UAE-based creative agency, TBWA/RAAD has received the most awards in the region at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The awards took place on June 18 – 22, 2018 at Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France. The agency secured a Gold in Outdoor, a Silver and a Bronze in Media and a Bronze in Radio & Audio for its Highway Gallery at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The agency also won a PR Gold with #SheDrives for Nissan Saudi Arabia and a Bronze in Brand Experience and Activation for its Camelpower work for Nissan Middle East.
Dubai-based marketing and communications agency, Watermelon Communications has formed an alliance with 3AW. 3AW is a network of independent full-service communication agencies with branches in the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Spain. Watermelon Communications is the first entity from the GCC region to be included in the 3AW network.
“We are very delighted to join this global network of communications, advertising and marketing services agencies,” says Madhu Kuttat, Managing Director, Watermelon Communications. “The 3AW network of agencies is connected by knowledge, expertise, passion and commitment in the markets they represent. This membership will empower us to provide marketing solutions across the world with local expertise. Enhancing services to our new and existing clients on a global level is a practical implementation of the concept of ‘think local, act global’ when it comes to communications. Moreover, this alliance would enable us to exchange expertise and insights and provide services to clients of 3AW’s member agencies in this part of the world.”
Integrated communications agency, SOUP has been appointed to handle The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri. Located in DIFC, The Artisan provides guests with Italian cuisine. SOUP will handle all social media and digital communications for the restaurant.
“We’re delighted to have a restaurant like The Artisan trusting their digital communications to us,” says James Parker, Founder, SOUP. “They serve exciting dishes with true Italian traditions at heart – who wouldn’t want to work with something as tasty as that!”
Team TMN chat with Injeel Moti, Managing Director, Catch Communications, who talks about her current role and offers her thoughts on the PR industry in the Middle East.
Name: Injeel Moti
Current job title: Managing Director
When did you first arrive in Dubai? 2010
Where did you work prior? I kicked off my PR career with BUZ Public Relations before moving to an in-house role at Saffron media and publishing. I was most recently with Sept PR.
What were your first impressions of the PR industry in the Middle East? The industry offered a lot of opportunity for growth and progression. You could get in and make it your own. Back in 2012 when I stepped into the business the way PR was done was quite different that it is today with the print landscape dominating so much of what comprised PR as we like to call it today, traditional PR.
Has your opinion changed much? One of the bigger changes and one we have lived through in the recent years is the shift from print to digital. Influencer marketing and social strategies now form a large part of any PR campaign which wasn’t the case too many years ago.
Tell us about your current role… As Managing Director of Catch Communications which is a boutique consultancy, my role is really quite diverse; no two days are the same. I am juggling my time between client servicing, managing accounts, deadlines, new business pitches and of course the most grueling yet essential of all – finances
What challenges do you face? I would say it would be time management. When you are running a business you are responsible for every single aspect of your operation, everything from start to finish needs to be meticulously looked at. There are several hats that I wear through the working day including that of a publicist, an accountant, a business developer among others, thus making time a luxury to have and time management a skill that needs to be mastered.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Retention of a client and the renewal of a contract. No award bigger in a fiercely competitive industry such as ours to know that your client wants to work with you again and trusts in your ability to deliver for their brand / service. And of course landing a meaty piece of coverage for a client, a double spread always has me going yipeee!
How has clients’ expectations in today’s digital community influenced PR and marketing in the UAE? What I have come to see in my experience is clients are wanting a lot more exposure digitally now than ever before. Briefs sometimes come in the form of ‘We want X influencer to review the restaurant’ or ‘We want to run a campaign on Instagram with XYZ’. PR agencies have to be quick to adapt and come up with solutions and recommendations to yield the best possible results for their clients.
How has social media in the region evolved to become an integrated part of the PR industry? Social media has shaped up to become a large part of PR practice today. A lot of creative strategy and input involves a social media element to it. With the print industry in the region shrinking more so with each passing day and digital & social mediums being the outlets through to which brands reach their consumers, it has come to be an essential channel for PR practitioners to work with.
What do you think of PR ethics in the industry today? There is good and bad in any industry. A few campaigns might have gone terribly wrong in recent times but it isn’t fair to label the industry in entirety. I believe the PR community in the region here comprises of many wonderful people from around the world who truly put in their best. A lot of my peers from the industry have gone to set up their own ventures or landed high ranking roles as communication officers producing some truly wonderful work!
Describe yourself in five words… Warm, approachable, hustler, professional, driven
Who inspires you? Any self made woman who is at the top of her game
What’s your most overused saying? ‘Send it across shortly’
Five things you can’t live without? Netflix, phone, cats, dumplings, books (not necessarily in that order)
If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing? Designing shoes, with really high heels
What’s your favourite form of media? Print, I am old school like that. There is always a stack of magazines around me.
