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العلاقات العامة والتسويق المتكامل وجهان لعملة واحدة

By Yasser Zeriz on January 9, 2019

لطالما عملت شركات القطاع الخاص والعام على الاستفادة من وظائف العلاقات العامة لبناء صورة إيجابية عنها، مستهدفة بذلك جمهورها الداخلي أو الخارجي. ولكن من الضروري التركيز على أن دور العلاقات العامة في منظورها الاستراتيجي هو صياغة أو إعادة صياغة وتسويق صورة الواقع الاجتماعي كما يرونه الخبراء في قطاع العلاقات العامة.  ولذلك أطلق على تنفيذي العلاقات العامة بأنهم “صناع الصورة”. على سبيل المثال في حال حصول أزمة لأي شركة، فإن أول عمل تؤديه العلاقات العامة هو إما توضيح الصورة أو طرح حلول جديدة مستهدفة إدارة الأزمة واحتوائها بالصورة الأمثل.

لقد تطورت العلاقات العامة في العالم العربي على غرار مثيلتها في العالم الغربي، وأصبحت تعمل باستقلالية بعيداً عن التقليد الأعمى لحملات العلاقات العامة في أوروبا وأمريكا. لقد أصبحنا نرى حملات محلية مبتكرة من صميم المنطقة، فضلاً عن تطويرها من مفهوم العلاقات العامة التقليدي إلى مفهوم العلاقات العامة المتكامل، أو ما نطلق عليه حديثاً التسويق المتكامل.

كان منهج العلاقات العامة التقليدي يعتمد على توضيح ورسم الصورة من خلال بوابات وسائل الإعلام المرئية والمسموعة والمقروءة فقط، ولكن مع الثورة التكنولوجية الهائلة خلال العقد الحالي، برزت الحاجة إلى مفهوم علاقات عامة جديد يواكب التطور الذي طرأ على قطاعات أخرى، ليستطيع تلبية المتطلبات الأخيرة كسهولة الوصول، وإمكانية الوصول في أي مكان وزمان، فضلاً عن تلبية رغبات الجمهور بالطريقة التي يفضلونها.

من هنا جاء مفهوم العلاقات العامة المتكامل (التسويق المتكامل) لتلبية هذه المتطلبات، فأصبح يعتمد على التقنيات والمنصات الحديثة كوسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، وتطوير محتوى مرئي ورسوم بيانية (انفوغرافيك) وفيديوهات تدغدغ وتلامس مشاعر الجمهور المستهدف، ناهيك عن الاستفادة وتسخير وسائل الإعلام التقليدي بما يتماشى مع هذا المفهوم الجديد.

في الختام العلاقات العامة والتسويق المتكامل هما وجهان لعملة واحدة، ويهدفان في جوهرهما إلى صياغة أو إعادة صياغة الواقع الاجتماعي بصورة جديدة، إلا أن التسويق المتكامل هو العصر الجديد من العلاقات العامة.

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What my first month at Active DMC has taught me

By Komal Mishra on December 19, 2018

Only a few short months ago, I decided to make a monumental change in my life – to relocate from India to Dubai. The moment I entered Active DMC for my first interview, I immediately felt at home. I knew this is where I was meant to be.

I still remember it was 5 pm on the evening of my 10th day in the country. I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed thinking ‘why is everyone getting married?’ (What do you expect from a millennial?!) Suddenly, I get an email notification with the subject line: Congrats! Active Offer Letter. I can’t explain the number of emotions I experienced in a span of a few seconds.

I can’t believe it, but it’s been a month now. Working here has been a roller coaster ride filled with so many big wins and lots of guidance from the whole Active DMC team.

Here are some highlights from my first month at Active DMC:

  1. We are consultants, not postmen

Yes! You read it right.  Right from the management to a junior executive, everyone is encouraged to share their perspective on the smallest of the things. When a client email hits my inbox, I’ve learned to ask myself – is this going to add any value to the brand? Does this align with my client’s business goals? Can we do something out of the box to leverage it? After answering all these questions, I put my thoughts forward to the client with confidence and recommend them whether the proposed activity or a plan makes sense.

