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PR firms see slowdown in business
[February 13, 2011]

PR firms see slowdown in business

(Daily News Egypt Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) CAIRO: Egypt's recent political unrest has had a marked and drastic effect on tourism, the capital market and, to a lesser extent, every other sector in the economy. One of these is the public relations field.

"We never officially closed our offices like others did, but that was because we had to be ready to support our clients in whatever way possible if needed," said Adel Elbendary, founder and managing director of Fourth Dimension Public Relations.

"If we couldn't work from the office, we worked from home," he added.

Like many other businesses, Maha Saad, managing director for Blue Ocean Public Relations, said her company closed their doors for a brief period during the uprising, but have resumed operations.

A young public relations company in Cairo also had to close their office, but have had to remain closed until now.

"Our office is in the Tahrir area so we have been closed since day one of the protests until now," commented Sherry El Kilany, founder of Nineteen84 luxury and event management.

"A lot of our work and deals that were set to kick off at the beginning of the year have now been put on hold indefinitely due to the uncertain business environment right now," she added.

While some of the larger international companies had employees leave the country for fear of safety, Saad, Kilany and Elbendary all said their employees stayed in the country throughout the duration of the protests.

"While none of our employees left, a good portion of our deals that were in partnership with multinational companies have also been put on hold until their company heads return to Egypt," said Kilany.

"We were recruiting before protests for employees and we are still recruiting now after the protests so it hasn't affected our employees in any way," added Elbendary.

He also added that business growth thrives under democracy and was not growing to its full potential before under monopoly.

"I think that the growth of business will increase once democracy is reached," said Elbendary.

Saad also agreed, but added that most are waiting for their next step due to the uncertainty in the government right now.

"It's too premature to assess the full situation, but I think now businesses will have to adjust their plans according to the government situation," said Saad, adding that she believes now is the time to focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) investments.

"I have confidence in the local businesses we have and the growth we will see from here on out," said Saad.

"Now is the time to look at other options and opportunities but knowing when to capitalize it is key," Kilany explained.

"We have the opportunity to push our country on an international scale and bring in more investment once everything starts to boom again."   (c) 2011 Daily NewsEgypt Provided by an company

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