Phillippa Kennedy joins Brazen MENA as Account Director

Phillippa Kennedy has joined the team at Brazen MENA as an Account Director from L’Oréal UK.In her new role, Phillippa will oversee some of the agency’s key clients, ensuring the excellent results the agency has become synonymous with. In addition, she will spearhead the luxury division, which has grown over the last few years with clients including Atlantis Royal, Signor Sassi and Veuve Clicquot.Phillippa, who has more than a decade in the PR industry, joins Brazen MENA from L’Oréal UK where her most recent work includes the launch of Prada Beauty, brand growth and PR for MUGLER, overseeing all social and press for Viktor & Rolf and previous PR work with Laura Mercier at Shiseido.A luxury brand expert, Phillippa has worked in PR on both global and local scales with companies such as YSL Beauty, Viktor and Rolf, Loewe and Maison Margiela.Alongside PR, her additional expertise is advocacy and influencer analytics, honing-in on social trends across Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, with knowledge on how to best utilise social platforms to enhance results, pivotal in an everchanging media landscape.Louise Jacobson, Managing Partner Brazen MENA comments: “As Brazen MENA strives to lead the GCC's lifestyle PR landscape, securing top-tier team members is paramount. The addition of Phillippa, a standout talent with a rich background in global luxury, fashion, and beauty brands, is a strategic move for us. This marks a pivotal moment as we enter a dynamic and promising phase, where Phillippa's expertise will play a key role in steering Brazen MENA further growth in the region.”Phillippa Kennedy added: “I am thrilled to be part of the leadership team at Brazen MENA to work on some incredible accounts and add value to our exceptional client roster. My commitment to maintaining high standards of work and crafting engaging brand concepts aligns seamlessly with the agency's vision, and I am confident that together, we will drive continued success.”

ThinkPR celebrates new contract wins and team growth

Leading PR, marketing, and design agency, ThinkPR is celebrating the start of the year with several new client wins and receiving award recognition for its work in the third sector.Marking its 20th year of business, ThinkPR further strengthens its position as an energy-focused marketing agency with client wins including TWMA, Reactive Downhole Tools, Interocean, and Houston-based PipeSense, in addition to a contract extension with Spirit Energy. The PR specialists have also led a series of Aberdeen-based Emergency Response projects and handled the media launch of the recent Helipets initiative with Scottish Charity, Canine Concern Scotland Trust. The ThinkPR team has expanded to 10 with Amy Cassie and Erin Ingram joining at the end of 2023 as Junior Designer and Account Executive respectively. Also contributing to the already impressive year for the company, ThinkPR has been shortlisted as a finalist of the Northern Star Business Awards' Marketing Magic award in recognition of its ongoing marketing support with charity partner, Autism & Neurodiversity North Scotland (A-ND).   The ThinkPR team has provided support for A-ND since last February including strategic marketing campaign support, social media support, and led the process to the charity’s first fundraising dinner, which was such a success that it received a parliamentary motion. Returning for 2024, the ‘Think Different’ dinner has already received sponsorship from Global E&C, Envoy Group, Stork and Serica Energy.Focusing on its specialist marketing support within the energy transition including supporting clients in the CCUS landscape, the marketing and design specialists also launched the inaugural ‘Women in New Energy: W.I.N.E’ event in partnership with industry professionals which is set to take place again in 2024. Commenting on ThinkPR’s success, CEO Annabel Sall, said: “2023 was an incredible year for the team – from supporting long-standing clients with their growth and success, to welcoming new businesses who have started their journey with marketing. Our ‘Think Different’ dinner was a highlight for us, and we are so excited to be recognised for our success by the Chamber of Commerce this year too. “I’m extremely proud of the team, led by Leigh-Ann and I, and the quality of work we continue to provide our clients globally. Our strength lies in our team being able to offer a range of insight and skill sets with marketing services including media relations, brand development and management, crisis comms, website design, and business awards – we become a true extension of our client’s teams. As we celebrate our 20th birthday this year, the new business wins and recognition for our work is a proud moment and chance to reflect all we have achieved.” ThinkPR offers services across the full communications mix, including media liaison, news release and feature writing, design and marketing, digital, website and social media support and emergency response planning and training. Established in 2004, ThinkPR represents a variety of businesses - from SMEs to global organisations industry membership bodies and not-for-profit societies - in the UK and internationally.

The Idea Agency partners with hospitality brands for PR and comm service

The Idea Agency, an integrated communications and marketing agency, has recently expanded its portfolio by partnering with hospitality, lifestyle, and luxury brands in the middle east region. The agency's recent account wins include prominent names in the hospitality sector, such as Th8 Palm Dubai Beach Resort (a Vignette Collection property under IHG), InterContinental Durrat Al Riyadh Resort & Spa, and Wirgan Makkah Al Azizieh and Wirgan Makkah Al Noor hotels. Additionally, they have secured La Gita in the hospitality sector, Kartell in the retail segment, and Hysek in luxury watches.Rita Boustany, the Managing Partner of The Idea Agency, expressed pride in these new associations and highlighted the agency's commitment to long-term business relationships, noting that many clients have been with them for over a decade.The agency's dedication to its existing clients remains unwavering, with continued service to leading brands across various categories. These include destination marketing for the Ajman Department of Tourism Development and Ajman Museums, as well as hospitality services for Grand Millennium Al Wahda and Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa. The agency also caters to luxury retail brands such as Western Furniture, Natuzzi Italia, and a Dubai-based furniture manufacturing company.With these new partnerships and continued commitments, The Idea Agency is poised for further growth and expansion of its services in Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Current Global MENAT joins PRCA MENA as a Corporate Member

The Public Relations and Communications Association in the Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) has today announced the multi-disciplined creative communications agency Current Global MENAT, as its latest corporate member.Current Global MENAT combines the global reach, strategic thinking and capabilities of a global agency with the attitude, speed and passion of a small agency. The agency believes in human-first communications guiding how it works, defining the kind of work that it delivers, and how it thinks about communications.With a global presence in key regions such as APAC, EMEA, North America, LATAM, and MENAT Current Global is at the forefront of championing accessible communications. Its ‘Accessible by Design’ offer is an agency-wide commitment that every piece of communication it develops, curates, and publishes will meet the highest accessibility standards.Current Global is part of the Weber Shandwick Collective, a network of specialist creative, marketing, communications and consulting firms built for the convergence of society, media, sustainability, policy and technology, within the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG).Head of PRCA EMEA, Monika Fourneaux said:"We are delighted to announce the inclusion of Current Global as a valued member of PRCA MENA. The agency's global perspective, coupled with its diverse communication capabilities, is set to play a pivotal role in enhancing the dynamic exchange of ideas within our esteemed community. We look forward to the expertise and experiences that Current Global brings, enhancing our collective conversations with valuable perspectives and innovative approach.”Peter Jacob, Managing Director, Current Global MENAT said:“Just over a year since we hied our first full-time employee we’ve had a tremendous start delivering some of the regions most talked about campaigns. We are driven by an unwavering belief in the power of human-first communications and we look forward to playing our role within the PRCA to champion an earned-first mindset and the wider importance of the communications industry across this dynamic and diverse region.”

