Egyptian journalists on a study trip to Vienna

From September 15th to 22nd, ten top-class journalists from Egypt are visiting Vienna – “Tahrir-Platz meets Stephansplatz”. The aim of the study trip initiated by the Vienna PR agency Skills and their “Skills Center Arab World” is to give guests an insight into the democratic structures of Austria and to present the tasks of a free, independent media landscape in a democracy. The program includes visits to parliament, the Federal Chancellery, and the Vienna City Hall as well as background discussions with numerous local media and interest groups. The invited Egyptian journalists and bloggers have done a lot of reporting on the democracy movement in Egypt. Many of them are now in leadership positions in the newly emerged independent media. There are still a few time slots available for interviews with the journalists for local journalists who make quick decisions.

(Vienna, September 13, 2012) – “Independent media and critical journalists are indispensable for a democratic society. With our project ‘Journalism and Democracy’ we want to support the establishment of a democratic media landscape in Egypt, ”says Jürgen H. Ganguly, Managing Director of Skills, describing his motivation for the initiative. A lot of effort was therefore put into the careful selection of applicants for the study trip. All participants (four women and six men) distinguished themselves through courageous reporting on their environment in the emerging Arab Spring.

Great interest in Egypt and Austria

The “Journalism and Democracy” project was met with great interest not only in Egypt. In Austria too, numerous media companies and institutions were quickly found ready to support the project. Skills are organizing the project together with the Austrian Federal Press Service and the Concordia press club.

Austria’s media and institutions introduce themselves

Naturally, at the top of the list for Egyptian journalists is a visit to Austrian media institutions. In addition to the ORF and the Austria Press Agency, appointments have been made for print, online, and radio editorial offices. There, the media can not only present their working methods and editorial statutes but also have the opportunity to learn firsthand about current events in Egypt.

The program also includes contacts with parliament, Vienna City Hall, the Chamber of Labor, the Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Industrialists, KOMM Austria, the media service point for New Austrians, and the PR Ethics Council. And finally, the participants will be guests of honor at the “Day of Respect”, which will take place for the second time on September 20, 5:00 pm, in the Vienna Museum Quarter, and will take part in a panel discussion there.

Media representatives who are interested in getting to know each other personally or in interviews with the journalists from Egypt between September 15 and 22, can contact the organizers ([email protected], 01/505 26 25).

About The Skills Group

The Skills Group ( has been one of Austria’s leading PR agencies for over 25 years. The agency specializes in sensitive topics that require explanation and looks after, among other things, the PR work of companies such as Bank Gutmann, Cisco, eBay, Mars, Tele2, and Yakult as well as institutions such as the Chamber of Labor, the Chamber of Commerce and pension funds.

Since 2007 the agency has been operating its own competence center for communication with and in the Arab world, the “Skills Center Arab World”. Skills support exporting European companies in PR activities and train decision-makers from both cultures in intercultural communication.

The agency has already been awarded the Austrian State PR Prize for Public Relations twice and has also won first place at the PRVA’s Best Practice Award twice. In recent years, Skills has also won the internationally coveted “PR Oscar”, and the SABER Gold Award, four times. In 2010 the Vienna agency was also named “Austrian Consultancy of the Year” by the British PRCA.

Study trip:

Goal setting

1. Study trip of the program: Egyptian journalists and Give journalists the opportunity to present the work of civil society, political institutions, and selected media in Austria to get to know Support for democratic development Contribution to promoting freedom of the press and media diversity in Egypt Establishing “high-end” contacts with (future) decision-makers in the Egyptian media landscape Improvement of cross-border media contacts for Austrian Decision maker Exchange of ideas and know-how development on both sides

Study trips:

Target group / selection criteria

Egyptian journalists and journalists working in independent media regularly to social and/or economic issues Publish article editors Manager or “high potentials” persons familiar with their publications in the “Arab Spring” a played decisive role Proof: For the application must have at least five Articles from the last 12 months are provided. The aim is as even a gender distribution as possible. Knowledge of English is a prerequisite (working language). Valid travel documents are required

Program – content


1. Training and education module “Journalism and
Democracy” (“4th Pillar”)
2. Meetings and discussions with Austrian journalists, representatives of political parties, interest groups, social partners, and NGOs
3. Meetings with Austrian companies operating in the Arab world are
4. Future opportunities for cooperation
5. Intercultural supporting program

Study trips:

Application of the program on-site

Particularly interesting media representatives are invited personally. Facebook/application in social media channels of the “Arab Spring”
Call for the new “Association of Free Egyptian Journalists” Press release to Egyptian media

Apply now for Study Tour 3

Selection process

Are applications in the digital format accepted CV, motivation letter, published article (scan/screenshots, source) English skills, travel documents, etc) Participants undertake, for example in case of a return visit, Austrian journalist/project partners as a contact in Egypt to be available Selection of participants by the organization team/project partners

Project partners/sponsors

Commitments: Austrian Federal Press Service, Press Club Concordia, IV, Skills, Parliament
Rejections: EgyptAir
Also to contact:
Institutions / NGOs: AK / ÖGB, WK,
media: ORF and APA (possibly also sponsoring), Publishing Group News, Daily newspaper (visits, possibly also food,
Österreich Werbung, Wien Tourismus (accommodation, sightseeing program)
Companies: OMV, Voest, PKE… Submission of donations

Program – technical implementation

1st delegation: Egyptian journalists

Number of participants: 7 to 10 journalists
Working language English
Translation German-Arabic stand-by
Target date: Autumn (September) 2012
Duration: approx. 5-7 days

Skills Center Arab World – a unit of The Skills Group

International PR and intercultural management consulting
Strategic consulting
Intercultural management and media training
Intercultural public relations
Media relations, investor relations
Change management/crisis communication

The Skills Group – facts and figures

Full-service PR agency
Founded in Vienna in 1984
Employees: 40
Affiliate of Fleishman-Hillard International (over 80 offices worldwide)
First German-speaking PR agency with its own “Arab World” unit (2006)

Organization: Skills Center Arab World


Dr. Mohamed-Ali IBRAHIM
Head of “Skills Center Arab World”
Intercultural Communications & Management Consultant
Certified Quality Manager (Lead Auditor)





Managing Partner (GF)
Senior Consultant, Skills Center Arab World
Board member PR Quality Austria
Former Director of Council of Europe and EU information programs


The Study Tour Official Diplom, 2012, 2017, issued by the “Austrian Federal Press Service”

Study Tour 2 Diplioma

Some Facebook shots