Mixing it up at the MEPRA Majlis

30th May 2016

Last week MCG Group was proud to sponsor and attend the second Middle East PR Association (MEPRA) Leadership Majlis in Abu Dhabi, which focused on The Future of Public Relations in the Middle East: Innovation, Disruption and Relevance.

The event was a great chance for us to catch up with a number of clients, as well as connect with industry professionals and listen to an impressive roster of speakers, who were lined up for the event.

The theme of the event was fascinating and it was interesting to hear how the communications industry is involving and what innovations and disruptive devices brands and agencies are utilising in order to stay ahead of the game.

Yousef Tuqan of Careem gave a thoroughly entertaining multi-media presentation on the continued rise of social media; it’s influence on consumer engagement and how brands need to keep up to stay relevant, while H.E Noura Al Kaabi was awarded the MEPRA Visionary Award after her speech on Innovation in the Government. An award richly deserved for her work in putting the Abu Dhabi entertainment industry on the global stage.

Kudos must go to Carine Duvignaud, Stephen King and the rest of the MEPRA organisation team, for securing the attendance of Etihad Airways CEO, Peter Baumgartner.

Peter gave an excellent talk on how Etihad is tearing up the rule book and challenging airline industry conventions in order to deliver a futuristic approach to how it services it’s guests and indeed how this is communicated. Exciting times ahead for the airline, which is quickly catching up with its more established cousins in the region.

Rana Rostom, Chief Innovation and Communication Officer, MENA – GE, rounded off the presentations with a fascinating insight in how technology is helping GE evolve and the affect this has had on its internal and external messaging.

The Majlis was also the platform to launch the inaugural study titled, The Benchmark, introduced by Group MD of Four Communications, Ray Eglington, which in his own words is “the largest research project into the views, performance and aspirations of the PR industry in the Middle East.”

The research will be conducted with industry leaders every year in order to develop a large-scale data source on the work of the communications sector.

The event finished with a panel discussion on “Who Drives Innovation: In-house or Agencies”. Given the panel was made up of PR agency heads and internal communications professionals, it proved to be a lively debate with arguments on both sides.

Ultimately it was decided that agencies and in-house teams both have their roles to play in driving innovation and disrupting the communications mix.
MEPRA is going from strength year-on-year with the Awards, industry events and now The Benchmark study giving increased credibility to the regional PR sector, and we at MCG Group are very much looking forward to the next opportunity to connect.

DMCG Global Network Offices