Middle East Power Book 2019

The definitive guide to the brightest and most influential PR professionals in Middle East.

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Elizabeth Sen

Elizabeth Sen

Chief client officer, MENA

APCO Worldwide

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What are the two biggest drivers of change in the comms industry for the next five years?

Integration will continue to be a driving force, of traditional and digital, of business strategy consulting and communications. Equally, AI-driven campaigns will pave the way for more targeted PR outcomes.

What are the two biggest challenges to overcome for the comms industry?

The lack of specialised, fully rounded talent in an increasingly integrated communications landscape, and the speed at which we need to upskill existing talent, are the two biggest challenges for the communications industry.

On a scale from 1-5, how optimistic are you about the growth of the PR market in the Middle East for the next five years?

5. Very optimistic.

On a scale from 1-5, how well do you think comms agencies in this market are addressing digital trends?

3. There is curiosity and investment in the market, but there are gaps in implementation too.

Do you believe the PR role will become more closely aligned with marketing – and why (or why not)?

Yes. The fact that the lines are blurring between a news announcement and SEO is indicative of this trend.

Which company or organisation worldwide has had the worst 12 months in terms of reputation damage, and why?

It's hard to pinpoint any one as being the worst, but both globally and in the region, breach of trust has been the single defining factor leading to reputation damage.

Which company or organisation has had the best 12 months in terms of building brand trust and reputation?

I like the consistency of the positioning of the World Economic Forum and, increasingly, the work that we are doing for LinkedIn.

Do we need to reclaim or redefine ‘public relations’?

Not really, but it is naive to accept that the industry continues to remain the same even as channels, audiences and clients change.

Name the media outlet that is most influential in your life.

The Times London.

Which actor/actress would play you in a film?

At one stage of my career, I was constantly told that I was a natural Miranda Bailey from Grey's Anatomy.