Prince Mohammed Bin Salman: The Throne, Reforms & PR
Before 2015, 35-year-old Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) was largely unknown to the world outside Saudi Arabia. However, the crown prince has won plaudits from global leaders for outstanding reforms that the prince has overseen in the kingdom.
MBS was born on 31st August 1985 as the eldest son of the third wife of Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saudi’s. Working in several state co-operations and serving as a special advisor to Prince Salman, the governor of Riyadh in 2009, MBS learned key leadership and public relations strategies to draw support for his leadership from all corners of the earth.
Working on key reforms, MBS stamped the authority as a religious reformer, degrading the influence of powerful forces within the Arabian kingdom that have pushed Islam in a considerably conservative direction over the past few decades.
Thanks to far-reaching public relations strategies, MBS has succeeded in introducing the following reforms.
Key Reforms in Saudi Arabia
#1. Social Reforms
On the Social front, MBS introduced far-reaching changes that stripped aspects of guardianship that imposed legal restrictions on women’s rights. With measures allowing Saudi Arabian women to register births, marriages, and divorces, acquire passports and travel abroad without the approval of a male relative, and become legal guardians to minors, MBS appealed to the female populace in Saudi Arabia.
At the same time, MBS’s social reforms endeared the kingdom’s leadership to democracies worldwide. Changing what was previously perceived as punitive restrictions on women’s rights, MBS’s administration won on the public relations front by indicating Saudi Arabia’s willingness to become a free society for all.
#2. Economic Reforms
Economically, MBS has succeeded by employing exceptional marketing and communication strategies to sell its new economic strategies. With economic policies seeking to reduce subsidized lifestyles that have been financed by the government’s oil revenues, MBS sought to reduce the kingdom’s financial burden, thereby diversifying the Saudi-Arabian economy. While the economic policies seemed unpopular, MBS’s public relations approach helped communicate the importance of diversifying the economy and weaning the nation from over depending on oil revenue.
What’s more, MBS’s regime delayed high-profile initiatives like Aramco’s initial public offering to communicate the Saudi Arabian economy’s strength. Worth noting, delaying Aramco’s IPO confirmed to the world that neither MBS’s Kingdom nor the company needed the IPO. What’s more, proceeds from the IPO were to fund the Saudi Arabian economy’s diversification and would not affect Aramco’s strategy.
MBS managed to introduce sensitive economic reforms with unmatched public relations strategies while maintaining popularity within the kingdom.
#3. Religious Reforms
MBS also portrayed prowess in public relations through religious reforms within the Saudi Arabian Kingdom. To highlight, curtailing the “religious police” roles barred them from roaming malls and streets, punishing those perceived to violate Islamic laws. Powers previously entitled to the religious police were shifted to ordinary police.
With the reforms in the “religious police’, MBS succeeded in increasing popularity since the religious police could easily punish Saudi Arabian residents for minor violations.
Through unmatched public relations strategies, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has managed to support the Saudi Arabian regime while introducing some important reforms. Key reforms showing Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s PR prowess include social, economic, and religious reforms.