Back to the Future (the evolving model of communication agencies and content in the digital era)

This presentation provides an analysis of the evolving operating model of communication agencies in the digital social era, along with assessment and recommendation of the content and the content creation process in an ever-changing culturally sensitive and diverse Middle East.

The digital revolution has introduced new media that virtually melted the physical borders and gave birth to an interconnected world of individuals. A new world power was born, it is the power of “One”. One individual today can be more influential (positively or negatively) with more audience reach than a media agency in the previous decades.

Social Media forced a change in the communications gameplay. Traditional influencers no longer control and anticipate the outcome of the game, the new game-maker today is what we previously referred to as the “audience”. Long gone are the days of the press release. Community, brand and reputation management have now become extremely personal and immediate. PR, media, planning, branding and advertising strategies now go hand in hand more than ever all part of a greater communication strategy.

Over the past few years the communication industry in general has been evolving its operating model trying to find the most suitable setup, hence we see agencies re-integrating previously created independent entities into one (i.e. Branding, Media, PR, Events, Social, Content, Planning), other smaller models are the New Media, Digital and Social Media agencies. Regardless of the operating model the objective is the same, communication is moving away from “Mass Targeting” towards “Listening and Engaging”.

Technology and mass media contributed in creating a new Middle East, one that is evolving and opening up to the rest of the world. One must not forget that the Middle East is a region cultural and ethnic multiplicity and that even if the operating model is global, the content and the communication need to be extremely local. Social, religious, economic, cultural differences and values (many times within the same country) is forcing customized targeted communication, better yet is contributing at recreating the virtual borders that were erased by these same media.

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