David Cameron’s Former Digital Expert speaks to social media and communications professionals in Qatar
Doha, Qatar, November 7th: Aiming to raise awareness and deepen understanding of social media
amongst PR professionals in Qatar, the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) hosted an
interactive workshop led by Rishi Saha, David Cameron’s former Head of Digital Communications. The
event was attended by communications and social media professionals from various sectors in Qatar,
including education, banking, construction, aviation, research, and hospitality, amongst others.
During the discussion, Saha emphasized the impact of social media and digital communications on
Government, brands and charities.
“Across most organizations, there is a tendency to focus on quick wins, such as broadcasting news,
rapidly to new audiences, placing job ads, sharing photo galleries of events and conferences, and so on.
All are valuable exercises, which can help build the business case for broader adoption. But I would call
these activities 'secondary applications': fundamentally, they use social media to report or amplify,”
said Saha, who has been named the 6th most influential person in Britain’s digital economy for his
pioneering work in communications and campaigns.
“The long-term trend is, I believe, for social media to assume a more primary, strategic role in the
delivery of government services themselves, rather than simply being a reporter of them,” he said.
The workshop addressed five main areas including building the internal business case and strategy
for digital communications; creating sophisticated social media experiences to engage citizens and
residents; managing social media crises and reputational risks; setting up and managing a digital team;
and measurement frameworks, analytics and setting realistic key progress indicators (KPIs).
Carine Duvignaud, General Manager, MEPRA said: “We are thrilled to see the growing interest in social
media and digital communications on behalf of organizations across all sectors in Qatar. This was just
the right time to provide PR practitioners in Qatar with a forum where they can explore the versatility of
social media with someone like Rishi Saha, who comes with immense experience in the field.”
MEPRA’s first event in Qatar involved a trip to Al Jazeera Network, where PR professionals toured the
facilities and had the opportunity to engage with the news network’s team, including renowned senior
members of the media.
In future, MEPRA is keen on hosting similar events, providing insight into the different areas of public
relations and communications.
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