  1. Active DMC values work-life balance

I have been always very fond of this famous saying ‘You can’t do a good job if a job is all you do.’ However, I was never able to follow it because, in the communications profession, I’ve always been expected to be on my toes 24/7.

I went head over heels when I heard my boss saying, ‘We believe in work-life balance! We prefer our team to work incredibly smart and hard during the day, so you can enjoy your time in the evenings.’ In my three-year PR journey, believe me, I haven’t heard anyone using this phrase. While the team here is working hard every day to meet their objectives and consulting clients, the management ensures every employee (including themselves) have a life beyond work. I note down all my daily tasks every morning, plan my day and close my high priority tasks first.  Since my day is so well planned, I complete my tasks with focus and peace of mind. In the end, my boss is happy, the client is happy and more importantly, I am gratified.

  1. PR is not only about media relations

The fact that we don’t just excel at media relations but also offer a bouquet of different and ground-breaking communication solutions to our clients is just amazing! We believe in giving a creative touch to everything we do. Videos, infographics, social media management, just name it and we have it all!

It’s only been one month, but here’s to many more! I can’t wait to see what is in store.

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Three reasons why podcasting is a game-changer

By Mai Elsayed on December 9, 2018

If you have been in the media industry for a while, you would probably agree that digital media is slowly but steadily becoming big business in the Middle East. This could be because there is a high rate of social media and smart phone penetration in the region.  According to Strategy&, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are amongst the top nations driving such adoptions due to their digitally savvy population. A study by Northwestern University concluded that two-thirds of Middle Eastern participants said they get news from social media every day. That said, it is no surprise that podcasts are the Middle East’s new favorite media outlet. There are more than 550,000 accounts and over 18.5 million episodes in more than 100 languages on Apple Podcasts alone! But can you guess what makes podcasting so special?

  1. Podcasts fit perfectly into people’s schedule

Marketers acknowledged the value of the daytime market since 1930 when soap operas were first launched in Chicago. In case you don’t know about the history of soap operas, housewives who send their husbands to work and children to school were considered a fruitful untackled market. Marketers knew that housewives were looking for something to entertain their ears while they were doing the housework.

Today, housewives, entrepreneurs, business men and women listen to podcast to entertain their mind as they work on routine tasks such as driving, cooking dinner or even while finishing operational tasks in their office. Podcasts are now a rich and quick source of information that users can comfortably fit within their schedule. Since the content is consistently available on podcasting platforms such as Anchor, Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud, users can download and listen at any time of the day.

  1. Binge consumption is very common

It is no secret that digital content, including podcasts, is time-shifted media. This means that the track is recorded and stored on the platform for users to listen to at the comfort of their time. In fact, podcast creators are experiencing the same consumption rate that video producers on platforms like YouTube are facing. Serial media gets users inclined to binge on the episodes especially when the content follows a story telling format and engages the audience members.

  1. Build a relationship with your audience

Podcasting creates an excellent opportunity for a brand to build its credibility by developing a connection with the audience and nurturing it. Podcasts and radio broadcasting are similar in the sense that audience members get familiar with the hosts’ voices. In fact, users can easily maintain their audience’s loyalty with the continued production of quality, engaging content. Additionally, podcasting is similar to social media as it allows two-way communication. It is no longer about the hosts sharing their ideas. Instead, podcasting platforms allow listeners to engage with the audio content by commenting on it and sharing tracks with their friends.

In conclusion, podcasts are one of the digital drivers in the media industry and every marketer should be aware of the potential that this new medium has and the opportunities it could bring about. This is why we leveraged Gitex 2018 Technology Week to launch our own podcast series titled “The Technologists”. In ‘The Technologists’, we discuss the latest technology trends, market demands, predictions and so much more. If you still haven’t listened to our podcast series, be sure to check them out by clicking this link.

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We are partners, not vendors

By Lauren Brush on November 29, 2018

Over the last few months we’ve been lucky enough to onboard a handful of new clients – some who are used to working with an external communications team and others who don’t have a clue about the power of our capabilities. Our helpfulness is quite simply explained as such: we are here to make your brand shine, make your life easier and make you look pretty darn good in front of your bosses. Simple, right?

