4495324

Avoiding the cliches: How to portray the UAE authentically

How is it already that time of year? The biggest day in the UAE calendar – National Day – is upon us this week.

Celebrating the unification of the seven emirates and the birth of the United Arab Emirates, every organisation in the country pays homage to their host, displaying flags, coloured lights, and through all manner of marketing activities and events. This year there will obviously be some changes, as event organisers take COVID 19 health and safety precautions into account, but the air of celebration and pride is as strong as ever, all across the country.

Continue Reading…

Remote meeting. Man working from home during coronavirus or COVID-19 quarantine, remote office concept.

Top tips for effective remote working

So much has changed this year, and we have all been forced to adapt the way we think, act and work in order to survive. With the profusion of global lockdowns around the world over the last few months, one thing we have all become familiar with is remote working – from the comfort and safety of our homes. As someone who works independently anyway, this is not unfamiliar to me – in fact over the years I have often escaped the heat of the Dubai summers to work from cooler climes for a few months – but I think a lot of people don’t think to consider some of the key factors which ensure that working remotely is a success.

Continue Reading…

Focused fashionable youngsters of diffeent nations, read attentively information in tablet and smart phones, develop web page online, stand in queue indoors at office, have serious expressions

Creating effective intercultural communications

So, Monday 16th November is International Day of Tolerance – a day when we embrace diversity and tolerance. Our acceptance and tolerance of diversity and change is manifested in the way we communicate, and as such our communication skills, styles and methods become incredibly important to ensure our thoughts, beliefs and opinions are widely and clearly visible and not misunderstood.

Living in the cultural melting pot that is the UAE for the past 15 years, I have had lots of time and experience developing these communications, and there are some key points to remember if you want to ensure clarity and comprehension of your message across cultures, traditions and generations:

Continue Reading…

Calm businesswoman relaxing with breath gymnastics

Maintaining Work-Life Balance

As things pick up, and we are all desperate to get the ball rolling again, we’re probably putting in more hours than before, and we need to be careful not to fall back into unhealthy work habits.

We all know the importance of a good work life balance – implementing it in practice is somewhat harder – but at a time when our health should be a primary focus, we need to ensure we are doing everything we can to look after ourselves and others, and that means trying to avoid work burnout, overwhelming stress and bad lifestyle habits.

So how do successful and happy people achieve and maintain their work-life balance? There are four tips which successful people seem to share:

Continue Reading…

boy-juggles-with-oranges-outdoors

Stop start social: How pausing communications can damage your business

So it’s been a while… Almost a month in fact… Isn’t it crazy how the time flies by? So much has been happening across work and personal lives, that writing a blog post and doing my own social media and communications has been the lowest priority and therefore neglecting whilst attending to more urgent and higher priority issues.

I know from my own personal experiences and my work with clients, that this is the case for most of us, we prioritise our clients, colleagues, our work partners, friends and family, before focussing on ourselves.

Continue Reading…

2020-05-12 16.59.46-1

My personal pillars of mental health

With the advent of World Mental Health Day this weekend, I know a lot of people are getting involved in the conversation around mental health and wellbeing, and whilst this is not my area of expertise per se, like most of us it’s been an increasingly important area of focus for me over the past few years, and particularly these last few months.

Rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon, I wanted to try and share some of the mechanisms I have adopted to improve my mental wellbeing, those which have been particularly useful to me during this year of change and uncertainty.

Continue Reading…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Translate or not: Should social media pages be bilingual?

In recognition of International Translation Day on Wednesday, we thought it might be a good time to answer one of the most common questions we get during our social media workshops here in Dubai: Should you translate your social media posts and share both on the same pages/profiles?

Before we respond to this question, it’s worth remembering that there is no standard approach that all brands should be using – if only it were that easy! You have to get to know your audience really well and know what works best for them, and for your brand.

Continue Reading…

Retro microphone and notebook computer, live webcast on air concept

Podcasting for beginners: What I learned last week

I was treated to a behind the scenes look into the podcasting process with my old friend Barry Lee Cummings last week. I was invited to join him as a guest on his well-established podcast, Swenglanese, as well as being given invaluable advice and guidance on the editing and production process, for which I am eternally grateful.

You can watch the episode here, and I would also highly recommend subscribing to his podcast to hear interesting stories and advice from a wide variety of entrepreneurs and business professionals across the UAE.

Following his expert insight and my first experience in the world of podcasting last week, I thought I’d share some of my learnings, a lot of which I have talked about before on this blog in terms of other forms of communications, such as videos and interviews, as well as a couple more focussed on podcasts themselves:

Continue Reading…

Security concept with icons on wooden blocks on turquoise background flat lay.

Our six point checklist for safe social media

We’ve been delighted to be supporting Beat The CyberBully again this month to help support and educate children, parents and teachers about online safety and digital wellbeing.

For anyone unfamiliar with the initiative, Beat The CyberBully aims to promote safe, responsible and inspiring online communications for children and young people, and to bridge the digital knowledge gap for teachers, parents and carers, and is run here in the Middle East by my dear friend Barry Lee Cummings.

This morning, we’ve launched Beat The CyberBully’s mobile app to media in the region, and in talking to press about the virtues of the programme and the importance of cyber safety and security, it had us thinking about some of the basic elements of safe social media and whether we might perhaps all need a refresher:

Continue Reading…

OBDL960

Simple fixes for reading (and writing) online

This week it is National Read a Book Day in the UK, and International Literacy Day around the world. I’m a keen reader and a purist, who much prefers a real book to read, however I’m conscious that I’m probably in the minority now as the world continues to evolve. The COVD-19 pandemic has only intensified this shift online, as schools (here in the UAE at least) ask children to bring laptops and iPads in order to reduce the number of touchpoint from shared books and papers.

For anyone writing content that they want others to see, it is therefore becoming increasingly important to understand how reading changes online, and how we therefore have to adapt our writing to suit these new reading habits.

I’ve shared three simple fixes for your writing, to address the following changes in reading habits online:

Continue Reading…