DUBAI: Following the historic deal between the UAE and Israel on Aug. 13 2020 known as the Abraham Accords, Steinreich Communications Group launched a specialty group to help UAE and Israeli businesses strengthen relationships in the two countries. Shortly after, the firm added Bahrain to the new outfit.
A year later, Steinreich Communications — which already worked with clients in the Middle East region — reported almost 50 percent growth in regional business.
“The last year has been absolutely exciting,” Ariella Steinreich, the company’s senior vice president who heads up the regional business, told Arab News.
“The bulk of our work is media relations. And then we found that there was another column, which was explaining the business culture because it is really different, so that’s what we have been focusing on for the last year,” she added.
The jump in new business came from clients in the travel and tourism, fintech, professional services, government, and NGO sectors in its Dubai and Tel Aviv operations. Almost all of the new clients were won through word-of-mouth, Steinreich said.
The growth in businesses has also led to the company expanding its staff and operations. At launch, the company did not have any physical offices in the region but has now opened an office in Dubai, UAE. When they opened the office, “we had a goal of what we thought the size of the office was and now it has doubled and we are looking at tripling it by the end of the year,” Steinreich said.
The UAE-Bahrain-Israel specialty group has a support staff in the US too. Steinreich said that many people do not realize that the American Jewish community plays an important role in the new business relationships between the Gulf and Israel. “There are dozens of Jewish newspapers in America,” she added.
The American and foreign Jewish community is also important for tourism. “The Abraham Accords did not just impact Israelis, Bahrainis and Emiratis, but also the American Jewish community, many of whom had the ability to come to this part of the world before but maybe didn’t always feel it was the safest or most comfortable place to be,” she said.
Because of the agreement, tourists and businesses feel more relaxed about being in the region, which explains the firm’s travel-focussed clients. The company also works on creating cultural experiences such as Sabbath and Sukkot dinners for everyone from officials and businesses to influencers and media professionals.
In just the last few weeks, the regional team has placed over 100 op-eds, arranged more than 210 interviews and secured more than 900 pieces of coverage for its clients around the first anniversary of the accords. But, beyond the business side, the most rewarding part of the firm’s efforts is the social and cultural impact.
“There is so much happening on the business side, but when we talk business, a lot of people think we’re just talking about financial or professional services,” said Steinreich. “Personally, what I find incredibly gratifying is when we work with groups and organizations who are doing things that also impact the social and cultural side, which is so impactful and beautiful.”