In our current series we are talking to PR experts around the world about the influence of social and digital media in their daily PR work. This week our GCPR Blog team talked to Fatma Ahmed, Managing Director of GlobalCom PR Network’s Egyptian partner agency MEAComS.*
1. What status do social and digital media have in your daily PR work?
Millions of Egyptians embraced social networking during and after Egypt’s revolution in 2011, and companies, organizations and institutions are looking to reach out to these users, many of whom are young, affluent and have many followers, and increase their brand/message awareness. This is particularly true since the nation’s business climate has not yet recovered in the wake of the revolution. However, Egypt’s many business fundamentals are still strong, and firms that are committed to paving their own success are turning to public relations professionals like us that have a keen understanding of how important social and digital media are now and in the future.
MEAComS started its Facebook page on July 1, 2010 to interact with our fans and update current and prospective clients on the agency’s activities. MEAComS aims to lead by example, continue to learn and apply the latest global tools and trends. Staff members try their best to update the page and interact with users daily on a variety of diverse topics.
We also promote our clients businesses and use social media to check out their competitors, while analyzing online and offline activities as a fully integrated communications specialist.
2. Do you use social networking in your PR and communications work?
Our Facebook page serves as a way to reach out to clients and potential business partners, but it also gives our agency a way to connect with users visually. We make sure to take photos of our events as well as the people we work with and meet along the way, giving users, who view our page, a glimpse of our activities and who we are as people. Adding a human element to any campaign or message gives something for consumers to relate to and understand on an emotional level. That is what we want to achieve.
Also, by being a part of Twitter and Facebook, we are immersed in the pulse of Egypt and can find out what are the key trends and issues affecting the masses. We can also directly participate in those discussions and receive immediate feedback on our work.
We also post news in our blog on the website and issue a quarterly newsletter with a detailed summery of our activities.
3. What would you see as most recent innovation in the field of PR?
The newest trend we have noticed in terms of communication is the prominent use of Twitter and Facebook to promote presidential campaigns and civil society. We see that Egyptians are active in campaigning for reform, the parliament elections and now presidential campaigns. Candidates are eager to use creative public relations to create a positive image. They are also using online media monitoring tools to respond quickly to negative posts on Twitter and Facebook.
The use of social media is important for leading newspapers and magazines, all of which have Facebook, Twitter and other social media site. Nearly every TV channel has an online presence as well. We can see programs online, which makes it easy for us to follow shows and updates.
*The series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.