About Lana Khachan, Head of Communications-MENA, beIN MEDIA GROUP

Lana is a veteran of the Public Relations industry with more than 19 years of experience in corporate communications, internal communications and corporate social responsibility. 

She has been managing the communications in the MENA region for beIN MEDIA GROUP and its flagship sports channels, beIN SPORTS, since 2021; having joined the region’s leading sports broadcaster as it prepared to cover the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, what became arguably the best World Cup in history. 

Prior to joining beIN, Lana spent the better part of her career heading the Communications & CSR department at Vodafone Qatar. In her 13 years at Vodafone, Lana not only oversaw the communications for the launch of Vodafone in the country but saw the premium telecommunications operator through its exponential growth journey. She played an instrumental role in developing & executing both the internal & external communications strategies, on top of integrating ESG into the Company’s operations and business strategies. 

beIN wasn’t Lana’s first time working in the media & broadcast industry. She joined Al Jazeera’s PR team as the news broadcaster prepared to launch an English language channel- a once in a lifetime opportunity for a young PR professional which subsequently shaped her career progression. 

Lana started her career in the tourism industry before taking on Agency experience at Brown Lloyd James where she supported the work of several clients ranging from banking to real estate. 

Lana holds a MSc in Media & Communications from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a BA in Contemporary Media Studies from the University of Westminster.

About her thoughts for the industry

There is no doubt that effective communication is crucial for the growth and success of companies, and while 2023 will see communications continue its ascension in importance, PR professionals will have to:

  • Adapt to shifting communications trends

We do still love our press releases in MENA! but these are becoming less and less effective. Newspapers are a dying breed and more importantly, Gen Z’s bite size media consumption means any communication strategy needs to have a digital first approach. Communications professionals need to think quality over quantity; less press releases more thought leadership.  

  • Place employee communications at the heart of all communications plans

COVID brought to the forefront just how critical communications is, but with a remote workforce, it particularly highlighted the need to keep employees informed and engaged. Internal communications simply cannot be neglected as so too often organizations do; it is the key to a motivated workforce. 

  • Understand that is ESG communications is no longer a ‘nice to have’

ESG disclosure cannot be tackled by companies only when it becomes mandatory. Outlining a company’s commitment and plans to address ESG issues, or lack thereof, has a direct positive or negative affect on a company’s reputation. 

  • Be ready to deal with crisis 

Ensure you and your management are equipped and trained to deal with crisis situations, there will inevitably be several.  

My personal wish for 2023 and beyond is to see more women enter the field of sports communications; there’s simply not enough in the region!

I would say to my fellow female communications professions that are daunted by the idea of exploring a career in sports PR, is that you don’t have to be someone that watches a football match every day (I certainly don’t); you just have to take the time to understand the industry and pick up the lingo; something we all have to do for any industry we choose to enter.   

While this is changing, there is a lackluster importance placed on women’s sports in general; more sports women and women in the business of sports must drive changing the status quo and shifting the narrative. I’m proud that as part of its corporate commitment under beINSPIRED, beIN has one of the world’s largest bouquets of women’s sports rights, giving it major exposure in the region and beyond.