Weber Shandwick makes structural changes 

Communications agency, Weber Shandwick has made structural changes to its senior management team. Ghaleb Zeidan has been promoted to the role of UAE Managing Director. With over 16 years of experience in the communications industry, Ghaleb most recently held the role of Managing Director of the agency’s Abu Dhabi office. In his new role, Ghaleb will handle operations for both Dubai and Abu Dhabi offices while overseeing the agency’s growth in the UAE and MENA region.

Rachel Dunn has been promoted to the role of Deputy Managing Director in the Dubai office. With over 10 years of experience within the agency, Rachel most recently held the role of VP, Client Experience and will lead the Dubai team while helping their clients transform the marcomms landscape.

Weber Shandwick will also see the promotion of Noura Al-Sarraj to the role of Deputy Managing Director for the Abu Dhabi office. With over 14 years of experience in the agency, Noura most recently worked with the agency where she held the role of VP and Head of Social Impact and Consumer. In her new role, she will lead the Abu Dhabi team while assisting to increase the agency’s growth in the MENA region.

“After a very successful tenure leading our Abu Dhabi office, it gives me great pleasure to announce Ghaleb’s promotion to UAE MD,” says Ziad Hasbani, MENA CEO, Weber Shandwick. “Over the last eight years, Ghaleb has achieved great results, and under his leadership our Abu Dhabi office has grown to become one of the leading agencies in the market. Ghaleb has shown himself to be a very capable leader, and as our industry continues to evolve, I have no doubt he will drive our UAE operation and keep us ahead of the market in terms of offering, efficiency and client focus. I’m very happy to see Noura and Rachel taking leadership roles as they have both proved themselves, each in their own way, and I’m confident they will add great value.”

Weber Shandwick named top employer for 2017

Communications agency, Weber Shandwick has been named by Great Place To Work® Institute UAE, as the fifth ‘Top Companies to Work in the UAE’ for the 2017 . Great Place To Work® Institute is a global research, training and consultancy firm that recognises the best workplaces in over 50 countries worldwide that are committed to creating a work place culture where employees feel motivated, valued and supported by the senior management within the organisation.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as the fifth greatest place to work in the UAE,” says Ziad Hasbani, CEO, Weber Shandwick MENA. “It’s a great achievement for us, especially when creating a positive working environment for our staff is at the very heart of what Weber Shandwick MENA represents as an organisation.  We fully recognise the impact that a happy, stable and passionate team has on our business success and growth.“

PRCA MENA announces award winners

PRCA MENA has announced the winners of its inaugural awards ceremony that took place on February 08, 2017. Hosted at the H Hotel Dubai, the awards ceremony honoured and recognised individuals, teams and campaigns from the PR and communications industry across the Middle East and North Africa.

Winners included Q Communications for Best B2C Campaign, Weber Shandwick for Best B2B Campaign, Volkswagen for Best Influencer Relations, Instinctif Partners for Best Crisis Campaign, Dubai Multi Commodities Center for Best Integrated Campaign, MCS Action for Best Media Relations Campaign, Brazen for Regional Campaign of the Year, Golin MENA for Results on a Budget, Matrix Public Relations for Small Consultancy of the Year and Seven Media for Large Consultancy of the Year. Bassem Ayache, Associate Manager at Golin MENA won the Rising Star of the Year award and Ziad Hasbani, Chief Executive Officer at Weber Shandwick was honoured as PR Leader of the Year.

“It is a great pleasure to announce the winners of the inaugural PRCA MENA Awards,” says Leanne Foy, General Manager, PRCA MENA. “The breadth and depth of entered campaigns, teams and individuals, demonstrates the strength with which PRCA MENA is growing.”

Ghaleb Zeidan heads Weber Shandwick Abu Dhabi

Ghaleb Zeidan, former Deputy Managing Director of Weber Shandwick in Abu Dhabi, has been promoted to Managing Director of the Twofour54-based agency. Having been with the company since 2010, the former journalist from Lebanon has successfully led a number of the agency’s largest accounts as well as having grown its government communications practice into the leading practice in the agency today.

