MediavataarMe News Desk
One of the hardest things to measure is the return on investment in your Public Relations spent. Here are few tips to do it:
No one can deny today that PR is one of the most important aspects of any business, with its functionality and use overlapping marketing, branding and advertising. Yet, one of the biggest problems any brand faces, is how does one really measure return on invesatment when it comes to your PR spend.
The problem is that PR is more about subtle perception change that affects a product or service in the short and long term. Hence, unlike say advertising on the web where you can know the clicks on an ad, PR is not really measurable. This short-changes both the PR agency and the client because the client being unable to truly measure the ROI blames the agency for not doing enough who in turn gets paid much less than their contribution. The company loses because it undervalues the importance of something truly important.
Yet, there indeed are indicators that can help a company and its managers find out whether PR really works. This is a mix of both traditional and modern ways of looking at PR ROI.
One of the traditional goals of PR has been to get articles talking favourable of a product, published in newspapers and be covered in TV channels. This is important and yet faulty. That is because a full page article in a publication that does not have enough reader is less important than a quarter page article in an important daily. In the same vein, today with the proliferation of the internet and many people reading most of their stuff online, it is not even an indicator enough.
Good PR manages to get your company into the eyeballs and consciousness of your business, in the world of internet, this means that it will lead to increased hits in search engines and your company website – both of which can be measured. Secondly, your social media will also get a fillip with the ‘likes’ on you Facebook page and ‘subscribers’ to your twitter feed increasing around the times of a good PR campaign. These can be good benchmark of measuring effective PR. You can even observe comments below the webpage of your stories. These days, stories circulate through the web, reaching the world through social media and thus the comments under these stories are good indicators.
These are of course numerical ways of measuring your ROI on PR. However, there are many other indicators which are more subtle, but noticeable nonetheless.
After a good PR exercise you will notice that the number of people applying to your company increases and you don’t necessarily have to hunt talent down. Instead they would be looking forward to working for you. Sales time form pitch to closure decreases because a PR exercise has made your customer more open to your brand. If you are a company that depends on private investments, you will see that that investment becomes easier to get by.
There are thus many indicators that lead you to make a fairly correct assessment of what a PR campaign has attained for you. It will hence be foolhardy not to use a comprehensive mix of this parameter before making decisions about the campaign. A correct assessment becomes that much more important because that will help the company grow, both in the short and the long term.
Cheil Worldwide has increased its focus on the Middle East by opening an experiential marketing department from its Dubai-based operation. The department will specialise in live interaction, brand activation, sales promotion and event management.
The announcement follows a demand for integrated campaigns that feature face-to-face engagement with customers. This dovetails an increase of touch points that are opening in malls and outdoor venues across the UAE, which can host entertaining concepts that connect consumers on a personal level with the brand.
Leading the discipline as Experiential Marketing Director will be Hassan Tirmzi, formerly Director of Events at Armani Hotel. Tirmzi will work in close collaboration with the planning department, integrating experiential into client campaigns as a supporting component at any stage of a client’s brand development. It will also ensure the convergence with digital amplifies any live experience Cheil creates.
Azmi Yafi, COO of Cheil MENA discusses the future plans for the discipline: “We have recruited a team to support Hassan and together they will draw a line through any skepticism that experiential can’t target the masses - by creating big ideas that move people into action. So in the beginning education will be a priority, reappraising the role of experiential marketing especially now we can evaluate and track the ROI of ideas beyond sample numbers and footfall.”
Hassan Tirmzi added: “As an agency with South Korean roots, Cheil is working incredibly hard to define itself as an agency that is changing attitudes towards marketing. Through its ‘Tuhon’ philosophy it has an efficient way of working with clients that allows innovation, technology, and most importantly creative thinking to break through. Opening an experiential department is testament to its commitment to the Middle East and its commitment to integration.”
Also joining Tirmzi is Sunyoung Park as Experiential Marketing Manager, moving from the Cheil network in Jordan and Aisha Khan as Experiential Marketing Executive. Together the team will begin working immediately on Samsung and offer its solutions to other existing clients including DEWA, DED, Hankook and Orion.
