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24 hours without social media

Posted on April 29, 2015 by Angela Feuillet

I spent 24 hours with no access to social media, emails or distraction from the outside world and this is what happened.

We live in a world of digital where we constantly receive notifications from our smartphones and studies have shown that we check our phone on average a hundred times a day that is 9 times per hour. Of course for PR professionals we give up excuses that we are expecting an important call or an email from a client and without knowing it we are hooked…


Many of us once had a dream of being on a desert island with no emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Meerkat, Periscope, Tinder and all the others, and to turn this into reality, I decided to turn off my mobile and my emails for an entire day. I will admit that it was not all fun and games and the withdrawal was brutal for a geek like me. Ignoring the temptation, I managed to spend 24 hours being shut out from the online world.


For obvious reasons I chose a Saturday and woke up looking for my phone to see what notifications I had received during the night, before I remembered my commitment to social media free day, and quickly moved on to doing the things that I was usually postponing like finishing the books I once started reading and going out for breakfast without sending snapchats of the lovely plate of food I ordered.


Soon feeling really comfortable with the idea of not knowing what my friends were up to, it also got me thinking that they also had no idea of my whereabouts and this was probably the most satisfying part. Truly enjoying the moment for myself without the anxiety of how many likes I will get and the validation of people for my lifestyle. When the feeling of freedom wore off, I started feeling a bit isolated. 


So if I had to summarize my 24 hours experience I would say that it is nice knowing how much free time I would save if not for social media, but truth be told, the next day I was back online, up and running  but still now I have the  luxury of knowing that I can unplug whenever I want to. The End.


Cyber Security or Cyber Spying?

Posted on April 6, 2015 by Stanislava Burianek

In a world where cyber threats are ever-present, smart organizations should be doing everything possible to get a clearer picture of their network security. Combining real-time incident identification, sophisticated correlation technology and powerful reporting features is an essential tool for identifying vulnerabilities as they arise. How does it happen that well established global banks like JP Morgan get hacked?

No person, organization or industry is safe. Whether it’s financial records, intellectual property or customer contact information, there are thieves out there that want access to your private data. Numbers say that $110 billion is estimated worldwide cost of cyber-crime per year and 1.5 million people are victims of cyber-crimes daily. Should more be done to protect our data? While plenty of soft and hardware developers offer corporations and small businesses unbreakable security features, nobody can protect you from the “human factor” breach. When HSBC Private Bank’s client list leaked, no sorcery of web criminals was involved. And yet, a cache of secret bank files shows that HSBC’s Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers avoid taxes and hide millions of dollars, according to a report by a network of investigative journalists. While some say, it is unacceptable and worrying for HNWIs (high net worth individuals) worldwide, many countries were able to benefit from such information and fight ever raising corruption. It’s not always about top secret information or banking, casual web user may fall a victim or become a cyber-crime offender.

In the UAE, web privacy is a luxury, however, the promise is to keep its citizen safe and sound. While cyber blackmail is on rise in the region, UAE police takes each and every report seriously. With such diverse population, leaving social media out of control is not an option. Yes, we are constantly screened, yes we should watch our mouth and think before we speak. Is it for our good? I would say yes it is. While freedom of speech is the most valuable gift Western society receives from their governments, is it thoughtful enough when it comes to different minorities and their feelings? Not always.

We get watched and our data is not as well protected as it is promised to be by security tools’ developers. Apple leaks prove that your private data is very vulnerable and all you want to keep for yourself may become the property of cyber-criminals very easily. Should we then stay disconnected in the world of global connectivity in order to preserve our privacy? Or should we just get used to the fact that we are constantly watched and that our personal data is not safe? There should be a golden middle with no doubts, but everyone needs to make up their mind, do you have anything to hide? Or do you accept to be constantly spied on for your own safety? Time will show…

Cyber Crime

Need a degree for PR ? I think not.

Posted on April 1, 2015 by Swaleha Calafato

Public relations is an intricate and multifaceted field. It is important to keep in mind, however, that formal public relations programs were only incorporated into academic programs over the last 20 to 25 years, whereas PR as a profession has existed since the early 1900’s.

Undoubtedly, a degree in public relations offers a strong foundation based on theory, as well as comprehensive knowledge of public relations practice rudiments.

Though a strong background in writing is essential, as well as robust communication skills, I do believe that public relations is a field where nothing teaches you the necessary expertise as much as actually being on the job – the learning curve is steep enough.

Public relations has developed over the years and become more strategic. Just having a degree in the field does not promise success – it takes a great amount of understanding of the profession and industry, as well as being open to learning and adopting new practices.

A degree in PR is not an indicator of whether a person will be good at the job. Passion, originality, good writing skills and whether an individual has the outlook, ambition and determination to be successful at what they do is imperative. Personality traits contribute significantly to success in the world of PR – it’s a job that requires people to socialise and interact at all levels, be it with the media, clients, or even your colleagues for that matter.

A degree in the field offers in-depth theoretical knowledge that is an advantage when starting off ones career; however it will not sustain or assist in career growth. Individuals with completely different backgrounds can easily pick up the ropes without necessarily needing a PR degree to be successful in the field. Public relations does not require technical skills like other professions such as the likes of engineering – it’s a field that individuals can transition into. Personally, I know plenty of individuals with unrelated majors who are fantastic and successful PR practitioners.

Nothing can out do experience.


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