Advertising & Marketing

Using PR Secures Competitive Advantage for SME’s in Dubai

A staggering 95% of all business organizations in Dubai are SME’s which contribute 40% of the GDP and employ 42% of the workforce according to figures released by Dubai Statistic Centre in 2014. While these are good figures on the macro level, at the organizational level it poses an enormous issue: How does the organization build awareness of its products, services, and business operations?

An important component of organizational growth is marketing, “Yet SME’s are cash-strapped and cannot afford awareness building marketing campaigns,” noted Mr. Bahaa Fatairy, Managing Director, BR Communications FZE. The company, and award winning Public Relations and Marketing Consultancy based in Dubai and itself a SME found its niche in this sector. “Being a SME ourselves, we are well aware of the problems in obtaining financing for the development of the organization and as such we know that PR activities are usually low down the priority list. But this strategy could result in lost sales and revenue for the SME,” elaborated Mr. Fatairy.

Indeed, a report conducted by Dubai SME, a Dubai government agency of the Department of Economic Development on ‘The State of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Dubai,’ noted that only 23% of SMEs have accessed bank finance, while 56% indicated the need for finance to run their operations. Further, the report similarly suggested that almost 80% of SMEs were begun using personal finances, and many SMEs drove expansion through the reinvestment of business profits rather than bank finance.

In this context it is easy to understand why PR services get pushed down the ladder of priorities. However, SMEs can utilize PR services as a strategic tool to secure a competitive advantage over other SME’s with similar products or services. The advantages of PR are many in addition to providing a link between the general public and the organization, it can also create awareness of the SME’s in the market thereby aiding in the growth of B2B deals. Similarly, PR can introduce the competition to other organizations.

The biggest advantage of PR versus stand-alone advertising campaigns, according to Mr. Fatairy is the “ROI, which is almost three times more than that of an advertising campaign. With the potential to be picked up by multiple media organizations locally and regionally, organizations get more value for the money spent.”

Speaking on future plans, Mr. Fatairy said, “We are focusing on introducing innovative and relevant products to the market while striving to meet budgets.” At present, BR Communications which has the capacity to develop content in both Arabic and English, and reach local and regional media networks, operates in the Oil & Gas, Retail, Biofuel, Environmental Sustainability, IT Services, Event Management, Cleaning, and Facilities Management sectors.

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