Georges Najm: 'Improvise, Adapt, Overcome'
Posted on 2022 Mar,04

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Lebanon has had very difficult years, following the Beirut port blast, the many lockdowns and an economic crisis that keeps worsening. In a special report, we focussed on businesses that have shown immense resilience and determination during the last year or so, even though local and global market conditions have been averse. ArabAd caught up with Georges Najm, CEO of Noise PR firm and Partner & MD at Clémentine agency to understand how he and his team have managed to thrive throughout such a tumultuous time.

How would you describe in one word the year that past?

I would describe it in one word as a “Disaster”.

Were you able to find certainty despite all hardships and adversity crippling businesses in the country?

I was able to find one certainty, which is the absolute and permanent “uncertainty” of this country. To run a business in Lebanon, you have to understand that every step that you will have to make, every project to launch, every plan to implement, every investment to undertake, and placement to do, they all fall under the category of “No plan survives the battle”, according to the notorious military doctrine applied in the managerial world.



Did you feel at risk at some point of getting pulled out of the game? And what helped you reinforce your team’s belief in Lebanon and strong commitment and dedication to sustaining the business?

I am a born soldier, and I will fight till the very last bullet to be, modestly and certainly, the last man standing.

How have you managed to channel your energy into keeping up? 

The huge size of the investment we have done so far, in terms of money, but also in terms of human capital and emotions, doesn’t allow us to just throw everything to the wind with every challenge we face. This is exactly what is helping us remain firm and steadfast amid this turbulent setting. Survival consists of knowing that every drop of energy is needed to fight and keep up; therefore, the rule of the current game is that we have no other choice.

What has been the most important thing you’ve learned over the last 12 months?

In war school and business schools, and I am proud to have attended both. I learnt from a theoretical perceptive an important US military motto: “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome”.

I believe I have been applying this slogan in the past 12 months in every sense of the word. Improvising facing uncertainties, adapting to challenging and very difficult situations, and overcoming no matter what.

Has your passion and energy remained intact in such a gloomy climate?

I know very well that many of your respondents would answer your question positively, saying that the energy and the passion are still there and are intact. However, and to be honest, there is no way that energy and passion can be kept intact during these extremely tough and unprecedented times.

“Crises and problems are an extraordinary opportunities generator, especially for the PR business.”


The Lebanese crisis —and the global sanitary crisis —have challenged managers and marketers to rethink the way they do business and plan the future of their organizations. Where the biggest opportunities lay mostly for you? Where does “new business” typically come from today?

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the business we lead, crises and problems are an extraordinary opportunities generator, especially for the PR business. In times of crises, big corporations have to fight in order to protect their reputation, one of their most important and vital assets. The latter seems often jeopardized by very serious crisis and challenges. The various opportunities we already had and the ones that are coming next year and the year after, as the economic crisis in Lebanon and the sanitary one worldwide will still unfortunately be ongoing until then, are a new business catalyst for us.

What are the shifts that you foresee taking place in the year ahead?

I foresee more anchoring of corporate crisis communication rather than traditional brand communication.


What do you think will be your biggest challenge in 2022?

The biggest challenge in 2022 is to succeed opening an additional geographical expansion to allow the Lebanese business to stay afloat and its talents in the country.