But our relationship is not meant to be one-sided – it’s a partnership after all. The worst clients are the ones that hire us and then only check in during our weekly or monthly calls to track our progress as if we were a random vendor. There’s only so much we can do without our clients empowering us or sharing valuable local and global information. You see, for any communications campaign to be successful, we need both parties sitting and participating at the table. We need intel into your business, we need to be a part of internal meetings, we need access to the sales team and the spokespeople to understand what excites them and what they are passionate about.

Recently, a client of ours brought us to a major meeting with a new client where they were meant to finalize and sign the final contract agreement. Because there were seats at the table wearing the communications hat, we received precious new information about the product, the research and analytics that went into the product development, the exact details of the sales program, the plans for distribution, etc. Further, we were also able to think quick and do a mini photo opp for the contract signing (going behind the scenes to bring in flowers for the table, fancy matching pens for the signing and create an image-worthy background). We then issued a press release with a picture-perfect photo within a few days.

I can tell you that press release – and the feature stories that came out of it – would not have happened or had been nearly as strong without our presence at that meeting.

It’s these types of interactions and involvement that make our partnerships so much stronger – and lead to our shared success. Believe it or not, we really like our clients! We enjoy interacting with them and learning more about your products and services.

So, here are some ways can you enhance your agency partnership:

  • Before any big meeting, ask “should I have someone from my communications team there”
  • Host monthly sit downs between your agency and your spokespeople
  • Introduce your agency partner to the different business units within your organization
  • Share your KPIs with your partner so they can help you look good
  • Hold in-person meetings as much as possible

Once you think of us as your partners – not vendors – you will see your communications campaigns flourish – trust me.

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The Dubai Fitness Challenge

By Aishlinn Bracken on November 22, 2018

Have you joined in on this month’s craze that has taken over Dubai?

#Dubai 30X30

#ActiveWithActive

Dubai Fitness Challenge is drawing to its end, but don’t panic, there is still time to get #Active! As the challenge is now over, there are many ways you can continue your own healthy and energetic journey and join the movement taking over the city up until #Dubai30x30 hashtag is trending again next year.

When you work out and stay active on a regular basis, it’s not just a coincidence that you feel less stressed out, less anxious and generally happier.

Fitness is an essential part of our lives, yet most people in today’s world barely get any exercise done at all due to the time limitations and a variety of reasons.

The Dubai fitness challenge started last year in 2017 with the goal of making Dubai the most active city in the world. 30×30 Challenge is aimed at getting the city moving, so you are being challenged to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for 30 consecutive days. Sounds doable right?

It is a great initiative for the government, universities, schools and businesses as our busy working days leave us with many excuses NOT to exercise, when in fact we need it even more. After a day sitting in the office trying to hit those KPI’s or sitting through lectures all day and then spending an evening with your head in the books eating junk, working out is compulsory if we want to stay young and healthy.

Being physically active means, you have more vitality, you’re in better shape, you can handle stress better and you have more self-esteem.

Since joining Active DMC, I have certainly become more aware of the importance of having a healthy and active lifestyle. I slowly made changes to eat healthier and start exercising, as I saw dedicated my colleagues are to fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle. Luckily my colleague Lauren is a cycling instructor at a very well-known cycling studio in Dubai called Motion Cycling. Her influence encouraged me to try it out and well, let’s say, I have found a new hobby.

Exercising before work has a positive effect on productivity, employee mood, and even absenteeism rates.

Research has shown that exercise gives us energy. Starting your day with just 30 minutes of cardio or strength training will wake you up better than a cup of coffee will.

As stress in the workplace is a chronic problem, employers need to embrace this exercising philosophy and encourage their employees to get active. Employees who exercise regularly experience an improved ability to concentrate, make complex decisions and improve overall performance.

Obstacles that you face later will seem smaller when you’ve already crushed a morning exercise session before sunrise. Morning workouts will completely change the way that you view yourself and the challenges that you face daily.

Physical activity before work will help you show up at work at your best- physically, mentally, and psychologically. So, give it a try set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual, work out and reap the benefits of daily exercise.

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