Investing in PR projects is investing in a company’s competitive advantage over other players on the UAE market. Why is it dangerous to ignore the importance of a company’s public relations? First, companies that don’t take care of their image are not taken as seriously as companies that do. Hence, they miss out on considerable segments of their target audience. Second, not having an interest in a company’s public relations is saying no to a highly effective means of increasing sales and improving one’s UAE market share.

Here are six dangerous excuses some UAE companies make to avoid investing in PR projects:

  1. We can’t afford this now. Many UAE start-ups and middle-sized companies deprive themselves of the benefits that working with professional PR agencies provides, claiming that they don’t have the necessary budget. Although it is advisable to work with professionals in the UAE’s PR industry, investing in a company’s public relations can often require a time investment only. For instance, a company may choose to do some in-house PR work by designating one or several team members to get trained online and to handle the company’s image.
  2. A PR company can’t know more about us than we do. Sure, but knowing the story is not enough. Getting a story across, however, is a completely different story. PR companies have the ability to craft and deliver a company’s message in highly effective ways. But having a professional PR team on board is not enough to hit success. To make sure your story is conveyed properly, you must also do your part. More specifically, you must be willing to cooperate with your PR service provider by providing all the relevant information required.
  3. We don’t have the necessary time and money to look for a PR company now. While time constraints may be real, you should keep in mind that finding an amazing PR company in the Emirates does not have to require a lot of your time. Depending on the time that you can devote to this process, you can ask your peers to recommend great providers. You can also have your team research a few online directories. As for money, a great way to take that worry off your list is to use Publiseek, which is a free online concierge connecting you to hundreds of professional PR agencies across the UAE. With Publiseek, you can receive and choose from up to five customized proposals from great PR agencies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the Emirates. And, again, this is completely free.
  4. Our products are great, so that’s enough to get us a great image. This statement may be partially true, in that a company’s products may indeed be good enough to attract attention. However, no matter how good a product may be, it will not compensate for the lack of proper communication. This also works the other way around – great communication cannot replace low-quality products. In any case, a great product is often perceived as such due to the considerable communication efforts of a great PR team.
  5. We already have a Facebook account. While social media is nowadays a central element in any PR and communication strategy, there are two reasons why merely having a Facebook account is not enough. First, there are other additional social media platforms (such as Twitter and Linkedin) which are critical to a company’s success and which should be included in a proper PR plan. Second, an integrated PR campaign will include at least three different communication channels, including at least one traditional channel, such as writing and sending out press releases to the UAE media.
  6. Only controversial companies need PR. This statement implies the belief that bad things only happen to other people, but not us. While this is certainly something to wish for, it is best to be prepared. PR crises can happen anytime and many UAE companies make a few essential PR crisis mistakes without even knowing that. The cost of not investing in PR projects on a constant basis is much less substantial than the cost of being caught unprepared for a PR crisis that may permanently affect a company’s reputation.