Kekst CNC plants the flag in Riyadh, poised for growth in KSA

Kekst CNC, the global communications powerhouse part of Publicis Groupe, has opened its doors in Riyadh, the heart of Saudi Arabia. This strategic move, nearly a decade in the making, marks a critical step in the firm's expansion across the Middle East and a deep commitment to the booming Kingdom.Ben Curson, (pictured above), Partner and Head of the Middle East for Kekst CNC, sees this as a natural progression, driven by their exceptional track record and in-demand expertise. “Opening our first Saudi office is an exciting step for Kekst CNC, as our track record and international insights and experience are driving demand for our strategic communications offer," says Curson. Leading the charge in Riyadh is seasoned comms veteran Robert Hanvik, with over 37 years of experience navigating the complexities of international communication. His knowledge of the GCC and extensive network, encompassing more than a dozen KSA ministries and leading Saudi companies, promises unparalleled local insight and impact.Joining him is Elena Riva, a senior consultant with expertise in navigating diverse geopolitical landscapes. Her proficiency in crafting national branding campaigns, managing crisis scenarios, and implementing strategic communication plans across sectors adds further depth to the Riyadh team.The Riyadh office boasts a comprehensive suite of communication services, offering in-Kingdom and regional clients tailor-made solutions for corporate positioning, media relations, thought leadership, risk assessment, and crisis response. To ensure seamless execution, Kekst CNC KSA has also established a robust network of local partnerships.With 14 offices around the globe, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and now Riyadh, Kekst CNC's footprint continues to expand. This Saudi Arabian venture, however, signals a deeper commitment to the region's dynamic transformation and the potential it holds. As Curson concludes: "Under Robert’s leadership, we look forward to contributing to the development of the local economy, developing local partnerships and nurturing the next generation of business leaders in the region."

Kekst CNC opens office in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kekst CNC has opened its first office in Saudi Arabia in the capital, Riyadh. This comes after nearly a decade of delivering strategic communications counsel to large and small clients from the public and private sectors in the Kingdom and across the Middle East.Led by newly hired Director and Country Head Robert Hanvik, the office represents a critical next step in Kekst CNC’s continuing expansion in the region.Commenting, Ben Curson, Partner and Head of the Middle East, Kekst CNC, said:“Opening our first Saudi office is an exciting step for Kekst CNC, as our track record and international insights and experience are driving demand for our strategic communications offer.“In line with the Kingdom's vision for economic diversification and growth, our decision to establish our regional headquarters in Saudi Arabia reflects our confidence in the country's business environment and its commitment to attracting global companies. Under Robert’s leadership, we look forward to contributing to the development of the local economy, developing local partnerships and nurturing the next generation of business leaders in the region."During his 37-year career, Robert has led integrated communication assignments and worked closely with governments, companies, NGOs and academic institutions around the world and across the GCC. More than a dozen KSA Ministries and all of the leading Saudi companies have benefited from his counsel.Robert is joined in Riyadh by Elena Riva, Senior Consultant, who is experienced in navigating diverse geopolitical contexts in Europe and the Middle East. She previously developed national branding campaigns, developed and overseen communications strategies and managed reputational issues across public and private sector entities.Kekst CNC’s Riyadh office gives in-Kingdom and regional/global clients access to a full suite of communications capabilities, including corporate positioning and bespoke strategy, thought leadership, media outreach and implementation, and risk assessment and crisis response. In addition, Kekst CNC KSA has established a network of partnerships to support implementation of its strategic recommendations.

Conrad Dubai appoints MEPRA’s homegrown agency of the year Brazen MENA

Conrad Dubai Hotel, located in the centre of Downtown just off Sheikh Zayed Road, has appointed Brazen MENA to handle communications across its portfolio of in-house facilities and food & beverage outlets.Following a competitive pitch, Brazen MENA has been chosen by Conrad Dubai as partners for all press and media needs. As eight-times winner of the MEPRA and PRCA Small Agency of the Year, and the 2023 winner of the MEPRA Home-Grown Agency of The Year, Brazen MENA has been appointed to increase awareness of the Conrad Dubai brand as a whole, firmly establishing its existing F&B outlets, MICE facilities, rooms and wellness facilities on the Dubai scene.A leading hotel, Conrad Dubai, prides itself on its ability to suit the modern travellers’ needs, be they families, couples or solo business travellers. With sustainability at its heart, the hotel is passionate about being an eco-conscious market leader. With initiatives such as ‘Green Ramadan’ the hydroponic farm and food waste reduction, Brazen MENA’s objective is to work with Conrad Dubai, to increase awareness of these causes.In addition, the agency will manage all media and influencer communications, including F&B outlets; Anasa, Kimpo, Bliss 6 and more. Brazen MENA will also look to increase awareness of the property’s room offering and residences, the unrivalled urban pool deck and the state-of-the-art, versatile event spaces and packages that are available for both personal and business needs.Michael Schmitt, General Manager of The Conrad Dubai comments: “We have had Brazen MENA on our radar for quite some time given their excellent reputation within the region. Not only did they present a compelling pitch, but their dedication and passion was more than apparent from the first moment we met and we are absolutely delighted to be working with them as our communications partners”.Louise Jacobson, Managing Partner of Brazen MENA added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be handling the communications for Conrad Dubai. This partnership with the bustling Dubai city-centre hotel only serves to strengthen our authority as communication leaders across the hospitality and luxury scene. We very much look forward to generating fantastic results using our signature approach – creative intelligence.”

How Agencies are Weaving Ethics into Marketing and Public Relations

Agencies hold the onus to communicate the intricacies of the brands they represent. In today’s hyper connected and technological savvy world, it is important to communicate the right thing to the audience. The days of unquestioned brand narratives and hollow promises are gone. The new currency for brands to gain trust is transparency, authenticity, and social responsibility. This has led to a major change in public relations and marketing: the integration of ethics. Leading agencies have recognized the ethical imperative to move beyond the mere campaign results to consider the broader impact of their communication strategies. This integration manifests in several key ways as Ms. Bhagyashree Singh, Director CEO of Merakii Group, emphasizes: Prioritizing Transparency: Misleading claims and exaggerated narratives are fading away and are replaced by direct and honest communication. This entails conducting thorough fact-checking and owning up to mistakes. Customers value companies that accept responsibility for their shortcomings and aim for sincere communication. Fostering Sustainability and Societal Impact: In order to address concerns like climate change, responsible waste management, and community development, agencies are more often working with clients to include social responsibility into theircampaigns. This promotes sustained brand loyalty in addition to being consistent with consumer values.Supporting Diversity and Inclusion: To ensure that messages connect with a larger audience and avoid damaging beliefs, agencies are actively supporting a range of voices and opinions. Naturally, creating more compelling and inclusive narratives is essential. Being inclusive is a strategic benefit in engaging with today's consumers, not merely a box to be checked.Building an Ethical Culture: Top agencies must integrate moral values into their corporate cultures. This entails giving staff members the opportunity to voice issues, creating clear norms, and providing regular ethical training. The agency's ethics become ingrained in its operations, guiding ethical decision-making at all levels. Ms. Bhagyashree Singh states that, “The path of ethical communication is paved with challenges and constant learning. But it is important to keep in mind that the price of being dishonest and making false promises is far higher than the effort required to act morally. We should approach our responsibility as communicators with unwavering commitment to moral narratives, for the benefit of our clients and the audience at large.”

Empyre wins three Fairmont Properties in the UAE: Fairmont, Ajman & Fujairah

 Empyre Communications, Dubai’s leading Public Relations and Marketing agency, which oversees a rich portfolio of luxury, hospitality, beauty, fashion, corporate and tech brands, has been appointed as the agency of choice for three Fairmont properties in the UAE; Fairmont Dubai, Fairmont Fujairah and Fairmont Ajman. Empyre Communications will be responsible for managing all PR operations to the brand across the GCC with a focus on the hotel communication, F&B outlets, and amenities.Fairmont Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road stands as an iconic masterpiece in the heart of Dubai, amidst the vibrance of The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, and the mesmerizing Dubai Fountains. The hotel offers unparalleled convenience to the world's largest shopping center and the tallest man-made structure in the world. Fairmont Ajman is a beachfront 5-star hotel situated in Ajman, just 30 minutes away from the bustling metropolis of Dubai. Combining hospitality and elegance with a deep connection to the natural surroundings, Fairmont Ajman promises exceptional cultural, leisure and dining experiences in a truly spectacular setting. Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort, an idyllic 5-star hotel in the United Arab Emirates. Nestled among the hidden valleys of the majestic Al Hajar Mountains, Fairmont Fujairah Beach Resort lies along the coast of Dibba, the second largest town in the emirate of Fujairah.Commenting on the agency's latest project win, Stephanie Farah, Managing Director & Founder of Empyre Communications, said: “This is an incredible milestone for the agency. To be representing three properties under such a prestigious brand is a true testament and reflection of the exceptional work we have delivered over the years across the industry.”

