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A Happy team at Active DMC

By Mechelle Manuel on March 20, 2019

What does happiness mean to you? What makes you happy?

Sawsan Ghanem

Happiness is my family and, close friends I can confide in and be myself around. It is being successful, having a sense of achievement and purpose every day. It is an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. What makes me happy is seeing my kids & hubby happy, having health and inner peace, being close to my friends who get me. Having a damn good cup of coffee, a good book and walking the streets of London also make me happy.

 

Louay Al-Sammarrai

What makes me happy? Simple – My kids and Sawsan! and……walking into this office and experiencing this team!

 

Stanislava Burianek

Having positive and energetic team around me makes me happy! When my family is healthy and happy, I am happy! I am going to Madrid next week, so I am very happy!

 

Lauren Brush

Happiness to me means having a calm heart and calm mind – and being surrounded by the ones you love! Staying active – especially with others – makes me the happiest! 😊

 

Umme Qizra

Happiness is to know that there is always someone to look out for you and I’m happy to have found that secure feeling at Active. Happiness is spending time my nieces and nephews. Happiness is to know that my family supports my decisions and has my back no matter what.

If you really want to be happy, don’t wait for someone to bring it to you on a silver plate. Look inside, and you will find happiness within you.

PS: FOOD makes me happy too 😛

 

Mai Elsayed

In my opinion, happiness is a state of mind and a lifestyle. True happiness is being able to focus on the present and enjoy every bit of it. It truly makes me happy when I am doing my ballet exercises or surrounded by my crystals, tarot cards and Palo Santo. I find happiness in the little things in life like the first sip of coffee in the early morning and a good psychology read.

 

Aishlinn Bracken

What makes me happy? The fact that I have amazing friends, family and colleagues around me every day, who always make sure to put a smile on my face. And of course, a good cup of tea and copious amounts of chocolate.

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How I made my first impression at Active DMC

By Active on March 14, 2019

Umme Qizra Aleem

This week marks my third week at Active DMC. Like every newbie, I was a bit jittery and confident at first. As contradicting as it sounds, I was filled with mixed emotions on my first day.

There I was, looking at the gleaming new faces waiting to welcome me to the team – or should I say family. I felt a positive vibe from the moment I stepped in. This was tailed by the first best thing I have ever been told: ‘We believe in work-life balance. We believe each of our employees should work hard and smartly while they are here and then go home and enjoy their time to come back refreshed and ready to take on the next day.’ Never, have I ever been told this before. That’s when I knew that Active was my place to be and exactly what I have been waiting for.

I am not always right, but on my first day, luck was on my side. I accomplished my first-ever task without a hustle: placing an ed in the tier one newspaper, Gulf News. This time, the feedback on my accomplishment was a bit different than what I was previously used to. The whole Active team was supportive and gracious, something that I had not expected as I thought it was just something that anyone could’ve done.

And folks, that’s how I made my first impression.

Just in a weeks’ time, I got the hang of the fast-paced work style at Active. I gained a deeper understanding of how work is done strategically and systematically. This was actually something that had been on the back burner for some time now at my previous agency and had really impacted my system of working. I was lucky that Active happened to me. With Active on my side and the amazing new colleagues around me, I know that my career as a communications consultant will take off.

Without a doubt, I can say that I have found the right place not only focus on strengthening my career but also to the support to do so – from everyone including my fellow communications consultants straight up to the MDs. What I learnt at Active is that it pays to be appreciative and motivating no matter how meagre the accomplishment is. Every word counts in building one’s confidence.

If I could, I would write endlessly about how ethical and amazing Active DMC is. Here, I am not just an employee or an add-on, but I am a part of the team whose opinion is as important as anyone else’s.

Lucky to be an Active DMC’ian.

CHEERS!

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What empowers you as a woman in your career?

By Active on March 7, 2019

“Running my own business with my partner is a dream come true and one I thrive on every day. Its a24/7 responsibility, its all-encompassing and throws you challenges as well as reasons for celebration in equal measures. For me, Active DMC is the culmination of over 15 years of dedicated hard work, nurturing and growing an integrated marketing consultancy that we are proud of and one that delivers results. It’s a business that holds its own in a highly competitive market which is constantly changing and throwing up new challenges to work around.” – Sawsan Ghanem

“What really drives me is being fortunate enough to work in a region that cares so deeply about female empowerment – and so much has changed in the last couple of years since I’ve been here! It’s amazing to be not only a part of that change, but fueling it! Not only that, but we are in a heavily female-dominated field, so I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by so many wonderful women who push, inspire and motivate me every single day.”  – Lauren Brush

“I love my job and what I do, to be successful in my career this is not enough. What really gets me going and empowers me is the support system I have. As a working mother I constantly have this guilt of not dedicating enough time to my son and not spending enough time with my family, but knowing that I am not alone on this journey helps tremendously. Supportive colleagues, like-minded women in my circle, appreciative bosses, understanding and helpful family members help me to pursue my life and career aspirations. Most importantly, loving and understanding partner, who doesn’t stand on the way to my success but is rather there to push me towards it, is truly detrimental when it comes to my career empowerment.” – Stanislava Burianek

I’ve been so fortunate that I am surrounded by people who treat me with respect and appreciation. I am in a working environment where everyone listens to each other, each opinion, suggestion and idea matters and most especially opportunities to grow in our chosen field never stop. It encourages me when I have hardworking, successful and empowered women supporting me not just with work but also in my personal life. – Mechelle Manuel