What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in PR in the UAE? Try it out and see if you enjoy it, the best way to do that – internships. Intern at a multinational, a mid-sized firm, a boutique consultancy and find out where you fit in the best. The exposure that you will receive at each will be very different and by the end of it you will know if PR is for you!
Dubai-based PR agency, Brazen PR has been appointed to represent Workspace Commerce (WSC) in the region. With offices in London, Shanghai and Dubai, WSC provides services through the shared-economy business model to enhance the work-life experience of entrepreneurs and start-ups across the UK’s entrepreneurship environment. Brazen will create brand awareness for WSC’s investment products and focus on corporate tactics as well as boost investor relations across the MENA region.
“We are thrilled to be working with Workspace Commerce to raise awareness of the shared co-working movement that’s already huge in London and Shanghai,” says Lousie Jacobson, Managing Partner, Brazen PR. “Panny and the team embody the entrepreneurial spirit of the shared-workspace business model and we can’t wait to start spreading the word.”
Panny Lawrence, Founder and CEO, WSC continues, “Brazen has extensive regional experience and knowledge in the corporate sector, and their passion and creativity made them the perfect PR partner to represent us in the region.”
Dubai-based digital marketing agency, Bruce Clay Middle East (BCME) has made structural changes to its team as a part of its expansion plans. Afsha Walele has been appointed to the role of Senior Account Manager – SEO. With over seven years of experience, Afsha most recently worked in India where she handled various clients around the APAC region including J&J. In her new role, she will manage the team on a day-to-day basis and handle the agency’s clients across multiple verticals. Joining the team from Egypt, Khalid Semary has been appointed to SEO Executive. In his new role, he will support the SEO Managers, provide support for the Arabic team and run SEO campaigns. With a wealth of experience in client servicing, BCME will also see the appointment of Rifa Thanvi to the role of SEO Executive. In her new role, she will balance client needs and the technical knowledge to make it happen. Sana Ashraf, a recent graduate, joins BCME as Bilingual Copywriter. In her new role, she will aid the team in delivering client content requirements.
“In a very short time, we have managed to capture a sizeable market share, acquiring some very prestigious and respected names,” says Neal Patel, Managing Director, BCME. “We believe in providing industry-leading knowledge to our clients, and this means that our team needs to be top notch. Partners, old and new, have seen that our level of knowledge in relation to SEO and digital on the whole, is second to none, hence we have seen a sharp increase in pitch wins during 2018. We expect this trend to continue and for the SEO team to double in size by the end of the year.”
UAE-based content marketing agency, Silx has been re-appointed to represent design and production company TGP in the region. Silx will provide content marketing support services including article creation, social media management and media placement.
“Of course content marketing is about aesthetics and storytelling, but to be considered successful, it has to be tied to a quantifiable metric,” says Alex Ionides, Managing Director, Silx. “Renewals like these show that our content marketing services tick both boxes in this respect.”
Marketing and communications consultancy, Acorn Strategy has appointed Marina Milic to the role of Account Manager. With a wealth of experience in marketing and PR, Marina previously worked at a senior level in the hospitality industry for 12 years, where she was integral to numerous award-winning restaurant launch openings.
“I am ecstatic to join the incredible team at Acorn Strategy and look forward to providing a thoughtful and innovative approach to helping our clients achieve their marketing and PR goals,” says Marina.
Dubai-based communications agency, expose-communications has been appointed to represent Italian jewellery brand Roberto Coin in the Middle East. Expose-communications will handle all PR related activities across the region.
“We are thrilled to be working with Roberto Coin and share their stories across the region,” says Dana Abdelhadi, Founder and Managing Director, expose-communications. “Roberto Coin brings something new and original to the jewellery sector and we look forward to presenting those elements.”
Dubai-based marketing and PR agency, TishTash has been appointed to represent Top Chef Cooking Studio in the UAE. Top Chef Cooking Studio is a destination for cooking enthusiasts that offers cooking classes for all ages as well as private culinary functions, fun parties and corporate events in their modern, professional kitchen. TishTash will handle all PR activities and work on building its existing reputation and deliver even more classes and food experiences across Dubai.
“Top Chef Cooking Studio is a truly special destination filled with passionate people and inspiring Chefs,” says Polly Williams, Managing Partner, Tish Tash. “TishTash is very proud to be working with a company that is committed to getting Dubai cooking healthy and delicious meals and through PR, events and influencer engagement we will work with Top Chef to increase brand awareness, advocacy and brand love.”