The Brill Collective appoints Tryph Greenwood as Director of Client Services

Bridging the gap between freelance consultants and traditionally structured agencies, disruptor-model marketing and communications agency, The Brill Collective has signed Tryph Greenwood as Director of Client Services.Founded in May 2023 by PR and Communications powerhouse and former Head of PR at M&C Saatchi UAE, Amy Brill, the business taps into the extensive expertise and skillset of individual consultants who want to deliver excellent results, without being tied into a traditional agency work routine and contract.For clients of The Brill Collective, this signifies access to some of the industry's best and brightest minds, expertly paired with them by The Brill Collective’s core team. Meanwhile, consultants can set their own working hours, workflow, and location, while working with clients and colleagues who resonate with their industry or skillset expertise.After a successful start-up period, Tryph has joined to assist Amy and the core team in bolstering the agency as it moves into its next phase of growth. With more than 17 years of communications experience under her belt, including nine years in the UAE, Tryph will be working with a huge roster of talented consultants and a growing client portfolio to ensure excellent results, a healthy new business pipeline, and explore ways in which The Brill Collective can continue to challenge the traditional agency red tape.“Since our inception, we've experienced substantial growth and now boast over 150 consultants in various fields—from planners to publicists, content creators to copywriters, and everything in between—all meticulously vetted to combine best-in-class knowledge, reach, and influence. Our client roster also continues to expand, and the feedback on our model and approach has been incredibly positive. We’re moving with the flourishing freelance market of the UAE and, with Tryph onboard, we’ll be enhancing our growth trajectory whilst ensuring we remain true to our initial vision. I cannot wait for what 2024 holds,” said Amy Brill, Founder of The Brill Collective.“I am hugely excited to join The Brill Collective as the company ethos and mission, along with the client and consultant portfolio, are all things I feel a real affinity for. What Amy and the team have conceptualised and built so far is not only a testament to their expertise and passion but also a clear indication that there is a growing appetite for a shake-up within the marketing and communications industry in the way we attract and retain talent to deliver exceptional client results. The world has changed and, in a day and age where we are hyper-connected, there should be balance and trust; we should have freedom to choose the right working environment, rather than adhering to a more traditional working day, to maximise our output to the benefit of our clients.

Massive Media launches as the first online pr agency in the Middle East

 Massive Media was launched today as the first fully-fledged online Public Relations (PR) agency in the Middle East region, committed to delivering essential PR services tailored for startups and SMBs.With a mission to empower entrepreneurs and drive business growth, Massive Media introduces affordable, accessible, and reliable PR services tailored to the unique needs of emerging businesses.The entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Middle East, especially the UAE, experiences unprecedented growth, Massive Media emerges as a strategic ally for startups and SMBs, offering comprehensive PR solutions designed to enhance brand visibility, establish credibility, foster growth, and attract new customers and investors."At Massive Media, we support and understand the dynamic nature of the startup ecosystem in the Middle East. We believe that every startup is founded by an entrepreneur with a unique vision and the determination to bring about change. Our aim is to amplify their voices, ensuring that their stories and innovations receive the attention and recognition they deserve," said Mohammad Shaban, Founder and Managing Director of Massive Media.Massive Media aims to introduce intrapreneurs to the transformative power of PR, helping them navigate the competitive business environment. To this end, the agency offers free press release distribution, editing, and monitoring services, ensuring that emerging businesses have the tools and resources to effectively get their initial press releases published.Massive Media also provides a diverse range of PR services, focusing primarily on strategic communications, reputation management, media training, social media management, and digital services. Each service is chosen to address the distinct challenges and opportunities faced by startups in the Middle East, enabling them to navigate the complex business landscape with confidence and agility.The strength of Massive Media lies in its exceptional team of PR executives, strategists, copywriters, translators, and designers who collectively possess over two decades of experience within international agencies in the UAE, KSA, and Qatar. Their deep insights and nuanced understanding of the social, cultural, and economic intricacies of the Arab world enable Massive Media to offer strategic PR solutions that resonate with the diverse audiences of the region."Our team's profound understanding of the Middle East complexities positions Massive Media as a trusted partner for startups and SMBs seeking to establish a compelling brand presence. We leverage our expertise to craft tailored PR strategies that drive tangible results and foster sustainable growth”, said Samer Mohamed, Operations Manager, Massive Media.Startups and SMBs across the region are invited to explore the comprehensive range of PR services offered by Massive Media. By leveraging the agency's expertise and resources, emerging businesses can unlock their full potential, establish a compelling brand presence, and seize new opportunities in the vibrant regional market.

2023 MEPRA Awards honours Outstanding Achievements in Middle East PR Industry

The 15 th edition of the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards took centre stage on November 23 rd at the Atlantis, The Palm, marking a historic moment with the largest ever judging panel. The event, attended by over 500 guests and 87 organisations, transformed into a red-carpet spectacle for Middle East-based agencies and professionals across 47 award categories.In celebration of the best public relations strategies and campaigns, the awards ceremony spotlighted outstanding performance in the industry throughout 2023. From impactful communication campaigns to outstanding organisational excellence, finalists demonstrated brilliance in concept, execution and brand building. The MEPRA Awards, now considered the benchmark of high performance in the Middle East public relations industry, has organically grown in popularity since its inception in 2008..The 2023 MEPRA Awards drew 750 entries across diverse categories, recognising the best agencies, individuals, teams, campaigns, techniques, and innovative solutions meeting evolving industry demands. PR professionals seized the opportunity to showcase creativity, receiving accolades for strategies, leadership, and impact. The event featured a special address by Mr Sunil John, President of BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), highlighting the positive impact that communicatorshave on industries.Among the notable wins, Gambit Communications claimed Medium Agency of the Year, while Memac Ogilvy set an industry precedent for the Best Campaign Demonstrating DE&I Initiatives. Current Global, FP7 and Heinz celebrated team spirit with the Best Collaborative Campaign, and Sticky Ginger secured the Best Food and Beverages Campaign. New categories brought fierce competition, with Hill & Knowlton Strategies named Large Agency of the Year, Current Global MENAT as Small Agency of the Year and BrazenMENA awarded Best Homegrown Agency.In Sector and Services, Hill & Knowlton, TECOM Group and Emirates Red Crescent secured Best Business to Business, while Weber Shandwick MENAT and OnStar by General Motors together won Best Consumer Services Campaign. In Techniques and Services, Dubai Holding earned Best Sustainability StakeholderEngagement campaign and Action Global Communications claimed Best Campaign Demonstrating Environmental Initiatives. The Best in Market category witnessed Memac Ogilvy triumph Best Campaign in the UAE while Havas Red Middle East excelled in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, winning Gold in both.The Chairman’s Award honoured MEPRA Executive Board Member and Communications Consultant, Monther Tayeb and the Young Communicator of the Year Award celebrated industry newcomer Khyati Megchiani of Brazen MENA.Memac Ogilvy took home an impressive total of 20 awards, securing the highest number of titles, closely trailed by Weber Shandwick MENAT with 19 accolades, and Hill & Knowlton in close pursuit with 17 awards.“This year’s awards ceremony was special for more reasons than one. With four new categories and the largest-ever judging panel, it demonstrated stringent processes to select nothing but the best. We are delighted to celebrate the winners as these communication experts are driving the industry forward with innovation and passion. The PR campaigns recognized today are beyond boardroom strategies and the collaborative approach feted speaks volumes of the region’s willingness to explore newer avenues within the industry. MEPRA will continue encouraging growth in industry standards, skills, and creativity and is immensely proud to establish a platform where PR practitioners are recognised for their worthy contributions. I take this opportunity to congratulate all the finalists and winners,” said Kate Midttun, Chairperson of MEPRA.Nominees were evaluated by an expert panel of over 112 regional and international industry experts to select the 2023 finalists and winners. The 2023 MEPRA Awards received support from partners including Weber Shandwick as Diamond sponsor along with Carma, Edelman, Four Agency Worldwide, TrailRunner International, Place Communications, Hill & Knowlton, First and Ten Productions, Matrix Public Relations, and AMEC Measurement and Evaluation.

