Developing a Voice: Communications Capacity Building in the Middle East, Andreas Fischer-Appelt, ICCO Summit 2013


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The 2013 ICCO Summit presentation by Andreas Fischer-Appelt, CEO of fischerAppelt, one of the biggest German PR agencies that recently opened its first overseas office in Qatar. Delivered on 11th October 2013.

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Developing a Voice: Communications Capacity Building in the Middle East, Andreas Fischer-Appelt, ICCO Summit 2013

  1. 1. Developing a Voice: Communications Capacity Building in the Middle East and North Africa
  2. 2. Branches of fischerAppelt Germany Qatar Hamburg Berlin Doha Köln Frankfurt Stuttgart München • fischerAppelt AG: group of agencies • Over $ 50 Mio. Fee income, over 400 employees 15.10.2013
  3. 3. fischerAppelt, qatar fischerAppelt, qatar is the fischerAppelt Group’s dedicated Middle East branch. An experienced multinational team of professionals who have worked on numerous high-profile projects in both government and the private sector in Qatar and the region combine international expertise with extensive local and regional experience. 15.10.2013
  4. 4. Qatar and Middle East 15.10.2013
  5. 5. Why is business in the Middle East interesting? • The region is one of the most economically stable regions in the world. • Qatar is the richest country of the world – measured by per-capita income. • Economic growth is substantial and sustainable – alone the projects planned in the next 10 years will guarantee a substantial growth of the local economy beyond any global average. • Many projects that are being conducted there are very unique and offer unique potential for companies to widen their horizon and actively contribute to the country's development and growth. 15.10.2013
  6. 6. How is business in Middle East different from Europe? 1 Business development relies to a substantial extent on personal relationships – much more than in Europe. Cold calling practically does not work in this culture, at least not with the locals. 2 The development of a business relationship takes much more time. No one will sign any contracts after the first meeting. It requires patience and perseverance. Lots of hours of talking and drinking tea before the first business can be made. 3 Bargaining is part of every business and is considered an essential part of the protocol. No contract is ever signed without negotiation – like in the old days on the Bazar. 4 Many customers are very loyal. Once a relationship is established and good results achieved, the chances for sustainable business are good. 15.10.2013
  7. 7. How to be successful as a foreigner / expat / international company? It is important to excel at the services / products that are offered. Punctuality, quality and reliability helps to approach business. In many areas, the local market is not nearly as saturated as in most parts of Europe and due to the massive economic growth, saturation is still far on the horizon. There is a high demand for specialised services, consultancy and products. Due to the fact that many projects in development are being conducted for the first time in the country or have other ways of challenging talent that is available locally. 15.10.2013
  8. 8. How to be successful as a foreigner / expat / international company? It is important to indulge in the local culture and approach people with great respect. Although learning Arabic is not necessarily essential for doing business, it is a great advantage and produces respect to know local customs, protocol and at least try to know some Arabic. However, it is also critical to stay true to the original ways of your own company. At the end, the clients appreciate us for the results we deliver and for the way how our consultancy and professionalism positively impact their business, plans and projects. It is essential to never lose this and /or compromise too much. It is essential to adapt to the local way of doing business, respect and understand the culture and learn to work with certain limitations and/or challenges that come with a highly diversified expat business community where different cultures and mentalities are working together all the time. 15.10.2013
  9. 9. Projects 15.10.2013
  10. 10. Qatar National Day • Creation, implementation and management of the entire Qatar National Day celebrations and activities as lead agency. • Development of activities and their implementation in close association with and directed by the State National Day Celebrations Organising Committee. • Management and supervision of all activities and site operation, featuring two big separate locations, “Darb-A-Saai” and “Corniche”. • Close coordination with state authorities, ministries and military/ paramilitary forces such as Emiri Guard, ISF, Qatar Armed Forces (Strategic Headquarter, Army, Air Force, Navy), Public Guard, Coast Guard, Civil Defence, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Ministry of Environment etc. 15.10.2013
  11. 11. Qatar National Day Qatar National Day 15.10.2013
  12. 12. Corniche 15.10.2013
  13. 13. Darb-A-Saai 15.10.2013
  14. 14. Qatar International Food Festival • The Qatar International Food Festival is hosted by Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways in the Museum of Islamic Art Park in Doha. • It was a long weekend of gastronomic alfresco eating, drinking and cooking, as well as family fun and entertainment. Two main themes ran through the Festival in 2013 namely: healthy food for all promoting a healthy lifestyle, and Qatari cuisine, to showcase local food and it's traditional dishes. • Internationally renowned chefs joined many of Doha’s top restaurants to celebrate fine dining with the freshest ingredients and latest food trends and tastes. • 50 stalls of top restaurants in Qatar have been at the show and QTA Awards were given for the Best Stall, the Best Meal and the Best Food at the event. • Qatar’s Food Festival continually strives to exceed expectations on every level, delivering more visitors, more restaurants, exhibitors and more activities and entertainment each year. 15.10.2013
  15. 15. Qatar International Food Festival 15.10.2013
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  18. 18. Innovate Qatar fischerAppelt created the nation’s first dedicated new tech and innovations exhibition in Qatar – innovate Qatar: • Creation and development of a new exhibition concept • Brand creation and design • Sales and marketing • Acquisition of high-profile partners and sponsors • Inauguration by Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiya • Successful implementation of the first edition • Substantial press coverage 15.10.2013
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  22. 22. Thank you! 15.10.2013