How businesswomen should approach media, MENA BWN


Guidelines from leading women in regional and International media

MENA Businesswomen’s Network Forum Media Leaders Session – Businesswomen in the Media

On Friday, MENA Businesswomen’s Network Forum concluded in Dubai on a high note. A very interesting  Media Leaders Session discussed strategies for businesswomen to communicate with journalists.

Leaders from a variety of highly reputable regional and International media outlets facilitated an open panel discussion. The public participated actively as well.

Amal Al Masri, CEO of Ougarit Group for Marketing emphasized that it is very important to understand what kind of a media businesswomen are reaching. This will help them to estimate what kind of exposure they will receive. For example, if you are interviewed for a TV channel, your message will reach tens of millions. “You have to view yourself as a role model,” Amal Al Masri said.

Maha Abouelenein, Head of Communications at Google MENA, added that in today’s business environment it is important to access not only the traditional media, but all of of the available communication tolls  to  provide exposure for the business. “You should have a YouTube channel,” she recommended to the MENA Businesswomen’s Network.

Caroline Faraj, Editor of CNN Arabic, underlined that businesswomen should know how to introduce themselves. It is a must to undergo media training. She explained that although everyone likes to hear a good news, there is also a bad news that should be delivered in the right manner. Caroline Faraj gave an example with stock prices going down in a recession. Such facts need to be explained or commented to the public. She said that instead of switching their mobile phones and not answering emails, businesswomen should be able to respond to journalists. “Having special media training is very important,” she said. It may not be necessary to answer the questions, but it is important to demonstrate engagement and awareness. One should also consider the language, especially when communicating with mainstream International media.

The panel discussion was joined by Susan Ann Davis, Chair of the Board of Vital Voices, who said businesswomen should know how to deliver their messages with an impact. “Relevancy – how you communicate that people will hear – it is very important,” she said. Further, she explained that relationships with key media representatives can be very influential. Businesswomen need to know who is who in the media world and approach them in the right manner, at the right time. Here is part of her speech dedicated  to developments within the MENA Businesswomen’s Network:

Susan Ann Davis continued that women in the media form their own associations, and this will very much likely happen across the MENA region. Business leaders should build relationships within these organisations and this will help them to receive better exposure for their businesses.

Rana Ghandour Salhab, Partner at Talent & Communications Deloitte & Touche, further stressed that two tools are most essential for businesswomen: communication strategy and media strategy.

The Editor of CNN Arabic added that  a “soundbite” is extremely important and one should be able to express her point of view short, clear and sound. Businesswomen need to use a variety of media to deliver and spread  different message, Caroline Faraj continued.

The MENA Businesswomen’s Network Forum was attended and covered by representatives of 28 regional and International media.


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