Comma signs a strategic partnership agreement with ALTER in Saudi Arabia

 "Comma," one of the top Saudi public relations and event management agencies, and ALTER, a prominent creative and innovative communications agency based in the United Kingdom, have signed a strategic partnership agreement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As per the terms of the agreement, which was concluded on the sidelines of the 37th America's Cup AC37 that recently wrapped up in the city of Jeddah on the shores of the Red Sea, Comma, through its branches in the Saudi capital Riyadh and Jeddah, implements, executes, coordinates and offers local support for ALTER's businesses as well as the needs of its clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition to that, Comma collaborates in managing major sporting events, conferences, and other events that take place in the Kingdom.The CEO of ALTER, Mr. Richard Moore, stated: "Comma was selected due to its established history of providing excellent services to clients across multiple industries and its prominence in public relations. Mr. Moore concluded his remarks by praising Comma's successful collaboration in carrying out the public relations plan for the 37th America’s Cup in Jeddah. He also noted that this partnership fully aided in the plan's implementation and emphasized the tremendous work done by the Saudi Sailing Federation and the Saudi Ministry of Sport to organize this international event, which led to the formation of this strategic partnership. We are optimistic that ALTER and Comma will continue to collaborate in the future as they develop inventive and creative public relations strategies for our clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Mr. Fadi Faisal Majzoub, CEO of Comma, welcomed the strategic partnership with ALTER and stated, "The partnership with Alter is an important step in Comma's track record of accomplishments, and we will collaborate as a specialized team to achieve more successes for our clients in the future stage”. Mr. Majzoub also stressed that partnering with an experienced leading London based agency in the field of public relations and communications to expand its activities within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly contribute to the execution of successful and distinctive marketing campaigns and keeping pace with the most significant advancements in the Kingdom’s social and economic trajectories, as well as taking part in the vital role played by the private sector in bolstering the country's economy in accordance with goals of Vision 2030.Towards the conclusion of his remarks, Mr. Majzoub expressed his gratitude for the success of the America's Cup PR campaign, which is the oldest sporting event in the history of international competition, dating back to 1851. He further added that this demonstrates Comma’s capacity to plan outstanding projects for local, regional and international events held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

PR Arabia joins PRCA MENA as a new member

Dubai – The Public Relations and Communications Association in the Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) has today announced the full-service public relations and communications firm PR Arabia, as its latest corporate member.Based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, PR Arabia offers media relations, social media management, influencer marketing, and event management services.Founded by professionals boasting over two decades of experience in Public Relations, PR Arabia has established itself as a leading provider of PR services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The agency is recognized for its forward-thinking approach, commitment to client satisfaction, and a track record of exceeding client expectations.Melissa Cannon, PRCA International Director, said:"We are delighted to welcome PR Arabia as a new member. This collaboration reflects a substantial stride in bolstering the field of public relations within the Gulf Region and reflects our continued growth into Saudi Arabia and beyond. We look forward to working with the PR Arabia team and support their continued growth."Khaled Karanouh, Business Development Manager of PR Arabia, commented:"I am delighted to share that PR Arabia is now a proud member of the PRCA. With our team's experience spanning over two decades in Saudi Arabia, we are confident that we will learn from and contribute significantly to this formidable PR network in the region. We are eager to bring our insights, expertise, and drive to the PRCA community, adding immense value and fostering collaboration.”

Mastercard & Ottu Boost GCC Payment Access via Gateway Partnership

Mastercard, a global technology company in the payments industry, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ottu, a prominent fintech player in the Middle East region. This pioneering partnership is primarily focused on Ottu's integration of Mastercard Gateway, enabling a range of local payment methods in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.Mastercard Gateway offers advanced payment processing and fraud prevention technology to acquiring banks, merchants, micro-merchants, and technology partners. It provides its partners with the reach, security, and innovation to compete in the world of digital payments.Ottu provides an Online Payments Management Solution (OPMS) designed to streamline online payments, crafted to optimize online payment processes for enterprises across a wide spectrum of industries. Ottu’s solution also seamlessly connects various online sales channels and payment methods, harnessing Ottu's expertise in building an efficient ecosystem.Through this partnership, Ottu merchants can tap into these local payment methods through a streamlined integration, thereby bridging the gap between international payment networks.Talal AlAwadhi, CEO of Ottu, stated, "Our partnership with Mastercard Gateway is more than a strategic alliance. It's a vision for integrating global technological might with regional transactional traditions, ensuring the Gulf's payment ecosystem is robust and resonant with its users."Maria Parpou, Executive Vice President, Mastercard Gateway, said: “At Mastercard, we are committed to partnering with innovative fintech companies such as Ottu to bring advanced payment solutions to the region with the aim of fueling the growth of the digital economy. Mastercard Gateway offers a single connection to help local merchants accept payments globally, facilitating secure and seamless transactions that surpass customer expectations.”

Boosting PR campaign performance with artificial intelligence

Despite the mounting concerns surrounding the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the field of public relations, AI applications have ushered in a host of benefits for PR experts. The industry is urged to embrace the ongoing AI revolution, empowering PR professionals to master the tools and software at their disposal, according to a statement by PR consultancy firm W7Worldwide.W7Worldwide, a prominent homegrown marketing communication agency based in Saudi Arabia, has published a report titled "The Role of Artificial Intelligence in the Public Relations Industry." This comprehensive report delves into the influence of AI on public relations, its advantages, the challenges it presents, and how PR professionals can leverage AI applications to contribute to the realization of Vision 2030 goals within the digital economy. (You can access the full report here: report highlights AI's potential to contribute a staggering $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. In the context of the Saudi economy, the infusion of AI is projected to add $135 billion to the national treasury by 2030, as per global consultancy firm PwC.The report elucidates that AI has conferred significant benefits upon the public relations industry. It empowers professionals to analyze vast datasets, identifying trends and patterns that enhance their understanding of target audiences. This data-driven insight, in turn, facilitates the optimization of social media campaigns, identification of potential influencers, measurement of PR effectiveness, and prediction of forthcoming market and business trends.Beyond this, AI chatbots and virtual assistants, like "ChatGPT," enhance user experiences by handling a spectrum of tasks, from responding to customer inquiries and scheduling appointments to even conducting interviews. This delegation of routine tasks liberates PR professionals to concentrate on higher-level responsibilities, such as strategy development and media outreach.Content Creation: The report underscores AI's role in crafting PR content and refining its delivery to specific audiences, guided by data on customer preferences, purchasing behaviors, interests, and optimal communication channels and timings. AI-powered writing tools excel in producing press releases, posts, blogs, and other written content with remarkable accuracy. However, it is essential to note that these tools, while invaluable in specific scenarios, have yet to attain the sophistication required to replace human writers entirely.Challenges and Concerns: The report addresses challenges and mounting apprehensions regarding AI's impact on the PR industry. These include concerns about job displacement due to automation, the generation of misleading or fraudulent content necessitating rigorous fact-checking, and ethical considerations in AI application, particularly concerning data privacy and bias.The report underscores the adaptability of the PR industry, which has previously navigated the digital revolution. PR professionals have demonstrated their ability to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape and can replicate this success with AI. This involves staying informed about the latest AI technologies and applications, understanding their functioning, and harnessing them to enhance their business and maintain industry leadership.W7Worldwide advises PR professionals to acquire new skills, enabling them to effectively utilize AI-powered tools and software while addressing potential challenges. It further encourages vigilance in monitoring emerging industry trends, especially in the continuously evolving PR domain."

