It was great to see so many smiling faces this weekend at our annual 1Week4Kids day out, which is Burson-Marsteller’s EMEA wide programme that supports a wide range of children’s initiatives in celebration of Universal Children’s Day. This year marked our fifth year of hosting a day out for Dubai’s Special Families Support (SFS) group. SFS was founded by Gulshan Kavarana in 1999 to support families with children with special needs in Dubai. It started with just six families and over the years has grown to support over 500 families across the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and several cities in India.

This year, we decided to make of Dubai’s beautiful weather and treated around 40 children families to a day of fun, food and games in Creek Park. The day started with games, which included giant Jenga and Lego, tennis and football, before children enjoyed glitter face and body painting from GlitterBoxUAE, and mini pizzas and snacks from Pizza Express, both of which donated their time and products for free. In a country typically known for its glitz and glamour, the annual 1Week4Kids day out is not only a humbling experience for many but also the opportunity to give back. SFS’s motto is Respect, Love and Acceptance, which I am proud to say our team displayed in abundance this weekend.

Sunil John | February 25th, 2014

Mark Zuckerberg is emblazoned across this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek cover. Standing with his arms crossed and the knowing grin that only a multibillionaire on the cusp of something exciting has, the headline reads: “Facebook Hits Puberty”. At least that’s what the US version of the magazine says. The headline in the regional version of exactly [...]

Sunil John | April 10th, 2013

Every year since 2008, we have been asking thousands of young Arab men and women in countries across the MENA region dozens of questions about their attitudes, concerns and hopes for the future.

The one question I am mostly asked is why a public relations agency chooses to invest so much time and effort in a research effort as large as the Arab Youth Survey. After all, we are not a market research company. The answer I give is that any organisation with a long-term interest in the Middle East has an obligation to understand the evolving opinions of its largest demographic: its youth. Two-thirds of the MENA population are under the age of 30, and what they think has profound implications for a diversity of opinion formers, including policy makers, business leaders, civil society and of course our clients.

KateS | September 11th, 2012

As PR practitioners, we fancy ourselves quite a fearless bunch. We have learned to juggle, to anticipate, and to act swiftly and keenly in the face of conflict. Armed with the protection of a reactive statement, we face calamities with self-assurance and, at times, with pleasure.

Or so we like to think.

Sunil John | June 25th, 2012

As everyone in the communications industry knows, we do most of our work far from the spotlight – developing strategies and solutions for our clients that will make them shine.
Precisely because we are perennial background guys, we love winning awards. Those are the rare opportunities we have to stand up in front of any audience [...]

AbhaM | June 23rd, 2012

I recently had the privilege to listen to someone who I would justifiably call a genius of our age – Amit Singhal, the person in charge of coding Google’s search algorithms.
A fascinating subject, Singhal explained the basics of data on the internet and what Google is doing to turn the information we receive through search, [...]

Yesterday we announced the results of our 4th Annual Arab Youth Survey. We conduct this survey every year to provide evidence-based insights into the evolving hopes, concerns and aspirations of Arab youth – providing governments, the private sector and civil society institutions with critical information and analysis to inform decision-making and [...]

Over three days in March, Public Relations as an industry came of age in the Middle East.
Held in Dubai between March 13-15th, the 20th Public Relations Word Congress was a landmark event, and not only because this was the first time this prestigious summit was held in the region. The relevance of the Congress’s theme, [...]

Sunil John | January 11th, 2012

(As appeared in December 2011 issue of Gulf Business)
If public relations is the art of reputation management, then it seems clear that the industry needs to take its own PR a lot more seriously. Like the proverbial cobbler’s children who go without shoes, public relations firms – worldwide and especially here in the Middle East [...]

‘Working Together: Saving Tomorrow Today’ is the theme of the climate change talks that started in South Africa on Tuesday. But that’s wishful thinking if newspaper reports are anything to go by. The chances of the Kyoto protocol being meaningfully extended beyond 2012 appear slim, with a host of countries saying they are reluctant to [...]