Publikart is the Wrong PR Firm for Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

Hassan Masiky

Washington DC - It is a bad sign when a public relations firm becomes the focus of a bad campaign when it is supposed to run a positive one for a client. Unfortunately, this is the case of Publikart, a public relations and media firm based in Rabat, Morocco, charged with communications and press relations for Morocco’s famous “Fes Festival of World Sacred Music”.

An incident during which Mrs. Sanaa Smiyej. Publikart’s director, called Morocco World News (MWN) staff “scumbags” and “fake journalists” has shown the firm and its employees in a bad light questioning their suitability and capability to run public relations for an international gathering of the magnitude of the Fes Festival.

Mrs. Sanaa Smiyej has refused to accredit MWN, the leading English language website in Morocco with more than half a Million followers on Facebook, to cover the festival because she never heard of the site.

It is troublesome that a firm in charge of an international event where half of the invitees use English to communicate is clueless about the work of MWN. If Mrs. Smiyej ever googled “Morocco” or conducted any research in English, as any international PR director should do, she would have seen MWN’s work and reach.

As a regular contributor to MWN, I can attest to the impact of this website on a unique and sought-after audience that very few other Moroccan websites, let alone old fashion media, have access to.

Both the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music officials and Publikart staff should be courting MWN and not the other way around. To reach a wider audience and to run an effective mass media campaign, festival administrators should move away from their Francophile focus and high official pleasing and target the untapped rich market of Anglo-Speaking world.

Publikart lack of familiarity with Morocco’s English language websites and the absence of a “comprehensive” English version of the Festival’s site targeting the Anglo-Saxon press beg two questions: how is Publikart communicating with the Non-French speaking musicians, managers and public? In addition, how does Publikart plan to reach out and advertise to the largest segments of the World Wide Web who use English to communicate?

English and not French should be the official language of this festival that has honored India in 2016 and will honor China this year. Actually, for this year’s edition, officials of Fes Festival of World Sacred Music should have chosen a PR firm with expertise in English language campaign.

It is unacceptable that some parts of the English language section of the Festival is written in French. In fact, such incompetence costs Morocco and Moroccan businesses thousands if not millions of dollar in lost tourism revenue.

How can German, American, English, Scandinavian, Asian and other English speaking music enthusiasts learn about this extraordinary event if there is no English literature on the Website?

The over reliance on French has cost the Moroccan economy millions of dollars in lost opportunities. Furthermore, some French educated managers have become an obstacle to extending Moroccan tourism and economic opportunities beyond the usual Francophone zone.

In this specific case, it is evident that Publikart is unequipped to run a successful PR and media campaign for such important event chaired by King Mohammed VI.

When a PR company cannot handle its own publicity, how can they convince clients of their aptness to conduct future successful campaigns?




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