Five Minute Focus – PRCA x TMN Training

With the launch of the ‘PRCA x TMN Training’ by Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and The Media Network (TMN), Team TMN sit down with Leanne Foy, General Manager at PRCA MENA to talk about the initiative and what to expect…

Tell us about the concept behind the ‘PRCA x TMN Training’…

The concept behind PRCA x TMN training is to provide a platform for continuous professional development. We strive to deliver excellent training that develops talent in the region by offering online training through our live or on demand 90-minute interactive webinars, half day, face-to-face and bespoke training as well as our global CPD program. By developing talent, we will keep the industry up to date with emerging trends and best practices. This results in increasing industry standards, talent retention and more effective practices.

Who is your target audience and how can they get involved?

PRCA has training courses at introductory, intermediate and advance levels. We are targeting those that work in PR and communications looking to enhance their professional development.

What is the approximate cost per session?

Our face-to-face half day training courses are priced at AED 695 for members and AED 1,295 for non-members. The online training webinars are priced at AED 295 for members and AED 395 for non-members.

Can you give us some more details about the trainers?

All of our trainers are industry professionals and have completed a PRCA trainer’s accreditation, where they have been observed on delivering a training session. All trainers are part of our quality assurance plan and are observed every six months as part of our quality promise.

Why should agencies participate in the training session?

Training and development is a proven technique in retaining talent. It demonstrates staff investment, and will train staff in key areas of the business.

What kind of changes are you hoping to promote and encourage with this training?

One of the PRCA’s main objectives is to increase the standards in the industry. Training and professional development is one way we are actively doing this. Our training incorporates best practice and develops talent.

Why did you feel the need to launch the PRCA x TMN Training in the region?

The PRCA has an extremely successful and comprehensive professional development program, with certified training to an industry standard. PRCA MENA has adopted this in the region after consulting with our members and identifying a lack of industry accredited training. It is vital that we develop and retain talent in our industry and by partnering with TMN it will extend our reach.

How does this training course differ from other courses in the region?

PRCA MENA training courses are certified by the most dynamic industry body for PR and communications. All of our training courses whether they are online or face-to-face contribute to our global CPD program. We offer a variety of training across key skills, writing, digital, creative, crisis, public affairs, winning new business, personal skills and finance and profitability, at introductory, intermediate and advance levels.

What has been your advertising strategy in the region?

We’re promoting our training courses through our networks of members and non-members as well as through content such as our newsletter.

What is the reaction you expect from participants, following the training sessions?

We expect our participants to be extremely satisfied with their courses – we require very high levels of feedback for all trainers.

What benefits are participants expected to gain from the sessions?

Increased knowledge in the subject field, alongside areas of best practice and techniques to use in their day to day work. All sessions have a set of learning outcomes relevant for each course.

What does the future hold for the PRCA x TMN Training?

We will continue to work with our members to identify skills gaps and develop training courses that meet their needs.

Five Minute Focus – TMN Legal Initiative

With the launch of the ‘TMN Legal Initiative by The Media Network (TMN) and Al Tamimi & Company, Team TMN sit down with Fiona Robertson, Senior Associate at Al Tamimi & Company to talk about the new initiative and what to expect…

Tell us about the concept behind the ‘TMN Legal Initiative’…

It became evident when TMN and Al Tamimi did a presentation on legal issues around content creation, that a lot of smaller agencies were not using well-written and up-to-date contracts for their client services. For smaller companies and particularly those in startup mode, securing quality contracts does not get the priority that it deserves and this is often due solely to the cost. So TMN approached us about the possibility of assisting new small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the media industry to obtain quality contracts by allowing four SMEs to band together and share the cost of doing one contract between them.

Who is your target audience?

We are specifically targeting PR, marketing and communications agencies with a maximum of ten employees that have been in operation for less than five years.

What is the approximate cost for a consultation per agency through this initiative?

