For many in the Middle East’s communications industry, the past twelve months have been the toughest since the financial crash of 2008. For others, 2016 was the year when the communications industry grew triple-digit .
The Holmes Report, yesterday, published its review of the Middle East’s communications industry in 2016 and the industry’s 2017 prospects.
The report, under the title of “2017 Forecast: Middle East PR Industry Eyes Change After Challenging 2016“, reviews the state of PR industry in some key counties in Middle East, including UAE, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
For this end, The Holmes Report, as the PR industry’s leading source, has spoken to some of the key agency players in the region to understand what happened in 2016, and what they’re looking forward to in 2017.
With respect to Iran, the report mentions the following contents:
“The second most populous country in the region after Egypt, Iran was the proverbial new kid on the block when it came to the communications industry. Following the lifting of the UN-imposed sanctions in January 2016, a steady stream of American and European blue chip firms have sought to re-establish themselves in Iran. And they’ve brought with them a number of major agencies. In August of last year Grayling announced an affiliation deal with Tehran-based Iranian advertising and marketing comms agency PGt Advertising allowing Grayling to provide services in the country.
Grayling weren’t the first major Western agency to enter Iran. In February, emerging markets specialist Speyside launched a dedicated reporting and counseling service to help companies assess risks and opportunities in Iran through providing local insights. Italian firm SEC Group claimed to be the first foreign agency to enter the Iranian market in July, when it signed a co-operation agreement with the Iranian company PAT to provide support to its clients.
According to reports from Iran, more agreements are in the pipeline, including partnership deals and affiliation agreements between WPP-owned firms. Speaking to the Holmes Report just over a year ago, the CEO of Tehran-headquartered Mana Payam explained his belief that 2016 would be a breakthrough year for communications in Iran.
“Everyone understands the opportunity is there, but we need more players in the market,” said Arash Vafadari. “Iran is one of the largest countries in the region, our consumers are savvy, and most of the organizations based outside of Iran know the value of PR and communications. The market will boom next year. 2016 will be the year of public relations in Iran.”
Judging by the amount of interest shown by the communications industry in Iran, Vafadari may have been right. However, with the change in the White House and political tensions between Iran and the Gulf region, Iran’s growth story may be shorter-lived than many in the country would have hoped for.”