Dan Cotter joins MCG Associates

Digital and creative recruitment agency, MCG Associates has welcomed Dan Cotter to the role of Associate Director. With a diverse experience in the media and public relations industry, Dan previously worked with Sky Sports as Producer, at BBC as a Journalist and most recently with TOH PR as Group Account Director. In his new role, he will look after the public relations desk specialising in the recruitment of agency and client-side communication professionals.

‘I’m very excited to join MCG Associates – as I love working with creative, ambitious people who demand a challenge,” says Dan. “The communications sector is a dynamic industry with highly intelligent, driven people. MCG Associates has a great reputation in the industry and when I decided to make the move, they were top of my list of companies to work for.”

TRACCS completes acquisition in Morocco

TRACCS has completed its acquisition of a stake in Marrakech-based agency L’Allure PR, extending the agency’s operations to Morocco. Established in 2005, L’Allure PR aims to offer a range of strategic communications solution to its clients. The new acquisition will see TRACCS and L’Allure work across clients in Morocco to expand its presence across North Africa.

“The launch of TRACCS Morocco is a natural extension of our wider growth philosophy and by joining forces with L’Allure, we are entering a high potential and high value market that we see as contributing significantly to our long-term strategy,” says Mohamed Al Ayed, President and CEO, TRACCS. “Together, we will work to develop and empower a new generation of homegrown PR practitioners with a deep indigenous understanding of local customs and cultural sensitivities in Morocco.”

TRACCS appoints new VP of Strategy and Development

MENA-based public relations network, has appointed Stephen Marney as Vice President of Strategy and Development. With over 30 years media, communications and business consultancy experience Stephen has will be developing TRACCS’ existing and future portfolio of products and services, revamping its ENRICH suite of training programs and enhancing the internal communications and strategic business advisory practices.

Stephen will directly report to the CEO, Mohamed Al Ayed and brings with him extensive experience in the MENA Region and corporate management and development expertise.

“MENA is one of the world’s fastest growing regions in terms of PR and with the proliferation of agencies in the region and especially in some key markets, 2016 is going to be the year of thinking beyond the realm of possibilities for us at TRACCS,” says Mohamed Al Ayed, CEO, TRACCS. “Growth doesn’t necessarily have to evolve out of innovation; sometimes structured advancement of the existing offering can transform an organizations competitive approach and performance, setting it apart from the rest of the industry players.”

Stephen adds, “I am excited about this new challenge and I am confident that I can draw upon my 16 years of experience in the region, working with a diverse portfolio of clients across various industries including media, to make strategic business enhancements within TRACCS. I am extremely happy to join the region’s largest PR network and work closely with its senior leadership, turning obstacles into challenges, challenges into opportunities and opportunities into successes.”






Ducab welcomes Ani Bazdekian

Ani Bazdekian has joined Dubai-based energy and utilities company Ducab as Senior Communications Officer. She most recently worked at TRACCS as Senior Media Executive, where she handled media requests for English publications and helped to organise press conferences, round tables and one-on-one interviews.

As Senior Communications Officer, Ani will be responsible for ensuring that internal and external communication is in line with the Ducab brand vision. She will also work with media to maximise the brand’s exposure, and tap into social media channels to engage with its audience.

“Joining Ducab has been nothing but rewarding; it is a challenging yet fascinating industry,” says Ani. “I look forward to new encounters and an exhilarating journey ahead of me. I am very pleased to be part of the Ducab family and I look forward to helping make a difference with this wonderful team.”

2015 SABRE Awards EMEA winners announced

The 2015 SABRE Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Awards were held on 21 May, 2015 at The Roundhouse in London. Over 650 PR professionals from the EMEA region attended the ceremony to celebrate the winners, selected from 2,400 entries.

Among the agencies to have won were Roche Lebanon with Memac Ogilvy Public Relations for their Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, Al Baik with TRACCS for their Park it Right campaign, Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange with Weber Shandwick for their The DGC-X-Factor! How DGCX Transformed its Regional and Global Profile campaign and Canon with DABO & CO for the Canon Cabast trade show. UN Women with Memac Ogilvy Public Relations – Dubai, were also nominated as finalists for the Platinum Sabre award for Best in Show for their campaign, The Autocomplete Truth.

Global agency Weber Shandwick won five awards in total on the night, with Memac Ogilvy winning three. Ketchum was presented with four awards for its clients, and Burson-Marsteller and Edelman (including Elan and DABO & CO) won three.

TRACCS honoured by The Holmes Report

TRACCS, the largest home-grown public relations network in the Middle East & North Africa, has been named ‘Best Consultancy to Work for’ in Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa by The Holmes Report. This is the first time a regional agency has won the accolade.

Recognition from The Holmes Report is determined by a comprehensive survey of agency employees from around 40 PR firms throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The process solicits employee views on a wide range of issues, from the integrity of senior management and the quality of professional development to empowerment, risk-taking and compensation.

“This recognition is a huge vote of confidence in our approach to hiring and training Arab PR practitioners and our unwavering belief that a professional and sustainable communications industry needs to be built from the ground up, without relying overly on imported talent,” says Mohammed Al Ayed, Chief Executive Officer, TRACCS. “TRACCS is deeply committed to transforming itself from an ‘executing’ organisation to a ‘thinking and learning organisation’. This is a painstaking process that requires coaching, mentoring and integrating new talent with the core teams of the network.”

Jeddah to host Digital Media Forum 2015

Jeddah has been appointed as the venue for the annual Digital Media Forum (DMF), to be held January 21-22, 2015, at the Park Hyatt Jeddah. Industry professionals, digital experts and industry leaders from the wider MENA region and globally will discuss the challenges faced and the dynamics in their respective markets, as well as examine the digital powers that are driving the future of media and what it takes to ensure fast market growth.

“We are delighted to bring the Digital Media Forum to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the first time, especially since the country has a predominantly young population that has made digital communications and social media a vital part of their everyday lives,” says Najla Mazboudi, Managing Director, SPOTON Media Services and Events and Founder, Digital Media Forum. “Also, it is the region’s biggest market, as the Kingdom’s huge commercial and retail sectors have been quick to adopt digital media platforms to reach out and get close to consumers. Building on the success of our four previous events, DMF 2015 will be a fully integrated forum that presents the latest developments in digital media and offers delegates the opportunity to engage and network with each other.”

Among the topics on the agenda for DMF 2015’s day one will include: digital customer service experience; challenges to implement a global practice; mobile: from footprint to footprint, and a panel discussion on coping with the speed of digital development. Day two will include a presentation on how to integrate different digital media platforms for a successful marketing strategy; a presentation on a consistent measurement of audiences across platforms as the precondition for a successful marketing strategy and a panel discussion on delivering the ‘right’ digital experiences.

Founded in Dubai, the Digital Media Forum Jeddah 2015 is supported by a number of sponsors, including Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Digital Media Services (DMS) as Strategic Partners and Dotmena as Gold Sponsor. TRACCS is the PR partner for the event in Saudi Arabia.

TRACCS makes World PR Report 2014

TRACCS has been ranked among the top five Public Relations agencies in the Asia-Pacific region by the Holmes Report in its World PR Report 2014. TRACCS took the fifth spot in the regional rankings of Asia-Pacific agencies, posting a 22.6% growth in the past year, outstripping the average global PR growth rate which registered at 11% for the year, according to the World Report.

The release of the global listing of PR consultancies also showed that TRACCS, which operates across 13 markets in the region, climbed the global rankings by 11 places, now positioned at 109 among the world’s top 250 consultancies. TRACCS remains the only regional PR network to feature on the list of Top 250 Firms.