“I am almost six months here at Active DMC and I can proudly say ‘I love my job’. The most amazing thing about my new career change is the positive support and uplifting encouragement I receive every day, from each and every one of my team members. With the Active’s continuous support I feel empowered, supported and motivated to progress further in my career” – Aishlinn Bracken

“Complete, is what I feel to be empowered and at the same time inspired by all the women around the world who have, in some way or the other, created an impact on me. Being able to be self-dependent is one of the joys in life I cherish and that’s what empowers me. Driven by the rush of keeping pace with life has always kept me on the edge, undeniably and that’s what keeps me going. I don’t think the world needs to empower women cos hey, a woman is capable of being empowered from within. Go get em women cos WE ROCK THE WORLD!” – Umme Aleem

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The 3-stage writing process

By Mai Elsayed on February 20, 2019

From being profound communicators to being able to see the bigger picture, writing is the most important skill that PR professionals should possess.  Content development is at the heart of public relations. Through written materials, your client’s brand positioning and messaging are conveyed. This is why a public relations writer should be able to draft content that has an exceptional flow of ideas, correct use of grammar and thoughtful choice of words. However, it is no secret that we all have a writer’s block at times. Therefore, we have outlined a three-stage procedure to guide you through your writing process.

Pre-writing Stage

This stage is all about finding a topic that is relevant, studying the market and analyzing your references.

1.The Research Phase – That’s your opportunity to put on sherlock’s hat and review every link you find through your Google search. Reading other authors’ writing will help you understand what the scholars think, where the debate lies and how you can add value to your piece by tackling niche angle.

2.The topic of choice – At this point, you should have a clear idea about the topic you want to write about. Accordingly, you can develop your thesis – which is the most fundamental part of your byline. It is the statement that will formulate the main ideas of a piece and help you explore supporting proof points throughout.

3.Put ideas together – Having an outline to map your main ideas and subsidiary points out is necessary. This exercise will ensure that there is a coherent flow of ideas throughout the article.

Drafting Stage

The second stage of the writing process is all about developing the content for your piece.

1.The rough sketch – Try to follow the proof points listed in your outline and develop them further one by one. During this phase, you just need to write, write and write. The editing will come later.

2.Refer back to your thesis from time to time – It is very important that you have the main hypothesis of the paper always in front of you. Each point you develop throughout the article should be linked to the main argument.

Revision Stage

The third stage is about reading and rereading what you have drafted.

1.Proofread the piece for errors – The final step of the process is to focus on fixing grammatical, spelling and punctuational errors.

2.Step into the shoes of the reader – This is a very essential habit to exercise because writers often get lost inside their own minds. Therefore, we recommend you take a step back, become a member of your audience and read the piece again.

3.Get your colleagues to review – Getting a new pair of eyes to go through your work will not only give you a fresh perspective but will help you get objective feedback to further develop your writing. Finally, a sanity check from your workmates can help you identify errors you may have missed in your manuscript.

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How much business is too much business for a boutique agency?

By Stanislava Burianek on February 17, 2019

Did you ever feel too overwhelmed with new business enquiries? Never! New business is great for both small and big agencies.  The first quarter of the year, and especially January, are busy periods for any agency as clients come back from long winter holidays and business starts burgeoning again. New projects, industry events, new fiscal year starts and more always seem to kick off around this time.

This month especially, we received a lot of inquiries from various industries, spanning from technology, fitness, defense, healthcare sectors, and even startups. More new business is always good news for agencies of all sizes. But what is more important for a boutique agency is maintaining that new business streak to continue to stabilize cash flow. This can only be achieved with a strong business development strategy and recurring projects from existing and new clients.

It is not always easy to keep new business coming in and some seasons are quieter than others, but here are a few helpful strategies to help you stay afloat.

Industry events are great for new business fishing, but you never go fishing with your bare hands. Instead, you come prepared. You need to ensure you are armed and ready to excel at your new business game with every event you attend. That means identifying your new business targets ahead of time, learn more about people you want to speak to (thank God for LinkedIn) and, if any of them are speaking at the event or are part of a panel discussion, attend and listen. There is no better conversation opener than your own feedback on something your prospect is into on an expert level.

Even if you don’t close your deal right there and then, there is no such thing as a failed business pitch or proposal. If you stay in touch and maintain your relationships with the business you are after, there is a chance your roads will cross. Yes, even at Active, we have lost business pitches in the past or submitted proposals that got buried for months – sometimes quarters! – with no resolutions or feedback. As we stayed in touched over time, our prospects eventually realized they had chosen the wrong agency or finally received budget approvals and got in touch with us again.

Stay creative and you can always work out a solution or proposition that will spark your existing client’s or prospect’s interest. It is important to continuously come up with ideas that will serve as a solution to their current struggles and can deliver a measurable return on investment (ROI). If your idea is strong and timely, budget allocations will surely follow.

Stay social and watch the space when trying to keep in touch with your existing retainer or project clients as well as prospects. Show interest in their social media activities, engage with decision makers, share, like and leave meaningful comments. This will help you not to be “out of the blue” person. When the right time comes and you decide to start a conversation, they will know you as that engaged and interested in their business person on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Last but not least, always be a consultant! Never allow your desire to up sale a service or a product to ruin your long-term relations. If even support or project is not right for your client, say it and earn their trust and respect as a consultant. It is never good for your business to overpromise and underdeliver no matter how tempting project fees may look. Happy hunting!

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