The use of social media in the Middle East – what’s the best platform?

Seven Media - The use of social media in the Middle East

Two of Seven’s more experienced (older) PR professionals have been in the UK to get to grips with social media through a series of training sessions – and the way it is influencing their attitude to social media strategy is shaping Seven’s approach.

Looking at the use of Arabic language to tell a global brand story in the Middle East, there is no doubt Twitter has huge power. Short and sharp soundbites with great content to really cut through the noise and get directly to the target audience. But, on more local and lifestyle-based stories it has little effect. Yes, government and corporate communications campaigns that require an authoritative voice do need Twitter, but the impact seems to be growing less over time. Twitter is also very expensive to promote your content, compared to the other major channels.

On Instagram, the visual approach works well but can you really tell a serious story on Instagram? The majority of big businesses say no and it for that reason it is only part of the mix. There is also an increasing reluctance to have a separate regional page on Insta, as brands aim for global strategies. But with the right, powerful content, visual campaigns can grab the Instagram audience.

So where does Facebook fit in? For an audience in middle-age and with families it is the go-to – but when you add in Arabic to the mix it is not so clear.

And therein lies the puzzle for communications professionals. Bring them in from different regions across the globe and put them into a room together and it is clear that not only is the relevance of each social media platform changing, it is becoming more diverse country-by-county, making it a more complex process than ever before.

And that’s why you need Seven, one of the best social media agencies in Dubai, to help you.

When WWE came to KSA…

Seven Media - When WWE came to KSA

Global sports entertainment behemoth WWE recently descended on Saudi Arabia, and Seven was front and centre of the media and PR campaign for this incredible event.

A team of staff from our UAE and KSA offices were on the ground in Jeddah and ran the campaign for Super Showdown 19 – one of the Kingdom’s most anticipated sporting events of 2019 – and the results were truly world-class.

Saudi WWE fans are incredibly well versed in the narratives and personalities of their favourite Superstars, and we tailored the activities and output to deliver exactly that to press and influencers, resulting in huge levels of coverage and media footprint.

One of Seven Media’s key strengths is understanding the nuances of the local GCC markets and using that knowledge to successfully activate major global brands in the region. This was never more relevant than during these three-days in Jeddah and we made WWE ‘pop’ like never before.

Through a mix of press events, one-on-one interviews with Saudi WWE Superstar Mansoor, fun photo opps and heart-warming CSR stories, the whole Eid weekend saw WWE placed at the heart of every news and sport story running across top tier broadcast, print, online and influencer channels in KSA, and beyond.

PR at 30,000 feet

PR at 30,000 feet
By Gregg Fray, Co-Owner

People often talk about ‘work-life balance’. The notion of working hard from 9-5 then switching off completely is appealing in theory, but – as a hands-on owner of the region’s biggest independent PR agency and a busy video production studio – in practice it’s all but impossible.

In order to service clients, manage 85 staff and keep producing cutting-edge media content in a 24/7 news environment, I’ve opted for the alternative approach of ‘work-life integration’. So I’m writing this somewhere in the sky over Iraq on a flight to the UK I boarded at 7am at Dubai Airport.

I find it much easier to accept that my work is an intrinsic part of my waking hours, no matter where in the world I am. Through my iPhone – pretty much my single tool of the trade – I’m able to stay connected, make decisions, review content and execute on the fly. I only have an out of office auto reply on my emails to make clear I’m not in the UAE for meetings; for calls, What’s App messages, emails and social media I’m pretty much always available.

People argue it’s not healthy to never switch off, but I find it’s comforting to know I’m always on top of things … or better still, a few steps ahead.

Working on a plane allows head space to think with no other distractions (in the last couple of hours I’ve been through a PR strategy, contributed to a new business proposal, given feedback on two pieces of video content and started writing a speech I’ll be delivering at an event two weeks from now), but even upon landing I’ll be responsive.

Those who know me will know I travel a lot for business and family reasons. And by always being connected, my mind is settled in the knowledge that I don’t have work piling up behind me while I travel. Of course, it helps to enjoy your work if you employ this lifestyle choice. It also helps to have great department heads and staff you trust to deliver.

But luckily for me, being at the helm of Seven Media and Seven Studios is something I’m more than happy to build in to my routine even when I’m not in the office.