Local PR agency Forbes Associates has conducted the first in-depth study of Qatar’s PR environment, identifying common issues, current industry trends and predictions for the future. The study is based on interviews with 14 leading in-house PR directors working in the fields of government, education, finance, energy, fashion and telecommunications.
The majority of PR directors reported substantial changes to their communications strategy during 2012, with more extensive and improved use of social media a recurring theme. Social media is developing fast and valued as a credible, local, “word-of-mouth” media for the long-term. 2012 saw communications departments grow in size and budget, as local organisations have sought to increase their in-house PR capabilities. Local organisations have also sought to improve the quality and security of their internal communications, with a limited number viewing communications as a core strategic component of their business.
Common communications challenges are centred around the ethnic and linguistic diversity of Qatar’s population, with no single PR strategy being suitable for all. The use of market research and specialized, Qatar-centric PR knowledge was therefore extremely important in meeting this challenge, which is not unique to the PR industry. Directors expect external PR agencies to be bilingual and highly competent in Arabic, to be able to connect with Qataris, and to understand how local and niche markets think.
This article was originally posted on zawya.com on 1 April 2013