Create Media Group welcomes new Head of Social Media 

Digital communications agency, Create Media Group has appointed Mohamed El Daly to the role of Head of Social Media. With a wealth of experience, Mohamed has worked with brands such as L’Oreal, Dubai Tourism, Microsoft, Google and Coca-Cola where he devised social strategies, oversaw content creation and developed digital campaigns. In his new role, he will be responsible for the social media department of the agency and focus on the development of fresh and innovative solutions.

“I’m thrilled to be joining such a vibrant team full of talent and energy,” says Mohamed. “I look forward to working closely with Create Media’s teams to ensure that we keep innovating, creating, and delivering the best class of social media services.”

Tom Otton, Managing Director, Create Media Group continues, “We’re very happy to welcome Mohamed to the team, his experience is unparalleled & he’s going to add a real strategic focus to all that we do as we grow the business.”

House of Comms makes new appointment

Dubai-based integrated communications agency, House of Comms has appointed Hossam Sultan to the role of Senior Social Media Manager. With over six years of dedicated social media experience, Hossam previously worked with more than 35 regional and global clients, including GoPro, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Dubai Tourism and Nakheel. In his new role, he will be will be responsible for developing creative solutions for the agency’s client social media platforms and producing data-driven insights.

“It’s impressive to witness the rapid growth of House of Comms and its capacity to compete with global giants that have been in the industry for years,” says Hossam. “It is a true testament to the hard work, passion and creativity of the team here. I’m really looking forward to this exciting new chapter in my career and growing within the agency!”

In The Hot Seat – Dana Abdelhadi

Dana Abdelhadi, Managing Partner at expose-communications tells TMN about her current role and what she thinks about women dominating the Middle East’s PR industry today…

Name: Dana Abdelhadi

Age: 33

From: Palestine

Current job title: Managing Partner at expose-communications

When did you first arrive in Dubai?

1988, a very long time ago!

Where did you work prior?

Prior to my current role, I worked with Mediaquest Corp. from 2006 – 2007 and most recently with Microsoft from 2009 – 2010.

What were your first impressions of the PR industry in the Middle East?

Representing young regional talent eight years ago was a whole new category in the fashion and lifestyle PR world, but the industry was so welcoming and eager to learn about us and our clients.

Has your opinion changed much?

Not so much – the industry has kept its doors open for new agencies and brands, which is great, as in an emerging fashion market such as ours, we need to always make space for our competitors so our industry can blossom.

Tell us about your current role…

I wear different hats throughout the day. I go from planning strategies for fashion shows in Paris to preparing VIP guest lists, to private events while overlooking all aspects of the business – all with the help of my very driven team and my very creative clients.

What challenges do you face?

Time – I need more than 24 hours a day to achieve everything I have on my mind.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

When I see my team as devoted to my company as I am and as a result our clients become our family.

How would you rather be contacted at work?

Email, always by email. With so much going on, I need everything to be written down. I always email myself reminders when I am on the go.

How has PR managed to stay relevant in today’s digital age?

We ensure our strategies are now done for shorter periods of time to keep up with the constant digital change.

What do you think of women dominating the PR industry in the UAE and the role that this has played in the media community?

I never thought of myself as a ‘feminist’ until I became a mother and realised how much more women can do with their time – hence my female driven agency. This is one of the few industries here where people prefer to be represented by a woman and I’m so proud to see so many women in the fashion industry representing such great local and international brands.

Do bloggers play a key role in the UAE’s PR industry today?

Yes definitely, however it’s the insta-famous individuals that are the hottest thing happening in PR right now.

What role has digital media played in redefining the relationship between PR professionals, journalists and bloggers?

PR professionals do what they do best, work on building and maintaining great relationships with journalists, bloggers and any other players in the field, as they are all different outlets we use to expose our brands and we work with each of them in a totally different way. As for bloggers, they need to be featured in the print titles to maintain their credibility in the industry and the journalists are using the bloggers for content. We have all learned to work together in a seamless manner.

Describe yourself in five words…

Passionate, driven, fair, private and sleep-deprived

What’s your most overused saying?

Effortlessly chic!

What’s the most exciting thing that has happened to you in your career?

Moving into our new showroom last year. I had so much fun putting it all together and I still feel very proud walking into work every day.

Five things you can’t live without?

My daughter Jude, my laptop, my emails, to-do lists and my husband’s morning coffee.

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?

I’d have a tiny concept store selling unique items collected from my travels.

What is your favourite form of media (i.e; TV, radio, print)?

Print. I still get very excited when a beautiful glossy with an amazing cover shoot lands on my desk.

How do you see the PR industry changing in the UAE in the coming years?

Clients and their agencies will be more and more careful on how they spend their budgets so the strongest titles and accounts will really stand out and get the returns they deserve.

What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in the PR industry in the UAE?

Keep your party shoes in your car, as you will definitely need to be able to run around comfortably for a good 12 hours of the day and welcome to the industry!

FleishmanHillard ME makes new appointment

Communications firm, FleishmanHillard Middle East has appointed Jared Carneson to the role of Regional Digital Director. Jared joined FleishmanHillard South Africa in 2012, where he worked as Senior Account Manager and most recently held the position of Global Social Innovative Lead, where he worked on building the digital and creative business units for the agency and with clients such as Barclays Africa, Dulux and Microsoft. In his new role, he will work on facilitating FleishmanHillard’s labs and intelligence streams across the agency’s portfolio of clients. He will also oversee and work on embedding digital as a part of the agency’s regional growth and expansion plan to increase their offerings to clients.

