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Identity Chef in Communicate Magazine - Lebanese Bloggers Thanks to Joesbox I found out that my blog was once again featured in Communicate Magazine. The blogpost featured is Gabriel Ghali’s Guest Post about the  Islamic Brand.

Thank you communicate for praising my dear friend.

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Just to tell you that The Identity Chef is now on Beirut.com :)

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The day started with great frustration as I read Liliane’s blog post regarding the turnaround of events at CNN.

I’m not going to get into the details of how a 140 character tweet spiraled madness and let the network to believe that Octavia’s Position was compromised

Photo taken at Social media day in beirut

The first thing we learn about corporate social media practices, is that the benefits of it far outweigh the risks. We are also taught that successful brand social media strategies must reflect a personal approach and sincerity in communicating to your audience and reflecting your true persona.

Big companies such as CNN have been happily leveraging Social Media through their wide network of brand champions, like Octavia, who have been dedicatedly tweeting their personal & professional experiences from tehir twitter accounts, as well as sharing on various social networks, reaching out people, interacting with them and building relationships feeding the ultimate brand persona.

It is that sincerity and openness that helped Octavia build relationships and trust with the digital natives in the Middle East, relationships with which she enriched her employer and the quality of work she has provided.

And in the digital world, we naturally understand, without disclaimers, that whatever is tweeted by Octavia, though under the CNN handle reflects by and large her personal opinions which may not match that of her employer.

So doesn’t CNN allow its employees to have personal opinions (whatever they may be)? Are CNN employees only allowed to express their opinions when it benefits CNN and is not controversial? ( I would really like to take a look at CNN’s social media guidelines)

I find it very disappointing that at the sight if a small back lash CNN was so reluctant to overlook all that Octavia has contributed to CNN, instead of standing up for her. It is not the right way to treat a brand champion will definitely reflect negatively and strain o other CNN staff in their social media presence.

CNN how do you expect your brand champions to stand by you, if you do not cover their backs and put full trust in them.

I would appreciate if you can leave your honest comment on Octavia’s Post here.

Other Lebanese Bloggers who have covered this issue:

- Independence 05

- Abzzyy

- Bahaafe

- Beirut Spring and his interview with BBC

-Plus 961

- Tarek Chemali

- Arabianism

- Beirut Beauty

- Pascal Assaf ( Arabic)

- Joeyy Hat

- Mind Soup and here

- Facebook page created by @youmny

- Brit In Beirut

- Eliane Badr ( Arabic)

( if you are a Lebanese blogger who has blogged on the subject, kindly let me know to link back to your post)

I also particularly loved Jillian C York’s post – Shame on American Media – stating even more examples of media double standards.

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Today I got a very pleasant surprise in my inbox, which I wanted to share with all of you out there looking for a job in Social Media Marketing & Online Community Building in Lebanon. It’s Time to celebrate!

Social Media Marketing Job in Lebanon - AM Financials Flyer

Anyway below the job description for this job, and follow the link to apply:

+ Social Media Marketing Director

DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Manage the corporate division social media strategy and execution.
  • Coordinate with internal team, to execute the strategy.
  • Create, facilitate, and participate effectively and authentically in key conversations about the company on blogs and other online social media channels.
  • Develop and execute a blogging communication strategy, including:
    • Become accessible to the blogging community
    • Manage responses to negative and positive feedback
    • Generate buzz and interest in various forms of digital media such as online videos, blog posts, news articles, images, and more
    • Monitor and analyze social media trends for company brand
    • Develop, execute and manage the online content to drive organic search engine ranking
    • Create and maintain visible Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg accounts and other social media profiles.
    • Report on the effectiveness of social site placement and conversations on the web.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Marketing experience in a direct-to-consumer organization
  • Social media experience Deep familiarity with social media, viral and word of mouth online marketing practices.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.
  • Experienced builder and executer of online social media strategies.
  • Experience moderating group discussions and managing community leaders.
  • Bachelors degree in Communications, PR, English, Marketing or other related field.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.