ManageEngine adds next generation antivirus capability

ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, today announced the addition of the next-generation antivirus (NGAV) capability in its unified endpoint management (UEM) solution, Endpoint Central, positioning it as an endpoint protection platform (EPP).In today's cyber environment, an NGAV is crucial to address the loopholes left undetected by traditional antivirus solutions. Endpoint Central's NGAV leverages a deep learning model implemented with neural networks in combination with behavioural detection to detect both known and unknown threats, including those with previously unseen attack patterns. It offers edge-AI-based, real-time protection and offline capabilities by carrying out monitoring, analyses and remediation workflows locally on the device."Endpoints have been one of the most utilised threat vectors by cybercriminals for quite some time now," said Mathivanan Venkatachalam, vice president of ManageEngine. "Over the last decade, we have been consistently adding endpoint security capabilities like vulnerability assessment and remediation, browser security, endpoint privilege management, data leakage prevention and anti-ransomware, helping organizations minimize the attack surface. With the release of the NGAV capability, we are adding AI-based malware protection to Endpoint Central, rounding it off as an EPP, thereby providing customers with a holistic cyberdefence approach."Benefits of Endpoint Central's NGAV Endpoint Central uses a single, lightweight agent for its wide range of high-stakes capabilities like device life cycle management, remote troubleshooting, user experience management and endpoint security.Apart from reducing organizations' IT footprints, this unified approach offers:A wide scope for remediation policies: Security teams can apply necessary patches, quarantine affected devices from the internet and intranet, force login credential resets, revert devices to their IT-approved baseline versions and remove vulnerable applications. Seamless incident investigation: Built-in remote troubleshooting and system management capabilities offer instant and thorough incident investigation of quarantined devices.Feedback loops for bolstering the security posture: Security policies can be continuously updated based on threats detected by the NGAV engine, constantly enhancing the cybersecurity posture.   ManageEngine has been in the IT management market for over 20 years and has built a strong foundation of IT management and security capabilities from the ground up. The NGAV addition to Endpoint Central is a move to strengthen endpoint security within the company's comprehensive portfolio of cybersecurity solutions.“We aim to offer an AI-powered, unified, end-to-end platform for the digital enterprise in which cyber resilience is of paramount importance," added Venkatachalam. "The platform will enable customers to devise and implement a comprehensive security strategy by building workflows across multiple ManageEngine security offerings, automating threat detection, threat responses and incident investigation.”

PRCA MENA welcomes BPG Group as its newest member

The Public Relations and Communications Association in the Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA), has today announced BPG Group as its latest corporate member.BPG (formerly Bates PanGulf, a WPP company) has helped brands transform, succeed, and win in a changing world for over four decades. BPG’s ‘digital first, integrated by intent’ positioning and innovative solutions deliver success for an exceptional portfolio of clients across the GCC.Melissa Cannon, International Director at PRCA MENA, said:"We are delighted to welcome BPG Group as the newest member of PRCA MENA family. Their experience and dedication align with our core mission, which is to drive progress in the realm of public relations and communications throughout the MENA region. We look forward to working close on projects and collaborations.Avi Bhojani, Group CEO, BPG said:“We look forward to being a part of PRCA MENA’s vibrant community, and further strengthening our PR capabilities with knowledge building, the free-flowing exchange of ideas and opportunities for collaborations through this platform. Even as the regional PR industry continues to transform in exciting new ways, our shared vision and values will prime us for long-term success.”

PRWEEK selects Ibrahim Almutawa among the PR professionals in the ME in 2023

The PRWeek Magazine selected Ibrahim Almutawa, CEO and Co-Founder of Jummar PR, as one of the most influential professionals in public relations and communication in the Middle East.The selection has been announced in the magazine’s annual Middle East Power Book of the most prominent public relations professionals in the region in 2023. The annual book also included insights into the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the sector.Jummar PR & Communications is a Saudi public relations consultancy firm headquartered in Riyadh. It was founded in 2021 and specializes in providing corporate communications, PR, content creation, and media engagement strategies and solutions. With its in-depth understanding and knowledge of the social, cultural, and economic contexts in Saudi Arabia, Jummar provides its expertise and capabilities across several sectors, such as finance, real estate, aviation, education, media, energy, e-commerce, entertainment, and artificial intelligence.Moreover, Jummar is the Saudi partner of PROI, which is the largest and most important global alliance of independent communication agencies, including 90 public relations and communications companies in 165 cities in 60 countries.

Dubai Watch Week appoints Houbara Communications as PR partner

Dubai: Dubai Watch Week, the leading global non-commercial horology platform, has appointed Houbara Communications as its PR partner for its upcoming sixth edition set to take place from November 16 to 20, 2023, at The Gate, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).Houbara will work alongside Dubai Watch Week to raise awareness of Dubai Watch Week’s largest iteration yet with the highest participation to date, featuring over 55 brands, tapping into community, tradition, and innovation.Houbara will support Dubai Watch Week in its communication efforts locally, including strategies to reflect its position as a key cultural and lifestyle event on Dubai's calendar, playing a central role in positioning the city as a leading global cultural, retail, and luxury hub. Loretta Ahmed, Founder and CEO of Houbara Communications added: “Having worked with the Seddiqi Holding group for six years, we are well versed in the realm of horology, have an in-depth understanding of their brands and the sector. We look forward to creating award-winning work with them in their biggest season to date.”

PRCA MENA opens entries for the MENA Regional Awards 2024

The Public Relations and Communications Association Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) is pleased to announce that entries for the highly anticipated MENA Regional Awards 2024 are now officially open.The MENA Regional Awards recognise and honour excellence in various categories of communication, including PR campaigns, public affairs, and digital communication, among others. This is a unique opportunity for professionals and organisations to gain recognition for their impactful contributions to the field.Key Dates for MENA Regional Awards 2024:Open for Entry: Monday, 25th September 2023Early Bird Rate Deadline: Tuesday, 31st October 2023Final Deadline: Wednesday, 10th January 2024Judging: Monday, 15th January 2024 - Wednesday, 31st January 2024Shortlist Announcement: Thursday, 8th February 2024Awards night: Thursday, 25th April 2024Head of PRCA EMEA, Monika Fourneaux, said: "These awards showcase the exceptional talent and innovation in the communications industry across the Middle East and North Africa. As we open entries for the 2024 awards, we anticipate another year of celebrating the outstanding work of our members."To learn more about the guidelines for entry, please visit: a list of categories and further details on how to submit your entries, please visit:'t miss your chance to be part of this prestigious event and gain recognition for your achievements in the world of communications. Submit your entries today to showcase your excellence on a regional platform.

