Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, hosted its first quarterly Dtec Forum of 2019 to highlight the role of public relations (PR) and communication strategies in generating optimal exposure for startups.
Themed ‘From Startups to Business Giants: Driving your Business Strategy with Comms and PR’, the event guided emerging entrepreneurs and founders of startups from the UAE on the best strategies to connect with their stakeholders using PR tools and techniques.
The forum, powered by Entrepreneur Middle East, took place at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), the largest tech hub in the region, wholly owned by DSOA.
Speaking on the importance of the event in promoting PR best practices, Hans Henrik Christensen, Vice President of Dtec, said: “Organizations communicate with the public through PR, among other means, which requires certain specialist knowledge. Unlike marketing and advertising, PR is more focused on reputation management and stakeholder engagement. With entrepreneurs channeling their finances and efforts into the business, little is spent on comms and PR, although they understand the importance of PR and its ability to serve business objectives, as evidenced in the high audience turnout. Therefore, we have found it a must to help entrepreneurs establish a foundational understanding of PR and the best ways of leveraging PR activities to gain traction among their target audiences.”
Wissam Younane, CEO of BNC Publishing, the media house behind Entrepreneur Middle East, said: “When we launched Entrepreneur Middle East five years ago, we have become known as a true supporter of the region’s startup community, and not just another journalistic venture solely reporting on the ecosystem. As such, in addition to our work with the publication, we have also been creating and actively supporting the region's most important entrepreneurial events that aim to inform and inspire Middle East entrepreneurs along all aspects of their business trajectories. The same holds true for our partnership with Dtec on this year’s Dtec Forum, powered by Entrepreneur Middle East, which we believe will serve as an invaluable knowledge-sharing and networking platform for entrepreneurs throughout the year.”
During the opening session, Sunil John, President – Middle East and Founder of ASDA’A BCW, provided an overview of the PR sector in the MENA region. He stressed that regional businesses should understand the critical role of PR to convey the right message to the right audience using the appropriate media platforms.
Anna Roberts, Communication Strategist and Radio and TV Presenter, led the second session that explored how businesses can create customized storytelling on their own, how to carry out effective media relations, as well as whether investing in media training and public speaking training is the right move for individual entrepreneurs.
In a follow-up panel discussion, Sunil John, Anna Roberts and Zohare Haider, Founding Director of Digital Street, examined case studies of regional businesses that have successfully communicated their brands’ key messages to the public. In closing, the panelists shared basic dos and don’ts of PR and media relations in the MENA region, based on a quick analysis of recent PR failures.
The Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus, wholly owned by DSOA, is the largest tech hub and coworking space in the MENA region and a base of operations for more than 800 startups from 72 countries. The quarterly Dtec Forum seeks to address key issues of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as help startup founders expand their knowledge in secondary areas and adopt a more holistic approach to business.