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The UAE has recovered rapidly following the pandemic with an Expo 2020 Dubai boost in the market, major foreign direct investment (FDI) drives and world-leading hotel occupancy in Q1 2022. Business is brisk but operating costs continue to rise.From 1 (low) to 5 (high), how optimistic are you about the growth of PR and comms in the Middle East over the next five years – and why?
3 – I am optimistic about the UAE economy's fortunes and the drip-down impact on the PR and comms sector, although numerous global challenges ensure the proverbial glass is always half empty.What is the single biggest threat to the PR industry and brands in the Middle East over the next five years – and why?
The global economy impacting local fortunes. Cost of living is surging; the UAE currency is pegged to the dollar so US interest hikes bare their fangs; supply chain issues threaten growth projections; geographical conflicts near and far continue to impact business volume – we must be agile to adapt.What is the single biggest opportunity for the PR industry and brands in the Middle East over the next five years – and why?
Expansion opportunities. Agencies are doubling down on integrated services, but a slew of low-cost start-ups are driving prices down even as operational costs increase. Brands have major opportunities amid rising populations and affluence.From 1-5, how well do you think comms agencies in the region are addressing current digital trends?
3 – there's progress, but the region tends to follow global trends, not start them.Which areas of comms have become more influential within organisations over the past 12 months (eg corporate affairs, brand marketing PR, public affairs, healthcare comms? Or any other?) – and why?
Brand purpose, ESG, integrated marcoms strategies – these are all very much in vogue across the UAE and wider region.Which single channel has become significantly MORE powerful for organisations/brands over the past 12 months (eg earned, paid or owned media, social media, experiential/events?) – and why?
Good question. Ongoing changes to social media algorithms have ensured paid strategies on certain platforms have to be watertight, but there are abundant opportunities in the performance arena.Which single channel has become significantly LESS powerful for organisations/brands over the past 12 months (eg earned, paid or owned media, social media, experiential/events?) – and why?
Experiential and events took a major hit during the pandemic, but I am very optimistic about the resurgence of this channel post-COVID-19.Which organisation/brand/person in the region has suffered the worst 12 months in terms of reputation? (Please name one.)
Food delivery apps such as Talabat and Deliveroo have had a tough time in recent months with a slew of negative news stories focusing on rider strikes, low and unpaid salaries, tips not going to riders, riders caught opening deliveries. However, consumer attitudes remain largely unaffected.And which organisation/brand/person in the region has enjoyed the best year in terms of building brand trust and reputation? (Please name one – not your own organisation or client.)
Dubai. The emirate's pandemic rebound has inspired confidence with successes including: robust growth in FDI; surging property sales; remote working visa schemes; Emirates championing the aviation recovery; world-leading hotel occupancy rates; Expo 2020 Dubai – the list goes on and on.(In one short sentence) Name one key insight or skill that you’ve acquired over the past 12 months that has transformed your professional or personal life?
Spreading the culture of ownership. As an agency that battled overtime to protect staff during the pandemic, we are actively encouraging increased ownership to individuals across our business – we look after you, you must look after yours.