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The ingredients to a successful writer

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Active

Writing is an integral part of PR and is crucial to a firm’s success.  I’m pretty sure as PR professionals we spend more time writing in our lives than we probably imagined we would back in school.

Becoming a good writer is no easy task, but trust me it’s worth the effort. Personally, I’m very passionate about writing but there’s always room for improvement – here are some simple tips that have helped me a lot to hone my writing skills:

  1. Observation – This is the most powerful tool that every writer should learn to use. As a writer it’s extremely important to be observant of different types of people, places and things.  Using these observations carefully in your stories will keep your readers engaged. As it is rightly said that one of the qualities of successful people in all walks of life is keen observation of things around them.
  2. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes – Read your story over and over again and ask yourself if this is something that you would want to read? If this is interesting enough?  Do you want to read more or are you bored after the first paragraph?  This will not only help you improve but it’s also an easier way to identify grammatical errors.
  3. Hook your reader from the beginning – This is the key to an effective story. Keep it simple, effective and to the point. It’s pointless to beat around the bush. A powerful beginning will keep your readers wanting to read more and a good ending will leave them interested in more of your writing.
  4. Get a second opinion – Get someone to read over your stuff as they can give you honest and intelligent feedback.  Learn to accept criticism in a positive way – remember it will only help you improve.
  5. Practice makes perfect – There’s no better way to improve your writing than to keep writing.


Everything PR

Posted on June 23, 2014 by Lovelyn Rodrigues

Have you ever thought of this?  Be it a pen, a building, food products, the fashion world or even a selfie.  Everything that is seen, felt and smelt is known through word of mouth or read or watched on television. They are mentioned either through personal experiences or we read it in magazines or online reviews or see it being advertised in commercials or the billboards. Be it a good or a poor review, it does spread around.

PR stunts can be very creative and well-designed. The star-studded selfie at the Oscar’s astonished everyone and received over 3.25 million retweets. And guess the smartphone used for this. SAMSUNG. Another good example is the video by Volkswagen communicating how risky it is to use mobile phones while driving or the Coca Cola CSR campaign making a big buzz on YouTube promoting the work they do. No doubt the trending medium for PR is Social Media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube are making eyes go big. One brilliant idea will not only communicate key values while selling the product, but also develop brand awareness. The competition is fierce and every time a new idea hits the market targeting the right audience we see the news go viral.

Planning a good public relations campaign is critical. Influencing the public and sharing a story that is appealing to the public require smart PR tactics. Currently the hot news around is the FIFA World CUP.  Restaurants, shopping malls, movie theatres are using the World Cup as a platform to promote their products. All of them are coming up with innovative ideas to drive traffic to themselves further developing their relationship with their customers. Inspirational campaigns released by brands such as Adidas, McDonald’s, ESPN et cetera have flooded the internet.

Public relations has become the most effective way to build a brand and this message goes out to all the existing companies, especially the ones who think PR is a waste of time and money. Targeting the right audience and defining your work is best done through PR. PR has been a good fit for my skills and with the right attitude I believe that PR can bring extraordinary recognition to a diverse set of clients.


Where is the Arab publishing industry heading?

Posted on June 2, 2014 by Active

This year’s Arab Media Forum, themed “The future of media starts today”, was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Among the panel discussions during the forum, one of the discussion in particular was interesting:

Traditional newspapers in UAE to become ‘insignificant’ in the upcoming years:

A renowned researcher and futurist said that newspapers will likely have a longer shelf life than in many countries around the world. The Arab world is considered faster in adopting new media and the UAE in particular continues to be ranked above a number of developed countries given the opportunity to become a media evolution city testimonial.

On a national level, major factors play a key role in affecting the newspaper extinction timeline:

a)    Technology uptake: mobile bandwidth availability, smartphone and e-readers’ penetration. According to the Arab knowledge report 2014, the Arab World to has more than 197 million internet users by 2017.

b)    Consumer behaviors: Media Channel preferences, consumers’ willingness to pay for news, relative interest in global and local news.

c)     Demographics: Degree of urbanization which everyone agrees is ongoing in this country, along with the increase of literacy. The UAE, is one of the major Arab countries heading towards a knowledge based economy by improving their education sector through the adoption of new technologies, investment in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, building firm research and development programs, and improvement in the overall business environment.

d)    Government: Dubai has entered into another phase with the recent launch of Dubai, a smart city. Not to forget the e-governance programs that were launched across some of the GCC countries. Also, UAE and KSA are playing major roles in hosting e-governance forums attracting business and welcoming speakers from all over the globe. The UAE was ranked second in government usage pillar, government success in ICT, impact of ICTs on access to basic services and ICT use and government efficiency.

e)    Industry Structure: Newspapers distribution structure has even changed, and people prefer digital appearance to engage more users and increase their social media presence. The financial structure of leading newspapers is supported by local government to keep them up to date with technology trends.

f)     Social Media: Social media is considered in the UAE as highly used as a source of news. Also, social media is letting users share live updates, photos and videos from big events, scenes, major incidents allowing reporters to extend their reach and track news quicker to filter what is relevant to the local readers. It is a major game-changer.

Hence, among all the reasons mentioned above, social media is considered as the main element due to the fact that it is constantly dominating people’s lives and therefore, changing the media landscape globally. Despite these changes, audiences have different tastes; some prefer traditional media, others go digital, while few consider social media as added value.

Can you imagine us bidding farewell to all UAE print papers? Only time will tell…


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