Middle East Power Book 2021

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

Search the Power Book:
Mamoon Sbeih

Mamoon Sbeih

President, MENA Region

APCO Worldwide

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What is your single biggest learning, professionally, from the past 12 months?

Don’t be surprised by anything. Murphy’s law ruled 2020. Stay agile.

From 1 (low) to 5 (high), how optimistic are you about the growth of PR and marketing in the Middle East over the next five years – and why?

5. While technology is significant, human insight and judgement remains the key selling point of our industry.

What is the single biggest threat to the PR industry and brands in the Middle East over the next five years – and why?

AI will be the biggest threat for traditional PR. Fast expansion and mediocre service based on shallow knowledge is the biggest threat over the next five years.

From 1-5, how well do you think comms agencies in the region are addressing current digital trends? Please explain.

2. While comms leaders all agree that digital and AI are transforming the marcomms industry, the large majority are responding to this change using old tools and tricks. New skills should lead the transformation journey where data and insight is at core.

Which areas of comms have become more influential within organisations over the past 12 months – and why?

Integrated communications has become front and center of what most clients need. Digital sits at the heart of it all.

Which single channel has become significantly MORE powerful for organisations/brands over the past 12 months – and why?

Omnichannel is the predominant channel. The transformation that the industry is witnessing can’t rely on one single channel, it is a combination of touchpoints based on the desired comms objectives.

Which single channel has become significantly LESS powerful for organisations/brands over the past 12 months – and why?

Physical events.

Which organisation has had the worst 12 months in terms of reputation?

If Bitcoin and digital currencies were an organisation, that would it. At time when global interest started to significantly ramp up, the entire enterprise has been put under pressure by the tweets of individuals. Grassroot and fragmented reputation management, clearly failing.

And which one has had the best year in terms of building brand trust and reputation? (Not your own organisation.)

UAE Government. The way COVID-19 was handled from the early days, from sending comforting messages from the top leadership (on food and medicine) and delivering on their promises to becoming a global leader in terms of vaccination, can only make the UAE one of the most trusted nations.

Name one way in which your experience of the past 12 months has changed you?

I learnt I do not always need to be in control …because I can't be.