New Account Manager at House of Comms

Dubai-based integrated communications agency, House of Comms has appointed Rachel Evans to the role of Account Manager. With experience in the UK’s PR industry, Rachel previously worked across the F&B and technology sectors with clients such as Microsoft, TGI Fridays and Cambridge University. In her new role, she will manage and work across House of Comms’ portfolio of clients in the Middle Eastern region.

“Rachel has a really solid track record and what we loved about her was the creativity she brought to the interview process,” says Abby Wilks, Managing Partner, House of Comms. “She grabbed our attention and we believe she will have the same effect on our clients. She is off to a flying start and is a great addition to the team for the exciting year ahead.”

Dentsu Aegis Network partners with The Hub

Global communications network Dentsu Aegis will partner with The Hub Advertising & Marketing in Jordan. With offices based in Amman, The Hub will take full responsibility for the media planning and buying requirements of Carat and other Dentsu Aegis Network clients in the country such as Microsoft, adidas, MasterCard and Reebok on a local level, with the merged businesses jointly managing any new business opportunities.

“The opportunities in this market are endless and this partnership will form the foundation for future expansion plans in the Levant,” says Karan Hoyek, General Manager, Carat Levant. “With a shared vision and working synergies, we expect this to be the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship for both agencies and our clients.”

Dr. Ruba Batayneh, CEO, The Hub Advertising & Marketing, adds “This partnership paves the way for us to provide our local and regional expertise while also learning and developing with a global network. The partnership will provide equal opportunity for both parties and create a momentum for future opportunities. We are proud to be the first local agency to take this courageous step.”

New social media components added to IGCF 2015

The upcoming edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) is to include two new components – the Social Media Corner and the Social Media Award. Organised under the patronage of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, IGCF 2015 will run from February 22-23, at the Expo Centre, Sharjah.

Located at the forum’s foyer area, the Social Media Corner will encourage the forum’s participants and social media users to directly express their views, share comments and ask questions; this will be done via tweets, Instagram images or video messages, which can be recorded using a booth designed specifically for the purpose.

Sponsored by Microsoft, each session at IGCF 2015 will announce two winners of the Social Media Award for the best Instagram photo and the best tweet. The top three tweeters using the forum’s official hashtag #IGCF15 will receive an award at the conclusion of the forum, bringing the total number of selected winners across to the two-day event to 15.

“In an increasingly tech-savvy world, any forum on government communication can only be relevant if it involves the active participation of its main stakeholders, the public,” says Jawaher Al Naqbi, Manager, International Government Communication Forum. “Aiming to step up the focus on social communication and strengthen relations between individuals and institutions, the Social Media Corner and Award will efficiently leverage dialogue and the exchange of creative ideas to ensure a more effective forum.”

Microsoft fires global ad sales team

Tech giant Microsoft has laid off its global advertising sales team. The layoffs within the the Microsoft Advertising division are the result of the 18,000 proposed job cuts announced this summer, and are expected to affect staff members across the US, UK and other global offices, charged with selling advertising space across Microsoft’s MSN, Bing, Xbox, Outlook, Skype and Windows 8 properties. The executive team of Microsoft’s advertising division remains in place.

In the attempt to streamline the business towards profitability, the division is restructuring around more senior members of staff, focused on selling advertising solutions across its entire portfolio – stated above – rather than having large and separate sales teams for the different properties. In keeping with this restructure, former Advertising Senior Director of Strategy for global accounts and agencies, Bruno Fiorentini Jr., has been promoted to the Head of Microsoft Advertising’s global accounts and agencies team. Additionally, Microsoft Advertising has promoted Stephen Kim to lead the Microsoft Advertising worldwide marketing organisation. Previously General Manager of Microsoft Advertising’s global creative solutions team, Stephen will be responsible for driving worldwide trade marketing and consumer audience marketing for Microsoft Advertising.

The closure of Microsoft Advertising has been under speculation for some time, as the company had only a 2.45 percent share of the global display advertising market last year. The market is currently dominated by Google, which had a 31.92 percent share, with Facebook claiming 5.82 percent.

Getty Images sues Microsoft over ‘Bing’ photo tool

Getty Images Inc has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft over a new feature of its Bing search engine, Bing Image Widget, calling it a ‘massive infringement’ of copyright images. Getty Images has long fought against the use of its archive of 80 million images, earning a reputation as an aggressive defender of copyright. Earlier this year, Getty created a new way to approach this, releasing code that made it easier for website owners to embed many of its images on their own sites as long as the use was not commercial and the images were attributed to Getty.

Microsoft’s Bing service, which was launched on August 22, offers a similar embedding service, where pictures found on its images search engine can be added to a website with just a click. However, unlike Getty, the Microsoft feature doesn’t forbid the commercial use of the images and does not enforce that websites show the original source of pictures, adding the Bing name instead. Notably, Microsoft does not have the authority to hand legal rights to the unlicensed images it takes from the web, leaving users vulnerable to legal attacks themselves.

Getty Images is asking for the blocking of the Bing Image Widget as soon as possible, in addition to financial compensation for ‘incalculable’ damages.