Brand Management, Featured Stories, Public Relations

Protecting brand reputation in the MENA, are you doing it right?

As marketers, we always strive to communicate with consumers in different ways, specifically, in ways that they prefer. In fact,…

Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

As marketers, we always strive to communicate with consumers in different ways, specifically, in ways that they prefer. In fact, marketing today is becoming increasingly consumer-driven and with the rise of social media marketing, brands can communicate directly with their customers to develop products that sell.

But that usually comes with a price tag attached to it.

This ease of communications is a double-edged sword. Today everyone with a smart phone is a journalist. Both governments and businesses need to maintain an open communication channel with their customers and exercise more transparency and openness.

The need for clear and effective crisis communication strategies has never been more critical to the survival and success of organizations and the protection of their corporate image.

Over the past few years, the Middle East region witnessed immense economic, social and geopolitical volatility affecting governments, businesses and individuals at all levels. Leaders’ ability to communicate effectively and handle crises has never been more important.

FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL

The topic of Crisis is one that is usually shied away from, yet it is of great importance to talk about. Crises are critical for any institution, company, country, even an individual. Although they are often associated with tension and insecurity, they are also an opportunity to build and improve.

From a leadership perspective, we always need to be prepared, as Crises do happen and succeeding in a crisis is not only about how professional an entity is in handling the crisis, but also how prepared it was to handle such a crisis before it happens. Reputations are built over a long time, and are a result of continuous and effective communication with stakeholders, excellence in customer service, and well prepared crisis planning.

ARE WE DOING RIGHT?

A key question to ask ourselves: Are brands communicating effectively and are we doing Crisis Communications right in the Middle East region?

The Middle East region is a vast conglomerate of markets with different cultures, history and varying stages of market development. It is mostly mistaken that the all the markets in the Middle East are the same and that it’s a once size fits all when it comes to communicating or managing and protecting brands. Unfortunately, that is the illusion. Our region speaks the same language and may be culturally and historically close, but when it comes to doing business, each country is completely different and requires a different approach that suits the local market and audience.

For brands to communicate more effectively and navigate successfully through Crises, understanding the cultural differences, geo-politics, media, and public sentiment is a key enabler.

Our region has seen a significant increase in the number of crises across all industries. With the public sharing opinions and communicating over social media, managing brand reputations especially during crises has taken a whole new direction. A lot of organizations may ‘think’ that they are doing it right. It is an area that is constantly evolving, and hence the need to constantly be looking at updating and upgrading their practices and protocols.

As we move forward, Crisis communications needs to keep evolving in line with the changing environment. Effective communication has never been more important to protect a brand’s reputation and not just with external stakeholders but even more importantly with the internal audience – employees.

Employees are the organization’s most trusted and most reliable brand ambassadors and the biggest impactor on its reputation. Many organizations today still don’t appreciate the importance of the role of internal communications and may not realize the impact of not having an effective internal comms strategy in place.

COMMUNICATION IS COLLABORATION

If an organization doesn’t communicate, and effectively as well, with its employees it runs the risk of losing a lot more than just a reputation. It may lose the entire business. Well informed employees will deliver the right message to the external stakeholders and that in my opinion is the most effective way for a brand to communicate, even more specifically during a crisis.

Another key obstacle lies in the misalignment of communication channels within an organization, and its agency partner especially in times of Crisis. Communication is all about collaboration. Today, many clients still view the agency as an outsider and third party.

From a client perspective, many agencies are more concerned with bringing in more clients, and making more money rather than working closely with the client’s team to develop customized communication protocols that suit the needs and requirements of these clients. Unfortunately, there are still many agencies that work with the concept of a one-size fits all approach and focuses on selling ready-made solutions to their clients.

Some agencies position crisis communications as a product that they could monetize on through off-the-shelf modules or training, rather than a value-added service to the client.

Both clients and agencies need to shift their mindset around their relationship from one of ‘service-provider’ to one of partnership. Agencies need to be immersed in their clients’ business from day one as a partner that fully understands the client communication and business objectives as well work hand-in-hand to ensure that clients’ brands are communicated effectively and in a manner that preserves and protects its reputation.

Only then will the real benefit of a partnership be achieved. Only then can agencies really communicate, manage and protect their client’s brands and reputations effectively and efficiently. Reputations today need a lot more work to build and protect especially with the increasing digital transformation we are witnessing.

Today we are living in a digital era where we are swimming in a sea of stories, real and false news and truths and half-truths. The accessibility of social media, and its power in giving a voice to all stakeholders, on any topic and at any time, has made communication professionals jobs a lot more challenging.

