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Expectations for 2014

Posted on January 28, 2014 by Active

After numerous trends, expectations and predictions being established by all industries and a vast majority of our Clients for the new year, I’ve decided to make a little compilation of my favorites. I also added my brutally honest opinion of each expectation, because telling the truth is more fun.

  1. Smart watches, smart glasses and other wearable computing devices will be part of the airport of the future. – We’ve all been there, waiting hours in line at the airport, for check-in, immigration and all those long procedures of the passenger journey. I don’t know about you, but I’m open to any new technology that will save me those dreaded hours! If wearable computing is the answer to that then I’m a huuuuge supporter of this change, even if it will look like a fashion disaster.
  2. Businesses will need to prioritize with a responsive social media design and to think about how consumers interact with them via mobile devices. – I mean yeah, we’ve all seen how social media can go wrong for a business and bring real damage to its reputation. (i.e. Racist tweet by a PR Exec in South Africa…) In my perspective, social media has indeed earned the crucial role of managing communications between a business and its customer. But now that more and more people own smartphones, it is even more important for businesses to be responsive, considering people can just comment right away on social media if something goes wrong. If they only had laptops or computers then they might forget by the time they get home to make a comment on a bad service experience. But with the smartphone or tablet at hand, they can complain at the peak of their anger! For this reason, I do agree that companies will need to step it up to stay up to speed.
  3. Wi-Fi based location analytics will play a bigger role for organizations to increase business intelligence, define security policy, and improve customer/user Wi-Fi experience. – I just find this whole idea fascinating. How technology has come so far that we can track a person’s spending habits, whereabouts and interests with the use of Wi-Fi? Whether you like the idea or not, (or maybe it freaks you out a little bit) you have to admit that it’s pretty fascinating to see at what pace the world is evolving.

In any case, Dubai really is the place to be when it comes to these developments. I can tell you that my little hometown in Switzerland has a long way to go before it will be in any talks of a ‘Smart City’. It’s definitely always interesting to see the developments that each new year will bring.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE VISION & THE IMAGE

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Active

In the PR world, everything goes back to “the image” and the perception of the public in response to an idea or a trend. In fact, we live in a very visual world today. However, we should not forget how hasty transformations are. Therefore, the real challenge is not to portray a specific image but to sustain that same image.

Living in Dubai, one cannot simply escape the abundance of changes on a daily basis. There are cities being built right in front of our own eyes. Every day, we walk past multi-million projects highly independent from the legacy of oil and gas. Indeed, we are witnesses to what can be called the miracle of the Middle East. As huge investments are pouring in the lead-up to the Expo 2020, we should not forget the figure behind modern-day Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

With over 2.5 million  followers on Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed has managed to win the hearts and minds of UAE residents and tourists alike. His Excellence’s modesty is dazzling as tales are told about public encounters with the Sheikh in places like malls, of course. Dubai’s many successes and world records are not the result of a luck strike or a magic manifestation of brilliant ideas. On the opposite, the varied achievements are attributed to the visionary ruler of the Emirate, his leadership and wisdom in choosing the right opportunities that would enhance Dubai and the UAE’s profiles on the global scale.

His Highness’ plans converge towards modernization and adaptability by promoting scientific research, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, empowering women and youth while preserving the heritage of Dubai in line with the cosmopolitan nature of the city.  Thanks to his vision and commitment, Dubai is now a renowned financial and economic hub, the host of Expo 2020, one of the world’s top touristic destinations, one of the happiest countries in the world, a champion of philanthropy, a leader in education and quality healthcare, a record breaker on many levels, and most importantly an example setter for all Middle Eastern countries.

Dubai’s sustained progress on the path of excellence will remain intertwined with the Sheikh’s image and vision. Furthermore, the chain of accomplishments have been marked by the Sheikh’s ability to drive yet more success.

As PR professionals, we all contribute in our various roles to images being created and reshaped every day. In fact, we hold a great responsibility in being reliable image consultants for our clients and making sure all actions are in harmony with a specific vision.

YEAR 1 TOWARDS EXPO2020

Posted on January 13, 2014 by Lovelyn Rodrigues

We are living in an age where we love to be a part and an eyewitness to any of the historic events happening around the world.  Dubai boasts to be a destination for the similar reason. With the world’s tallest tower to recently winning the Expo2020, remarkable shows have been conducted across the region. Recently the world record for the largest ever pyrotechnic display on New Year’s Eve with a show involving more than half a million fireworks was spectacular. The streets were packed and I believe it took hours for people to get back to their destination.

With the immense growth and investments expected in the next 7 years, this might seem very overwhelming at first but we need to think as to how we are personally going to contribute and support the developments and plans towards EXPO2020. The reformations across various verticals, advancement in technology- to sustain and remain in the competition we will have to leverage relationships, communicate well to our customers and gain the trust of overseas companies by making sure they understand and see what we are by sharing great content.

You would surely agree with me that social media will empower customers and help us connect with international brands. As the new brands step into the market, we will be required to be a step ahead of the game with good ideas, better time management and go mobile with what you love.

With people wondering what is in store for us in the next 7 years, I would say we started off with a world record and surely we are fortunate to be in Dubai during this time with the great opportunities emerging. Adapting to the changes, being inspirational to others and learning as we go will be our key strengths.

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