With the launch of the new industry event series, ‘Let’s Talk!’, TMN sits down with Mohammed El-Batta, Managing Director, Fekra Communications to find out more about what the industry can expect from the upcoming events…
Tell us a bit about Fekra Communications and your new event series.
Fekra Communications is a marketing communications consultancy offering communications and creative services to clients across the Middle East.
We’re launching a series of industry related events across the region under the title ‘Let’s Talk!’ that aims to bring together top communications and media experts, senior officials and policy makers to shed light on the hottest topics in the industry.
‘Let’s Talk!’ is designed to present today’s professionals with an expert perspective and learning opportunities on the latest trends. From preeminent thinkers whose work has defined the industry, to the rising stars who will redefine the way we think about business. It will provide a platform for the industry’s leading minds to share insights and best practices on how to protect an organisation’s reputation.
What inspired you to launch this new event series in the Middle East?
The Middle East is a highly diversified region where culture, media practices and expectations vary to a large degree. While the region hosts a growing number of talented professionals and experts with invaluable experience, unfortunately, this type of experience often goes undocumented. For that reason, we were inspired to launch this new franchise out of the need to connect the dots and fill in the gaps.
We believe that the best knowledge in any field is the knowledge accumulated first hand. One can read so many books, but we tend to learn better in an interactive environment. Learning also happens when one shares experiences and listens to different perspectives, via conversation.
We do not claim that our events focus on educating the media industry. Rather, we feel that there is a wealth of experience untapped and we’re stepping in to highlight it for everyone’s benefit. We learn from each other.
What will be the topic of discussion of the first series of events?
There will be an industry-specific topic for each event. The first series of events will focus on crisis communications. With the continuing evolution of communication platforms, news and word of mouth spread faster and even wilder than it used to a decade ago.
Today we live in a world where both government and corporate reputations are more fragile and where crises seem to be occurring more frequently. One of the biggest challenges for communication professionals is the early recognition of crises and how to successfully manage it using effective communication techniques.
‘Let’s Talk: Crisis Communications’ will bring together top communications and media experts, senior officials and policy makers to shed light on the right steps to take in a crisis and how to turn them into opportunities for exposure, marketing and enhancing corporate image. The conference will also be held in Cairo, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia this year.
Can you give us details about your target market and audience?
Our target market is the UAE, the GCC region as well as Egypt and Levant. The targeted audience are communication professionals, whether in the government or corporate world. The event should bring together PR agencies, government officials, journalists, social media strategists and bloggers which makes an interesting mix for fruitful and invaluable discussions.
When and where will the first event of the series take place?
The first event will take place from March 8 – 9 in Dubai, The Address Hotel Dubai Mall. Registration is now open online through our website. We have two registration options: Day one conference only and two days conference + workshop training.
Please tell us about the speakers and presenters that will participate in ‘Let’s Talk!’?
We have a wide array of expert speakers from the corporate world, government, PR & digital agencies and consultants in addition to media.
Our list of speakers currently includes names from Boeing International, Facebook, Brunswick Group, Ogilvy PR, Federal Competitiveness & Statistics Authority, Grayling, Dubai TV, Newsweek ME, Dubai Eye, APCO Worldwide, Carma, Social Eyez, vArmour, DarkMatter, ACG Communication & Training Consulting, El Masna3, in addition to renowned government advisors and digital consultants.
We are constantly updating this list and still in the process of adding more speakers!
Can industry professionals of the region participate as speakers or presenters at the event?
Yes, of course, we welcome professionals from the region to come on board as speakers or presenters. You can email us and and tell us a bit about yourself and what you would like to speak about. Someone from the organising team will get in touch with you as soon as we receive the expression of interest.
Did you face any challenges while launching the event across four countries?
Not really, thanks to Fekra’s extensive network and partners, launching the event across the four countries has not been difficult. We look forward to seeing the events come to life one after another this year and the years to follow.
What is the reaction you expect by hosting these events?
We expect valuable sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices, intensive networking to take place, probably leading to the emerging of new business partnerships or cooperation between the attendees and most importantly, enhancing the experience of communications professionals and making an impact on the collective performance of the industry.
What does the future hold for ‘Let’s Talk!’?
Depending on the right market, topic and demand, we may consider other markets in the future.