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Communications industry inspired to be braver

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Communications industry inspired to be braver

By Elías Jabbe

The smoke has cleared after another memorable experience of learning during Dubai Lynx 2019. One of the key insights was the need to be braver and expand our comfort zones as humans and communications professionals. Through a series of panels held by The Marketing Society, Choueiri Group and the International Advertising Association, the message of embracing new learning opportunities and areas of growth was made clear.

Being Brave

On March 12 2019, The Marketing Society held an Inspirational Breakfast panel for its members which shared perspectives from experts who are members of the UAE’s Marketing industry: Professor Dr. Nicholas Ashill and Jason Leavy. A valuable point of view was also shared from outside the communications inner circle thanks to the presence of Sharifa Yateem MSc, an Emirati board-certified behavior analyst and inclusivity activist who has been a strong advocate for People of Determination. 

Some of the highlights of Yateem’s talk included her story about deciding to focus her career on children, her work with Mubadala in support of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games held in her native Abu Dhabi and Tokenat, a smartphone app she created to motivate children with autism.

The campaign with Mubadala for the Special Olympics and Yateem’s work with children in the UAE are featured in a short film called Determination, which was published on Mubadala’s YouTube channel.

One of Yateem’s most important takeaways for Marketing professionals was that they should, on behalf of brands they represent, start embracing opportunities to align themselves with diverse members of society and leverage their skills to champion causes and tell stories that often go unheard.

“Marketers have the power to change mindsets (and build their brand at the same time),” said Yateem.

The Marketing Society Chief Executive Gemma Greaves, who recently spoke with Communicate about the importance of brave leadership, shared the thought process behind planning the aforementioned breakfast panel that she moderated.

“At The Marketing Society, through our Brave Lens, we have been focusing on the human side of leadership. We know that bold marketing leadership creates and safeguards great brands, so how can we help marketers become braver in everything they do?” said Greaves.

“I’m a big believer in the benefits of being able to be your whole self at work and that’s why this week we hosted a session with three marketing leaders who told us a secret about a time when they felt vulnerable and another session where our speakers shared stories on how they have pushed boundaries and overcome adversity.” 

Greaves added that marketing with a purpose of contributing to society’s betterment is a goal the communications industry can aspire to and accomplish. 

“Marketing leaders aren’t just trying to grow their brands, they’re working out how to make the world a better place. It is paramount that we, as leaders, take small steps of bravery every day – together we can make a difference because now is the time to start to make change happen.” 

Tackling Technology

In an age where Communications is being transformed by technology, understanding of newer platforms is key. The presence of speakers with deep experience in various areas of technology helped bridge the knowledge gap during Dubai Lynx.

Dr. Youmna Borghol, Chief Data Officer at Choueiri Group, who curated and moderated panels with her team within the Startup Hub section of Dubai Lynx for the third year in a row, spoke with Communicate about the educational opportunities during the week.

“Having served as key sponsors of the Dubai Lynx Festival for 12 consecutive years, Choueiri Group featured as Co-Sponsors of the Festival this year…At this year’s edition, our digital arm “Digital Media Services (DMS)” hosted an insightful and engaging series of panels which brought together leading experts who shed light on how marketers can rethink their “performance” marketing strategy to balance short-term gains and long-term growth,” said Dr. Borghol.

Knowledge from the world of startups was also shared on the Transformation Stage, via a panel called “Data And Creativity Are Complete Opposites” that was brought to Dubai Lynx attendees by the UAE chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA).

The panel notably featured learnings from Muhammad Chbib, a Dubai-based serial entrepreneur and investor who most recently served as cofounder and CEO of successful travel startup Tajawal. Chbib is currently in the process of launching another travel startup with former Tajawal CTO Mohamed Meabed. He plans to follow up his Dubai Lynx appearance with Manal.com, a new travel platform for customized trips, which is scheduled to launch after Ramadan 2019.

Whether through the use of new technologies or standing up for societal causes, communications professionals are fortunate to have a bevy of opportunities for growth in 2019.

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