Joining the PR dots

By Nathalie Visele, Director, Shamal Marketing Communications, Arabian Travel Market Public Relations agency

In order to create awareness of your company, or your market proposition, you need to develop a good public relations plan. Applying some PR fundamentals, creating media relations, understanding how the local and regional media function, making your company news stand out are just a few of the key elements to achieve your goals.
There are two important elements to consider in order to maximise your ATM media exposure; pre-show communication and onsite communication.   

For pre-show activity, consider the following:

• Upload your news brief or press release to your online ATM enhanced directory. This feeds into the media page of the website which is a hub for local, regional international media.

• Ensure you include your contact details (including mobile number) and stand number on all relevant public relations and promotional material to ensure you can easily be reached and located onsite.

• For major exhibitor announcements, ATM offers press conference facilities onsite. For more information please contact Jack Dulka

• Inform SMC of any launches or onsite events to include them in the official media schedule.

• Join the ATM social media platforms - Twitter (#ATMDubai), LinkedIn and Facebook.

We would advise you to carry a range of updated media collateral throughout the show, to support your communication efforts - requirements include: 

• Press packs - these should be displayed in English and Arabic in the Media Centre - racking will be provided for your media packs, this will heighten your visibility to over 800 media attending ATM. The media centre is located between Hall 3 and Sheikh Saeed Hall 1.

• Meet the media – build relationships with key journalists before ATM and take the time to meet the media during the show. Getting to know them will help you get more coverage.

• Holding a press conference for a launch during the show – email English and Arabic invitations to the media and email a copy to, so we can include your event in the official media schedule which is given to all media when collecting their badge. Your invitations can also be displayed on the press rack in the Media Centre as well as on the notice boards.

• Interviews with Arabic media – naturally, journalists prefer to speak to someone in their native tongue. So, if you have a media-trained Arabic spokesperson try to make him/her available to the Arabic media whenever possible. If you don’t, please ensure that your press material is also available in Arabic.

• Please keep the SMC team informed of any on-site events the media would be interested in attending to ensure they are added to the media schedule. Once again, please give us all relevant information and inform us of your announcements as far in advance as possible to maximise your media attendance.

A press release is an integral part of the communication between exhibitors and the media and as such a great deal of attention should be placed on ensuring the release is well-written and has a newsworthy story, our top tips for producing a press release include:

• Establish your key messages - in the majority of cases, there should be no more than three key messages. They need to be newsworthy, informative and relevant to the Middle East and your participation at Arabian Travel Market 2015.

• The business and trade media welcome credible industry statistics so include any Middle East relevant market research results or industry figures. Do ensure these come from reliable sources which will need to be credited.

• Ensure all your communications are in English and classical GCC Arabic. Remember that more than 65% of the Middle East’s media outlets are Arabic language.

• Be considerate of cultural sensitivities. Please refrain from mentioning alcohol, religion or or any matters sexual in nature, including explicit images

• It is worth reiterating press releases should be professionally written and must be newsworthy, informative and relevant to the Middle East and your participation at Arabian Travel Market 2015. Do not wait until the last minute to start communicating with the media.

Photographs should always be used in junction with press releases and video is a welcome addition that can help gain additional traction online. Photographs and videos should subscribe to the following key points:  

• Provide high resolution quality photographs (jpeg format, 300 dpi, size should be between 500kb and 1MB) via email or on a USB. PDF, Power Point and other similar formats will not be accepted by the media.

• When sending images please ensure you respect cultural sensitivities, which can vary across the region. If in doubt please feel free to get in touch with us.

• Ensure any VNRs and other footage which you intend to distribute are in both English and Arabic and high definition. Also, please ensure the editorial content is newsworthy, adverts and self-promotional pieces will not be accepted.

The final area to consider is social media, ATM is active on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. Connect with ATM and tag them using #ATMDubai, this will provide another useful avenue for spreading important news to a range of key individuals. 

In 2014, the SMC team were responsible for generating over US$10 million worth of coverage for ATM through news releases, interviews and features and press conferences.

I hope you enjoy ATM, the 2015 event represents an incredible opportunity for exhibitors as the team behind ATM, Reed Exhibitions, is working hard to eclipse last years’ 33,000 participants from 131 countries, securing more than US$ 2.1 billion worth of deals during the four days.

Good communication throughout the show will be the key to your success.

Shamal Marketing Communications (SMC) is the appointed public relations agency for Arabian Travel Market. SMC has been responsible for all public relations activity concerning ATM for over five years now and has played a key role, communicating newsworthy activities being carried out by all ATM stakeholders, to general, business and travel trade media spanning print, broadcast and online channels along with social media.

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