+ Social Media Marketing Director

DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Manage the corporate division social media strategy and execution.
  • Coordinate with internal team, to execute the strategy.
  • Create, facilitate, and participate effectively and authentically in key conversations about the company on blogs and other online social media channels.
  • Develop and execute a blogging communication strategy, including:
    • Become accessible to the blogging community
    • Manage responses to negative and positive feedback
    • Generate buzz and interest in various forms of digital media such as online videos, blog posts, news articles, images, and more
    • Monitor and analyze social media trends for company brand
    • Develop, execute and manage the online content to drive organic search engine ranking
    • Create and maintain visible Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg accounts and other social media profiles.
    • Report on the effectiveness of social site placement and conversations on the web.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Marketing experience in a direct-to-consumer organization
  • Social media experience Deep familiarity with social media, viral and word of mouth online marketing practices.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.
  • Experienced builder and executer of online social media strategies.
  • Experience moderating group discussions and managing community leaders.
  • Bachelors degree in Communications, PR, English, Marketing or other related field.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.

+ Social Media Marketing Director

DUTIES/RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Manage the corporate division social media strategy and execution.
  • Coordinate with internal team, to execute the strategy.
  • Create, facilitate, and participate effectively and authentically in key conversations about the company on blogs and other online social media channels.
  • Develop and execute a blogging communication strategy, including:
    • Become accessible to the blogging community
    • Manage responses to negative and positive feedback
    • Generate buzz and interest in various forms of digital media such as online videos, blog posts, news articles, images, and more
    • Monitor and analyze social media trends for company brand
    • Develop, execute and manage the online content to drive organic search engine ranking
    • Create and maintain visible Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg accounts and other social media profiles.
    • Report on the effectiveness of social site placement and conversations on the web.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Marketing experience in a direct-to-consumer organization
  • Social media experience Deep familiarity with social media, viral and word of mouth online marketing practices.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.
  • Experienced builder and executer of online social media strategies.
  • Experience moderating group discussions and managing community leaders.
  • Bachelors degree in Communications, PR, English, Marketing or other related field.
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing, and communication skills, including an engaging written voice.

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SPAM on Linked IN

Hasn’t taken them that long, has it?

Link to me on Linked In

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Even if youy are not in search of a job vacancy, make sure you attend this workshop to learn how to harness this powerful networking tool. See you there: )

smex linked in workshop

Jobseeking and Professional Networking with LinkedIn

Based on the idea that it’s who you know as much as what you know that matters when advancing your career, LinkedIn is a fast-growing ‘Facebook for professionals’ that helps you connect with colleagues and expand your professional circles.

In this half-day workshop, recruiting expert Marie Jo Roepke will introduce you to the world of social media for networked professionals on LinkedIn, help you create a well-regarded profile, and show you how to leverage the application to reach your professional goals. The workshop is perfect for anyone who’s familiar with Facebook but would like to get more out of social networks. Even if you already have a profile, chances are you’re not using it to its fullest potential.

The workshop will be held at SMEX’s new offices in Badaro from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, March 20. The language of the workshop is English.

RSVP to attend: http://bit.ly/smex-getajob.

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Got a mentioned by the lovely @laradunston in her article about twitter in the middle east, here it goes:

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What’s happening?

Suddenly everyone’s using Twitter. Lara Dunston (@laradunston) went to tweet-ups in Dubai and Beirut to find out why

update

At a tweet-up in Dubai, a woman whose Twitter handle is @Kangayayaroo glances around the table. “This is an atypical expat experience,” she confides. “Because of Twitter we’re friends with people we wouldn’t normally meet socially.” Joining us are “tweeps”, as Twitter users call themselves, from all over the region and beyond.

The Middle East is racking up Twitter users at a rapid pace. A survey by Spot On PR found that users in the MENA region quadrupled in the second quarter of 2009, with 14,000 accounts by September. Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) and Jordan’s Queen Rania (@QueenRania) are among them.