We have set the cost at AED 4,200 per agency. For this, they get a consultation on a one-to-one basis and then we will draft a contract that all four companies can use as their template.

Why should agencies get involved in the programme?

This is a unique opportunity to get access to our lawyers who specialise in this area for a fraction of the usual cost. We are doing this because we believe that the smaller agencies are leading the way with iconic work and truly targeted initiatives for their clients but they don’t always have the cashflow (yet) to employ our services. We want to help them. In addition, we believe that an industry that is strongly focused on doing business ethically and legally is going to assist all of us in the long term.

How would the programme grow from client servicing?

We are already doing a programme of exciting presentations with TMN and we are keen to keep that going – send your ideas to TMN and they will pass them on to us. Ideally, we hope that our chosen four companies take off to become massive success stories – and keep us as their lawyers!

What is the registration process?

TMN will be taking the applications directly and they will then be passing them on to us. You can email if you would like to be considered, but please serious applications only. Payment must be received before your place is secured and a meeting set up.

What kind of legal changes are you hoping to promote and encourage with this initiative?

We are hoping that the industry learns to see media lawyers as trusted facilitators who can help them manage their business towards growth. Working with lawyers early in transactions can assist in clarifying and managing the relationship between clients and suppliers. Clarity in relationships, which is best done with contracts, means that your business (and your staff) will be able to clearly understand your responsibilities – which means less arguments, less payment delays and more repeat business!

Why did you feel the need to launch this initiative in the region?

Although we are lawyers, we are industry lawyers, who feel very much a part of the media business. Plus I do think that newly created SMEs need all the help and support they can get.

Do you foresee any challenges in launching this initiative?

Juggling the needs of four entities will be tricky. People have a tendency to think that we simply ‘replace all’ in contracts but in fact this is not the case. Each business has its own particular way of operating – and very different areas of importance. Some are very wedded to a particular approval process with clients whilst others don’t want to be too specific with approvals. I am already having nightmares about how to juggle contract termination ideas from four different companies!

What does the future hold for the TMN Legal Initiative?

I am hoping to choose one key contract a year and do it again, but let’s take one step at a time!

TMN launches legal initiative for small businesses

The Media Network has partnered with Al Tamimi & Company to launch ‘TMN Legal Initiative’ for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) within the UAE’s media industry. The programme aims to provide a platform for the smaller agencies to consult media-specialised lawyers at a fraction of the regular cost. With the retainer-fee split between four agencies, the initiative will offer each agency a one-on-one consultation as well as a contract drafted by Al Tamimi & Company that all four companies can use as their template. The first phase of the programme focuses on client services agreements, with more such sub-programmes to be rolled out in the future.

“At The Media Network we have always believed in supporting and encouraging small and upcoming media agencies to find their ground and prosper within the community,” says Michelle Kuehn, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, The Media Network. “We’re thrilled to be working with the renowned Al Tamimi & Company to launch a much-needed legal initiative for SMEs that may not always have the budget for an all-round legal framework.”

“We’re so excited to partner with The Media Network for the TMN legal initiative,” adds Fiona Robertson. “I look forward to helping the smaller agencies grow with our services.”

PRCA and TMN to launch training sessions

PRCA MENA has partnered with The Media Network to launch half-day face-to-face training courses in Dubai. The trainers are accredited and certified by PRCA and all delegates attending will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. In addition to this, a series of face-to-face training sessions in Arabic are due to launch later this year. The sessions are priced at AED650 for PRCA members, AED850 for Premium Members of The Media Network and AED1,000 for non-members.

“I am very pleased to partner with The Media Network, to broaden further the range of training options available to PR and communications practitioners in Dubai,” says Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA. “It is a key priority of the PRCA to improve standards within the industry, and this is an important step forward.”

Michelle Kuehn, Managing Partner, The Media Network adds, “We’re so thrilled to launch face-to-face training sessions with PRCA. Our ethos has always been to create a nurturing media community in the region, and through this step, we aim to provide access to quality training for PR professionals in Dubai.”