“Our Abu Dhabi office is an award-winning operation that is well renowned for the quality of its work and the calibre of its team, which is unique locally in that it is comprised of largely Arab nationals from Abu Dhabi itself who live and breathe the local market,” says Ziad Hasbani, CEO of Weber Shandwick MENA. “With a five-year successful track record at our company already behind him, I am in no doubt that Ghaleb is the right leader to take our Abu Dhabi office forward into its next exciting chapter.”

Sarah Bartlett promoted at Weber Shandwick

Sarah Bartlett, a Weber Shandwick veteran of 13 years and former Managing Director of its Abu Dhabi operation since 2007, has taken up the role of Executive Director, Talent, Organisational Development and Brand Communications, Middle East and North Africa. This new role has been created to enhance the company’s investment in people across the region.

“My new role puts people at the heart of everything we do,” says Sarah. “My new mandate is to ensure that we have best-practice current people practices in place, allowing us to tap into the changing talent needs of the organisation, fostering a learning culture where employees are encouraged to own their careers, and promote the company’s unique customer employee proposition, collectively combining to ensure that Weber Shandwick MENA is one of the leading talent destinations for the best creative minds in our region.”

Commenting on the new internal structure, Ziad Hasbani, CEO of Weber Shandwick MENA, said “As a growing company with high standards in a specialised industry in this region, the single largest barrier to growth we face is the ability to bring the right kind of people on board. This newly-created function is a major step forwards for our industry in this part of the world and represents a strong message about the importance we are placing in attracting, retaining and growing the right talent in a fast-changing environment. We’re no longer hiring PR people only, but designers, planners, digital specialists and other related professionals. As a former leader of one of the largest offices in our regional network, Sarah is well placed to understand both the needs of our business and the type of people who excel in the award-winning environment we offer.”

Weber Shandwick named MEPRA’s Agency of the Year

Weber Shandwick MENA has been named Agency of the Year by the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) at the MEPRA Awards ceremony, which was held in Dubai last night. Weber Shandwick MENA also took home separate awards for ‘Best Corporate Reputation and Image’ for its work for DGCX (Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange) and ‘Best Business to Business Communications’ for its work with Standard and Poor’s. Honourees for each category are selected by an independent industry panel based on information gathered during the regional awards process.

“Winning MEPRA Agency of the Year is both a great achievement and a recognition of our commitment to creative excellence in a competitive marketplace with increasingly high best practice benchmarks,” says Ziad Hasbani, CEO, Weber Shandwick MENA. “I am delighted for my talented colleagues across the region who strive to achieve outstanding results for our clients day-in, day-out. However, we will not be resting on any laurels. We are driving forward a transformation of our business, which will ensure that we continue to stay ahead of the regional communication trends and place centre-stage the recognition that creativity and digital offerings are now key. We are confident that this award win will be the first of many.”

Weber Shandwick named Global Agency of the Year

Weber Shandwick has been named 2014 Global Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report. Honourees of the title are selected by the publication’s Editors, based on information gathered during the Agency Report Card and regional awards processes. In addition to being named 2014 Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report regionally in both North America and Asia Pacific, Weber Shandwick’s global outperformance of the market and its innovative digital capabilities including Mediaco – Weber Shandwick’s content publishing and distribution offering – has been highlighted, as well as the strong growth of its Middle East and North African operations.

“This award is a testament to Weber Shandwick’s collaborative culture and innovative work across our global network,” says Andy Polansky, CEO, Weber Shandwick. “We appreciate the strong support of our teams and client partners around the world.”

Ziad Hasbani, CEO of Weber Shandwick MENA adds, “We have been investing heavily in our MENA operation and it’s gratifying that the fruits of our efforts are now being recognised by global industry experts. We are proud of the longevity of our heritage in the region, but it’s the future that matters. Just as Weber Shandwick globally is evolving, we too are undergoing a transformation, which will ensure that we continue to stay ahead of the regional communication trends and place centre-stage the recognition that creativity and digital offerings are now key.”