Continue Reading HERE

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This week Smex Beirut was kind enough to invite all of us to their new offices to announce their plans for 2010 and socialize. I know the guys have cut out for them because:

Prince Charming: ” So what do these guys do?”
Me: ” Basically they teach NGO’s how to use social media for change and to reahc their target audience”
PC: ” Did not know you need to have training for that, isn’t it natural?”
Me: “well yeah , but most NGO’s don’t even know why they should have a website, leave alone, what they should post on it…and think of all the help and exposure they could get if they work on it using Funraising’s model…”

So below is their monthly newsletter, with their plans for the months to come. Obviously, SMEX is branching otu to reach greater audience and enable all citizens, which is even better. Social Media novices, get involved with SMEX

February 4, 2010 • Volume 1 •?Issue 3
SMEX Re-Launches with a New Website and Open Office Party

SMEX Re-Launches with a New Website and Open Office Party

On February 2, SMEX opened its offices to Lebanon’s growing social media for social change community to celebrate its relaunch as a full-time organization. Visitors were treated to a tour of the colorful offices, which include a social space for intimate events and screenings and a training room.

The open office coincided with a launch of SMEX’s new website and official registration of Social Media Exchange as a Lebanese NGO. We also took advantage of the opportunity to ask visitors what they want from SMEX in 2010. One suggestion: A workshop for parents and children on the responsible use of the Internet. What would you like to see? Let us know at ideas@smex.org or by calling 01-380-553.

Thanks to all those who made it, and for those who couldn’t, we invite you to pass by anytime.

Workshop: Social Media for Jobseekers

In February, Social Media Exchange, in collaboration with recruitment specialist Mary Roepke, will host Career Development with Social Media. Delivered in two half-day workshops, this training will introduce you to the world of social media for networked professionals and show you how the Web and social networking can help you reach your goals.

The workshops will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, and Thursday, Feb. 25. The cost for each half-day course is 60,000LL per participant, or both courses for 100,000LL. The course will be given in English.

For more information, visit our website or you can RSVP now.

NOTE: We will also be hosting two half-day workshops for human resources professionals on how to use social media to recruit better candidates and diversify their talent pools. Please get in touch at training@smex.org or 01-380-553 for more information.
Workshop: Basic Internet Privacy and Security

Have you had enough of computer viruses and malware? Are you worried about identity theft or what might happen if your Facebook details get into the wrong hands? Well, If you aren’t, you should be. SMEX is launching a pilot internet privacy and security workshop for select participants on February 15, 16, and 22.

The first two sessions will cover the basics you need to know to keep yourself and your data secure. The third session will take place a few days later and focus on troubleshooting and answering specific questions. All sessions will be given in Arabic. For more information about how to sign up for this free training, please email training@smex.org or call 01-380-553.

Screening: 10 Tactics for Turning Information into Action

English with Arabic subtitles.
On Sunday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m., SMEX will screen a 55-minute video on how to turn information into activism. Case studies from Lebanon and around the world are presented by activists working on a wide range of issues. The documentary, which was shot during the InfoActivism Camp, India 2009, is brought to you by the Tactical Technology Collective and was translated into Arabic by Rebecca Saab Saade at SMEX. Watch a preview. Activists and NGO representatives who attend the screening can purchase the DVD and companion toolkit for 15,000LL. Proceeds will go toward shipping taxes and refreshments. Please RSVP to let us know you’re coming.
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That’s all for this edition of the SMEX newsletter. You can also keep up with our upcoming workshops and events on our calendar. We hope to see you soon!

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Resisting Change

Photo by the fantastic Naeema Zareef (twitter.com/naeema)

Two events have been the highlight of the last week of 2009 for me. One of them was my darling’s stiff resistance of the flu and the other was a live encounter with a typical Marketing Manager 1.0. And , eventually, yours truly got to celebrate the assent of the new year in bed with fever as well… making the lessons learned from these two encounters all the more vivid.

