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An Open Letter to Al Jazeera
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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To Al Jazeera Director General Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani:

Greetings!

Congratulations on the purchase of Current TV. With every major news organization in the world having a presence in the U.S. market, it was only a short time before Al Jazeera found its footing. Here in AdLand, we are excited about your presence. Al Jazeera can not only bring more viewers to the Current TV network, but it can help businesses and organizations reach populations we have had limited access to, which is exciting to think about.

We are sure, too, that you realize that Al Jazeera will be facing an uphill climb in the U.S. market.

Most Arab brands will. 

Yes, when it comes to properly branding Al Jazeera to the U.S. audience, you may want to start at an elementary level. For instance, maybe telling people what "Al Jazeera" means in English first (the majority will not know that "Al" means "the" in most instances). 

Maybe you can describe the news network before telling people the name. For example:

- This news network was recognized for having one of the best news websites, along with the likes of BBC News, National Geographic, and The Smoking Gun (Webby Awards)
- This news network was recognized as the fifth most influential global brand, behind the likes of Apple, Google, Ikea, and Starbucks (Brandchannel.com) 

We want you to succeed, Al Jazeera. And your success will be linked to how you introduce the network to your expanded audience. Perhaps you will luck out; those U.S. citizens who get their news from multiple sources tend to have higher education and information about the world than others. If they are your audience, you will get less pushback than anticipated.

But on a positive note: you can't do worse than Current TV.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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