Expert discusses role of PR in Arab world
Doha, May 22, 2013
The important role of public relations (PR) in the future of the Arab world and for new leaders has been highlighted by a regional industry pioneer.
"PR is a by product of the opening up of communities and societies at all levels and people are expecting their leaders to communicate and influence them towards achieving their goals," remarked Bahrain-based Gulf Marcom Group president and Hill + Knowlton Strategies Middle East founder and chairman Khamis Al Muqla.
Addressing the Third Regional Public Relations Conference held by the International Public Relations Association, Gulf Chapter, in Doha, Qatar, Al Muqla told the audience of more than 400 that public relations is a modern science that emerged in the early 20th century.
It flourished after the Second World War in the US and Western world as a reflection of the political, industrial, economic, social and media liberalisation that occurred between two devastating world wars and global economic and financial crises, he added.
He quoted John W Hill, legendary PR leader, as saying that the successful modern business must make sure that people - all kinds of people - know what it is doing and approve of its actions. If you refuse to tell your own story, somebody else will - and probably will tell it wrong.
In the Arab world, public relations made a late and modest beginning perhaps in the early 1950s in both Egypt and Lebanon.
Gulf Public Relations Group, which is now Hill + Knowlton Strategies Middle East, began operations in Bahrain in 1974 and is considered one of the pioneers of the industry in the Gulf.
Al Muqla also outlined the 10 most important reasons for leaders to use PR which included communicating with their stakeholders via traditional and digital media, in preparation of presentations for conferences and seminars, and most importantly in crisis management.
He said that a leader should be an example for others to follow and needs to have the ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders, to win their hearts and minds.
The theme of the session was "Leaders' perception of the role of public relations in the Arab world".-TradeArabia News Service