Shortlist revealed for PRCA Awards

PRCA MENA has announced the shortlisted nominees for its inaugural awards ceremony that will take place on February 8, 2017 at the H Hotel, Dubai. The nominees include: Q Communications, Seven Media, TOH PR, Memac Ogilvy, Markettiers and Grayling as well as Hill+Knowlton Strategies, among other agencies of the region.

The awards will honour agencies and media professionals across 13 categories – B2C Campaign, sponsored by HAVOC Creative; B2B Campaign; Crisis Communications, sponsored by LexisNexis; Digital Campaign, sponsored by Markettiers; Influencer Relations; Integrated Campaign, sponsored by TINT; Media Relations; Regional Campaign of the Year and Rising Star, both sponsored by MCG Associates; Results on a Budget; PR Leader, sponsored by ICCO and Small Consultancy of the Year, sponsored by The Media Network as well as Large Consultancy of the Year.

“I am delighted to announce the shortlist for the awards,” says Leanne Foy, General Manager, PRCA MENA. “The work submitted demonstrated excellent work across the region. Congratulations to all shortlisted.”

Emily Churchill-Owen joins John Brown Media

John Brown Media, part of Dentsu Aegis Network, has appointed Emily Churchill-Owen to the role of Deputy Editor. Emily most recently worked with The Media Network as Editorial Assistant and in her new role will be assisting Editor Lily Lawes in compiling the monthly Emirates Inflight entertainment (ICE) guides as well as working on creative ways to incorporate content that will engage and be of interest to the Emirates audience of passengers.

“I’ve had a fantastic time working for The Media Network,” says Emily. “I’m hugely excited to be joining John Brown Media and I can’t wait for the new challenges this role will bring.”

Shelly Mistry joins The Media Network

The Media Network has appointed Shelly Mistry to the role of Editorial Assistant. Having previously assisted on a number of lifestyle publications including Citizen K Arabia and Citizen K Homme Arabia, part of Gulf News Publishing and a number of APP Media Group titles including The Rake Middle East, Revolution Middle East, Condé Nast Traveller Middle East, Stylist Arabia and the Hello! group, she will now assist with all editorial including news and features for the B2B media platform. Shelly will also manage client relations with The Media Network’s Premium Members as well as help manage the website and social media content.

“Having previously worked in publishing, I have always looked to The Media Network for daily updates and happenings within the industry,” says Shelly. “I am delighted to join the region’s first media-exclusive communication platform and look forward to developing my career with the wonderful team.”

Alin Constantin joins The Media Network

The Media Network has welcomed Alin Constantin to the role of Chief Photographer. Having worked with a number of high profile clients in the UAE including Topshop, Sport 360, Formula 1 Abu Dhabi, Adidas and HSBC, Alin has an impressive portfolio across a number of genres.

In his new role, Alin will be utilising his experience in order to launch and oversee a new photography division for The Media Network, expanding the company’s service offerings. The Media Network’s photography division will provide members with competitively priced photographers to cover events, corporate portraits, cut outs and more.

“The Media Network has made a huge impact in the media industry since launch, and is a much-needed resource,” says Alin. “I’m very excited to begin contributing to the growth of the company through the newly launched photography division.”

The Media Network welcomes Alison Towle

Alison Towle has joined The Media Network as Sales and Events Director. With seven years of experience in media and sales in the UAE, across local and international newspapers, magazines and digital media, Alison most recently held the role of Advertising Director at the Grazia Group, part of ITP Publishing. As Sales and Events Director, she will oversee all sales for the TMN website and its many brand extensions.

“I have watched The Media Network go from a great idea, to an essential resource in its two-year lifespan,” says Alison. “The brand is well respected, which has brought demand for partnerships and cross-promotional activity – and that’s where I come in! I’m very excited about the doors still left to open for The Media Network, and look forward to being part of its growth.”