The digital media landscape has brought with it a mass of data to the forefront. Brands today have a tougher job communicating their brand to their consumers. One may think that social media has made it easier to communicate, but that ease comes with a hefty price tag. Many clients are still struggling today to communicate effectively online and more importantly, protect their brand’s reputation on the digital platform.

Without the right processes and protocols to communicate effectively online, clients and agencies alike will suffer the consequences.

During a crisis, and today more than ever, communicators should be advising their leaders to go back to the core basics and more importantly adapt them to suit the digital landscape. They need to be truthful, authentic, prompt, brief and always accessible.

The news-cycle today moves at a much faster pace than before. And hence, the speed of collecting facts, and all ‘sides’ of the story are key to delivering a well-rounded story to the public. Brands need to realize that to communicate effectively with their stakeholders they need to be quick, efficient and deliver the right message at the right time.

Long gone are the days when consumers would have to wait for their voice to be heard and then wait for the response if any. Today they have their own social platforms where their voices are heard instantly and not just by the brands, but by other consumers and stakeholders who will react to it immediately.

There were times when business or media controlled the narrative. Today, it’s the public who controls the stories; they are not only a source of information but also demand information, they dictate the pace and hence they now control the narrative.

For more information on the conference and training, please visit the website: www.letstalkevent.com

Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Knowledge Hub Specialized in Publishing Insights and Analytics Developed for Digital Marketing, Public Relations and Communications Experts.
Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Knowledge Base, Recommended Stories

When and how to start outsourcing your business?

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough…

There is a reason why freelancing and outsourcing is becoming a popular trend with many international companies. With a tough local and international economy, companies have to do what it takes to maintain a steady profit, and find ways to reduce costs.

Outsourcing is becoming a big trend in many industries, due to its many advantages and low costs.

For small and big businesses alike, there comes a time when a decision must be made. Do you build a new team or primary service, buy certain tools or do you outsource for a short time?

That is another way that outsourcing can help.

 

So, when should you start considering to outsource?

Do you procrastinate when faced with a particular task?

Is it a one-time task? Is it a primary service that your business offers, or something for a specific client or project?

Is it a once a month task? Such as Legal duties, or financial accounting?

Are you still saving up for an expansion? Could you afford an expansion for this task?

Is it a non-essential function of your business?

If you’ve answered all by one of those as yes, then that is when you should be outsourcing.

A definition for outsourcing is “the strategic use of outside resources to perform activities traditionally handled by internal staff and resources.”

The reason is simple, because it can be advantageous most of the time.

Your business is saving money, effort, time and energy, making it more efficient on that tasks that truly matter.

 

Why should a business outsource?

So, you know when you should be looking into it, or maybe you’re interested.

The thought still lingers in your mind, it might be a good idea but why should I?

There are many things that you can consider that could make outsourcing a great opportunity for your business.

 

1. Employee costs and non-productive hours

Office space, cafeteria benefits, hospital visits, insurance, and lunch breaks are things that cost the company profit per full-time employee.

These are also things you can save on when outsourcing.

These make a full-time employee more than twice as expensive as a short offer for a freelancer.

 

2. Efficiency

Freelancers and outsourcing give you a special opportunity, an opportunity to capture and use talented people that you may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Talented graphic designers, high-end lawyers, highly-organized accountants, and smart assistants can be found as freelancers, and at a lower-price than full-timers.

They tend to be more efficient as they have stricter deadlines than full-timers, and may be able to do the job better than you or any other current employee.

 

3. Frees up internal resources

Getting freelancers doesn’t only work as a way to do unrelated or menial tasks, they also function as a way to lift weight off of your shoulders.

Using a content marketing freelancer to prepare content calendars, or receiving content from freelance content creators, can help free up internal resources.

Freeing you and your employees up for other important tasks, tasks that they can handle more efficiently with less of a work load.

 

What are you waiting for?

As you can see, outsourcing could be a very beneficial strategy for you and your business.

It does come with its own issues, such as communication and delivery of work, but if you plan it right, it will help you and your business thrive.

So, what are you waiting for?

Have another reason why outsourcing won’t be a part of your business strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Continue Reading
Brand Management

Juhayna steps in 2018 with bold yet humble campaign to support Baheya hospital

A fundamental quality of successful marketer is the mindset and willingness to do whatever it takes to build a solid…

A fundamental quality of successful marketer is the mindset and willingness to do whatever it takes to build a solid brand that makes revenues and changes the world.

Juhayna has decided to take its sponsorship of the beloved Al Ahly team and use it for good by launching national donation campaign to support Baheya hospital.

For years Juhayna have been doing whatever necessary to increase the brand value. Hiring Sherif Ekramy to promote Juhayna Mix, Dora as Juhayna Pure’s brand ambassador, the controversial Dundo Advert and major sponsorship deals.