1)Ignore it, Maybe it’ll go away

Years of evolution have not killed the breadwinner’s instinct in men, which even stands above the instinct of self preservation. When your man falls sick, he would always keep on going to work, as usual, doing all his house chores in an exemplary manner, without admitting that something is wrong. I suppose in ancient tribes, the sick were isolated or cast out of the villages & left to die alone. So God forbid for your man to admit that something is wrong. But what goes in the manager’s 1.0′s head is beyond my understanding. M1.0 says that the marketing has not changed and that the foundations and underlying rules still remain valid, he has a moment of truth when he condescends to admit that advertising has changed, and then he switches back to denial by saying that advertising is only a part of marketing, he goes back to touching on changing customer needs, but breaks off at specifics… And, of course, in the same manner that prince charming audaciously refuses to take a sick day and stay in bed, M1.0 would say, – “We do not need a website now, we’ll start working on it in a couple of months, we’re studying our competition for now.” But by the time they are weakened and overpowered by their disease, the first would’ve plowed through a week of 20% productivity at work and then lying in bed for 2 days to recuperate and another week and a half of insane coughing, which is a significant trade off for staying at home for two days, as I did, and then going back to work a 100% recharged.  And our M1.0 Would greatly benefit said competitors by not having a significant online presence by as much as he will frustrate his prospects, who would be unable to find a way to contact them and find out more about their products. And no, a Facebook page is not as good as Corporate website (if you disagree with that, let me know, I’d be more than happy to share my views!).

2) Time Heals everything

Mon Beau will tell you that it takes seven days to cure a flu anyhow, so why bother and put your life on hold? M1.0 says that brand awareness will come with time, after my comment about missing opportunities 5 months after market entry. Well, in my dictionary, one week equals, on average, 70 tweets, 3 blogposts, and a possible email marketing or other online campaign. Multiply that by 5 and you will have thousands of touchpoints with your clients that come at a fraction of a cost of traditional media. Maybe our generation is too aggressive, but less than a month in my new job, I am already feeling unproductive for not bringing in more value and having to cram up on literature/research 50% of my time and that is precisely why, I use the remaining 50% to make actionable change NOW. In my eye, less is more in the long run, and little things done now, be it a greeting card, sms, news release… may not just prevent you from LOSING an existing client, but also get you a new client TODAY!

3) Expenditure = ROI

When hubby does reach a pharmacy, after 5 days, he’ll sweep off the shelves everything  that can remotely help him, or at least that is what he thinks. But by that time, the poles have shifted and all he needs to do is really wait, sip orange juice and rest to recover, instead of ingesting antibiotics which will further drain his life -resources. M1.o will also go to extremes, after 5 months, hiring top models, pampering them and doing runway shows, publishing ads in glitzy magazines… in two words maniacally spending!  But same-same, time would’ve done its thing, and that extra investment would’ve been too little too late! But that does not mean that you shouldn’t still take in your vitamins regularly. Don’t wait until you get a soar throat to take action. Act now, act always! Because,

4) Nobody Cares about YOU, as much as You!

Your boss is not going to give you a day off when you are saying you are a little sick but already came to work, and your clients are not going to run 20 google searches, searching for your coordinates if you landing page, facebook page, twitter handle or corporate website have not been SEO and keyword optimized. And if your marketing campaign does not relate to me, your target client, and if I do not find what I want about you, no money in the world would buy you my consumer’s sentiment and loyalty. And beware, I am too studying your competitors, and so far , they are ahead of you.

5) Birds do it, bees do it…

Men have this secret solidarity pact about enduring illness at the office, when I used to take a sick day at my previous job, I sometimes felt my boss took it as a personal offense. On the other hand, my spouse’s boss can call him while he’s sick saying, – “Aren’t you man enough, chuck on some pills and get on going!”. Bizarre and unacceptable, but, nonetheless true! But, even if denial is the trend, you should take advantage of it. While everyone is “hachooing” at the office, retreat and come back rosy cheeked and productive. And while your competitors are stuck in their old ways, you have the time to experiment, innovate and advance! Your mindset is your only handicap!

