

A downward turn in spending means communication houses have to adapt as businesses shrink their budgets.

As with everything, change is inevitable and there in no denying the PR and communications industry has seen a shift in 2019, both in terms of budgets as well as strategies. Although PR and marketing-led campaigns are largely measured and impacted by how much a brand can spend, it isn’t reason enough to throw your hands up in the air when your budget is cut.

If anything, it forces you to look at your approach and adapt with changing times; thereby getting more and more creative with how we communicate/represent our clients. There are several ways to get ahead of the game and continue to generate results.

Social media for one is a phenomenally powerful tool and can yield great results for brands with minimal investment. Having the right strategy, content and engagement with target consumers can work like magic. Video content is on the rise, and from the looks of it will only continue to grow, so it would be ideal to invest in creating of more of this. However, it needs to be well thought out and in line with the brand's goals.

Another way to get brands exposure is via award nominations and panel discussions, a lot of which happen in the UAE across industries and throughout the year. Speaking opportunities at conferences and industry events can also be an economical means to gain exposure to targeted audiences. An award won on merit can contribute greatly towards building a brand's identity. 

PR ultimately boils down to your relationships and the quality of your pitch – if you are tapping into the right person at the right outlet at the right time with a strong pitch, there is very little that would stand in the way of you securing that meaty piece of coverage. It is amazing what a well thought-out pitch can end up getting you.

Multiple businesses in the UAE are SMEs and often believe that, because they do not have big budget or a name in the market, they shouldn’t market at all. That isn’t the case. In fact, media outlets find small/local business more interesting – they are big fans of the ‘uniqueness' element and appreciate pitches coming in from PR that involve local heroes and innovators.

Ultimately, big budget or small, if you believe in your client, their brand and vision, you can find ways to get them the exposure their brand both requires and deserves, and it doesn’t hurt to experiment every once in a while.

Injeel Moti is managing director of UAE-based Catch Communications

Thumbnail image ©GettyImages


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