October 23, 2018
THE MIDDLE EAST’S GOT TALENT – BUT WHERE TO FIND IT?
As our MENA office continues to grow exponentially, in reputation, clients and campaigns, so necessarily must we grow in number – in fact, we’ve doubled in the last year alone.
We offer something new, innovative and different to young PR professionals or graduates – a focus on digital and social media, platforms familiar to them that appeal to their interests, knowledge base and the media diet they consume.
When I was at university, only 10 years ago, iPhones were pretty new. We didn’t think about social media edits of content we were creating. Facebook was status updates and photos (taken with digital cameras and uploaded later). The most complex social media got was Blackberry Messenger.
But now, social is arguably the most important media there is for engaging with audiences. And whilst I don’t suggest those of us in our 30s are blind to its nuances, it presents a huge opportunity for young talent coming through.
Yet social can be a double-edged sword. More than once over the past couple of years I’ve “Facebook-stalked” potential candidates to get a sense of them before we meet. Some have changed my first impression with their genuine interest and diligence in preparing for their interview.
Others, like the girl whose CV I read today, have significantly impacted first impressions by what they post on social. The girl in question suggests in her CV (which, by the way, has no reference to broadcast or PR, except for the opening statement which now includes “/PR” where I suspect it didn’t before) that we explore her blog and Instagram. The second most recent photo on her Instagram account speaks of her impending move to another country, via a stay in Dubai. So if she impresses in an interview, should we invest in a UAE visa for her? Should we dedicate time to training her in our specialism? Should we introduce her to longstanding and valued clients?
For a specialist consultancy like ours, I’m keen to see talent come through earlier, and foster an interest in something that, surprisingly, still isn’t a clear and obvious part of some PR strategies. To this end, we will be speaking at Dubai’s campus of Middlesex University next week, sharing the details of one of our most successful campaigns in region – the launch of Ras al Khaimah’s Guinness World Record breaking zipline. How we use broadcast platforms and content to amplify stories will be the focus, the value added via these tactics. So hopefully, when these students graduate, they’ll be much more savvy to the benefits (and pitfalls) of digital and social media…