BPG's CX Strategy Nets Iconic Brands and GCC Business Wins

Award-winning agency BPG (Bates PanGulf, part of WPP) is entering Q4 2023 with incredible growth numbers and several high-profile strategic wins for its specialist MarCom services in UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman. BPG’s ‘digital first, integrated by intent’ positioning has paid off handsomely – with over 50% revenue growth, amounting to annualized revenues of $13m to $15m.Avi Bhojani, Group CEO, BPG said: “More than four decades in business have shown us that innovation, agility and customer-centricity determine the survival of the fittest. Today, the brands that are loved are the ones prioritizing customer experience (CX), through a blend of culture, processes and data. BPG 3.0 is here to support the shift in thinking around customer journeys and focusing on their needs. It is an exciting time at BPG as we bring together our incredibly talented and motivated integrated team to serve some of the region’s most iconic brands.”This year, BPG has bagged some of the most coveted regional pitches, winning brands such as Trojena - The Mountains of NEOM, Wasl, Darna Rewards by Aldar, Uber, Talabat Kuwait, and more. Building on its exceptional experience in finance and banking, BPG won strategic branding projects for First Abu Dhabi Bank. Other new business wins include Bank Dhofar, RAKBANK and Sohar International Bank, who just acquired HSBC in Oman. The multi-practice mandates encompass integrated marketing, communications, influencer marketing, creative advertising, PR, branding, media services, digital and performance marketing, social media, and content management. The exciting pipeline of new business wins has been supplemented by expanding mandates from long-time clients such as Ooredoo, Central Bank of Kuwait and Diraya with Kuwait Banking Association, Wooden Bakery, and Domino’s Pizza. BPG’s social media practice has steadily expanded, bagging new clients such as Porsche UAE (Al Nabooda), Titan Watches, and DMCC.The agency’s CX practice, integral to BPG 3.0, has also been one of its fastest growing, having extended and delivered CX strategies and assets to clients across Dubai, Kuwait and Oman. BPG has secured over $2m worth of annualised revenue, for CX projects varying in scope from designing and refreshing websites and building sales enablement apps to UX/UI optimization.BPG 3.0 was born after a significant, game-changing creative win in Saudi Arabia. BPG is working on a unified customer experience through its full-service hubs in UAE and Kuwait, supported by BPG Cloudworks – a borderless remote team that stretches from North America and Europe to Egypt, Lebanon, India, Indonesia and the Philippines. This strategic transformation is inspired by culture, powered by insights, human by design and integrated by intent. In 1995, BPG 1.0 was born after winning an integrated mandate from the Dubai Government. BPG 2.0 emerged in 2003 after winning mandates for public advocacy andcreating centres of excellence and offices around the world.Souheil Arabi, Group Chief Operating Officer, BPG and CEO, BPG Kuwait said: “BPG 3.0 is coming to life as our business is growing in every dimension: teams, services, revenues, and clients. This has been a year of tremendous activity and achievement with some notable wins for our team – which we look forward to celebrating next month at our 27th Annual Offsite, one of BPG’s most cherished traditions. We are doubling down on embracing relevant and appropriate AI tools into our day to day lives, and excited about the role of CX in brand building.”BPG has continued on an expansion trajectory, with 35% growth in its talent pool across UX, content, creative, PR and media. The agency continues with its landmark BPG NXT graduate training program and has just hired four NXTers in Dubai and two in Kuwait from over 800 qualified applicants. Running since 2006, BPG NXT identifies and nurtures young talent, giving them opportunities to shine. With this program, BPG has given the regional MarCom industry over 100 outstanding professionals.Darius LaBelle, President, BPG UAE said: “Our ambition is not to be the biggest agency, but the smartest and most valuable one built around our clients’ needs. The BPG CX Multiplier, through which we use data and human insights to deliver targeted personal messages across digital and physical channels, has been one of our most successful solutions. We look forward to driving impactful results for our clients, with integrated teams in content, comms, media, data, experience, and brand on every brief.”

Speakers announced for the PRCA MENA Conference and Digital Awards 2023

PRCA MENA, the leading Public Relations Communications Association of the Middle East and North Africa, is thrilled to introduce the lineup of speakers for the highly anticipated PRCA MENA Conference 2023. This one-day event is scheduled to take place on November 8th, at the Movenpick Hotel & Residence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.In alignment with the growing international engagement of Saudi Arabia, PRCA MENA has selected a panel of industry experts who are actively contributing to the country's transformation. Moderated by One Group’s Samya Hussain, some confirmed speakers include Mark Lamb from APCO Worldwide, Khansa'a Abu Naji from Meshbank, Nour Taher from intella, Hisham Jabrah from Hunak, Marco Binenti from Global Think Group, Abdulrahman Al Obailan from TTP, Anas Agag from New Native, Ahmed Al Abdulkarim from Bayan for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, among other renowned names which can be viewed here. Additional speakers will be unveiled in the upcoming days promising a diverse range of perspectives and insights.The PRCA MENA Conference 2023, organised in cooperation with One Group, PRCA MENA strategic partner, promises to be an unmissable event, offering a platform for robust discussions, knowledge exchange, and networking opportunities. Industry professionals and stakeholders from across the region and beyond are invited to join us on this momentous occasion.Stay tuned for further updates and announcements as we continue to shape an event that reflects the dynamic landscape of public relations and communications in the MENA region.

PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast Sets Guinness World Record

PRCA MENA, the leading Public Relations Communications Association of the Middle East and North Africa, organised the PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast in partnership with Guinness World Records, hosted at the Guinness World Records office in Dubai.A special guest speaker at the Breakfast, Noha Hefny, the Head of Strategic Partnerships and Communications at UN Women, delivered an inspiring speech on women's empowerment and the essential steps for a company to foster gender equity.Following this, PRCA MENA members participated in a Guinness World Records attempt to achieve a historic feat by breaking the Guinness World Record title for "Most High and Low Fives in Relay in Three Minutes," with an impressive 160 high and low fives.The invite-only gathering provided a platform for influential PRCA MENA members to connect, share knowledge, and forge valuable partnerships.Monika Fourneaux, Head of EMEA, expressed her appreciation, saying, "We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Noha Hefny for delivering a compelling presentation on women's empowerment and gender equity, sparking a meaningful dialogue among the participants. Congratulations to the PRCA MENA members who participated in the Guinness World Record attempt – you are now officially amazing!" Shaddy Gaad, Senior Marketing Manager at Guinness World Records, commented, "It was a pleasure for us to host the PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast. We congratulate all participants and look forward to further cooperation.”PRCA MENA and Guinness World Records have been long-term partners, and their partnership continues to thrive.With another successful event, PRCA MENA continues to lead the way in the field of public relations and communications, bringing together PR professionals who are not only committed to excellence but also dedicated to making a positive impact on the industry and society.

Keel Comms becomes first Gulf-based UN Global Compact participant

Dubai-based ‘purpose relations’ agency Keel Comms today announced that it has joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible business practices. Keel Comms is the first PR agency from the Gulf to become a UNGC participant.The UNGC is a call to companies to align their operations and strategies with ten universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption, and to take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Born with sustainability at the core of its operations, Keel Comms is the only purpose-driven communications agency in the MENA region. Founded upon an unshakeable belief that purpose relations is the new public relations, Keel is designed to create shared value for governments, businesses and communities alike.Highlighting the significance of this step, Baha Hamadi, (pictured above), Founder & Managing Director of Keel Comms, stated: "Consistent with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact, we are committed to contribute to responsible business practices. Our UNGC participation aligns with the UAE's vision for sustainability, as evident in the ongoing Year of Sustainability.”“This move further equips us for the essential role we aspire to fulfill in empowering brands, not just in anticipation of COP28 but also within the larger framework of advancing sustainable development. Our goal is to serve as catalysts for positive change locally and globally," Baha added.Baha Hamadi is a Board Member of the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA MENA) and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Community of ESG Practitioners. He also serves as a mentor for the Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s Centre for Responsible Business, helping promote CSR and guide organizations to adopt sustainable and responsible business practices.“As a participant of the initiative, we encourage you to visit our profile on the UNGC website and learn about our latest work in relation to sustainability,” Baha concluded.Keel’s focus is to serve government bodies, enterprises, SMEs, startups, public figures and influencers whose work is rooted in purpose. While not all entities or individuals have a knack for sustainability, Keel strives to imprint good citizenship in its clients’ DNA. Whether at the inception, early or maturity phase, the company advises clients on how to incorporate Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) factors into their operations and branding, so that it can then help them communicate their efforts genuinely.In light of the growing ESG movement globally, Keel seeks to empower brands and individuals to play an active role during the ‘Decade of Action’ and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030.The ‘keel’ is the supportive structure along the base of a ship. Its purpose is to enhance the overall stability and balance the framework, helping the ship seamlessly plow its way through the water. Keel’s leadership firmly believes that brand purpose provides a sturdy foundation for stable, long-lasting and meaningful relationships.