After 19 years of being the most visible logo on one of the most watched teams in the country, Juhayna is taking a step back and letting someone else get the limelight.

Throwback ► Juhayna Cheering Egyptian Mothers in Emotional TV Commercial

Juhayna teams up with Baheya Hospital & Al Ahly in long-term plan which aims at delivering a bold yet humble marketing message with much emotion involved. The move definitely will re-capture the audience attention to Juhayna’s logo and strengthen the long-term sponsorship to Al-Ahly SC.

Early yesterday morning, Reporter Sara Fouad posted a small teaser of Juhayna’s new campaign.

كلكوا عارفين أنا زملكاوية قد إيه.. والإنتماء ده موضوع بجد مفيهوش هزار.. لكن في حاجة بتجمّع كل الناس أيًا كان إنتماءهم ا…

Posted by ‎Sara Fouad – سارة فؤاد‎ on Monday, January 1, 2018

 

The post states that for the first time in 19 years, something was going to change with Juhayna and Al Ahly.

Fans questioned what would happen, the brand has been a main part of the uniform for so long. Many wondered if they would change logos, or focus on a certain product instead of the company as a whole.

Juhayna themselves, later the same day, posted a short video/would be GIF on the topic.

Stepping back for 90 minutes

The FMCG company has decided to take a step back in order to lend a helping hand. So, after 19 years of unchanging visibility, the brand is partnering up with Breast Cancer NGO Baheya.

The partnership allows Baheya’s logo to sit upon Juhayna’s place to help 4000 of those afflicted with the disease.

For 90 minutes, during the match between Al Ahly and Al Masry on the 12th of January, Juhayna and Baheya hope to receive donations of up to 19 million EGP, which will be spent on helping more than 4000 Breast Cancer patients.

 

Only 7 hours in, the video already has over 5k reactions and over 400 shares.

People have reacted positively to the change, some stating that it’s honorable to use the money Juhayna uses on being on the uniform for some change and good in the world.

Baheya is a non-governmental organization that aims to help spread awareness of Breast Cancer, and the importance of early detection through testing. While Breast Cancer can be beaten at later stages, with lower rates of success, early detection provides up to a 98% chance of curing the Cancer.

Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Continue Reading
CAMPAIGNS, Featured Stories

Mo’ Salah 2018 campaign should be pretty much as Vodafone brand as it gets

Born in the Egyptian city of Basyoun, 100km or so north of Cairo, Mohamed Salah’s footballing journey began in the…

Born in the Egyptian city of Basyoun, 100km or so north of Cairo, Mohamed Salah’s footballing journey began in the Nasr City district of the Egyptian capital playing for El Mokawloon SC during 2009-2010 season.

Today, Egypt winger Mohamed Salah with no doubt is the phoenix for his generation of Pharaohs. Mohamed Salah caught the attention of the football world for his speed and earned the world’s respect after his muted celebration after scoring a goal against Chelsea.

Since his historic penalty against Congo and qualifying Egypt to 2018 World Cup “with Salah’s help, of course”, the 25-year-old’s star is on the rise and this is the reason why he has been hailed as the ‘Egyptian Messi’.

Also Read ► Road to Russia 2018: The most prepared brands for the historical moment

Mohamed Salah is now branded as a successful young Egyptian who can be a role model to inspire Egyptians especially younger people and give an example to be emulated in behavior, commitment, and strive for success.

Salah, who has also been nominated for the CAF African Footballer of the Year award, is currently the Premier League’s top scorer after scoring 20 goals in 25 matches since signing for the Reds this summer.

Also Read ►Pepsi features Mohamed Salah in Advert about Ambition and Success

With statistics, Mohamed Salah is considered the most expensive Egyptian, Arab and, African player in the football history after moving to Liverpool last summer for 42M euros.

 

Why Mohamed Salah’s success is a triumph for Vodafone’s Branding Campaign

Vodafone Egypt today announced Mohamed Salah to be Vodafone Egypt’s newest brand ambassador. Accordingly, Mohamed Salah will lead Vodafone’s advertising campaigns for 2018 under the slogan “The future is exciting. Ready?”

In line with Vodafone’s new vision of optimism, Mohamed Salah up coming campaigns for Vodafone Egypt should achieve the brand aspirations and dreams for a better future and reflect Vodafone’s trust and hope for young people.

اللي جاي أقوى 💪

Posted by Vodafone Egypt on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

 

One of the toughest aspects of building a successful brand is building an emotional connection with consumers and Mohammed Salah was chosen by Vodafone Egypt as an example to achieve ambitions and to work towards a stronger and better future.

Also Read ► Vodafone Launches New Visual Brand Identity

Brand intimacy is the new paradigm in marketing and consumers connects more with brands when they seems to care about people like themselves and is making a positive difference in the world.

