Job description / Role
The work location for this position is Dubai.
The Regional Director of Communications MEA/SWA is responsible for the Communications strategy across MEA (Middle East and Africa) and Southwest Asia with the overall goal to support Hyatt's hotel portfolio in the region (both operating and opening hotels), drive brand preference and protect brand reputation for Hyatt and its sub-brands in the region. The position will work closely with Hyatt's regional Corporate Communications and Brands team to make sure the Communications strategy is aligned. The individual in this position is supposed to be a trusted partner for the regional team, ensuring close collaboration with leaders of key functions across the organization, including Development, Operations, Human Resources, Design Services and all other Commercial functions. The role will act as a counsel and advisor in all communications related matters to hotel teams and other department managers.
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
- In conjunction with the Director Brand and Corporate Communications EAME/SWA, develop strategic programs in support of Hyatt's marketing, operations and development objectives in the Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia and work with the regional Corporate Communications team to implement those initiatives in a way that delivers measurable results.
- Oversee Hyatt's corporate communication strategy in MEA/SWA in alignment with the Director of Corporate Communications EAME/SWA. Spearhead an integrated communications program designed to drive preference for Hyatt and its sub-brands, and to support acquisition and penetration for Hyatt's loyalty program World of Hyatt.
- Work closely with functional specialists in Brands, Marketing, Digital Marketing and content development to ensure an integrated approach across functions.
- Build a strong network with internal PR resources at Hyatt hotels across the assigned region. Provide strategic guidance at all times in developing compelling storylines for hotels and destinations and ensure that local/regional and corporate messages and media relations efforts reinforce and leverage each other.
- Leverage new hotel openings, acquisitions, conversions and renovations to create awareness of an enthusiasm for Hyatt's brands and the company's positioning as an industry leader in the region.
- Take ownership of the Communications strategy for new hotel openings and brand introductions in MEA/SWA. Leverage key hotel openings and work with hotel pre-opening teams to create a meaningful Communications strategy to drive awareness, and ensure the communications strategy is embedded in the overall launch strategy including Brands, Marketing and Digital Marketing/Content activities and planning.
- Drive awareness for new brands Hyatt is bringing to the Middle Eastern and African markets.
- Position Hyatt as business and leisure service/product innovator through new initiatives and creative brand publicity programs (surveys, events, social media campaigns, etc.).
- Leverage Hyatt as a hotel operator of choice among developers and potential business partners. Implement and own a program including proactive trade/B2B media relations, leveraging development conferences to maximize Hyatt exposure, overseeing development of messaging and materials that differentiate Hyatt and its sub-brands as well as World of Hyatt in the minds of this key audience.
- Create a meaningful visibility program for Hyatt spokespersons across the assigned region, identify public speaking opportunities and develop messaging documents and briefings on designated corporate issues/positions, and in response to media inquiries.
- Act as a go-to person and provide assistance for hotels in case of issues or crisis situations, and further support Hyatt's global communications teams with issues management and crisis communications when needed.
- Manage and direct Hyatt's corporate PR agency for the GCC region, based in Dubai, in close collaboration with the regional Communications team. Act as the day-to-day contact to leverage the PR agency team to achieve set goals. Work with assigned PR agencies in the other parts of the region as needed.
- Act as a go to resource for all Communications related questions for Hyatt's operating hotels across MEA/SWA. Assist hotels with the selection, on-boarding and briefing of PR agencies, advise on the day-to-day management of hotel PR agencies and troubleshoot when needed.
- Support operating and opening hotels with the selection, on-boarding and training of Communications staff.
- Develop strong personal relationships and maintain active contact with local/regional/national and international press that will benefit Hyatt.
- Identify current industry and lifestyle trends that create opportunity to position Hyatt as an industry leader in the Middle East and an expert resource for news media.
- Develop strong relationships with leaders of key functions across the company, including marketing, development and operational leaders, general managers and directors of sales at hotel level to enhance the credibility and relevance of the Global Communications function.
- High degree of personal and professional savvy and experience, which instills confidence among all internal and external audiences and stakeholders.
- Minimum 7-8 years of Corporate Communications experience, including managerial/supervisory roles, preferably within the travel and hospitality sector, either on the corporate or agency side
- Public company experience in the Middle East is highly desired.
- Fluency in English and Arabic (both written and verbal) is a must. Any additional language is a plus.
- Extensive media relations experience, spokesperson experience is an advantage
- Ability to lead through consensus building and strong mentoring orientation
- Experience in establishing credibility and presenting programs and ideas in a persuasive way to strong individuals in leadership positions
- Ability to understand and implement strategies that are cross-functional.
- Work with functional specialists on integrated programs.
- High level of energy and enthusiasm
- Previous crisis management exposure and experience is highly desired
- Proven ability to write and edit a wide range of materials, including press releases, issue statements, key messages, speeches and other documents (in both English and Arabic)
- Conceptual, strategic and creative thinker, with unquestionable integrity
- Flexible, stimulated by challenges, open-minded
- Ability and willingness to travel, also at short notice.
About the Company
Hyatt was founded by Jay Pritzker in 1957 when he purchased the Hyatt House motel adjacent to the Los Angeles International Airport. Over the following decade, Jay Pritzker and his brother, Donald Pritzker, working together with other Pritzker family business interests, grew the company into a North American management and hotel ownership company, which became a public company in 1962. In 1968, Hyatt International was formed and subsequently became a separate public company. Hyatt Corporation and Hyatt International Corporation were taken private by the Pritzker family business interests in 1979 and 1982, respectively. On December 31, 2004, substantially all of the hospitality assets owned by Pritzker family business interests, including Hyatt Corporation and Hyatt International Corporation, were consolidated under a single entity, now Hyatt Hotels Corporation.