As part of an agency that has full production facilities for retail interiors, digital signage and manufacturing, the experiential department will be well supported to manage end-to-end solutions.
The Pan Arab Web Awards Academy has honored Layalina.com with the “Best Media Strategic Award” and the “Facebook Best Interactive Award” under the media category at the 10th Pan Arab Web Awards.
The Pan Arab Web Award Ceremony was held at the prestigious Burj Al Arab in Dubai on May 8th, and awarded several web and business developers under various categories, recognizing the region’s distinction in digital development. Selecting the winners is a diverse committee of design and technical professionals from various backgrounds, who base their selection on concept, creativity, technicalities, user experience, engagement, structure, visual design, and interactivity.
“We believe that true talents are discovered at a young age and Layalina.com is a solid proof. In less than 6 months from its launch, Layalina.com crossed the 1 Million unique visitors to the site, surpassed 1 Million Fans on Facebook, and now is leading the pack in its category against other well-established websites in MENA. We are very excited and happy with this recognition and all of this wouldn’t have been possible without the great work and exceptional efforts from all team members. I’m very proud of the work by our web developers and designers, who executed a complex project in a short amount of time, and produced this beautiful, outstanding website” – says Anas Abbar, MD & CPO | 7awi
“Exceptional user-experience is our primary focus at Layalina.com. Layalina.com is not Déjà-vu website and is designed taking into considerations the needs and aspirations of today’s Arab Internet users looking for a new, vibrant, and engaging experience irrespective of the device and platform. These awards are a validation of hard work by several people behind the scenes and recognition of their commitment to the growth and success of Layalina.com. The site’s innovative design coupled with an exclusive and unique content was major contributors to the exceptional and rapid growth of Layalina.com. We truly believe that the Facebook Best Interactive Award raise standards, promotes innovation and creativity, and encourage all players to become more involved on the social front.” – says Yousef Wadi, Senior product Executive | 7awi
Mindshare, an agency dedicated to innovative brand development for its clients, held their 3rd annual Media Summit, on May 7th at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh.
The exciting event, operating under the theme "Real-time Insights: Unlocking the Power of Marketing," brought together some of the industry's brightest minds to discuss digital convergence and the new challenges that it presents both internationally and in the Saudi market. A vast array of attendees participated in the event, including experts in marketing, brand communications, media and technology.
The one-day summit offered a lineup of industry experts from around the world, who gave thought-provoking presentations that advised attendees on how to utilize data streams to better connect with consumers, build businesses, and grow profits.
Exciting panel discussions such as "Leveraging big data in building relationships" by Jason Bath, Head of Business Analytics - Database and Technology at SAP and "The future of interaction with our customers" by Pau Garcia-Mila, Entrepreneur and Founder of eyeOS engaged participants in groundbreaking dialogue and provided a firm basis for understanding real-time insights. Other presentations included Lead UK Partner Mark Brill from Brand Emotivity, who spoke on connecting brands using mobile technology; Euan Semple, an author and consultant who discussed word-of-mouth marketing and networking; and Board Director Marcus Bicknell of SES Global, who talked about collecting profile data in broadcast and broadband TV. The event wrapped up with a panel discussion that brought this important information back to a local scale, discussing the impact of leveraging real-time insights in Saudi Arabia.
"Our 3rd annual Media Summit reflects who we are as an agency - innovative, thought-provoking, and always looking to the future," commented Samir Ayoub, CEO of Mindshare in the Middle East and North Africa region.
"It's simply not enough to accept that the digital convergence is a part of our lives, transforming the way that we connect brands and consumers and presenting new challenges. We need to embrace real-time insights as a potential tool that will assist us in knowing the customer like never before. Through thrilling panels, debates, and dialogue, participants in our 2013 Media Summit blossomed creatively and are better prepared than ever to tackle our generation's digital challenges."
Bahrain World Trade Centre (BWTC) has announced that photographers in the Kingdom of Bahrain will have the unique opportunity to capture innovative snapshots of the country's most iconic landmark, Bahrain World Trade Center, (BWTC), in a photography competition and post them on Instagram and Facebook.
This is the first online photography competition launched by BWTC.
