10 QUES­TIONS

CEO Middle East - - CONTENTS -

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

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