Mohamed Salah reflects Vodafone’s new brand identity and he is really an inspiring example of how to leverage your personal capabilities to get into the career you want and push-up your challenges from local to international standards.

Vodafone Egypt just clinched the best player in Africa from rival competitor Etisalat Misr

Back in Jun 2016, Mohamed Salah was featured in Etisalat Misr “Imagine Tomorrow” campaign. Today, by naming Mohamed Salah as Vodafone Egypt’s brand ambassador, its considered another victory for Vodafone to complete a winning deal with Salah who has been crowned BBC African Footballer of the Year following an exceptional year with AS Roma, Liverpool and the Egyptian national team.

Worth mentioning that Pepsi has chosen Egyptian professional footballer, Mohamed Salah as the new brand ambassador for Pepsi-Cola in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in 2016.

Recommended Read ► Pepsi and Coke become “Frenemies” to support The Egyptian National Team

We wonder if  Salah would consider Coca-Cola campaign for World Cup 2018. Specially that Coca-Cola is one of the longest-standing corporate partners of FIFA, with a formal association since 1974 and an official sponsorship of FIFA World Cup™ that began in 1978.

Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Continue Reading
Featured Stories, News

Ahmed Abou Hashima totally abandoned his media empire for Eagle Capital

The media of Egypt is highly influential in Egypt and in the Arab World. Recent developments in the media sector in…

The media of Egypt is highly influential in Egypt and in the Arab World. Recent developments in the media sector in Egypt indicate a trend of augmentation through cost-cutting mergers and acquisitions of main satellite TV networks and affiliates of newspapers and websites.

Egyptian Media Group was founded with an aim to develop the media sector in Egypt and provide the quality and expertise required to regain Egypt’s leadership in the region.

Empowered by the Egyptian business tycoon Ahmed Abou Hashima, Egyptian Media Group was developed to deliver the most advanced technologies by creative Egyptian minds, including the most professional and successful executives in the Egyptian media scene.

Abou Hashima started off Egyptian Media group by acquiring 100% of ONTV channel from businessman Naguib Sawiris, 51% of “Presentation Sports” for sports marketing and media, and 50% of Misr Cinema for movie and TV production.

In November 2016, Egyptian Media Group announced the signing of a partnership agreement to buy 50% shares of Synergy, aiming to strengthen its business in the field of art production, especially drama and advertising.

Today, Egyptian Media is one of the fastest growing media groups in Middle East and North Africa. Egyptian Media already holds a variety of the best TV Channels in Egypt and the Middle East, plus it owns and operates a grand set of the most widespread news websites in Egypt includes but not limited to Youm7DotMsr and Egypt Today.

 

Egyptian Media Group Subsidiaries:

ON Network:
OnEnt, ONsport, ONtvLIVE and On drama.

Film Production:
Synergy – تامر مرسي, EM | Production and Misr cinema.

Radio Management:
Nagham FM نغم اف ام, Radio Hits 88.2, Mega FM 92.7 and 95 FM.

Print Media:
Youm7, Eain, Sout Al Omma, DotMsr, Business Today Egypt and Egypt Today Magazine.

Marketing & Advertising:
Presentation Sports, Synergy Advertising, POD Egypt, iFly Egypt, Egyptian outdoor, Spade and Hashtag.

Training & Development:
Egyptian Media Group collaborates with London Film Academy (LFA).

 

Eagle Capital acquire 100% of Abou Hashima shares

According to news reports, Abou Hashima decided to totally abandon his shares in Egyptian Media Group for Eagle Capital, led by Dalia Khorshid (Egyptian ex-Minister of Investment).

As a result of the acquisition, Osama Al-Sheikh has been assigned as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Egyptian Media, and as Managing Director to replace Ahmed Abu Hashima.

The full details about the acquisition deal is not available at the moment and should be announced during a press conference to be held next Thursday.

Worth mentioning is that Egyptian Media was planned to be registered on the stock market as a holding company in the first quarter of 2018 to raise up to 1 billion Egyptian pounds after the planned initial public offering (IPO).

 

Dalia Khorshid, CEO of Eagle Capital

In early 2016, Dalia Khorshid succeeded Ashraf Salman as Minister of Investment, becoming the first woman in Egypt to occupy the elite position.

Ms. Khorshid holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo. She also serves as Group Corporate Treasurer for Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) N.V.

Prior to joining OCI, she was with Citibank for 8 years, where she served as a Vice President.

She began her banking career with Commercial International Bank, Egypt’s largest private sector bank. She spent eight years at Citibank as vice president for Corporate Finance and Investment banking for the Middle East.

Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Continue Reading