There’s more to MEPRA than meets the eye. Take a closer look.
Hilmarie Hutchison, CEO Matrix Public Relations
“I don’t really see the point in being a member of MEPRA”, says Susan as she sips her cappuccino. “Honestly, why should a huge organization like that care about a small independent freelancer like me?”
‘I think you are mistaken Susan,” says Jamal as he offers her a croissant. “That’s what some PR professionals think but it is just the opposite. It’s actually like one big family. There is a lot more below the surface. Look, I could introduce you to one of the Board Members. In fact, she opened quite a few doors for my agency. She would be happy to highlight the many benefits of being a MEPRA member”.
Like with other situations, perception and reality can be two different things. The fact is that The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) was set up to be the voice of the PR industry in the region. It was created for people like Jamal and Susan to be heard and be seen. It is a stage for every member where you can improve your professional skills, network with your peers, take advantage of valuable insight or even pick up some useful business leads.
For those bright young aspirants venturing out into PR you can look forward to free training, workshops, mentoring and get big discounts to MEPRA events where you can rub shoulders with industry peers. These activities also act as a good hunting ground for job opportunities. Well-established business can also promote their business on MEPRA channels. Want to get better at presentations? MEPRA is the place for you.
It is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a freelancer or for your agency and your team. Through it you can sharpen your skills and grow your network. It is a valuable showcase of knowledge, enterprise and professional interaction. It can even lead to some solid business referrals along the way.
There is a whole string of valuable benefits that come with joining the MEPRA community. Like the MEPRA’s Employee Assistance Portal that offers one-to-one support on mental health, financial and legal issues for yourself and immediate family members. These services were so timely during Covid-19. Did you hear that, Susan? There’s even MEPRA’s Talent Directory and Career Centre.
Junior professionals have a lot to smile about too. Through the Mentoring Programme you can connect with senior leaders. Students haven’t been forgotten – the Student Internship Portal is the ideal platform for students to gain experience. Additionally, businesses can access MEPRA’s Internship Programme and find the best placement for interns.
There are plenty of other benefits you can count on. Like Complimentary Passes to a whole host of events, 40% discount on regular training events, 20% discount on MEPRA award entries, and 20% discount on key industry events. In addition, MEPRA’s Agency and Corporate Members can avail of a whole host of exclusive benefits.
In addition to the existing programs, this year MEPRA established a working group dedicated to supporting Small /Medium Independents & Consultants (SMIC) in the Middle East. One of the first things the working group did was to conduct a survey to identify the major pain points faced by independent agencies and freelancers.
Based on the findings of the survey, MEPRA is now offering additional services tailored specifically to support these SMEs and freelancers. This includes:
- Bi-monthly workshops on cash flow management, legal support, building company culture and how to prepare for growth;
- A resource centre for small and medium independents and consultants, which includes a list of recommended supplier contacts, tips and guides tailored for SMEs; Quarterly digital drop-ins and networking events to discuss challenges and opportunities;
- Industry partner discounts negotiated by MEPRA on behalf of small and medium independents and consultants;
- An industry rate cards guide to assist with pricing and budget development;
- Lobbying efforts to help assist with delayed payments for SMEs;
- Special payment terms for small and medium independents and consultants on MEPRA memberships and events.
Yes, MEPRA is continually active, and you can be part of it. It is your community and your gateway to a successful PR career in the Middle East.
If you really want to know more about individual and corporate membership benefits go to: https://www.mepra.org/benefits/. You will be surprised how much it’s got to offer you, whether you are a small freelancer like Susan or a partner in a middleweight agency like Jamal.
True to its mission, MEPRA is all about ‘promoting industry standards, sharing knowledge and thought leadership and building the capabilities of professionals in the region’. This is an organisation that’s committed to driving growth, whether you are seeking your first job or waiting anxiously for the Awards Night in the hope you can celebrate a Gold Award with the rest of the team.