Brunswick Group, known for its specialization in “critical issues and corporate relations,” has won the PR accounts for Saudi Aramco and DIFC, according to industry sources.
At the time of writing this, the firm neither confirmed nor denied these reports.
Both are huge wins for the company that recently lost its senior advisor Steve Lipin, who left the company after almost 16 years to reportedly start his own firm.
Closer home, this is an important time for Aramco with its IPO coming up and a valuation of $1 trillion, according to some analysts.
The past year and so far, this year has been tough for the PR and Communications industry. As mentioned in The Holmes Report, “2016 was an annus horribilis for the Kingdom’s [Saudi Arabia] communications sector. Facing a double whammy of low oil prices and rising costs, the country’s government hedged existing contracts by a minimum 10 percent.”
In the UAE, there have been several layoffs – most recently at Edelman Dabo. The PR and digital agency laid off about 20 employees earlier this year. Just last month the founding ladies Camilla and Lucy d’Abo also decided to leave. In fact, a MEPRA report indicates that in 2016 only 66.6 percent see investment in PR staying the same or growing, down from 87 percent in 2015.
Another consistent trend has been that of expecting more from PR agencies, such as social media and influencer marketing service.
As budgets decrease and demands increase, it’s tough for PR agencies to survive, let alone thrive; making the Aramco and DIFC wins that much more exceptional for Brunswick.