UW-Whitewater: Dubai public relations practitioner to speak about global marketing, PR

Contact: Ann Knabe

(262) 472-5068

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WHITEWATER ­ In a day when your child traveling overseas can connect with you instantly for free using the Internet, any business endeavor that does not include a global public relations strategy already has two strikes against it.

Irina Sharma, managing partner of eKadaa PR, a multinational public relations firm in Dubai, has mastered the art of global marketing and public relations and will share her expertise at a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater lecture Wednesday, Sept. 9.

Her talk, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6:15 p.m. in room 2001 of Winther Hall.

Her company’s clients include Clinique, Lufthansa, Canon, Durex, the National Geographic Channel, the Dubai Rock Festival and even the popular shoe firm Crocs. She has also developed public health campaigns to raise public awareness in the Middle East of HIV, AIDS and breast cancer.

Sharma¹s campaigns have sometimes been controversial in the Middle East, but she said the tragedies of HIV infection and breast cancer must be illuminated to be prevented and treated. She is most known for her successful work in international markets.

“Despite the economic downturn, it’s an exciting time to be involved in global markets,” Sharma said. “There are rich opportunities for most companies on a global scale, but success will depend on the approach used in working with international firms. What works in the United States might not be the immediate answer in a global context. Success will ultimately depend on how that company adapts to the cultural nuances.”

Sharma will speak earlier in the day to the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America in Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Ad2 Club. She will also meet with UW-Whitewater public relations students.

“It’s important our students get exposed to professionals who practice global public relations and marketing,” said Ann Knabe, who teaches public relations at UW-Whitewater and who met Sharma during a recent trip to Dubai — where Sharma also teaches at the Dubai Women’s College.

“Any time students make a global connection, it opens more opportunities for international employment,” Knabe said. “The world has become more intertwined and connected in the last decade with the rapid expansion of the Internet and social media. This, in turn, has fueled global business development and PR partnerships.”