AHMED ITANI, FOUNDER AND CEO, CICERO & BERNAY PUBLIC RELATIONS
WHAT’S THE SINGLE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING YOUR INDUSTRY TODAY?
The communication industry is in constant upheaval, which is both a challenge and an opportunity, as is the need to disrupt and adapt in a new era of runaway technological growth driven by AI.
HOW ARE YOU TACKLING IT?
C&B’s aim has always been to set the trends rather than follow them. To achieve this, we have fully embraced new-age tactics including influencer-led communication, digital PR and experiential activations, to name just a few.
HOW DO YOU KEEP THE SERVICES YOU OFFER UNIQUE, IN AN INDUSTRY WHERE CONSOLIDATION AS WELL AS NEW ENTRANTS ARE THE NORM?
From our eclectic series of new-age and core PR services, we create a customised combination for every client, ensuring they are each equipped with a completely unique strategy.
WHAT IS YOUR DECISIONMAKING PROCESS WHEN TRYING TO NAVIGATE RISK AND UNCERTAINTY IN SUCH A QUICKLY EVOLVING INDUSTRY?
My approach is to eliminate risk as far as possible through detailed market and stakeholder research, allowing us to become more strategic in our consultation and ultimately improve ROI for our clients.
WHAT ARE SOME TECHNOLOGIES/DISRUPTIONS/ DEVELOPMENTS THAT YOU ARE MOST EXCITED ABOUT IN THE FUTURE?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will create a paradigm shift across all industries. I believe it has the power to make the communication world even more human by redefining outreach through increasingly targeted, in-depth consumer and data insights.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
If I’m not talking to my team members then I’m talking to clients and guiding and advising them. I also spend a considerable amount of time researching the latest global communication trends, and hosting workshops and quality control meetings to keep abreast of everything happening in our busy office.
HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE CREATIVE THINKING WITHIN YOUR ORGANISATION?
Every brief and request we receive demands an entirely unique approach, which in itself inspires creativity as we strive to hit on that novel idea that has never been attempted before.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT WORKING AT YOUR COMPANY?
My greatest pleasure is working with my team and our clients to build Dubai’s reputation as the world’s communication hub by setting new benchmarks for our industry and the wider region.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A NEW EMPLOYEE ABOUT THE CULTURE OF YOUR ORGANISATION?
C&B is above all a family. We support and champion one another while working toward common goals that are a shared passion, so new employees need to become part of our closeknit family.
WHAT ARE THREE CHARACTERISTICS THAT YOU BELIEVE EVERY LEADER SHOULD POSSESS?
I always believe in high standards, a thirst for ideas and gratitude. Together, they work in tandem to create a workplace that produces exceptional work, innovative thinking and fulfilled employees — all of which are essential to providing clients with the measurable results that C&B prides itself on.
FOUNDER AND CEO OF DUBAI-BASED CICERO & BERNAY PUBLIC RELATIONS, AHMAD ITANI HAS GROWN THE AGENCY AND CONSULTANCY FIRM FROM ONE OFFICE IN 2005 TO 18 ACROSS MENA AND SOUTH ASIA, GARNERING ACCOLADES IN THE PROCESS INCLUDING BEING NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 50 GLOBAL PR INNOVATORS IN 2017 BY PRNEWS AND ONE OF 2018’S MOST INFLUENTIAL BUSINESS PERSONALITIES BY ARABIAN BUSINESS.
Media savvy Itani has played a proactive role in pushing the boundaries of brand communication in the region to new heights