Name: Sarah Jacotine
From: Norwich, Norfolk
Current job title: Account Manager, Aziza Communications
When did you arrive in the UAE? July 22, 2013
Where did you work prior? I worked in comms and PR in the public sector back in the UK. Before that I was a freelance journalist and edited various business titles. I find that it helps immensely when you have worked on both sides of the fence… I understand when a journalist needs something ‘now’, it means yesterday.
Had you been to Dubai before accepting your new role? Yes, I holidayed here in 2009 and 2010. I thought at the time that I could see myself living here, very happily. The beach, the sunshine, the skyscrapers… I was a fan long before I made the leap and became an expat.
What are your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East? It’s growing, adapting and has fully embraced social media. It still places a great deal of stock in print media though, certainly more than Europe, which I like.
Tell us about your new role… I work with a dynamic team to create and execute strategies for our clients, which include media pitches, events, and buzz-building social media campaigns. Primarily, I oversee all of our accounts and manage our relationships with clients.
What challenges are you facing? The eternal PR struggle of balancing on that fine line of being tough but likeable and being all things to all people, while still having time for strategic planning and minor necessities like eating!
How do you plan to make your mark? By giving the best service I can to our clients to help them realise their ambitions and gain fantastic exposure.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? We immerse ourselves in our clients’ businesses, so a win for them always feels like a win for us. I love that I can be creative and an integral component of other people’s success.
What’s the most exciting thing to happen so far? Meeting our clients straightaway and jumping straight into work has been pretty exciting. So far I’m finding that nearly every day is exciting in some way or another because each one is so different and I’m working across such a variety of industries. No one could ever accuse PR of being dull.
What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region? There’s a huge mix, so obviously the quality varies but on the whole I’m impressed. I love that the industry is doing so well in contrast with the UK and I love the diversity. There really is a magazine for every taste and interest.
What sets you apart from other PRs? Ask me again in 12 months…
Work calls via landline, mobile or both? I’m always contactable via mobile or landline, plus email, Whatsapp, Skype… the list goes on. I prefer email to begin with so that I can offer my full attention to any request, but I’m happy to jump on a request any way it comes through to me.
Describe yourself in five words… Optimistic, opinionated, adventurous, adaptable, honest.
What’s your most overused saying? Lately, “Don’t forget to stop off at duty free on your way back” – to my husband, who travels a lot for work.
Five things you can’t live without? My iPhone, HBO, Wagamama, holidays to far flung places and coffee – of course.
If you weren’t a PR, what would you be? A travel writer.