Name: Martin Fullard
From: Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom
Job Title: Guides Writer, Gulf News Online
When did you first arrive in the UAE?
I moved here in February 2008.
Where did you work prior?
At a kart circuit originally, followed by freelancing for several motoring magazines and websites including Auto Middle East, Motoraty and Auto Trader.
What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
Far less restrictive than I imagined.
How has your opinion changed?
Tell us about your role…
My job is to research and provide copy for the guides section of Gulf News Online; from reviews and tips, to events and step-by-step guides.
What challenges do you face?
Ensuring that my work appeals to the vast multicultural demographic of the UAE, not just one niche market.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Being a part of an internationally renowned news organisation, and knowing that I can help people learn about the UAE.
What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?
Everything has sprung up so quickly in the UAE that it’s easy to forget how far it has come in a short space of time. Quality improves as the country grows.
How do you find PRs in the region?
Generally useful, although some have a tendency to send irrelevant material.
What’s your pet PR peeve?
See above. If I’m writing for a car magazine then the chances are my readers aren’t going to be interested in make-up!
Work calls via landline, mobile or both?
Both is fine.
Describe yourself in five words…
Incandescent yet un-assuming. Unpretentious yet egotistical. And tall.
What’s your most overused saying?
“Keep it simple” and “Urgh, AFC Wimbledon lost again on Saturday”.
Five things you can’t live without?
AFC Wimbledon, driving license, car, friends and my wife!
If you weren’t a journalist, what would you be?
I would like to revert to my teenage years when I was trying to become a racing driver… but that does the opposite of paying a salary; a Weatherman, then.