SMEs and Start-ups Form Backbone of Lebanon’s Economic and Business Growth
BR Communications, a reputed PR and marketing consultancy specializing in creative campaign solutions emphasized the importance of Public Relations (PR) and Social Media for business growth and development, and ultimately, success in Lebanon’s tough business climate. Further, since SMEs and Start-ups form the backbone of the present and future opportunities for business and economic development in Lebanon, the need for PR and Social Media to build awareness of the business and its products and services is even greater than it would have been had most business opportunities remained the remit of large organizations, and their well-known brands.
The business climate in Lebanon is difficult as it faces multiple challenges from both within the sector, and externally from political, economic, and security concerns. However, businesses in Lebanon are resilient, riding out the seasonal ebbs and flows, but to be consistently successful, they need support. This is where traditional and new media such as online news portals, blogs, websites, and social media come in. However, to leverage the potential of these media channels, a professional, and creative marketing and PR consultancy should be enlisted, as media in Lebanon too face difficult challenges.
Media in Lebanon have a difficult task owning to the political, economic, social, and security concerns that are prevalent. They tend to devote most of their time and effort to cover this all-important news. As a result, the space and opportunities for business news is very limited. This is where enticing copy about a company’s products and services, developed with creative content and in interesting formats for both traditional and new media is necessary.
PR and the use of Social Media to transmit business news to the public, including existing and potential clients, is often over looked by businesses, especially SMEs and Start-ups. In many cases, SMEs and Start-ups are under the impression that they do not have ‘any news to share’, or that such services are ‘expensive’. Neither of these commonly held beliefs are true, and they tend to destroy all business opportunities that are not taken through investing in PR and Social Media.
Developing a PR and Social Media profile is much more than increasing awareness of the company’s products, services, and brands. It is instrumental in extending and developing the company’s business reach.
Reach is important. Whether it is the targeted audience, or a new target market segment completely. And with Lebanon’s vast diaspora, a business reach not just within its country business borders, but beyond could potentially lead to more opportunities and growth. “PR, and marketing for some business may mean a simple promotion of their services and products to existing markets to increase sales, growth, and profitability. But, while this may make sense in the short-term, in the long-term PR helps businesses develop their brand, and their voice in the market; it helps in the longevity of the business. This is what business should expect from their PR team,” explained Bahaa Fatairy, MD of BR Communications.
Social Media is increasingly an important media channel too, especially in an environment where traditional media agencies are too tied up with events in Lebanon. Social Media channels will provide companies with a platform of their own which can be used anytime without any red tape or censoring, with total control, to communicate directly with the public. However, drafting appropriate messages and interacting promptly with clients on social media platforms whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or something else, will be crucial in using this mechanism. Social Media is ultimately, an efficient and essential tool in getting the company’s message across.
“When we talk of getting a message across, we are referring to a business’ product, service, brand, and in rare instances whatever managerial information they want to communicate to the public. To get messages across, the first thing to assume, is no one has sufficient time to stumble upon a business and what they offer, the message needs to grab their attention, and for this it is important to enlist a professional whether it is to draft PR or Social Media communication,” commented Fatairy.
“Ultimately, to be successful, you need to be known, and to be known you need to be heard, and to be heard, you need professional marketing expertise to create an incredible message and ensure it does not become ‘noise’ that Lebanon’s busy media professionals will ignore,” concluded Fatairy.