Submissions for the competition are scheduled to commence from today, 8th May to 1st June 2013.
Instagram and Facebook are the photo oriented social networking sites which will be used as tools for participants to post their snaps.
An exclusive BWTC Committee will be tasked with shortlisting the top 20 photographs, which will be uploaded on BWTC Instagram and Facebook pages. The general public will be given the opportunity to vote for their favorite photographs during the voting period from 3rd June to 1st July.
The winning entries will be selected from the top 20 photographs which will be shortlisted by the judges. The first three entries which receive the highest votes will win an exclusive smartphone - IPhone 5 and a MODA Mall gift voucher worth BD100.
In addition, shoppers and visitors to the MODA Mall will have a unique opportunity to view the top 40 photographs at an exclusive MODA Mall Art Gallery which will be held in the Fashion Court from 6th June till 1st July 2013.
Commenting on the announcement Mr. Kevin Kurpierz, General Manager of Cushman & Wakefield said, "As part of our marketing strategy and in keeping with the current trend in social media, this year we wanted to open the opportunity for Bahrain's talent. With mobile photography on the rise and with more than 130% of mobile penetration in Bahrain, this photography competition provides an ideal platform to target both local Bahrainis and expatriates living on the island and at the same time creates more awareness of the Bahrain World Trade Center, a testament of sustainable architecture. We eagerly look forward to seeing how new and experienced photographers present their reflections of the state-of-the-art twin power- towers and will endeavor to do our best to promote their work."
The BWTC is a mixed use development in the Kingdom of Bahrain that houses state-of-the-art towers designed for commercial use. It is also at the forefront of sustainable development in the Kingdom with the first ever integrated wind turbine power generating capability. The imposing structure stands as an iconic landmark representing Bahrain's commitment as an emerging country to the concept of environmental sustainability, alongside national prosperity.
In addition, to offering an exceptional opportunity for connectivity with the global business community, BWTC combines the essential elements of business and leisure with cutting-edge corporate offices and social amenities which includes the Kingdom's ultra-modern shopping destination.
MODA Mall is a high-end shopping mall, offering a veritable who's who of the global fashion community. Visitors to the Mall are presented with a choice of more than 150 designer brand name boutiques previously unattainable in the Kingdom of Bahrain; including De Beers, Dior, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Versace.
Other facilities housed at the mixed-use development is the state-of-the-art, international health club Fitness First, and a range of casual and fine dining restaurants, including, Abd El Wahab, BiCE Ristorante, Espressamente Illy Café and Maki.
Offering a 1,700 space car park shared with the adjoining Bahrain World Trade Center, MODA Mall is open all days of the week from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. Brand conscious shoppers can enjoy the free car parking facility as MODA Mall offers complimentary car parking for the first two hours. After the allotted time, customers can continue to enjoy unlimited free parking by submitting their purchase receipt of BD 10/- and above (from any of MODA Mall outlets) as a FREE exit pass to the parking cashier.
The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) has announced that it is now accepting nominations to elect its new Board of Directors. The nomination process and election for the chairman and members of EPA's new Board of Directors will take place during the General Assembly meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, 15 May, at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The election comes amidst the impressive progress seen by the publishing industry in the United Arab Emirates and will be conducted in light of the development and expansion of EPA's work as well as the remarkable increase in its membership and participations in various cultural events.
The election of EPA's new Board also comes on the heel of the Association's efforts to develop the UAE's publishing landscape by conducting mentoring and training programmes and workshops to help enhance the expertise of Emirates publishers and provide them with the opportunity to participate in international book fairs, among other advantages.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of EPA, said, "The Association's new session comes in further aspirations and with more responsibility to continue to carry out its programmes related to developing the publishing sector and the general cultural scene in the UAE. There is no doubt that everyone has both a great sense of responsibility and the capacity to enhance the Association's march of progress and achieve its goals."
Sheikha Bodour announced that she will not nominate herself for the Board's membership in accordance with the Association's law, which stipulates that the President shall not serve for a term of more than four years.
She said it is time for the entry of new members to the board, noting that the Association includes Emirati members with vast experience and high aspirations that will enable them to continue with the growth and achievement made in the UAE's publishing industry.
