In The Hot Seat – Walid El MajzouB

Team TMN chat with Walid El Majzoub, Regional Media Relations Manager, TRACCS PR, who talks about his current role and offers his thoughts on the PR industry in the Middle East 

Name: Walid El Majzoub

Age: 41 years

Nationality: Lebanese

Current job title: Regional Media Relations Manager

When did you first arrive in Dubai? 2002

 Where did you work prior? Prior to joining TRACCS, I spent four years at the Pan Arab Research Center in Dubai as the News Monitoring Manager.

What were your first impressions of the PR industry in the Middle East? At the Pan Arab Research Center, my role involved reviewing the numerous press releases distributed by different PR agencies, which led me to inaccurately believe at the time that the scope of PR was more or less limited to press release development and distribution.

Has your opinion changed much? It changed completely after I moved to TRACCS in 2007. That’s when I started to truly understand the real impact of public relations and I began to develop a deeper sense of appreciation for the different elements that make up an effective 360-degree engagement strategy including media training and crisis management.

Tell us about your current role. As the Regional Media Relations Manager at TRACCS, my role involves working closely with our offices in the Middle East and North Africa to oversee the media engagement strategies for our clients in various markets.

What challenges do you face?

Having been part of the communications industry for 11 years now, I have closely witnessed the evolution of the media landscape and the rise and decline of many trends. However, the main challenge that continues to excite me as a media relations professional is the need for PR agencies to stay competitive, to consistently deliver results and continuously identify new opportunities for collaboration.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Apart from the exposure to new people and experiences, my role as a media relations professional offers ample opportunities for learning new skills and expanding my knowledge.

How have clients’ expectations in today’s digital community influenced PR and marketing in the UAE?

The growing focus on social media and digital storytelling has had a major impact on client expectations. For example, every campaign today, by default, has to be a 360-degree campaign, which means the notion of a traditional campaign is virtually dead. Second, the media outlets themselves are undergoing a digital overhaul in terms of either extending their reach through multimedia platforms or transforming themselves into full-fledged digital media outlets. As a result of this digital revolution, PR agencies in the UAE have had to rethink their approach to communications to manage their clients’ evolving expectations.

How has social media in the region evolved to become an integrated part of the PR industry? In a nutshell, social media has fueled the transformation of news stories into conversation starters, making it a crucial component of any PR strategy.

Describe yourself in five words. Passionate, friendly, professional, positive and patient

Who inspires you? Our Managing Director who has been instrumental in strengthening TRACCS’ position as one of the leading PR networks in the region.

What’s your most overused saying? Be happy.

Five things you can’t live without? Family, work, Dubai, Lebanon and nature

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing? I would have been an entrepreneur.

What’s your favourite form of media? Newspaper and magazines. Even in this digital age, I firmly believe in the enduring power of traditional media.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in PR in the UAE? Have patience and work hard to build your reputation.