PR agencies form regional industry association

18 out of Dubai's 25 resident public relations agencies have come together to form their own industry association. Top of the association's "to-do" list is promoting PR as an absolutely fabulous career for Arab nationals.

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By  Rob Corder Published  June 5, 2001

Public relations agencies in the Middle East have come together to form an industry association. Never short of a catchy acronym, the collective wisdom of the industry will collaborate under the name MEPRA (Middle East Public Relations Association).

At today's inauguration at Dubai Media City, 18 out of the UAE's 25 PR agencies voiced their support for the association. While the entire Middle East PR industry collectively represents only a $20 million market today, MEPRA's chairman, Sadri Barrage, believes that figure is growing at over 20% per year. Globally, the PR industry billed over $3.6 billion in 2000; a 34.5% increase over 1999. "This makes PR one of the fastest growing busineses globally," added Barrage.

One of the key aims of MEPRA is to promote the PR industry to Middle East nationals. "We encourage students and graduates to consider public relations as an exciting career. Many of the colleges and universities still offer PR as a small part of marketing or mass communications courses; it is time that due recognition be given to the practice as a critical communications tool," stated Barrage.

Other objectives include the need to educate businesses, organisations and media houses about the role of PR and how sound, ethical practice can deliver bottom line results.

All official positions within MEPRA have been filled by executives that will continue their active roles within their individual PR agencies. The agency will have no full time staff and no office, but was promised use of Dubai Media City facilities for any events that are scheduled.

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