According to the Association's statute, chapter 4, article 28, the Board of Directors shall elect its Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer by a secret ballot with a majority vote. The members who represent EPA's various activities shall be elected within a week from the election of board members. Under chapter 4, article 29 on the terms of nomination for board membership, applicants must be members of the association and has the right to attend the General Assembly. Nominees must also be UAE citizens over 21 years of age.
EPA's Board is mandated to manage the Association and supervise its activities, represent the EPA inside and outside the UAE, issue internal regulations and take the necessary decisions that ensure the good work progress and application of work plans. It is, in addition, responsible for inviting the Association to hold its ordinary and extraordinary meetings, putting its decisions into effect, and discussing its recommendations.
The Board of Directors also assumes the responsibility of preparing the annual report on the Association's various activities and submitting to the General Assembly for review, granting the Association's honorary chairmanship to whoever is deemed qualified to achieve the EPA's required goals, and granting honorary membership, provided that number does not exceed 10 members a year, and exempting honorary members from membership procedures.
The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) is a non-profit organisation, established on 25 February 2009 to serve and develop the UAE's publishing industry. The Association is a member of the International Publishers Association and the Arab Publishers Association.
Its other objectives include developing the UAE's publishing industry through training courses, improving publishing related regulations and legislation, establishing a limited distribution company for its members, and facilitating cooperation and collaboration with local publishing, printing, and distribution institutions.
The Association is also very active in defending the rights of its publishers and protecting intellectual property, having recently published a free guidebook for its members, with the aim of aiding them in drafting clear and accurate legally binding contracts set out to avoid future conflicts and guarantee the publishers rights.
TV signal piracy is eating upon TV profits in the Middle East. What is the solution
TV signal piracy has always been a menace in the Middle East and if media reports are to be believed, has caused a loss of revenue of $500 million to pay-TV operators in the Middle-East and North Africa as pirates don’t pay to rights holders of premium TV content. Among the countries that are the hardest hit include Lebanon and Egypt.
In Lebanon, users pay close to 123 million dollars a year to pirate operators while Egypt is supposed to have 10 million homes connected to illegal TV signals.
The reasons for the same are not hard to fathom. In many of the Middle Eastern countries, there is no clear legislation to tackle this menace. On top of that there is a huge cable-operator lobby that has developed and that knows how to protect their territories.
The problem is compounded by the fact that most users don’t even realize that they are paying for pirated content on TV. On another level, most users don’t really care who they are paying as long as they get to see their favourite programs. There thus doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight. Or is there?
A solution can be found in examples of countries that have faced similar problems and tackled. Take the case of India which had exactly the same problem barely half a decade back and yet has undergone a drastic metamorphosis.
In India, there was a strong cable lobby with connections to the underworld in the country that, like in the Middle East, caused a loss of millions of dollars worth of revenue to those who held the rights. This lobby did not want the system to change to a more legal framework. After years of dillydallying, the government finally enforced legal TV and cracked down hard on cable operators. This led to the strong growth of the Direct to Home or DTH industry in the country leading to millions of jobs being created in the country
According to data available, even after years of this mandatory provision, in many parts of India, TV signal piracy continues. However, this is rapidly changing as customers themselves are beginning to realize that the quality of content they receive from legalized sources is far superior to what they got from pirates.
In terms of changing the situation to make it more legal, the Middle East can follow the example of these emerging markets. However, this is not possible without as strong political will to do the same, and to enforce rules. That won’t be easy, but then nothing worth doing that befits to a large population of people ever is.
JWT Cairo’s “Fakka” campaign for Vodafone Egypt was awarded Gold and Silver medals in the Direct & Collateral category for Creative Marketing Effectiveness. JWT Dubai’s “Bookends” campaign for Kinokuniya was awarded a Bronze in the Outdoor category, making both campaigns considered some of the best advertising in the world.
