Gearing up for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019

Seven Media PR agency in Dubai and Abu Dhabi gears up for th4e Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019

Once again, the Seven team are gearing up to manage the PR for the one of the Middle East’s biggest events – the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, our sixth race weekend since we won the account in 2014.

Following last year’s landmark 10th Anniversary edition, 2019’s will be the biggest one yet as we enter its second decade – a full five-day race festival of on-track action and off-track entertainment, culminating with the 48th UAE National Day on 2nd December.

Our team has been planning for this moment since tickets went on sale back in mid-March, and the campaign has followed a strategically planned pathway to take us to this point and on course for a fully sold out race weekend in less than two weeks’ time – it’s not just five days on site in November but a year-round closely managed effort in partnership with the team at Yas Marina Circuit.

Integrating closely with our colleagues on the social media team at Spark Foundry is key to success as we move through the five main phases from launch day to race week and our messaging and performance is adjusted and fine-tuned to ensure the Circuit’s commercial needs are met.

There are so many moving parts to consider – from media accreditation, global music artist announcements including Lana Del Rey and The Killers, to media centre management to interviews and imagery preparation – it’s a truly Herculean team effort that never lets up.

With two weeks to go there are fewer than 1,000 tickets left and these will disappear rapidly as we get to the business end of the Formula 1 season, following Sunday’s epic Brazilian Grand Prix.

During the seven days of race week the PR teams in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will write, translate and distribute more than 45 press releases, conduct more than 50 interviews, and collate and analyse more than 15,000 press clippings from around the world as well as work with more than 350 of the world’s best sports media. All while 60,000 race fans from more than 170 countries relax and enjoy the spectacle.

Wish us luck!

Photo courtesy of Yas Marina Circuit

Reflections of FinTech Abu Dhabi 2019

Reflections of FinTech Abu Dhabi 2019

Unicorns. Cryptocurrency. Blockchain. Sandbox. Artificial Intelligence.

These were the buzzwords on everyone’s lips at Fintech Abu Dhabi 2019 organised by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Seven Media was in the thick of things handling the media operations and PR campaign for this incredible event.

The third edition of the FinTech festival, powered by global innovation platform, Unbound, had over 5000 participants, 100 speakers and more than 50 sessions.

The event featured a packed schedule of discussions, panel sessions and debates from some of the world’s most innovative global companies, industry thought leaders and top CEOs.

A team from our Abu Dhabi office were on the ground at ADGM and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) at the three-day event managing the media operations with a host of top-tier media present, including a CNBC studio on-site.

Our deep industry expertise and understanding of the local markets enabled us to pick out the right stories and guided media to the key sessions at the event. In addition to this, our outstanding strategic thinking and experience in managing large scale high profile events led us to successfully deliver MENA’s leading FinTech and Financial event to the media. 

Using a mix of press releases and one-on-one interviews with key speakers, we were able to deliver great stories running across top tier broadcast, print, online and social channels in UAE, and beyond.

With industry experts covering the entire spectrum from the future of the banking industry to blockchain and the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, it was an exceptional educational experience for the team.

Here is a roundup of some key takeaways from the event:

Artificial Intelligence is the key to the future

A.I. and machine learning massively reduce costs and allow businesses to disrupt the traditional model of business. 

The FinTech industry is using technology intelligently and creatively. We now see Venture Capitalists using AI to conduct due diligence and hunt for new investment opportunities as it helps them informed decisions at a faster pace. 

Collaboration is vital

The importance of partnerships and collaborations were pointed out as one of the critical factors for success in the sector.

The perception of the FinTech companies has changed from being a disruptor to a collaborator. This has helped in accelerating the speed of the product cycle, aiding the stakeholders and the end-users.

Startups and financial institutions need to work together to create solutions and help each other to enhance the scalability of their business as well. 

MENA is a growing hub for FinTech startups

Even though the region’s FinTech industry is still in a development phase, the ecosystem fostered will provide a platform for FinTech unicorns to emerge over the coming years.

Consumer demographics, large smartphone and money transfer use and government support have been one of the key drivers for the growth of the FinTech industry in the MENA region.

UAE’s positioning as the largest fintech hub for startups in the MENA region was further cemented during the event with Mubadala Capital unveiling a $250 million (Dh918.29m) in tech funds and ADGM launching their digital sandbox.

Judging by the success of what we saw, there’s no doubt that the FinTech industry will go from strength to strength in the region. The industry is continuing to evolve by the day, and there will be innovations and ideas that will inspire more companies and entrepreneurs in the coming years. 

Keeping a secret is harder than ever

Seven Media - Keeping a secret is harder than ever

Last month, the famous Barasti Beach at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi launched House of Whatever – a disruptive concept which promises almost four months of spontaneity. Packed with ever-changing experiences and impromptu parties, Barasti wants to be the most talked-about destination in the region and it’s our job to make that happen.

“Expect the unexpected” is the House of Whatever mantra, and with a line-up of high-calibre international artists heading to Barasti, the hardest part for us as PR professionals is that our lips are sealed. That’s right, no revealing who the act will be until post-event. Ouch.

Just last week, a music artist who has sold more that 15 million records worldwide was set to perform a free one-off event at Barasti and we couldn’t talk about it. This put us in a tricky position. How is a story newsworthy to a publication if they don’t know what the story really is? How do we drive footfall to the venue without revealing the name?

