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Pulling teeth: the unenviable task of getting basic information out of an inhouse PR department
Getting basic information from an in-house PR agency in Dubai can prove a Herculean task. We challenged 10 of them to provide Kipp with some tricky, but not impossible, bits of company information.
June 30, 2008 10:16 by Aarti Nagraj
Ministry of Labor
Q: How many workers are involved in the construction industry in Dubai, and how many were killed on the job last year?
After priding itself on e-governance, it does seem slightly absurd that one of the most important ministries in Dubai is inaccessible through e-mail. That’s right. The Ministry of Labor in Dubai has no e-mail id. The phone number listed on their website is also continually unreachable, and so we tried the helpline number to get some contact information. The only solution the person on the line could offer was to visit the office. We didn’t.
Q: How many homes have they already built in Dubai, and how many will be finished in two years time?
You would expect a charged and ready-to-help PR from a company constantly hitting the headlines. Unfortunately, it was the opposite. The reception kept connecting us to an extension which was never picked up. Once, the receptionist also told us that they couldn’t connect us to the PR as “they were not allowed to do so.”
After explaining that we are from the press, and that one of the jobs of the PR was to speak to us, we were yet again connected to an extension that was not picked up.
Finally, after we pleaded with them to connect us to someone who was in office, we managed to reach the in-house PR, who after hearing the question, forwarded us to their external PR company. They asked us to send a mail, for which the reply was “I will check with Emaar regarding your request.”
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