26 years old Stephanie Farah is the latest entrant to Dubai’s Entrepreneurial scene. She is the youngest PR Professional to ‘Go Solo in Dubai’. Her company Empyre targets a young audience. Arabian Gazette interviews the enthusiastic (and glamorous) PR personality.
What factors influenced or motivated you to go solo?
Having worked in the industry for a while, I’d always imagined starting my own agency. I am a young professional, with a young outlook. We are at the apex of a massive change in the communication world to the digital plane. Belonging to a generation that has essentially grown up on digital platforms and social media, I understand what makes people stop and listen. Passive communication no longer works and it is so important to change the way we communicate. Whilst it was daunting going solo, I have a great team behind me, and I truly believe in Empyre’s vision, so honestly – it almost seemed like a no-brainer to do this.
You’ve worked with some of the top global brands including Ferrari, Viacom, Jumeirah Restaurant Group, JW Marriott Marquis, Pier Chic. Can you share some of the learning after working with these high-profile companies?
When you work with a new brand you have to essentially adopt their persona and live it. In the process you learn how things are done internationally, how communications works in the rest of the world. Working with brands that have budgets for robust campaigns also helps your exercise your creativity, which is so very rewarding. At the end of the day, every brand is different and so you will learn different things from each of them. Homegrown brands need a lot of careful attention to branding guidelines etc, we often have to develop the brand identity ourselves. With international companies you have more of a rule book to stick to, which definitely creates some interesting challenges along the way.
What according to you are the current hot trends in PR?
There is definitely a shift to digital press, everyone is increasing putting less and less emphasis on print coverage which was bound to happen. I think the other key trends we have identified are definitely a shift to more experiential campaigns and a lot of influencer work.
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How do you see the PR landscape evoloving. What according to you are the future trends in PR?
I think it will be more of the same. Less print and more digital. I think brands are going to continue evolving their marketing practices to change the way they build a dialogue with clients. The team are constantly travelling, and my Director recently went to Chicago where she visited an Amazon bookstore for the first time. She was pleasantly surprised to see how innovative they are with their use data to market books. This of course lead to a team discussion about how we can use the abundance of information on our hands to help our clients, I think the PR landscape will follow suit – becoming smarter about the information we put out, and really making it count.
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Can you share your secret tips to winning clients? what are the key factors for success?
My team and I have a simple mantra, be creative, be transparent, be knowledgeable – and don’t limit any of it. Our honesty is what has won us clients, despite the obvious hurdle with the entire team being under 30!
You’ve chosen a young/millennial team. Explain to us why?
We are the girls about town and we are, between us, most of our potential clients’ target audience. In an age where a two year old know to press skip on ads before a video, we know what makes people stop, listen and pay attention. We are a collective of likeminded people, we are passionate, driven. Mahnoor, the Director, is a strategic wizard, she can spin a campaign out of just about anything. Lobna is client servicing guru, she is cool, collected and so personable. Age is just a number, I assembled the team based on their hearts and minds, it’s my secret recipe to success.
“Keep watching out for Empyre, we have some insanely creative things coming!”, she says.
Arabian Gazette wishes Stephanie and her team at Empyre Communications all success in their entrepreneurial journey!