Arun Sudhaman 16 May 2012 // 11:00PM GMT
QATAR--The high-profile wife of the Emir of Qatar is seeking social media support to boost global understanding of her presence and work in the region.
The Holmes Report has learned that Sheikha Moza bint Nasser’s office has issued a brief that asks public relations firms to submit proposals for an overarching social media strategy. The value of the assignment is not disclosed, but is likely to reach £500K according to the scope of work that is called for.
Agencies are to pitch for the brief in Qatar next week. Sheikha Moza’s office is seeking a centralised strategy to help them identify and manage a range of digital channels, tapping into her numerous social initiatives as an effective content-creation generator.
Sheika Moza is an active participant in her husband’s plans to transform gas-rich Qatar into a more knowledge-based society, using her weighty influence to drive programmes directed primarily at women, children and education.
She serves as chairperson of the Qatar Foundation, a wealthy NGO that is behind such projects as Education City and the Al Jazeera Children’s Channel. In addition, Sheikha Moza plays a key role in reforming healthcare and schooling in the nation.
On the global stage, Sheikha Moza has also been associated with United Nations’ initiatives for the past decade. She is currently a member of the UN Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group, after previously being appointed Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) Ambassador by the UN Secretary General.
Rishi Saha, who leads Hill + Knowlton Strategies' digital unit in the Middle East, told the Holmes Report that a “committed social media programme” could “dramatically enhance the impact and visibility” of Sheikha Moza’s work. Hill + Knowlton is not, added Saha, one of the firms in contention for the assignment.
“With pioneering endeavours across the fields of international development, education, healthcare, politics and community welfare, Sheikha Moza commands a rich stream of digital content that would educate, inspire and mobilise positive action,” said Saha, who previously oversaw UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s digital strategy.
“Whether that comes in the form of instilling pride amongst her fellow Qataris, promoting democracy across the Arab world, or showcasing the region to an international audience, Sheikha Moza can use so-called ‘digital diplomacy’ to tackle stereotypes head-on and foster dialogue amongst citizens and institutions across the globe.”
Tiny Qatar is an increasingly big player on the international stage, through its Al-Jazeera television network, numerous foreign investments, and hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup.
Sheikha Moza's office did not respond to request for comment.