PRCA MENA and The Work Crowd join forces in new partnership

PRCA MENA, a leading association for PR and communications professionals, is excited to announce a strategic partnership with The Work Crowd, an innovative tech platform designed to connect organisations and specialist independents. This collaboration opens doors for businesses to tap into a local and global community of pre-vetted consultants and freelancers specialising in PR and Marketing.The benefits of this partnership extend to both PR agencies seeking talented freelancers and independent professionals seeking engaging projects. The platform stands apart as a curated space, accessible to carefully vetted individuals and project-based work both locally in the region and beyond. The Work Crowd have been operating in the UK and Europe for the last five years and are delighted to have launched in the UAE to support growing businesses and the freelance community.Alice Weightman, Co-Founder of The Work Crowd, expressed enthusiasm for the new venture, stating, " Our platform enables members to access a wide range of local and global projects while fostering connections with fellow professionals through our extensive network and dynamic events. Each profile in our network is verified, ensuring a seamless and trustworthy experience for all”.Monika Fourneaux, Head of PRCA EMEA, highlighted the surge in freelancer memberships over the past six months. "We have consistently witnessed a growing demand for freelancers from our member PR agencies," Monika stated. "This partnership with The Work Crowd significantly enriches our membership benefits. PRCA MENA members can enjoy exclusive discounts on The Work Crowd's fees."This strategic partnership between PRCA MENA and The Work Crowd is set to transform the landscape of PR agency-freelancer collaborations, enabling greater accessibility and efficacy within the industry.

Major leadership developments at Jummar Public Relations

Jummar Public Relations and Communications, a Saudi PR company, has appointed Tarek Lasheen as Senior Client Service Director.The agency has also promoted Rakan Al-Owais as Operations Director, expanding his responsibilities to include directing media relations, client relations, and executing PR campaigns. Based in Riyadh, the company is known for providing communication consultancy for organizations, entities, and companies. It is driven by a deep understanding of the local culture and clear insights into social and economic contexts in Saudi Arabia.Tarek Lasheen in his new role will work with Jummar team to expand the client portfolio as well as to develop and implement communications and PR strategies. Before joining Jummar, Lasheen was the Head of PR at Memac Ogilvy, overseeing the media campaigns. He also led the PR campaign of launching the New Suez Canal in Egypt. He also served as the Head of Communications at Pegasus for Operational Excellence. Lasheen has graduated from the American University in Cairo (AUC), where he held a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor degree in Economics.Al-Owais holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Media from Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU) and possesses more than nine years of experience. He started his professional journey as a student with Alshaya Group. Al-Owais joined Jummar after graduating from the College of Media and Communication at IMSIU.

Dipankar Zalpuri to lead Kaizzen in MENA region

Leading Indian PR and digital media agency Kaizzen has opened an office in Dubai as part of its global expansion strategy. The agency will offer PR and digital marketing solutions to businesses in the Middle East and North Africa region.Dipankar Zalpuri has been appointed as the President of the MENA region for Kaizzen. Being a seasoned professional, Zalpuri brings over 18 years of experience in communications. His expertise spans across digital marketing, content marketing, public relations, and events consulting and execution.  In his new position, Zalpuri will provide international brands and emerging startups with tailored PR and digital marketing strategies. Kaizzen Founder-CEO Vineet Handa stated: "With our expertise in creating compelling narratives and delivering tangible outcomes, we look forward to assisting businesses in the MENA region in establishing meaningful connections with their audiences."Nikhil Pavithran, Group President, Kaizzen, said: “Our agency's aspiration is not only to provide top-tier communication strategies but also become an integral part of the MENA business landscape.” Dipankar Zalpuri said: "I believe that MENA is a region that values innovation, building relationships, and entrepreneurship. I am determined to make a substantial positive impact in this region with this prestigious mandate. This confidence comes from the backing of passionate hard-work and exceptional dedication to deliver successful client campaigns that is encoded in the DNA of this remarkable organisation, right from the top. With the support of a diverse talented team, we will take forward the Kaizzen narrative of boosting businesses by creating appealing brand stories through comprehensive 360-degree communication strategies. Well, the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”The UAE foray marks a significant milestone, as it signifies the agency’s dedication to providing top-notch services to its clients, both locally and globally.

W7Worldwide video highlights PR’s wider role in society

Jeddah: W7Worldwide, an award-winning marketing communications consultancy agency, has released a 43-second video, in celebration of World Public Relations Day on July 16. (You can check the video here: relations (PR) and communications professionals observe the day to highlight PR’s role in public life and help people understand its growing importance in the image building of a company or a country and also how it can play an important role in mitigating crises in the fast-changing times of today.By designating July 16 as Public Relations Day, the United Nations has honored Ivy Lee, an American writer and journalist, who developed the science of public relations in 1921 and who was born on July 16.The UN occasionally observes certain designated days, weeks, years, and even decades, themed around specific topics or ideas to send a powerful message for advocacy, awareness, and action, like World Television Day, World Press Freedom Day, and other days of global importance.This timely video discards misplaced opinions about PR that it is merely the publication of news and articles. Rather, it shows that the profession has a wider role to play in society as well as globally, for it is mainly linked to building a positive image of a country or an organization as well as educating the public about any impending crisis like climate change. The ultimate goal of PR for any organization is to create and maintain a favorable public perception of it, the video stresses.The clip also explains the unmistakable role of PR in helping organizations and institutions make policies and programs as it gathers data and information through a comprehensive study of public opinions about issues and their attitudes toward the organizations or institutions they deal with.To drive home the point, the short video refers to the role of PR in enhancing the positive image of the state of Qatar during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It refers to fans’ participation from all over the world in the tournament, which represented the most prominent global sporting event in recent times.The video concludes by emphasizing that PR is capable of winning hearts and changing minds about an idea, organization, or a country because this is one of its main functions.

