Rebecca Platt joins St. Regis Doha

St. Regis Doha has appointed Rebecca Platt to the role of Director of Marketing. With experience in the marketing, PR and digital industry, Rebecca has worked across hotels such as the Shangri-La Group, InterContinental Hotel Group and Wyndham Hotels. In her new role, she will be responsible for developing marketing strategies, and media and partnership relations while also overseeing the sales and marketing objectives.

“I am delighted to have joined the team here at this stunning property and am very excited to be part of the St. Regis family,” says Rebecca. “Although I have worked in the GCC for a number of years now I am looking forward to exploring the Doha market and driving new and exciting marketing initiatives to raise awareness of the hotel.”

Bloomberg Al Arabiya launches across the region

Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), publishers of Arab News, has signed an agreement with Bloomberg. The agreement will see the launch of Bloomberg Al Arabiya, a new multi-platform Arabic business and financial news service that aims to provide Arabic-speaking audiences around the world with news on various topics that shape the Middle East and help them as they make key business decisions. 

“We are very pleased with this promising partnership with Bloomberg,” says His Highness Prince Bader bin Abdullah Al Saud, Chairman, SRMG. “In addition to the many business opportunities this collaboration brings, we believe the partnership will greatly enhance the media landscape in our region. This is an exciting development for SRMG and a strong progression in our quest to offer the highest quality financial and business journalism from and about the Middle East.”

ASDA’A appoints new Managing Director

Middle East-based PR agency ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller has appointed Hassan Fattah to the role of Managing Director. With a wealth of experience in media and communications, Hassan previously worked with The National as Editor-in-Chief and most recently with Brunswick Group as a partner. In his new role, he will provide the senior counsel to regional corporate and government clients, while driving the firm’s new business and organic growth in the GCC and wider Middle East.

“I’m delighted to be joining ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller at a very exciting time for the firm and for communications in the region,” says Hassan. “ASDA’A brings deep insight and understanding of the Middle East’s political, business and cultural dynamics. That depth of knowledge, together with the firm’s scale, regional network, and seasoned team make for an unbeatable combination in the growing market for communications.”

Joe Nicolas promoted to Regional Managing Director

MENA-based creative media agency, UM MENA has promoted Joe Nicolas to the role of Regional Managing Director. Having joined UM MENA in 2009 as Regional Director of Communications Planning and most recently, holding the position of Head of Strategy and Integration, Joe has built teams and contributed to the agency’s client success, and helped develop UM Egypt during times of economic instabilities. In his new role, he will work on the agency’s client relations and oversee its business development across the MENA region.

“I am excited to be taking over this role at one of the largest agencies in the region,” says Joe. “At a time where our region is undergoing a transformation, we have the right team, the right company culture and the right portfolio of clients to enable us to deliver great work and set new standards. I look forward to playing a major role in this and the continuing success and development of the agency in the coming years.”

Go digital or rest in print!

Leah Simpson, Senior Editor, POPSUGAR Middle East, talks with TeamTMN on why she thinks it’s time, now, more than ever to pave your way into online journalism and offers advice on how to make the transition.

Saying that it’s time to delve into a digital career is not something I imagined I would still be doing in 2017, after spending years working in the UK and US, and watching the markets embrace the necessary changes as consumption habits shifted towards the Internet. Still, almost a decade after starting my career in online journalism, it’s no secret that the UAE has been slower on the uptake and while, yes, the country’s buying habits may differ from others, it’s important that those with experience mainly in traditional media, embrace the new.

“Still, almost a decade after starting my career in online journalism, it’s no secret that the UAE has been slower on the uptake and while, yes, the country’s buying habits may differ from others, it’s important that those with experience mainly in traditional media, embrace the new.”

With print publication closures and team resources being shrunk (even on those that were comparatively very small to begin with), many have found themselves accepting web-based roles sooner than they thought. For those who are apprehensive about taking the leap, here are three big tips I would give to people making the transition.

Forget the rules

Many of the things you’ll see in print do not apply when publishing on the world wide web. So forget what you were taught and get ready to embrace a different way of writing. For example, with headlines, the main concern is writing something that fits into a space and sounds nice, like a play on words or alliteration. You have got to make sure your post is search engine optimised (using key words that people commonly type into their browsers so people can find what they’re looking for), at the same time with an interesting angle as well as informative.

Unlike in a print publication where the readership is more loyal and may have already made the decision to buy before even reaching the newsstand, there’s constant competition with websites to win the reader’s love among the endless choice of similar URLs out there. In a sense, stories featured on search engine pages could be compared to front covers on busy supermarket shelves, the headline and preview picture have to stand out or you face losing website visits and page views to competitors, of which, unlike print publications, the number is limitless.

Time is everything

In print there are daily, weekly, monthly deadlines but when it comes to online, the pressure is constantly there to cover what’s relevant to your brand and publish it in a timely manner. While it’s true that publications have loyal reader bases that come directly to the site to consume stories in a way that resonates with them, if what they need is not there when they want it, loyalty wanes.

Unless you’re lucky enough to work for a brand with teams on different times zones or big enough to work night shifts, it means, the traditional sense of “office hours” are thrown out the window as you prepare yourself to work from practically any space with an Internet connection, which can be both a blessing and a curse as it frees you from being bound to an office chair but technically, your work is never done.

The whole world is your critic…

In real time, online readers can easily track you down if they disagree with something you have written or notice a mistake. So as well as the pressure to impress your manager, prepare for your every word to be scrutinised by anyone on the planet with internet access.

The comments section on articles and social media may become your worst enemy if you find it difficult to take criticism in the public forum, some not constructive. While it can be a great way to keep the conversation going and get opinions on your piece, sometimes the comments section can become the story itself and if what people are saying isn’t constructive, you’ll have to learn to develop a thick skin. It seems people are more likely to voice a negative opinion rather than a positive one, so when you find yourself in the awkward spot of reading negative responses about your writing, take onboard what is reasonable but shrug off the rest as chances are there’s plenty more where that came from.