When it comes to communicating the House of Whatever message and creating a hype without revealing any secrets, the integrated PR strategy had to be on point and ahead of the game.

We dropped hints to media across several platforms to kick-off the guessing game and drive hype surrounding the event. What we learned is that relationships with media are key, timing is critical, the power of social media is strong and ultimately, that keeping a secret is harder than ever!

Rumours spread like wildfire and took over some of the largest social communities in the region. An unknown source leaked the artist name on Facebook just hours before he was set to take the stage, however, that didn’t matter because at midnight, none other than R&B superstar Craig David took the stage to perform to a full house at Barasti.

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.

Football PR: A global game

Seven Media - Football PR: A global game

The end of the football season put Seven right in the middle of some major global sporting stories – combining live and reactive social media with big interviews and features.

With Manchester City FC winning an unprecedented three trophies in one season we had teams in both the UK and the Middle East covering all the action.

On the final day of the season the social media team in Dubai provided live updates on the game – followed by reaction from fans throughout MENA.

Arabic football fans are hugely active on social media and we needed to get involved in that conversation as much as possible, a major challenge when the thoughts and opinions are so fast and furious.

With Manchester City then winning the FA Cup at Wembley, the celebrations moved back to Manchester for a street parade which we once again reported from as we joined the thousands of fans lining the city streets.

These days the sporting season never really stops with summer competitions now on the Seven Media agenda, giving the PR and social media in Dubai teams the chance to “stay in shape” until it all starts again in August.

Coca-Cola Arena Dubai – a powerful integrated PR and social media launch campaign

Seven Media - Coca Cola Arena - a powerful integrated PR and social media launch campaign

The launch of the incredible Coca-Cola Arena Dubai is the perfect example of a modern PR campaign that ticks all the boxes when it comes to communication in the region.

From a classic media launch event with print, digital radio and TV reporting live to ongoing social media influencer buzz – it showed that if the story is powerful enough it can run for weeks.

The Seven team were right at the heart of the launch and emerged with a really positive outlook on the state of the media landscape in 2019.

The quality and scale of breaking news reporting was first class, in-depth features looked at the impact of the arena on the local and regional economy and the crossover into entertainment media went global.

Social media content was also brilliant – with influencers at the launch delivering live reports and a range of innovative communication techniques.

There are some who worry about media in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Middle East but if this integrated PR and social media campaign proved anything it is that we are really in a state of progress – you just need to look a little deeper into what is really happening.

Seven Media is a leading PR and social media agency in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, offering both standalone social media campaigns and fully integrated PR and social media campaigns, as well as Seven Studios, the most creative and bold video production team in the region.

Sport can mean so much to so many

Seven Media - Sport can mean so much to so many

In the last month sport has taken the spotlight at Seven with our PR and social media campaigns touching hundreds of thousands of participants and fans.

From superstar professional footballers to F1, boxing and cricket, it has been a time when sport storytelling the Middle East has been busier than ever.

But the campaign we helped lead for the Special Olympics regional games, held in Abu Dhabi, was one of the most rewarding in our history.

Truly inspiration stories came thick and fast and the reception they got from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and onto the rest of the region was fantastic to see.

It was a campaign that showed you truly can deliver communications strategies that make a difference and it was real team effort that really showcased the best the Middle East has to offer.

Seven Media are specialists in sports PR in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi’s famous landmarks light up red for the Special Olympics 50th anniversary

Seven Media - Abu Dhabi's famous landmark lights up red

This is a project very close to our hearts and we are so proud to see Abu Dhabi’s major landmarks such as Emirates Palace, Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Capital Gate come together with 225 landmarks worldwide lit up red to mark the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics.

The event also marked the ‘inclusion evolution’, a mission led by the Special Olympics to end discrimination against People of Determination with intellectual disabilities and to create inclusive communities worldwide.

The Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi is one of our most prestigious integrated PR Abu Dhabi clients.

When Seven becomes the story…

Seven Media - When Seven becomes the story

The case of a missing gorilla in Dubai helped propel a homegrown UAE PR agency to two major honours at the Middle East PR awards. Seven Media landed Digital Campaign of the Year for the story of Gorgeous George, a lifesize plastic gorilla that went missing from the famous Barasti Bar. The viral story was followed by more than a million people over the course of two days, from the first official missing report to his safe return. At the PRCA ceremony Seven also won Agency of the Year, the showpiece award of the night, for the second year running.

Matt Slater, owner of the agency, said: “The success of Seven Media is built on the creativity and storytelling of every single person in the company. “Digital campaigns that go big need to be driven by traditional and social media and with George the missing gorilla we hit that sweet spot. “Winning agency of the year for the second year running is an incredible achievement for the team who are as talented, dedicated and determined group of people you will see anywhere in media.”

Seven was recognised by the PRCA for their work in a total of eight areas, from major sport such as F1 and English Premier League football to entertainment campaigns for Novo Cinemas and across a wide range of business and lifestyle work.

Matt, who founded Seven with business partner Gregg Fray, added: “Myself and Gregg have been involved with media in the Middle East for more than a decade. “The whole media community is changing and improving all the time and it is great that Seven is at the heart of that.”

Seven Media are fast becoming one of the best social media agencies in Dubai.