Posted: Monday, 20 March 2017

Tags: - Marketing / Publishing - United Arab Emirates

Country: United Arab Emirates

Industry Sector: Marketing / Publishing


New GM and senior account manager appointed; B2B consultancy completes rebrand to accommodate digital and broadcasting divisions as company expands


Dubai-based B2B PR agency Shamal Communications has strengthened its expanding team with two new key appointments, which coincides with the completion of Shamal’s rebrand and the launch of new digital and broadcast divisions. 

James Lakie, who has been with the company for three years, has been promoted to General Manager. Scottish-born, James began his professional career in 2002 with VisitScotland, the Scottish National Tourist Board. During his tenure, he worked on both consumer and corporate accounts, bringing a wealth of experience to Dubai and managing accounts across numerous industry verticals.

He said: “I’m looking forward to the added responsibility that this position carries, especially with the launch of our two new divisions. Shamal has built a sterling reputation in the market over the last 12 years and continues to produce quality results for clients including Arabian Travel Market, Seven Tides International and Al Hamra Real Estate Development and above all else provides an outstanding return on investment.”

Gavin Gibbon has been brought on board as Senior Account Manager. A qualified journalist with 17 years’ experience, Gavin has been in Dubai for three years. He previously worked for ITP Publishing and OSN. Gavin joins from real estate company Core Savills where he was PR & Communications Manager.

He said: “Having worked with Shamal during my time at ITP my decision to come on board was an easy one. The agency has an incredibly strong client base, with a passion to serve them well and foster good relationships with the media. Their ambitions also match my own and I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Established in 2004, Shamal was founded by Steven Jones and Nathalie Viselé, marketing and PR professionals each with over twenty years’ Middle East experience, and blue chip pedigrees in the business and hospitality sectors.

Steven Jones, Managing Director, Shamal Communications, added: “James has progressed steadily since joining the team. With the dedication, commitment and level of professionalism and expertise he has shown over the last three years, this was a natural step for him to make and a move he richly deserves.

“Gavin joins us at a strategic point in the company’s development. With our solid experience in real estate, Gavin’s knowledge of the UAE’s property market will be invaluable for our real estate clients particularly as the UAE moves closer to Expo 2020, given the huge amount of development planned in the hospitality and leisure sectors.”

The agency has also completed a comprehensive rebrand, creating a structure which now accommodates new standalone divisions Shamal Public Relations, Shamal Digital and Shamal Broadcast, enabling clients to heighten their visibility across a broader range of platforms, throughout the increasingly competitive markets in the Middle East and Asia. 
Nathalie Viselé, Director at Shamal, said: “The communications industry has been completely transformed over the past decade and continues to move at an extraordinary pace. It was only 2002 when Linkedin was formed, followed by Facebook (2004), YouTube (2005), Twitter (2006), Instagram (2010) and Snapchat (2012).

“Companies today have never had such a variety of communication channels open to them to connect with their target audience. Therefore, we decided to add these new dedicated divisions, to keep up with market demand and ensure we are always providing the latest and most creative strategies for our clients,” added Viselé.

Shamal Communications is also a founding member of Worldwise PR Affiliates, a strategic alliance of well-established, independent public relations firms in key locations around the world, including: Miami, New York, London, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Delhi, Milan, Munich, Paris, Moscow, Toronto, Hong Kong, mainland China, Jakarta, Singapore and Buenos Aires.