After 7 grueling rounds of judging JWT Cairo’s innovative launch campaign for Vodafone’s micro re-charge cards - “Fakka” - clearly stood out. “Fakka” means ‘small change’ in Arabic and by leveraging the cultural insight that small change is often hard to come by in Egypt so retailers often offer low-value items in place of change, JWT Cairo created a ‘new currency’. Vodafone’s “Fakka” cards are so popular more than 46,000 small shops up and down the country have become distributors, increasing the client’s original revenue target by 510%.
JWT Dubai’s work for the world’s biggest bookstore chain, Kinokuniya, also struck a chord with the jury. Handcrafted “Bookends” were the centre-piece of Kinokuniya Dubai’s interactive in-store event demonstrating the importance of education for underprivileged children. Each pair of bookends illustrated the dangers children living in poverty face – such as child labour and human trafficking – at one end, and their abusers at the other. Shoppers placed a copy of the book they had just purchased between the bookends, gradually separating the vulnerable children from their abusers.
Commenting on the awards Ramsey Naja, JWT MEA’s Chief Creative Officer said “Fakka represents that rare moment when creativity happens at every level. A brilliant product, insightful and innovative planning, a simple and effective idea that fuses the whole thing and an explosive deployment that makes you go "wow". "Bookends" has many of those components as well, but it is also a great example of how business ideas can do a power of good - that our industry can actively be part of something special, and use commerce beyond its commercial aspect. These two winning ideas are the kind of thing that makes you love this job.”
Vodafone “Fakka” received top honours at the Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity earlier in the year, being awarded the Grand Prix in Promo & Activation along with two Golds. Kinokuniya “Bookends” was awarded 2 Golds, 2 Silvers and a Bronze at Dubai Lynx.
Following an overwhelming response of more than 30,000 entries, submissions for National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) and Almarai Company's Photomentaries photography contest have now closed.
The competition, the region's only National Geographic photo contest, hosted as part of NGAD's annual Photomentaries month, invited photographers from across the Middle East to celebrate Arab culture by submitting images that are quintessentially Arabic and rooted in the region.
Entries will be judged by award-winning National Geographic photographer, Joe McNally; Mohamed Al Hammadi, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Al Arabiya Magazine, and Hussam Abdulqader, Head of Communications and PR, Almarai Company.
This year the winner will receive the prize of a lifetime - their photograph featured in National Geographic Al Arabiya Magazine, an all-expenses-paid National Geographic Photography Expedition to the Galapagos Islands and photography equipment to the value of $5,000.
In addition, the competition's first and second runner-ups will also be gifted photography accessories worth $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. The winners will be announced before May 31, 2013.
The Photomentaries competition, presented by National Geographic Abu Dhabi in collaboration with Almarai Company, was part of NGAD's annual Photomentaries month, which saw two back-to-back episodes featuring National Geographic photographers' exploits aired on National Geographic Abu Dhabi from March 19-April 23 2013.
In order to achieve the Wilo claim "Pioneering for You" and to let our customers enjoy Wilo products safely and for long period of time. Wilo Middle East conducted the first service training to its partners in the region.
The training was conducted by Mr. Bernd Strübig "Senior Service Manager" from Wilo's headquarter in Germany in Wilo Middle East Premises in JAFZA.
"Wilo has invited selected service partners in the region to intensify the customer orientation and related service procedures '', Said Anil.R.Ghorpade , Technical Manager. "The Service training encompasses of providing service staff for new products, distributing service information, improving after sales services, providing service tools, and practical / theoretical training. Service partners welcomed the exchange as a motivation for intensifying collaboration with Wilo." added Anil.R.Ghorpade.
Wilo history goes back to the year 1872. Since then the company, originally founded by Caspar Ludwig Opländer in Dortmund as a copper and brassware manufacturer, has had an impressively successful track record. Today WILO is one of the world's leading manufacturers of pumps and pump systems for heating, cooling and air-conditioning technology as well as water supply and sewage disposal. The company's turnover amounted to 1,187.1 million euros in 2012.
Wilo Middle East has been present in Middle East region over 20 years through its local distributors. With growing markets in building technologies and the introduction of high-efficiency pumps, the customers' needs for technical support and service become more urgent.
This prompted Wilo SE to have its direct presence in the region by opening the first Middle East office in 2006 and Dubai to be responsible for United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Yemen markets.