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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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تسويق المحتوى المرئي

By Yasser Zeriz on November 14, 2018

إذا بدأت في حملة تسويق محتوى جديد، فلا بد أن تعرف بالضبط ما الذي سيحفز النمو والتفاعل إلكترونياً. إن المحتوى النصي سيكون دائماً جزءاً لا يتجزأ من عملية التسويق، ولكن عند الأخذ بعين الاعتبار أن 65% من البشر يتعلمون مرئياً، فهذا يعني أن 90% من المعلومات تصل إلى الدماغ بصورة مرئية. وبالتالي يلعب المحتوى المرئي دوراً محورياً في الحملات التسويقية. وفيما يلي أبرز أنواع المحتوى التسويقي الذي من شأنه أن يساعد في نجاح أي حملة تسويقية:

الصورة: يكون الأشخاص أكثر ميلاً لإنهاء قراءة ما كتبت في حال وجود دعم للنص المكتوب ببعض الصور المقنعة، بشرط أن تكون عالية الجودة وذات صلة بالموضوع. ويا حبذا لو كانت الصور أصلية أو صور ملتقطة خاصة للموضوع، لأن ذلك يضيف لمسة شخصية مرغوبة للحملة التسويقية.

 

الفيديو: تعتبر مقاطع الفيديو من أهم الأدوات لعرض المشاكل ومن ثم الحلول المتعلقة بالمنتج أو الخدمة. قد يكون الفيديو عالي التكلفة نوعاً ما، إلا إنه يعمل بمثابة نفوذ إضافي للحملة التسويقية من خلال إظهار استعدادك لاتخاذ خطوات إضافية لتحقيق الجودة. بمكن تطبيق العديد من أنواع الفيديو لتحسين النشاط التجاري، إلا أنه من الضروري أن تتماشى مع النمط العام للعلامة التجارية.

الرسم البياني أو كما يعرف (الإنفوغرافيك):

يعد الرسم البياني أداة ممتازة للاعتماد على جميع البيانات والإحصاءات المعقدة الخاصة بك ومقارنتها يعرض مرئي جذاب وواضح. وبفضل الجهود الترويجية الدؤوبة (بما في ذلك التواصل مع أصحاب النفوذ الرئيسيين، وتحسين الصفحات المقصودة ووسائل الإعلام الاجتماعية)، يمكن أن تصبح الرسوم البيانية جزءاً لا يتجزأ من استراتيجية التسويق الخاصة بالمحتوى الخاص بك.

كما في كل آليات التسويق بالمحتوى، يحتاج التسويق بالمحتوى المرئي إلى مجهود أكبر جداً من الطرق العادية والمفرغة من الأفكار، والحشو غير ذي الصلة، لكنه أكثر فعالية بكثير. حيث يشجع المحتوى المرئي جمهورك على اكتشاف المزيد عن علامتك التجارية. وإذا كان بإمكانك إنشاء محتوى مرئي عالي الجودة يتناسب حقًا مع الأشخاص وترويجه على أساس منتظم، فمن المؤكد أن سمعة ووعي علامتك التجارية سيرتفعان.

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What’s happening in the world of Public Relations now?

By Sawsan Ghanem on October 10, 2018

With IoT and the reality of our connected world today, the pressures on brands are unrelenting and their need for a PR partner & strategic content marketing consul, is a matter of necessity. Companies of all sizes, government bodies, personalities, NGOs and more all have very specific and clear objectives when it comes to gaining mind share and building a strong brand presence with their customers/audiences especially online. The art of effective storytelling is a deal breaker, as it’s not just about writing or filming/capturing content, rather the talent is in making it relevant, true to the brand and targeted.

It follows, that organizations are investing more in experienced PR consultants to collaborate closely with and design a robust PR strategy with a special focus on online reputation management. As a result of this close partnership, businesses can enjoy the benefits of an expert content creation resource, that enables them to be responsive to breaking news, fake news, and ongoing conversations taking place online round the clock.

Reputation management has become more poignant over the last 2 years thanks to the nature of the Internet, with many big tech, social media companies and government officials coming into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The fallout was even bigger due to the way those companies and individuals handled the crisis and coming across as either arrogant, insincere, uncooperative, unwilling to talk about the issue at hand or a combination of all of the above.

Customers, followers, and other stakeholders worldwide all demand and expect transparency and responsiveness from businesses, no matter what. This level of expectation of businesses to take a position has extended to social and political issues. Silence or a neutral stance is no longer acceptable and rather considered a black mark on any brand. Fleishman Hillard global CEO John Saunders, summed up the status quo poignantly at the recently held ICCO Global Summit in Dublin, “There’s a terrific opportunity to elevate our role: we’re now brand navigators. It’s what PR was always meant to be: we’re guiding companies through how they are going to act, not just messaging and channels.”

It’s not who shouts the loudest, rather the one who creates and shares content that resonates with their audience the most, wins. Thought-leadership is critical and a priority for brand positioning (and shouldn’t be solely the job of a CEO or a senior exec rather a collective responsibility) coupled with a genuine corporate social responsibility policy and culture. Trust is a big factor in gaining and keeping a loyal customer base.

The focus on analytics and measurement will increase as more content goes online. Easy access to such data monitoring tools, is facilitating the whole planning process for PR professionals and marketers by providing invaluable intelligence to create a more customer centric campaign. Tracking the success of the campaign and ROI measurement are also made easy with the use of a growing number of tools enabling the easy tweaking of a campaign, ensuring better results.

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