1.Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East?
I am a Communications Specialist by profession and my role defines the face and voice of the company. I have been in the Middle East for 6 years and it has been quite a roller coaster ride for me both personally and professionally. In the beginning I remember the struggle of initially adjusting to the ambient culture and then finding ways to adapt to them. Later, I realized that being and working in the Middle East has given me a multitude of skills and learning that I would not have been able to get if I was working anywhere else. It makes you a real global citizen.
2, How would you describe the culture of your business?
The communications industry is a very small niche and is highly misunderstood. The trend currently is to sandwich both the marketing and the communications professions into one. Which is why individuals like myself have started to wear two hats that of communications and marketing.I have also noticed the trends are moving into a more digital sphere whereas the old communication channels are still important and effective, the flexibility and reach of the online world if done correctly is quite significant.
3,What are the biggest challenges in the next 5 years?
I think more and more we talk about content being king. It is no longer a tick box exercise to say did we send the communication out. I feel in the near future especially in the communication world we must start to push back asking is it absolutely necessary to communicate a certain message. The customer be it internal or external is inundated with knowledge and information so how will this message be new, be informative and be a genuine need for them. According to Constant Contact the average open rate in the marketing/advertising industry is 14.56% which just proves the above.
The next challenge I foresee is more visual stimulation, the time is soon coming where we say bye to the long newsletters and start communicating our messages via video which is already happening across the board . However, I feel the messages will need to be quick and sharp and in under a minute. Where the first 15 – 20 seconds will dictate whether you have grabbed the interest of the person or no
4.What are the skills and competencies that a communications specialist must have in order to be effective?
I feel a that a communications specialist must be open minded first and foremost. They must be able to work with all channels be it digital or online, physical such as exhibitions or PR and media.Communication is key to any successful organization. Understanding and listening are key skills that are needed. Patience is also another skill that is required in-order to be a successful communication
5.What is your Philosophy?
It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. – Lewis Carroll, Allice in Wonderland. My philosophy is intertwined with this quote. Do not dwell on yesterday but strive to be better for tomorrow. Learn from your mistakes then brush them off your shoulder because you were not who you were yesterday. You are who you are today, learned from yesterday and be willing to take on tomorrow.