The Middle East is seen as a largely underdeveloped yet promising market for PR as the communications sector develops there.
There are an estimated 90 PR agencies in the United Arab Emirates, but quantity is far outweighing quality, according to an agency PR executive in the country.
In addition, Burson-Marsteller, which has had a presence in Dubai since 1999, published a survey of Arab youth this week showing a confident, tech-savvy generation growing up in the region and creating a coveted base for marketers to target.
"While there is a huge demand for strategic corporate communications counsel, the majority of the PR agencies are still offering shallow tactics," said Saleem, who noted PR people are following creative ideas set out by ad agencies. "This is hindering the industry's growth."
Saleem's views on the lack of mentoring for young professionals, and his view that a PR agency should be more of a family doctor than a general practitioner are also outlined in the EB piece.
Karen Hughes, former public diplomacy chief for the recent Bush administration who is a global vice chair at Burson, noted that while more than two-thirds expressed concerns about a rising cost of living, and a shortage of affordable housing was another top concern, Arab youth in general are confident in the region's direction.