5 Communications Saudi Style: 3 steps to harness the power of PR in the Kingdom


When I tell people I work in Public Relations (PR) in Saudi Arabia they usually think that I make a living attending endless parties and lunching with clients all day long.

The reality of my profession couldn’t be any further from this common misconception.

The day-to-day work of a PR and Communications professional is a careful balancing act between business strategy, media relations, events, copywriting, pitching, and plenty of espresso quaffing thrown into the mix!

KSA is unlike any other market in the world, and there are some unique quirks and cultural nuances that can make marketing your business and corporate communications particularly complex, yet thoroughly rewarding.

With the myriad of Vision 2030 initiatives introduced by the Government, and the increased focus on engaging youth in Saudi Arabia, businesses can really harness the power of communications to talk to customers directly and build brand awareness in new and engaging ways.

Whether you have just landed here and are setting up a lifestyle business, or you have an established business in KSA, you can use creative communications to get your brand noticed and significantly increase your revenues.

Indeed, the beauty of using communications to drive your business is that it is far more cost effective than traditional marketing methods, and yet make a significant impact on your bottom line.

All it takes is a little creative thinking, compelling content and some good old-fashioned hard work!

Here are my top 3 tips to harness the power of communications to drive your business in Saudi Arabia:

  1. What is your One Big Idea?


If you don’t know where to start with your communications planning, I suggest taking a pen and a post-it note and asking yourself one question:

‘What does my brand stand for?’. You should be able to sum this up in one sentence.

Honing in on your ‘One Big Idea’ will help to streamline and focus all of your communications. Everything you put out into the public domain should be anchored around this one concept. This is the thread that will keep all of your marketing and communications on track.

By keeping it simple you can build communications campaigns that are true to your brand values, keep a consistent ‘brand voice’ and help your customers to engage with your business or product.

  1. Set the ‘Coffee Shop’ test


Whatever the message is you are trying to convey to your customer, think about it in these terms: Is it interesting enough to talk about with friends over coffee?

If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ – then get back to the drawing board. Mediocracy is not an option!

To put it simply, your communications must be either useful or entertaining. If it doesn’t fit into either category, then your message is going to be lost.

Try to always have your target audience in mind and tailor your communications to fit their needs. Empathise with your audience and be specific.

The ‘Coffee Shop Test’ is an easy gauge I’ve used time and time again to effectively weed out the bad ideas from the good. It is so simple but it truly works – give it a go!

  1. Make a difference


In an increasingly cluttered media environment, where brands are constantly competing to be heard, it makes sense to stand for something more meaningful than merely the product you are selling.

People want to be part of something bigger than themselves, they want to create a legacy. Align your business with an issue or cause that will genuinely improve the world we live in.

If you are a web developer, why not champion getting more women into coding? If you are a personal trainer why not lead education initiatives about tackling Type 2 Diabetes in KSA?

By positioning your business as a brand with a social conscience that genuinely cares about the greater good, you will build trust and awareness about your product. Do something worthwhile that fits in with your brand ethics and personality to foster a lifelong customer base while genuinely making a positive difference.

The Cities Partnership is a creative communications consultancy based in Riyadh.

The Cities Partnership is offering WSB members a free 30 minute communications audit.

To take advantage of this offer please contact The Cities Partnership at: / citing Womens Skills Bureau

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