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Five Reasons Not To Overlook Media Training

By Lauren Brush on February 20, 2018

Whenever brands decide to embark on their communications journey and start speaking to the media, the first thing I recommend is media training. Yes, it requires time and commitment from some of your most senior leaders, but nine times out of 10, the first thing I hear is, “I wish we did this sooner.”

Here’s why.

1. Media training allows senior leaders to clearly define key messages

How often do you get your executive leadership in one room to discuss what you want people to know about your organization? Media training workshops offer a rare and coveted focus on key messaging, allowing everyone to agree on a clearly defined set of key messages – the core of any communications program.

2. Media coaching doesn’t stop with media

Media coaching is reliant upon successful message delivery – learning how to speak in a way that people take notice. This has an affect not only with media, but also in sales, speaking opportunities and during face-to-face meetings. Media training gives spokespeople the confidence they need to talk about your organization effectively while using tone, words and body language to speak in a powerful way.

3. Understanding how media works

At Active DMC, we always save a portion of our media training workshops to go over how we work with media and the current media landscape. This is a vital practice, as it helps executives understand why we do what we do, how we do it and – most importantly – how crucial their input is in delivering solid media relations stories. It helps them understand what information we need to make their story better.

4. Taking charge of the interview

Most spokespeople are surprised to learn that they have an opportunity to change headlines. Interviews should be a two-way conversation. They should not be a repetitive question and answer session. We teach spokespeople how to tell the story that THEY want to tell. Most importantly, we teach them how to answer those tough and hard-to-answer questions through a variety of advanced techniques, allowing them to stick to the key messages and land a winning headline.

5. Practice makes perfect

Any great media coaching session will incorporate filmed rehearsal interviews, allowing spokespeople to put all their newly-learned skills into practice and the opportunity to critique the interviews together. This is when most realize how nearly impossible it is to “wing it” and develop an appreciation for the time it takes to be prepared. One of my favorite parts of media workshops is sitting together to see the improvement from the first rehearsal interview to the last.

If this hasn’t convinced you yet, then a quick Google search on “worst TV interviews” should do the trick! Sometimes, the most powerful and senior people aren’t prepared to face the media. I promise you, the investment in media training is worth every dirham.

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مقاييس نجاح الحملة الإعلامية

By Yasser Zeriz on February 14, 2018

مثل مطلع كل عام تتضافر الجهود لوضع الخطط والاستراتيجيات والأهداف والطموحات للعام الجديد. ويعتبر شهر يناير أحد أهم أشهر السنة من حيث الدراسة والتخطيط لرسم الطريق لتحديد المساعي وحجم ونوع حملات الاتصالات والعلاقات العامة التي تريد إجرائها خلال العام. يبدأ تحديد الأهداف والتخطيط من تقييم مدى تأثير ونجاح الحملات في العام الماضي حيث يمكن من خلالها الاستفادة من الدروس وتصحيح الأخطاء التي حصلت مسبقاً. ولكن كيف يمكن تقييم أداء العلاقات العامة؟ وما مدى نجاح تلك الحملات؟ وهل وصلت إلى أهدافها في المكان والزمان المناسبين؟  فيما يلي بعضٍ من أهم المعايير لقياس نجاح هذه الحملات الإعلامية.

يجب النظر بكمية ونوعية التغطيات الإعلامية التي يظهر فيها اسم الشركة أو المؤسسة في وسائل الإعلام المطبوعة والإلكترونية والمرئية، ومدى وصولها إلى الجمهور المستهدف وتحديد ما ترغب به تلك الوسائل بتغطيته بالتالي يمكن تحديد نقاط الضعف فيما إذا كان هناك حاجة لتكثيف الجهود للعمل على الحصول على تغطيات إعلامية أو هناك حاجة لاستكمال ما بدأت به أو الحاجة إلى تعديلات في المحتوى للظهور في هذه الوسائل. كما يجب تحديد الراي العام تجاه الشركة سواءً كان سلبياً أم إيجابياً، وتحديد مدى ثقة الجمهور بالخدمات أو الحلول أو المنتجات الخاصة بالشركة. فبالتأكيد يؤدي ظهور المقالات السلبية عن الشركة في الوسائل الإعلامية إلى فقدان ثقة الجمهور بالشركة، لذا تجب على حملة العام الجديد النظر في تلك المقالات والرد عليها لتتمكن من استعادة ثقة الجمهور. كما يجب دراسة أوجه المقارنة بين الشركة ومنافسيها والاستفادة من أخطاء حملات المنافسين وتقديم ما هو جديد لضمان المركز الأول في طليعة التمييز. ومع العصر التكنولوجي الجديد يجب على أي حملة إعلامية أن تتحدث مع الجمهور وليس مخاطبتهم من خلال مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، والاستماع إلى آراء الجمهور السلبية قبل الإيجابية لتحديد وتصحيح الأخطاء ونقاط الضعف. يمكن تعقب عدد الزيارات لقياس العوائد على الاستثمار في مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، باستخدام بعض الأدوات للتحليل والقياس مثل Google Analytics وMOZ  Analytics.

