News Bits: WebTeb Wins Arab Social Media Influencers Summit Award; J. Peter Ban promoted to COO of Simulmedia; Making Email Fun Again

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WebTeb, the leading Arabic health and lifestyle portal, announced today that it has won the ASMIA Award – the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit Award. The award was presented today to Dr. Mahmoud Kaiyal, WebTeb’s founder and CEO by his Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in recognition of WebTeb’s achievements in promoting the health and well-being of Arab Internet users and in recognition of WebTeb’s leadership position in the Arab language Internet.

(Editor’s Note: Propel Media’s healthguru.com has contributed consumer health videos to this groundbreaking site.)

ASMIA Is the first awards ceremony that highlights the most compelling social-media-driven initiatives by Arabs. It honors innovations by both individuals and institutions who have made a positive impact on the development and prosperity of their communities, while contributing to the progress and development of people. Other winners included MBC tv-group, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Coca Cola.

The award’s objectives are to:
*Encourage communication across social media channels.
*Encourage creative thinking and contribute to the development of people and communities.
*Increase awareness for issues of concern to the Arab community in a responsible and positive manner.

“We are honored to win this award – we view social media as an important tool in brining better information about lifestyle, health and medical choices to Arabic users, changing people’s lives for the better,” said Dr. Mahmoud Kaiyal, founder and CEO of WebTeb. “This would not happen without the support of WebTeb’s employees and management.”

About WebTeb
WebTeb’s goal is to provide Arabic-language comprehensive health and medical information so that its Arabic-speaking users can live better and healthier lives. WebTeb publishes exclusive and high-quality evidence-based medical information and continuously updates it. WebTeb strives to be the leading professional and reliable source of information for Arabic-speaking users and to provide a platform for their interaction with health practitioners, hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, therapists, and health education institutions.
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Simulmedia
announced that J. Peter Ban, who has been the company’s Senior Vice President of Business Operations since September of 2014, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer and will oversee all operations for the company. “When I announced Peter was joining Simulmedia last year, I noted that ‘he is one of the strongest and most balanced business leaders I have met,'” says Dave Morgan, Simulmedia’s CEO. “As the company continues to grow, his leadership and operational excellence will enable us to scale and deliver a world-class offering.”

Mr. Ban joined Simulmedia from HBO where was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Domestic Network Distribution was responsible for all of HBO’s cable affiliate relationships, which included Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter, Cablevision, Suddenlink, Mediacom and RCN as well as the independent accounts.

Prior to HBO, Mr. Ban was CEO of Epostmarks, Inc., an online business-to-business company, where he developed and executed a strategic relationship with the U.S. Postal Service’s Electronic Postmark service and increased revenue 500% in a single year. For ten years before that, Mr. Ban worked at AOL and Time Warner corporate, as Senior Vice President, Business Intelligence & Operations at AOL, and as Time Warner’s Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Operations, where he negotiated the company’s cross-division strategic partner alliances in advertising and marketing. In 2007, Mr. Ban was awarded the Andrew Heiskell Community Service Award, Time Warner’s highest public service honor, for his leadership activities in the Autism community. Mr. Ban began his career as a lawyer and worked with various telecommunications and internet clients while at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, in Washington, D.C. He holds a BA in Government Theory and a JD from Georgetown University.

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Social gets a lot of hype for being the entertaining digital marketing channel, but why should it have all the fun? PostUp CEO Tony D’Anna, in this contributed story, says email has the potential to be just as amusing.

Email was the original social channel; before consumers were posting hilarious articles and humorous videos on Facebook, they were sharing this same kind of content in forward-to-a-friend emails. Yet somehow because email is a more mature channel, it no longer gets associated with all of that fun. It’s time for email marketers to put the fun back into email.

Consumers are always up for a good laugh, and a message that leaves them smiling is one they will remember. People enjoy smiling and laughing and marketers have a great opportunity to deliver the punch line. Humor is an effective tool in marketing because of the emotional connection it stirs up. Emails don’t have to be serious, and putting on an amusing spin is more fun than simply sending out an offer. A little creativity and a lot of testing are the core to making a fun email.

Birthday messages are a great place to experiment with enjoyable email creative. These underutilized triggered messages allow marketers to connect with customers through a personalized message and offer. And what better place than a birthday message to have a little fun? For example, Hulu sends a birthday video that sings to the recipient through snippets taken from videos across their site. This is an excellent way to promote their product by making use of the site’s good content in a compelling and fun way.

If irreverent humor is part of your brand, then it should be in your emails. Patagonia, for instance, recently sent an email with the tongue-in-cheek call-to-action, Don’t Buy This Jacket. The email was a push to promote the retailer’s repair service and connect with their environmentally friendly customers who don’t necessarily want to just throw away their old jacket and buy a new one. The concept is a fun play on what customers would expect to see in an email, highlighting the retailer’s sense of humor.
Another fun idea is to add a sharable hashtag to an email’s subject line. Hashtags are not just for Instagram and Twitter, and using one in email is a great way to capture a consumer’s attention. After all, they are not used to seeing hashtags in their inbox. Hashtags also naturally encourage sharing so this is a fun way to give consumers the tools to share your message for you and stimulate a viral sensation.

Deciding what is fun is up to your brand. The idea is to identify some creative that is playful and appealing to your audience and put a fun spin on it. Then like any other email message you send, it will probably require some testing to get it right. Whether it’s a funny video, a playful birthday message or call-to-action that makes them do a double take, marketers should be testing ways to make email fun.

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