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03 December 2023

MENA’s first ‘Purpose Relations’ agency launched in Dubai

By Emirates247

Keel Comms, the first ‘Purpose Relations’ agency in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, today announced its launch in Dubai.
Born with sustainability at the core of its operations, Keel Comms is the only purpose-driven PR & communications, social media and content agency in the MENA region.
Founded by passionate publicists and social media experts with an unshakeable belief that Purpose Relations is the new Public Relations, Keel is designed to create shared value for governments, businesses and communities alike.

The agency’s mission is to instill a genuine sustainability mindset in companies and individuals across public and private sectors, paving the way for more authentic content ahead of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), which will convene from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Expo City Dubai, UAE.

Keel’s focus is to primarily serve government bodies, enterprises, SMEs, startups, public figures and influencers whose work is rooted in purpose. While not all entities or individuals have a knack for sustainability, Keel strives to imprint corporate citizenship in its clients’ DNA. Whether at the inception, early or maturity phase, the company advises clients on how to incorporate Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) factors into their operations and branding, so that it can then help them communicate their efforts genuinely.

The agency also aims to create next-gen influencers imbued with thought leadership and anchored to purpose, enabling them to become the voice rather than just the face of brands.

Commenting on the launch, Baha Hamadi, Founder & Managing Director of Keel Comms said: “We’re living in a country renowned as a global pioneer and the ‘home of firsts’. The UAE was the first country in MENA to announce a national drive to reach net zero by 2050. In the spirit of this great nation that is built on purpose and a favorable reputation for creating impact, it is time we adopted a more authentic and holistic approach to social and environmental advocacy, from a corporate and personal branding perspectives.”

“Achieving true sustainability means balancing economic, social and environmental factors, taking action and moving past aspirational talk and PR spin,” Baha added.

Baha Hamadi is a Board Member of the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA MENA) and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Community of ESG Practitioners. He also serves as a mentor for Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business.

“Marketers and content creators should realize that doing good goes beyond merely communicating favorably or promoting existing efforts. It is about taking initiative beyond the bounds of the marketing department, and influencing corporate strategy by embedding sustainability in operations, processes or corporate culture. The aim is to lay the foundation for authentic communications, before even communicating,” Baha added.

In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the knowledge economy, Keel is on a mission to humanize brands and transform social media influencers into thought leaders.

“Many influencers and brands are turning into faceless entities. As brand guardians, we should not forget the value of human interaction and our shared responsibility of supporting social and environmental causes. In today’s low-touch economy, humanizing corporate brands begins with nurturing the personal brands behind them,” Baha added.

Keel aims to enhance the profiles of social media influencers by infusing thought leadership in their content pillars, enabling them to become spokespeople capable of representing reputable brands, and activists who can identify and advocate for social and environmental causes.

For businesses or individuals who do not currently consider ESG factors, Keel recommends ways in which they can contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), either through co-creating initiatives or by facilitating partnerships with other entities within Keel’s network. For non-profits whose values align with Keel’s, the agency offers discounted fees.

In light of the growing ESG movement globally, Keel seeks to empower brands and individuals to play an active role during the ‘Decade of Action’ and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030—no matter how small their contributions may be.

“In ESG, action should always prevail over aspirational talk. Although research shows that CSR is partially shaped by talk and communication, and that talking is considered an action in its own right, we must always live up to our aspirations. Prioritizing talk over action often leads to customer disengagement and skepticism from employees. What we need is talk backed by action, also known as ‘twalking’. This shift represents a huge opportunity for companies and individuals to build brand equity and differentiate themselves in a cluttered marketplace, where consumers are increasingly growing cynical about ads, publicity stunts and influencer marketing,” Baha added.

“Without wisdom, wealth is worthless. At midlife when wisdom starts to shine through, you realize that human endeavor is not meaningful unless it is married to purpose. Fulfilment is a feeling you get when you serve others and feel you are part of something bigger than yourself,” Baha concluded.

The ‘keel’ is the supportive structure along the base of a ship. Its purpose is to enhance the overall stability and balance the framework, helping the ship seamlessly plow its way through the water. Keel’s leadership firmly believes that brand purpose provides a sturdy foundation for stable, long-lasting and meaningful relationships.