Edelman lays off staff as PR agency moves to go ‘beyond public relations counsel’


Dubai-based PR agency Edelman DABO has laid off about 20 members of staff.
“In response to the changing communications landscape, we are proactively transforming our business to drive increased efficiencies and effectiveness for our clients,” said CEO Tod Donhauser in a statement to Campaign.
“This process includes refining the roles and specialities within our team. We will continue to add specialists, invest in training and build capabilities that reflect the new realities of communicating in the UAE and the GCC.
“For example, we are currently in the process of appointing an art director to complement our existing creative team and a performance director in digital who will have a strong focus on analytics, as well as a senior member of the UK Government communications team to serve as Middle East director of government relations to lead our communications strategy in that sector.
“We continue to expand our offer beyond public relations counsel, offering robust experiential, paid media, social and digital media and creative services to a wide range of top-tier clients in the private and public sectors and remain better placed than ever to provide the solutions to their business challenges.”
In April 2015, US-based Edelman acquired Dubai-based independent DABO & Co for an undisclosed sum. The resulting Edelman DABO employed 150 people between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
In February last year, UAE operations were split into two units as part of a restructure across the Middle East and Africa.
Donhauser, previously managing director of Edelman South Africa, relocated to Dubai to oversee the two separate brand and reputation businesses.
Edelman DABO managing director Jason Leavy took over the brand element, while corporate head Jacob Drake took on a similar role for reputation.
Last year the agency took the account for social networking site LinkedIn from Asda’a Burson Marsteller, but Campaign understands it has recently lost a couple of accounts.