PR and communications agency Hotwire and Active PR have announced the launch of the first Digital Trends Report 2014 for the Middle East region. The first dedicated Digital Trends Report for the Middle East comprises of eight key trends for the region when it comes to digital communications, with this year’s theme for the report centred on ‘The Year of Reflection’. Main highlights of 2014, as well as what organisations, brands and technophiles should be looking forward to in 2015 are covered. The Digital Trends Report will be published annually.
The eight digital trends for 2014 are as follows –
- Politics finds its voice: Active and Hotwire take it back to 2011, when we were getting started with social media. As the younger Arab generation comes of age politically and the region continues its transition from autocracy and dynasty to representative government, the impact of social media will have a permanent political impact, perhaps more than in any other region.
- Social media in school: Whose responsibility is it to educate children on the pros and cons of social media? Should social media education be added to the curriculum? These are questions we expect to be raised more in 2014 and beyond.
- Cultural sensitivity: Communications in the Middle Eastern region is a different ballgame from the West, so how do you express opinions or communicate on social media without breaking the law or common courtesy? This chapter highlights what the rules and protocols are when communicating publicly on social media and what private users and organisations should be aware of.
- Death of anonymity: How safe is our personal information online? What should or shouldn’t we share?
- Data for the moment: How did brands leverage Dubai’s bid for Expo 2020 to their own benefit? Were they creative while doing so? This report looks at how brands should understand their social data and base their social media campaigns on that.
- From customers to consumers: It is likely that customer service teams and community management will merge in 2014/2015. Customer service teams will lose their reputation for starched-collar-stuffiness, while community managers will gain authority to act on behalf not just of the brand, but also of the organisation.
- Digitisation of retail: Frictionless digital technology has the potential to delete the middleman. We expect to see retailers move upstream and become content and product manufacturers, and downstream to own mobile and television.
- But how much? The upcoming year will be a breakthrough year for campaign measurement and in the establishment of standards for measuring social media focused activity.
“We’re very excited to present our first Digital Trends Report for the Middle East,” says Fatima el Malki, Digital Communications Manager, Active PR. “Through many interactions and conversations with our clients and fellow specialists in the fields of communications, public affairs and technology, we noticed a lack of thought leadership focused on digital. Reading reports and articles comprising of various percentages on social media behaviour are educational, but our report focuses on how to leverage on these trends as a brand or communications professional.”
Sawsan Ghanem, Editor of the report and Managing Partner at Active PR adds, “Digital is literally changing the way we all look at things and the way we behave. The Digital Trends Report 2014 is designed to provide a taste and insight into how much of an impact digital communications has on society, both worldwide and in the Middle East.”