In The Hot Seat

Anna Roberts, Founder and Managing Director of Nudge speaks about the many changes and improvements made in media in the UAE…

Name: Anna Roberts

Age: 28

From: New Zealand

Current job title: Founder and Managing Director, Nudge.

When did you arrive in the UAE? Originally, in 1994!

Where did you work prior? I was with the Arabian Radio Network for five years.

What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
I remember growing up and seeing Emirates Women and What’s On in Spinneys, there weren’t many other publications around in the 90s and buying international titles would cost a fortune! I made my first ever request on Dubai 92 when I was 14 (I still remember) and we only had Channel 33 as a local TV station, which played a lot of Bold and the Beautiful. The environment then was really trying to replicate what had done well overseas and cut and paste it here.

Have these impressions changed much?
Yes, aside from Dubai attracting more international talent it’s really trying to put its own stamp on how they do things. From OSN’s in studio coverage of the Rugby World Cup to intentional titles coming to the region, we’re now part of the creative melting pot instead of importing everything. You’ve got more competition continually setting the bar higher, and the market is maturing both from a client’s expectations as well as by what’s being delivered by outlets.

Tell us about Nudge…
Nudge was born out a passion to be able to provide everyone with the tools and confidence to address an audience. I’ve been in broadcasting for 10 years now and will continually be told, ‘I could never do what you do’ or ‘I could never get up on stage and speak like that’ and I wanted to give everyone the chance to be empowered to speak authentically by providing them with practical tools and strategies from my knowledge and experiences. I’ve worked one-on-one with clients to produce broadcasting content, working with entrepreneurs looking for better ways to communicate with their customers, and those who are seasoned speakers but want to take their skills to the next level.

What challenges do you face?
The fact that many people fear public speaking more than death! Broaching the subject with many makes them pale, let alone getting them to come along for a workshop! It’s great that having been shy growing up I can completely relate to their fears and show them useful techniques for public engagements.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing a client absolutely love being on stage and the feedback they get from the audience afterwards. When you’re able to be really clear about your call to action and realise that the focus should be on the audience it’s far easier to focus on being the messenger and not the message.

What’s the most exciting thing to happen so far?
Since launching Nudge I’ve had a burst in creativity and am in the process of releasing an E Book online at to help those that can’t attend a workshop have a resource to work from.

What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?
Fantastic, I think we’ve got some great talent locally with Sail Publishing and the work that Motivate does, as well as the magazine titles that seem to be ever increasing on shelves. They are really able to capture some amazing pieces across genres from here in the region and feature some amazing stories.

What sets you apart from other media professionals?
My two decades of experience in the Middle East and my ever-increasing 10 years in International Broadcasting.

Work calls via landline, mobile or both?
Mobile – as Nudge is yet to move in office space I’m location independent.

What’s your most overused saying?
When you know better, you do better. Continual learning in life is key!

Five things you can’t live without?
My family, my mobile, a good breakfast, running and music!

If you weren’t with Nudge, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be continuing to work up the radio career ladder.

Dubai Lynx to partner with Twitter

The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity has formed a joint partnership with Twitter, which will see the launch of the first Twitter Live Young Lynx Competition. Building on the young talent opportunities available at Dubai Lynx, the competition celebrates the best real-time campaign by a brand or its agency, leveraging the speed of social and digital. The Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity takes place between March 6 and March 8, 2016, culminating in an awards ceremony where the winners of Twitter Live will be honoured, on March 9, 2016.

“Social networks are an integral part of our industry today and Twitter is truly a global platform,” says Emma Farmer, Festival Director, Dubai Lynx. “The Twitter Live Young Lynx Competition is an exciting competition which harnesses the instantaneousness and worldwide appeal of Twitter. This generation have grown up with a fresh perspective of how to communicate in an innovative and creative manner and reflect the ever-changing digital landscape. As an International Festival of Creativity, this is what drives Dubai Lynx to continue to invest in diverse young talent.”

Frederique Covington, International Marketing Director, Twitter, adds “From its beginning, Twitter is the first service that people open to see what’s happening in the world right now, direct from the source and live, as it unfolds. As such, the potential for the creative industry to leverage the power of live is limitless. We are excited to partner with the Dubai Lynx Festival to recognise and grow the amazing creativity in the region.”

SMG Beirut ranked in Directory Big Won Rankings

Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) Beirut has ranked the third media agency globally in the 2015 Directory Big Won Rankings. The Directory Big Won is one of the most extensive awards ranking reports in the world, compiled from 7,194 awards, 3,406 pieces of work by 1,443 agencies and it has been tracking media networks since 2003.

“This ranking is an aggregate of our company’s stellar performance at awards shows in 2015, and a further testament to the creative talent we have in Beirut and in the region,” says Wilson Issa, Managing Director, SMG Beirut. “This accolade is driven not only by our people, but also by our clients, who continue to support our drive to innovate and transform their businesses.”

Sharjah forms Strategic Partnerships

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has forged a number of partnerships in order to draw attention to the cultural enrichment of Sharjah. Through these partnerships, SCCI will collaborate with Twitter, Forbes Middle East, Brag Events and Careem in order to raise awareness of the Emirate as a destination for entrepreneurs as well as established businesses.

“Sharjah’s strength has always come from the people who share a love for the city, so it’s only natural that we continue to encourage business opportunities and economic growth as we strive to build the next entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Emirate,” says Sara Al Madani, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board Member and Member of the ShjSeen Board of Trustees. “This is the first time a Government organisation in Sharjah has partnered with a company like Twitter. Having the best online engagement ranks high on our strategy and our partnerships with Twitter, Careem, Brag and Forbes will give us the means to share with the world what Sharjah fans already know.”

Kinda Ibrahim, Director of Media Partnerships, Twitter, adds “We are excited to work with the Chamber of Commerce to leverage Twitter’s real time, conversational and public network. This partnership will help the Chamber of Commerce connect with people in the UAE and across the world, as well as highlight Sharjah as a centre of excellence for business in the UAE.”

Kassab Media welcomes new journalist

Kassab Media has welcomed Mehdi Mabrouk to the role of Online Editor. Formerly a Journalist at Mediaquest, where he was in charge of Aficionado and Dubai Calendar as well as contributing luxury-related articles to other publications, Mehdi will now be working at CMM, a subsidiary of Kassab media as Online Editor of Virtuozity and Saat Saat. He will be ensuring that the online debut of each publication is a success, by covering editorial content and website design. Mehdi will also continue to work with brands on his instagram, as well as his blog –

“Coming from a men’s luxury and lifestyle background I am really looking forward to take Virtuozity and Saat Saat’s websites to the next level, with the help of the team,” says Mehdi.