Team TMN sits down with Ahmad Al-Nashash, Editor at Petrolhead Arabia, who talks about transitioning from PR to journalism and what he thinks about the media industry in the Middle East…
Name: Ahmad Al- Nashash
From: Jordan and Palestine
Current Job Title: Editor at Petrolhead Arabia
When did you first arrive in Dubai?
Where did you work prior?
Prior to my current role, I worked with Drive Arabia as Arabic Editor and most recently with Secret PR as PR Executive.
What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
It is different and tough. I assumed that working with and in media would be similar to other industries related to business, but in reality it is different. I realised this from my time as a PR executive, dealing with media has somewhat of an art to it in order to keep them happy and get what you want at the same time.
Has your opinion changed much?
Not much, I also just noticed how competitive the media industry is.
Tell us about your current role…
I make sure anything automotive-related happening in the UAE is covered. I also review cars for potential buyers and petrolheads alike.
What challenges do you face?
Finding a perfect balance to have the review readable by auto enthusiasts, while remaining attractive to your everyday person looking to buy a car.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I simply go for a long drive.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
To experience magnificent cars and put that experience down on paper.
How would you rather be contacted at work?
Email, phone or text. I am not picky!
What is one of the things you know about journalists that you didn’t know as a PR professional?
I have noticed the comradery amongst them.
As an Editor now, do you have a PR pet peeve when working with PR professionals or agencies?
Yes, confirmations that falls through at the last minute!
What have you taken from previously working in the PR industry to your journalism career?
I know what PR professionals go through with their senior colleagues and clients when journalists do not come through with promises. So I try to be as cooperative as possible to turn things around and make life easy for them.
How would you describe yourself at work?
I have been told that I am positive and easy to talk to.
What inspires you?
What’s your most overused saying?
If you can’t take the heat, just get out of the kitchen.
Five things you can’t live without?
Family, cars, engine grease, car lifts and the desert.
If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?
I would be elbow deep in grease working in a garage!
If you could have one work wish granted, what would it be?
Constant music in the office.
What’s your most used social media platform?
What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in the media industry in the UAE?
Starting a career in the media industry is not as easy or as glamorous as you may think.