Post Approved for publishing by Prince Charming, M1.0 feedback pending. What about you?

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Disclaimer: I am aware that most of my dear readers are nothing like the Lebanese Laila I speak of. In fact, my readers are amazing bright Lebanese women who reject being branded with media stereotypes and have worked hard to become well established respected  professionals .  Male readers, especially those from outside of Lebanon, may not believe that such a species of women actually exists here, but it DOES… And unfortunately,  it co-exists with the cliched “Haifa like” “Lebanese Laila”. Images and personifications of which are all too painful for true Lebanese women to see. So I am really sorry my dear readers for delving to explore this cliche, I do not abet Laila or aspire to be like her, but I  I believe that the Lebanese Laila is a brand. A brand which in spite of all of the harm caused, can teach us a lot!

This post is part of the Kolena Laila Campaign.

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Yes the “Lebanese Leila” gets a lot of laughs and criticism from us women for being silly, superficial, unambitious, short-sighted… But then again, doesn’t Laila always get what she wants effortlessly? And isn’t that what everyone, not just a marketer, wants? … Now you’re listening? Well, take notes:

1) Be where you community is.

No my dears, Laila does not Blog! Laila does not even Twitter! Some of you may say it is because she does not have much to say… But no, it is because she knows all too well her target audience. And she knows that her target audience of Don-Juans and starlets does not read, does not spend time in soul digging and does not have an artistic streak. She knows that her audience is on Facebook, and she makes sure to have a very attractive profile there. Which brings us to point two.

2) Always give your audience what they want.

They don’t read, but they have eye-balls and curiosity. And Laila always makes sure to have a great set of profile pics of her at “such and such party” or “such and such wedding” make-uped and air-brushed to perfection.  Her fans, her target audience, her prospective husband to be, will devour these photos  and comment on them (audience engagement). Moreover, these photos together with the comments will enlarge her footprint on the web and spread her content through her audience. And that is what every brand wants!

3) Be active in connecting to your audience.

Laila is always the first one to wish you a Happy Birthday, give you a nudge / missed call if you have not connected in a while and adding you on facebook after meeting you after a random gig in Gemmayze. And that is how she retains a “loyal” network of connections. [Chuckles of Disbelief in background] Well these strategies are exactly what allow Laila to get extra $$$ on her mobile phone credit whenever her heart desires, get a free invite to a party, or even get that necklace that she put as her display photo for a week on facebook with a tag ” I WANT THIS” instead of slaving for months to buy it…Sad, But True.

4) If you can’t create  – imitate.

To us mere mortals, Laila seems like a fashion victim, with her Haifa lips, tatooed eyebrows, Shakira Curls, Rihanna Shorts… Then again, doesn’t Laila make heads turn in the mall (product placement)? Doesn’t she have her photos all over Layalina and Mondalite (free PR)? Doesn’t she have more friends on facebook as a result (brand equity)? And eventually more choice of rich cavaliers for her to choose to be-wed (product demand) ? And keep in mind this is what she wants!(achieving marketing objectives)


5) Know your competition.

Even Layla knows, that in today’s open age it is a loss not to keep track of what your competitors are doing and using it to your advantage. She will always text you when Celine’s dress is too short, Jana’s husband is cheating on you, or email you and another 100 of close friends a video of Dana wasted at a party. She would always go shopping with her drop dead gorgeous cousin, whom her fiance adores, just to advise her to buy the ugly top and last season boots. And yes , when she was 16, she would spend hours browsing through her “frenemies’” new photos, because if just one of them got their nose done this year, she also had to do it.

So you see, if Laila can do it and achieve her marketing objectives, you with YOUR BRAIN can as well, just play by the rules of the New Media Age.

So tell me, have I missed anything?

P.S. I Found this FANTASTIC lebanese blog all dedicated to Lebanese Illustrators, check it out: http://kootoob.blogspot.com

Images via: Maya Zankoul, http://kootoob.blogspot.com and  Stavro .

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