Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Public relations and talent

Tim Addington writes about the Middle East’s PR industry in CampaignME:

Many agencies say that they are winning new business on a weekly basis and are inundated with requests for new business pitches.
But the ability of agencies to recruit and retain qualified and experienced staff is hindering PR firms ability to service new and exisiting clients, and has been cited as one of the major issues that will prevent its growth in the region.

Some agencies prefer to look to the Subcontinent, Europe and South Africa to fill the void due to the lack of homegrown Arab talent. But this route is costly and new recruits often lack the most basic understanding of the Middle East.

Others choose to hire locally, but find that the available talent pool lacks experience and expertise in public relations, despite having local and regional knowledge.

In Dubai, the most advanced PR market in the region, one agency boss estimates that 70% of those in PR are expatriate workers. But in Cairo, for example, Egyptians dominate with only a few expats in senior positions.

Tim Walmsley, regional managing director at Impact Porter Novelli, says that people entering PR in the region often do so as a means of moving into marketing jobs for large local firms or multinationals…

Sadri Barrage, managing director of Headline PR, and chairman of the Middle East Public Relations Association, says that developing local talent is the key to developing the industry across the region…

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