New team member for Emirates Woman Group

Samantha Hamilton-Rushforth has been promoted to Beauty Editor of the Emirates Woman Group at Motivate Publishing. Previously Fashion & Beauty Editor of Hello! Magazine and before that, Fashion Writer & Stylist at OK! Magazine, Samantha brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Samantha fills the shoes of Elizabeth Whiston-Dew who leaves today to pursue other interests.

“I started my career at Emirates Woman a long time ago as an intern so to be back on the title is a dream come true,” says Samantha. “I’m really looking forward to delving further into the world of beauty and working with the fantastic Emirates Woman team.” 

Chris Capstick joins Motivate as Publisher

Chris Capstick joins Motivate as Publisher of the business division after nearly five years as Advertisement Director at Dubai-based contract publisher Hot Media. Chris previously held roles as Sales Director at Nicholas Publishing and Senior Advertisement Manager at ITP. Chris will be reporting to Anthony Milne, General Manager – Group Sales.

“I am delighted to be joining Motivate Publishing at this exciting stage in the company’s growth, and look forward to contributing to the ongoing success of this great organisation,” says Chris.

Things AVE to change

The Middle East PR industry is lagging behind the global market in terms of implementing new forms of PR measurement and it’s time things change, says Nicola Gregson, Managing Director at Ketchum Raad.

Crisis management is time consuming and staff intensive, yet the AVE value that would be attributed to this effort would be zero

“PR is constantly evolving yet one of my main areas of concern for the Middle East PR industry is the slow uptake on new methods of PR measurement. The vast majority of the global PR community is unified in the belief that the old-fashioned Advertising Value Equivalencies (AVEs) are an outdated form of PR measurement and do not offer the true value of PR achieved. While a number of the large Middle Eastern agencies have already implemented new measurement initiatives, based on clear goals and objectives, there still remain many who haven’t.

During a PR summit held in Barcelona In 2010, more than 250 high-ranking PR professionals gathered to agree on a new modern approach to PR measurement. It was unanimously agreed that the old AVE method was no longer effective in today’s market. It was here that ‘The Barcelona Principles’ were born, offering new ways to identify, capture and measure the impact of a PR campaign.

Some may ask why AVEs are no longer viable and my response is this – PR does not just equate to writing press releases and securing media coverage… there is considerably more depth to a PR campaign than this. AVEs by far undervalue the true worth of PR, and do not fairly represent the volume of work or the strategy a PR team have implemented.

For example, how is crisis management measured with AVE figures? Built on the foundation that coverage equals worth, the AVE method does not account for coverage the agency has deliberately battled to keep out of the media. Crisis management is both time consuming and staff intensive, yet the AVE value that would be attributed to this effort would be zero.

Similarly, a PR agency could secure a front-page newspaper feature for its client, which offers a glowing report on the brand that leads to a huge increase in sales. Take the same publication and size of feature but imagine the coverage had been less persuasive and led to fewer or no sales at all. The AVE would remain the same, yet the true value offered by the PR agency would differ greatly.

With AVEs, how do you account for the quality of titles, the share of voice compared to competitors, the ratio of English language coverage to Arabic coverage? It should be considered it’s not always the size of the coverage book that matters, it’s the quality of the work achieved based on each company’s goals.

I’m not suggesting that PR agencies should rip up the rulebook completely. After all, AVE values have been used for many years and are still useful to present to the client, even if the figures don’t represent the full extent of an agencies work. The AVE value of a PR campaign should simply form a small part of the jigsaw, and should be submitted along with the list of achievements.

So what is the solution? I believe the answer is clear. You set clear, concise and measurable goals, which offer set objectives that are achievable. We need to adopt and contribute to international best practice, moving away from simplistic measurement tools like AVEs to look at real business performance metrics.”


International Festival Ad Eaters comes to Dubai

For nearly three decades, the ‘Night of the Ad Eaters’ has traveled the world, and now for the first time, creator Jean Marie Boursicot is escorting his festival to Dubai. Founder of the biggest advertising film library in the world, Boursicot is due to unveil more than 200 of his collection at Madinat Theatre, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, from October 27-29, 2013. For three days, in three hour blocks, advertising enthusiasts and creatives of all types can view selections from Cinematheque Jean Marie Boursicot’s eponymous collection of adverts from 40 countries.

Mohammad Qara’een, CEO of Kilograms creative & tactics says, “Through the brilliant collection and production of Jean Marie Boursicot, the world has enjoyed memorable screenings of great films from the world of advertising. It is now Dubai’s turn to experience the special show hosted by the producer himself.”

With just 20 days to go, tickets to the festival are still available through Time Out Tickets and Platinum Tickets. For further information, call +971 (0)56 3498212.

Maha Mahdy joins the StickyGinger PR team

StickyGinger welcomes new staff member Maha Mahdy, who joins the team as PR manager. With a background in both public relations and lifestyle blogging, Maha brings with her regional PR and social experience to support the growing team.

“I’m thrilled to start working with the company in the midst of its exciting growth,” says Maha. “Joining such a fabulous team is inspiring and I look forward to creating and delivering on a multitude of strategic and targeted campaigns for our clients across the region.”

Kiera Purdue, co-founder of StickyGinger, adds: “We’re delighted to have someone as experienced and enthusiastic as Maha to join our team. Our client portfolio is growing continuously with international and local lifestyle brands choosing to work with us, and Maha will undoubtedly be a huge asset in our continued growth in the region.”

New Fashion & Beauty Editor at Hello!

Annah Cuthbert, former Assistant Online Editor at the Emirates Woman Group, has taken over as Fashion & Beauty Editor of Hello! Middle East.

“I am so thrilled to be joining Hello! Middle East as Fashion & Beauty Editor,” says Annah, who initially joined the Emirates Woman group as an intern in 2011 and quickly worked her way up the ranks. “I’m looking forward to offering our readers the latest news on all things style and beauty related week after week.”

Jashanmal Books launches quarterly magazine

Jashanmal Books has launched a new quarterly magazine, Jashanmal Quarterly. The A5 size publication is edited by ex-Open Skies Editor Conor Purcell.

“The size, the design and the content all reflect a love of the printed page, something that Jashanmal has supported for decades. We believe this shows what is possible with a custom publication, and that regional print titles can be surprising and innovative,” says Conor.

According to Narain Jashanmal, General Manager – NPP, Books & OCS, Jashanmal Group, “It’s an object that demands to be in print – from the choice of paper to the five-colour printing. We sell books after all and we anticipate that people who love books will appreciate JQ (as we’re affectionately referring to it).”

The second issue will be out early next year and be devoted to art. The first issue is available at all Jashanmal Books stores as well as a number of cafes across Dubai.

FP7 MENA open new office in Iraq

FP7 MENA today announced the launch of its new office in Erbil, Iraq. The new unit – to be known as FP7/EBL – will be led by Managing Director, Wassim Daniel, and will serve the needs of FP7’s regional partners in Iraq. Although based in Erbil, the new FP7 office will serve as a hub for the entire country, supporting its brand partners such as Ford, Coke, Sony Mobiles and Nestlé.

“FP7 certainly doesn’t see Iraq as ‘just another country’ – we strongly believe in Iraq, its potential and its bright future,” says Tarek Miknas, CEO of FP7 MENA. “We want to make sure we get it right by doing great work for great clients, inspired by the new energy and buzz emanating from the country, and of course, grow in the process.”