وإذا كانت النتائج غير مرضية، فهناك حاجة إلى تعديل استراتيجية الحملة، وضبط الأهداف من اجل تحقيق الهدف المنشود وتحصيل العائد على الاستثمار لتلك الحملة، فضلاً عن تحديث البيانات باستمرار والتأكد من المشي على الطريق الصحيح والتكييف مع الاستراتيجية من خلال التحليلات والأدوات المستخدمة.

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The AI Revolution: Are we ready to co-exist with Robots?

By Hafsa Qadeer on February 8, 2018


When Sophia the robot said she plans to dominate the human race, the audience at Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show roared with laughter. The AI-empowered humanoid even makes jokes, bats her eyelashes at people and smiles when making a snarky comment. Just recently, she participated in panel discussions at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos, Ukraine. Discussing innovation, creativity and opportunities, she spoke alongside global leaders such as Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. While Sophia is one example of many live intelligent machines, by 2025, the world is expected to have 5 robots for every 1,000 humans.

The real question is whether humans are ready to accept their co-existence with the droids. We need to address our major worries to understand that a robot takeover is not really an apocalypse.

A future where humans no longer work is merely utopia.

Recently, Erica the robot made headlines as she will be the first news journalist to go on air and replace an actual person. Using 14 infra-red sensors and face recognition technology, Erica can track people in a room, answer questions, blink, smile and sway her head in addition to telling the news. Essentially, all smart machines use artificial intelligence to perform functions such as speech, insight and reporting. According to a two-year long research conducted by McKinsey, today we are living in the new age of automation. Machines are now increasingly capable of performing tasks that include cognitive capabilities. Thinking ahead of time, we need to embrace these advancements and accept that machines are rapidly disrupting the way we used to work. In fact, according to PwC’s chief economist John Hawksworth, automating redundant tasks will be a great opportunity for human workforces to become more innovative. It’s time to accept that predictable jobs are easily replaceable, and we need to push our boundaries be more creative than ever before.
Your next-door robot neighbor will be friendlier than you think.

Alice and Bob, two of Facebook’s bots powered by AI, developed their own language in initial stages of their development in July 2017. Facebook shut them down immediately. Today, we still worry whether interactive robot citizens are a thing of the future. Whereas Hanson Robotics, manufacturers of robots and creators of Sophia (the only robot awarded citizenship by Saudi Arabia), are already strongly advocating for robot rights.

To understand Hanson CEO David Hanson’s vision, we must acknowledge that supportive intelligent machines are already replacing the norms. According to a research conducted by Business Wire, cybernetic creatures reduce error while becoming more efficient through collecting insights and predicting forecasts. For businesses, smart work assistants powered by AI are used in offices. Whereas for human interaction, care robots such as Stevie and robot teachers such as Pepper already collaborate with us every day. As more sentient machines come alive, we will need to accept that they too will be residents, living in our homes and working in our offices daily.

Even integrated marketing agencies such as Active DMC learn about newly developed intelligent machines every day to stay at the frontlines of communications for tech. After all, automation is the matter of the moment and we embrace these advancements as opportunities.

Sooner or later, we will have to stop relating robots to The Terminator and understand that smart machines are not a recipe to human extinction. In fact, they could potentially be our allies, empowering us to progress and create.

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Active DMC Showreel 2018

By Active on January 11, 2018

In the world of communications, content is king and emotion is queen. At Active DMC, we are passionate about creating content that delivers our Client’s message(s) across to their target audiences in the most impactful way possible.

All our content is created with the aim to educate, influence, inspire and engage target audiences in whatever format it is delivered in.

Video content is increasingly gaining ground, due to the visual nature of delivering a message in a matter seconds/minutes. We can help you throughout the entire process, from designing your content strategy through to production and distribution.

Watch our showreel here:

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PR TRENDS FOR 2018

By Stacy Fernandes on January 7, 2018

With shifting media landscapes and innovative social media tools the way we approach media is changing and PR consultants will see some major industry changes this year.

1. PRESS RELEASES CONTINUE TO LOSE ITS VALUE

Press releases become less and less relevant. While brands may be publishing for more news announcements than ever their impact and popularity amongst target audiences continue to lessen every year.

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