Cairo is a hustling and bustling metropolitan centre. As such, it should not come as a surprise that the city we call home is home to a variety of events. One of those events is the Narrative PR Summit. Set to start on Sunday, October 28th, this one-day summit will be home to an incredible line-up of speakers from different fields, disciplines, and backgrounds, thereby ensuring that the event will comprehensively discuss this year’s topic -National Branding – from a set of several unique viewpoints.
We were quite fortunate to have gotten a chance to interview Ms Lamia Kamel, the Founder of Narrative Summit, and the MD of CC Plus, a local leading Public Relations firm that applies world-class standards, Lamia Kamel is a strategic communications executive and a political PR consultant with a proven track record of successful PR campaigns
Q: What inspired you to start CC Plus? Why Public Relations in particular? What about this specific field/discipline interests you?
A: I started CC Plus believing in the role of PR and how strategic it can be. PR revolves around the power of the message and the impact of the speaker. I have also seen that in Egypt we lack crisis management and crisis communications, and could see that this is a void that must be filled with professionals. To me, CC Plus should be able to attract talent and train them well to become true PR professionals. Those people will be able to provide quality service at competitive rates. The field that interests me most is campaigning and crisis management. I feel that we could use our abilities to raise awareness on topics, people, and specific cases that require public attention and engagement.
Q: What have you personally come to learn from previous Narrative PR Summits?
A: I learnt so much. I learnt that when you have a purpose, you will have passion, and this passion is what will drive you to reach results. We have been accumulating our efforts over the past three years. Building our story, creating solutions and directions for National Branding, and ultimately getting the state attention for our work. I am both proud and attentive to the way forward. There is trust given to us via our speakers, partners, audience, and government – a trust that we must honour. This is not just an event. It’s a platform. A methodology to establish that right influence for Egyptians.
We were also lucky enough to have gotten the chance to interview two of the event’s speakers, Ms Dina Mofty and Mr Tarek El Ganainy.
Ms Dina Mofty is the CEO of INJAZ Egypt, an organization which has a strong educational focus on entrepreneurship and work readiness, and is part of the Junior Achievement worldwide network. Dina is also actively involved with the American Chamber of Commerce as the Co-chair of the Women in Business Committee and is a member of the US Egypt Business Council. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo.
Q: With your prominent role in education, how do you think we can instil National Branding as a priority for younger generations?
A: Foremost, we need to instil solid values, an open, positive, driven culture, and quality education as a priority for the next generations. Once there is a vision and commitment to making this a priority it can lead to a more innovative and entrepreneurial culture that will drive economic growth and ultimately help boost our national branding.
Q: Egypt may be viewed as an unsafe or unfair place for women. How much of that do you believe is true, and how can we go about improving the situation and international perception?
A: Whenever there is a dominant culture which is closed and unsupportive of women things will remain unchanged. But when there is a nationwide awareness, concern, and vision committed to empower women across the country and shed light on success stories and successful examples of women of all ages. This will greatly help shift and gradually change the collective culture and outdated mentalities towards women.
Q: How does the status of women’s rights contribute to National Branding or how a country is perceived?
A: The status of women in a country is reflected through their active involvement and engagement in leading a nation economically and politically and in all aspects of society. The value of this is how a country itself can progress and become globally competitive when it actively engages its entire population. This is what ultimately will help position, our national branding.
As for Mr Tarek, he is the owner and founder TVision Media Productions. After 14 years of growth and success, TVision now stands unique in being the only company in the Middle East that has worked with all sorts of productions. These productions include; talk shows, reality shows, celebrity reality shows, sitcom, films, TV series, and even international game shows. He has produced one of the biggest TV show formats in the Middle East which is SNL Arabia, as well as 16 series, around eight films and 20 plus TV programs. This has all led him to be, at only 42 years of age, to be considered as one of the youngest producers, entrepreneurs, and businessmen.
Q: You studied in the United States a long time ago, how do you feel that the international view has shifted towards Egypt? How can we go about further improving our nation’s branding?
A: Regarding international views regarding Egypt, this is usually divided into two different perspectives. The first one is Egypt’s everlasting view as the land of the pyramids, the Pharos, and the beautiful beaches. The land where every tourist would love to visit regardless of their different interests as everyone will find something that suits them. As for the second, it’s mainly overshadowed by politics. Therefore, depending on Egypt’s current situation, the views change accordingly. For example, for a while Egypt was known as the enemy of the state of Israel, then a dictatorship for some time, then the land of the revolution, then, of course, the Muslim brotherhood phase, and finally now that we are a nation that is in the frontline of fighting terrorism.