May. 2, 2022


Fatime Outaghani

Morocco

Fatime Outaghani

CEO, PR Media Agency

Focusing on its commitment to protecting its clients’ reputations and managing crises and going above and beyond, PR Media Agency has been duly recognized with prestigious awards on the international stage.

BIO

Fatime Outaghani launched an advertising company in 1997. In anticipation of the boom in communications services throughout the region and following the success of the public relations department, she launched PR Media, the first PR agency in North Africa, in 2004. With more than 20 years’ experience in the North African communications environment, she now focuses on business development and geographical expansion. Over the last few years, she has grown the PR Media network through wholly owned offices in North Africa. PR Media has been a Hill & Knowlton associate for North West Africa since 2005. Outaghani previously worked for Unilever for over five years and holds a master’s in communication.


What key challenges did PR Media have to navigate during this period, and how were you resilient?

The pandemic has tested the resilience of companies worldwide, and ours was no exception. But unlike many, PR Media is now poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before. More than our agile business model, we owe this resilience to our corporate culture of humility. We never believed our future success was guaranteed, knowing full well that the status quo had changed before, and could change again. When COVID-19 hit and Morocco’s economy tailspinned into its first recession since the mid-1990s, we were better prepared than most. Crucially, we had business-continuity and crisis-response plans at the ready, put in place well before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19. Take, for example, our work-from home policy, first implemented in 2018. Rather than fight the inevitable, we moved quickly to lay the groundwork for more flexible working arrangements in the future, going so far as to test our new work-from-home policy in a crisis scenario. So, three years later, when COVID-19 forced companies and whole countries to shudder overnight, our staff were equipped with the resources and know-how for a seamless transition to remote working. This smooth transition reinforced a sense of security and confidence in PR Media’s corporate strategy, leadership, and operational systems, from which we were able to move forward in tackling more difficult challenges. Through it all, our goal has been to communicate as often and as transparently as possible. In the early stages, that meant telling staff we did not have all the answers yet, and straightforwardly addressing concerns about job security. Now, more than one year into the pandemic, we are committed to retaining that same humility and flexibility, which together have enabled us to remain resilient in the face of so many unknowns.

PR Media’s brand is a key source of its success. What are the key strengths of your brand, and what distinguishes you from your competition?

The success of PR Media’s brand is two-fold. Firstly, our history as the first North-Africa-based agency exclusively dedicated to PR has been instrumental in establishing the PR Media brand’s predominance in the region. Secondly, we have also distinguished ourselves internationally, through our collaboration with leading global brands such as Ford, adidas, Starbucks, Spotify, and Danone. For this work, we have been awarded myriad prestigious awards on the international stage. Notably, for our work with international brands Ford and Kaspersky, respectively, we won the PR industry’s equivalent of an Oscar: the SABRE Award. More broadly speaking, what sets us apart is our expertise, which encompasses the entire PR value chain; the effectiveness of our strategies, which offer both great impact and sustainability; our commitment to protecting our clients’ reputation and managing crises; and, above all, our ability to go beyond execution, by establishing our consultancy as a truly integrated part of our offering.

What has been the impact of digitalization for PR Media, and how have you leveraged this as a new opportunity?

For several years now, companies have been undergoing a digital transformation that has unquestionably accelerated as a result of COVID-19. According to a PR Media survey, the majority of Moroccan journalists rated corporate communication as either “average” (42%) or “poor” (21%), suggesting that companies are struggling to adapt to new ways of communicating digitally. The companies that are set to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis with their reputation intact are those that have succeed in adapting to and harnessing the power of digital to communicate often and transparently.

PR Media has an established presence in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. What plans for further regional development do you have?

As a partner to several international groups, PR Media’s scope is global. While we are based primarily in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, we operate throughout Africa and the Middle East, and even in Europe. We are a regional agency with global reach. 

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