According to the Dawn Group’s report ‘Media Facts: Pakistan’, the country’s media sector is growing 132 % per year. There are currently approximately 116 radio channels, notably FM-100, FM-101, FM-103, FM-106.2 and FM-107 in Urdu, and FM-89, FM-91 and FM-96 in English.
There are more than 100 local TV channels including GEO News, GEO Entertainment, Aaj, Express News, Express 24/7, DawnNews, Dunya TV, Hum TV, TV1, News1, Metro One, Waqt and Indus.
Pakistan's press is among the most outspoken in
South Asia, although its influence is limited by a literacy level of only 54% (Unicef).
Popular magazines include Pakistan and Gulf Economist, Mag, She, Women’s Own, Fashion Collection, @internet, Computer World, SouthAsia, Herald, Newsline, Slogan, Aurora, Synergizer, Akhbar-e-Jahan, Family and Khawateen Digest.
There are more than 250 print publications. The main English language newspapers are, Dawn, The News, The Nation, Business Recorder, Express Tribune, Pakistan Today, and Pakistan Observer. The main Urdu language newspapers
are Jang, Express and Nawa-i-Waqt.
While there are many media outlets, as Shoaib Khalil, marketing & communications lead at Microsoft Corporation Pakistan points out, there is limited space for business coverage.
“Pakistan is a highly politically charged country with a great deal of turbulence,” he says. “This can limit the amount of business coverage. For example, Dawn, the highest circulation English daily, recently cut its business coverage from four pages to just one.
Naeem Zamindar, CEO of Wateen Telecom Limited, says: “Most PR activity comes out of multinationals based in Karachi or Islamabad. The biggest two sectors would be telecoms and banking. Then there are public sector organisations – the Government of Pakistan is probably one of the biggest PR clients in the country, and government-funded projects are extremely sought after. One area that is growing is
around ‘lifestyle’ clients such as fashion and interior designers, new musicians.”
He points to Warid Telecom, Nestle, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Tetra Pak, Muslim Commercial Bank, Unilever and P&G. Others add in fashion brands such as HSY, Sana Safinaz, Kamiar Rokni, beauty brands like L’Oreal, Garnier, Sunsilk, and Dove, as well as airlines like Emirates and Etihad.
“Five years ago you could count the names of Pakistani PR agencies on your fingers,” adds Syed Saad Hafeez, marketing communications manager at Oberthur Technologies Pakistan PVT.
“Recently we’re seeing younger and more energetic and passionate people in this field, which is a good sign for our industry. For me the top agencies are Asiatic, Momentum, Mediators, Xenith, CMC and Syntax.”