Saudi Coffee Company’s new brand Jazean signs sponsorship deal with Saudi Al-Ahl

Jeddah : The Saudi Coffee Company, through its brand Jazean, announced the signing of a sponsorship agreement with the Saudi Al-Ahli Football Club, with the aim of improving the football industry within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Founded in 1937, Al Ahli is one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in Saudi Arabia. This agreement, which has been signed for three years until 2026, is in line with Saudi Coffee Company's keenness to support the growing sports sector in the country and bolster efforts to highlight the Saudi League.The agreement was signed by Mohammed Zainy, Director of Marketing at the Saudi Coffee Company, and the CEO of Al-Ahli FC Investment Company, Engineer Tariq Khalifa. Through this agreement, the two parties will strive to collaborate and take football in Saudi Arabia to new heights. Moreover, the signing confirms the Saudi Coffee Company's commitment to strengthening and caring for local communities.The Saudi Coffee Company, as one of the sponsors of the team, will provide support to the Saudi Al-Ahli FC through Jazean, which is an SCC brand that celebrates indigenous Coffea Arabica and markets it locally and internationally. Through the agreement, the company also aspires to shed light on how Saudi coffee serves as a window to the rich cultural heritage and values of hospitality and generosity that exist within the Kingdom.Commenting on this occasion, Mohammed Zainy, Director of Marketing at the Saudi Coffee Company, said, “We are proud to sign a sponsorship agreement with the Saudi Al-Ahli FC and to provide support for this national icon. Al-Ahli FC and the Jazean brand share similar values that are steeped in tradition and originality. Both represent our passion, rich culture, and our ambition to continue moving forward. Moreover, as part of our quest to become a global product, this sponsorship provides us with a great platform to highlight our Saudi roots and highlight our ambition to become a symbol of national pride.”The CEO of Al-Ahli FC Investment Company, Engineer Tariq Khalifa, expressed his happiness at the signing with the Saudi Coffee Company, saying: “We welcome our new partner who has joined hands with us."He shared that the Board of Directors is keen to create an environment conducive to investments, and sign agreements with companies that befit the prestige and popularity of Al-Ahli FC, indicating that such sponsorships help expand growth and development at the club level, especially considering preparations for the new season.To learn more about the sponsorship agreement, or to view Al-Ahli Saudi FC merchandise, please visit.For more information about the Saudi Coffee Company, please visit the Saudi Coffee Company website

Chestertons MENA taps Rebecomms for PR, comm services

Dubai: Dubai-based real estate advisory Chestertons MENA has appointed Rebecomms for regional PR and communications services.Rebecomms will handle all Middle East media relations and corporate communications for the company, which celebrates 15 years of MENA operations this year.Nick Witty, (pictured above), Chief Executive Officer at Chestertons, said: “It’s an exciting time at Chestertons MENA, with big expansion plans in terms of markets, services and team members. With a rich history, impressive track record and plenty of news to share, we are pleased to appoint Rebecomms as we grow our business at our Dubai headquarters and across the wider region.”Rebecca Rees, Founder of Rebecomms, added: “I am delighted to add Chestertons MENA to my client list, and to be part of the region’s world-famous, record-breaking real estate success story. With more than 30 years’ PR experience, including 17 years in Dubai’s real estate sector, this new partnership is a natural fit. Chestertons is an internationally-renowned, highly trusted brand, and it’s an honour to be working with the Middle East team.”Chestertons MENA offers the full range of real estate advisory services, including commercial and residential sales and leasing, building consultancy and project management, property management, consulting and research and valuation services, with a dedicated, expert team for each function.Established in 2022, Rebecomms provides tailored communications services for a wide and diverse range of businesses and individuals in the real estate, hospitality, tourism, environmental and wellbeing sectors. Clients include Premier Inn Middle East, a number of Emirates Leisure Retail dining destinations, Propertycheck, Breathes Wellness and several small businesses. Rebecomms also collaborates with The Brill Collective and In2Consulting on various PR projects.

PRCA MENA unites PR industry leaders at exclusive leaders' breakfast in Dubai

Dubai: PRCA MENA, the professional body for PR and communications practitioners in the Middle East and North Africa, organised a Leaders’ Breakfast which brought together industry leaders and top-level executives for a morning of insightful discussions and valuable networking opportunities.This occasion took place at Fouquet’s in Downtown, Dubai, gathering over 20 esteemed members representing various agencies and organisations within the PR industry. PRCA MENA Leaders’ Breakfast serves as a platform for influential leaders to connect, exchange ideas, and gain valuable insights into the latest trends and developments shaping the PR landscape.Alnura Belyalova, Director of Public Relations, Luna PR, said, “The PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast is a great place for networking. It helps to reconnect with industry peers and make new invaluable connections. I look forward to the great collaborations that lie ahead.”Petra B Spanko, Regional Director at Katch International, added, “Attending my first Leaders Breakfast with PRCA MENA was a remarkable experience. The event had a fantastic crowd, and I thoroughly enjoyed engaging in valuable discussions with industry peers. It was a great opportunity to exchange insights and perspectives, further strengthening my professional network. I look forward to future events and continued collaboration within the PRCA MENA community.”John Rynehart, Managing Director at Seven Media, commented "It was a pleasure to be part of this exclusive event. The opportunity to engage with industry peers and share experiences was invaluable.”Ahmad Itani, CEO at C&B and PRCA MENA Chair of the Board, shared his appreciation for the event, saying, "The PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast was an excellent opportunity to engage with the industry’s thought leaders in an intimate setting. The discussions and networking opportunities provided valuable insights and opened doors to potential collaborations.”Monika Fourneaux, Head of PRCA EMEA, emphasised the importance of the event, stating, "The PRCA MENA Leaders Breakfast is a remarkable assembly of C-level executives in the PR industry. We take pride in providing a platform for industry leaders to connect, exchange insights, and establish valuable relationships. The event exemplifies PRCA MENA's dedication to advancing the PR profession in the region."PRCA MENA remains committed to organising events that facilitate networking, knowledge sharing, and collaboration among PR professionals across the region. By providing exclusive platforms for industry leaders, PRCA MENA continues to elevate the standards of the PR profession and drive its growth and success in the Middle East and North Africa.”

PRCA MENA strengthens presence in Saudi Arabia

Dubai: With an aim to explore further opportunities and discuss the development of the PR industry, Monika Fourneaux, Head of EMEA at PRCA, visited PRCA MENA partner One Group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last week. The two-day visit also served as an occasion to meet local prospects and extend greetings to current PRCA MENA members.“Networking with local agencies provided valuable insights into their perspective on the local market and the challenges they face. I was very pleased to engage with industry professionals and discuss the forthcoming support PRCA MENA will offer them,” said Monika Fourneaux, Head of PRCA EMEA.Faris Aljameel, Vice-chair of One Group, commented, "We are pleased to be partnered with PRCA MENA. This global association, renowned for its ethical values, brings significant networking advantages to the region, along with access to prestigious awards and professional training."PRCA MENA remains committed to expanding its presence and fostering collaboration in the Saudi Arabian market. The visit emphasised the organization's dedication to supporting and empowering PR professionals in the region.

Aramex enlists Gambit as its consumer PR agency for Middle East

Dubai: Logistics and transportation solutions company Aramex has chosen Gambit Communications as its new consumer PR agency in the Middle East. Gambit's selection came after a rigorous tendering process that involved multiple agencies in the region. With their expertise, Gambit will effectively communicate Aramex's compelling consumer stories, showcasing groundbreaking work across diverse sectors like healthcare, fashion, retail, oil and gas, sustainability, and more, along with highlighting Aramex's CSR initiatives.Mike Rich, Aramex's Group Chief Marketing Officer, expressed his enthusiasm, stating that Aramex has fascinating tales to share, from emission-free deliveries to robotics and innovation. He commended Gambit Communications for their fresh perspective and a team of talented communication professionals who will play a crucial role in reaching and engaging with regional audiences. With Gambit as an extended member of Aramex's marcomms team, exciting collaborations are set to unfold.Jamal Al Mawed, Founder and Managing Director of Gambit Communications, expressed pride in representing Aramex, a well-known brand born in the region. He emphasized the significance of sharing the remarkable stories of how Aramex positively impacts people's lives every day. In the spirit of their shared commitment to delivering exceptional results, Gambit is thrilled to embark on this partnership.As a Dubai-based independent communications agency, Gambit Communications has a strong portfolio of multinational clients, including TikTok, Acer, BMW, Amazon Payment Services, Porsche, Mandarin Oriental, and more. Their exceptional work has earned them prestigious accolades, such as being crowned PRCA Regional Medium Agency of the Year for the second consecutive time, as well as the MEPRA Homegrown Agency of the Year award.