Saudi Arabia’s most high-profile IPO received a Gulf-wide award for effectiveness in marketing this weekend, bringing new attention to the region’s growing public relations and investor relations industry. The Emaar Economic City IPO, held from July 22 to August 2 last year, netted a 2007 Gulf Marketing Review Effectiveness in Marketing (GEMAS) special commendation award at a ceremony in Dubai recently.
ASDA’A Public Relations, the largest independent PR consultancy in the region, spearheaded the Emaar E.C. campaign from its offices in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dubai. ASDA’A earned a second GEMAS 2007 Public Relations award for its work to revitalize the BBC Arabic radio service across the Middle East.
The Emaar E.C. IPO drew more than 10 million Saudis, more than half the nation’s adult population, and fetched SR 7.18 billion in total subscriptions. Oversubscribed by 2.82 times, the SR 2.55 bn IPO received 2.8 million applications and made headlines around the world. The timing of the IPO – in the face of a major downturn in stock market capitalization compounded by the war in Lebanon – made its success even more unexpected.
Issam Galadari, Managing Director of Emaar International - Middle East and North Africa, said ASDA’A played a critical role in fostering market confidence and encouraging investors to realize the importance of the IPO from a socio-economic perspective.
“ASDA’A has been our partner in growth throughout the region for the last several years, and we look forward to many more shared triumphs as we expand our base of operations,” Galadari said. “The agency’s commitment, attention to detail, strategic vision and knowledge of regional nuance have contributed greatly to our success.”
Two of ASDA’A’s specialist teams – its Corporate and Financial practices – were involved in developing and implementing the agency’s investor relations strategies before, during and after the Emaar E.C. IPO.
ASDA’A Managing Director Sunil John said the Emaar the Economic City campaign was a textbook example of the firm’s ability to understand and engage audiences and investors throughout the Arab world.
“The Emaar Economic City IPO challenged us to develop a financially astute, confidence-building campaign that would engage Saudis on every level around the region and around the world,” John said.
ASDA’A’s public relations efforts reached Saudi nationals in the kingdom, across the MENA region and around the world. News of the IPO’s success was even carried in US-based daily The Washington Post.
The agency’s work on the BBC Arabic campaign included a five-nation integrated marketing communications campaign designed to connect Arab youth to the service’s radio and online content. The campaign, entitled ‘Your Future… Who Decides It?’ engaged more than 270,000 people in the Palestinian territories, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Sudan, and encouraged youth to participate in and inform future programming.
Launched in 2003, the Gulf Marketing Review awards have established a reputation for their objectivity and integrity. The awards, which recognize, reward and further marketing excellence, are awarded in 12 categories ranging from new brand and product launches to corporate social responsibility.
The GEMAS are judged by a panel of senior international and regional marketing practitioners and academics, and assessed on the basis of superior value, differentiation, innovation, effective use of resources, clarity of objective and methodology of results measurement. The independent panel was chaired by Paul Gostick, International Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK.
Established in 1992, ASDA’A is the region's leading public relations consultancy, with over 170 professionals in 13 offices across the region. With these resources, the company is able to provide a comprehensive regional service covering the Middle East and North Africa. Winner of the Campaign Middle East 'PR Agency of the Year Award 2006', ASDA’A prides itself on its innovative approach to client servicing and its commitment to quality and result-oriented communications.
Aligned globally with Edelman, the world's largest independent public relations agency, ASDA’A provides communications solutions through a deep rooted philosophy of perception management. The agency provides services through its six practices in the sectors of Technology, Corporate, Finance, Healthcare, Consumer Marketing and Public Affairs. The services include media relations, issues management, media training, corporate advertising, print and web publishing, media monitoring and analysis and event management.
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