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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Aramco’

What do Saudi citizens really fear? – Arab News

17 Dec

In my latest article in Arab News, I discuss the fears that virtually exist in every Saudi household … check it out

 
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Positivity For A Change; Exemplary CSR

25 Jan

Recently, I have been really overwhelmed with many blog posts, articles, and tweets that were only negatively looking at many, especially social, aspects of Saudi Arabia. I would give those writers the benefit of the doubt and say that they are in love with this country, and they want to see it the best country in the world; so out of love, they get really harsh on it sometimes.

The fact of the matter that it seems much easier to spot shortcomings rather than qualities. I do not know, maybe it is human nature; we perceive advantages as normal and sometimes as basic rights while on the same time we tend to overreact to imperfections. I am saying these words and I am not trying, in any way, to pretend to be the most positive person in the world. I am just trying to be objective as much as I can :)

Let’s move to the post which you could’ve guessed by now that it will be about something positive; actually it is … but not totally!!

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), let’s face it; a lot of management practitioners do not totally grasp this concept. The truth is that it is a vague concept with a lot of ethical backgrounds and dilemmas. Saudi companies, as many others around the world, are suffering from this lack of understanding in addition to the fact that most of them are mixing between the concepts of social responsibility and charity.

Despite all that, two Saudi companies just provided an interesting example about how to be socially responsible companies; Saudi Aramco and Siemens Saudi Arabia. According to this article in Arab New, the two companies are initiating a very interesting program to improve Saudi youngsters’ enthusiasm for science. The program that has already been implemented in many countries around the world, by the Siemens international I believe, will be available for 400 students in the Eastern region of the country in the first phase or the pilot of the program. Those 400 students will receive what the program call ‘Discovery Boxes,’ different materials are available in these boxes for the students to conduct different experiments in different scientific disciplines. By any means, this is a really bright example of social responsibility.

However, there is only one remark that could make this program a bit less than perfect; will it be available to any school in the Eastern region and the whole Kingdom in later phases, or it will be exclusive to the schools where the children of Saudi Aramco staff are receiving their education!!

Finally, I have to mention my ‘free spirit’ statement; although I have many friends working in Aramco, and a brother in law working in Siemens, this post has not been influenced by them in any way …

 

Saudi Businesses and Social Media Marketing

29 Oct

It seems that Saudi companies are not yet sure about the importance of social media marketing and whether it should play a role in their marketing and branding strategies or not. Internationally, using social media tools (e.g. Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Youtube channels, etc …) is becoming THE trend among other marketing tools and initiatives.

When the buzz started about the potential use of social media in creating an added value to their brands, companies were just waiting to see how things will end up. Justifying the cost of resources they will dedicate to build such a social media presence was the main concern occupying the minds of these companies’ managements. In other words, managers were thinking; what is the return on such investment?

The global marketing scene has moved from this basic question to discuss the specifics of having a successful presence online. The question of ‘should we have social media accounts?’ has been changed to ‘how to relate and engage with our customers using social media accounts?’. So it is not about the presence anymore, it is about the engagement. According to a study by Wetpaint and Altimeter Group, there is a correlation between a company’s social media engagement and its profit (more on this point is here). That means these social media accounts can be used as a channel of communication with customers. To be successful, this channel has to be considered as a long term investment and a major marketing and branding activity. The presence should be alive, active, and emotionally engaging to the customers. Small gestures like saying ‘thank you’ to a Twitter customer, or saying ‘we will make sure to fix that’ on a Facebook page could make a difference with customers and boost their loyalty to the company.

Now, I have been looking around Twitter to check out Saudi companies’ presence over there. And it seems that most of them are in the trap of ‘cold social media presence’. The giant, Saudi Aramco has 351 followers only, can you believe that? Check out now the telecom rivals STC and Mobily, pretty cold, isn’t? Now for the sake of a quick comparison, check out Qatar Airways Twitter account, you can even feel the difference, right!!

If you have any examples of effective social media presence to share with us, I would be grateful to hear.