Grey Doha supports educational training programme for NU-Q students
Posted on 2021 May,10

If there’s one thing this past year has taught us, it is that creativity defies all odds. In the wake of a global pandemic, the communications industry has been forced to think out of the box and adapt to a new normal.

With the world rapidly changing around us, Grey Doha launched an intiative to help brands rise through the challenge and tell their story. While social distancing may be the new norm, the industry’s creative experts are redefining the way brands are communicating with their audience, bringing them closer than ever to the heart of the consumer.  
Creativity is contagious, and so, Grey Doha went on to leverage its creative resilience to inspire young talents to think beyond the classroom.

Recently, strategic communication students from Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) were provided a hands-on experience of this dynamic industry to understand the changing needs of this creative ecosystem, through an exciting training programme led by the university hand-in-hand with Grey Doha.

This initiative is part of the capstone project under NU-Q’s Senior Strategic Communication Course that invites industry experts to share in-depth knowledge with aspiring talents. This is the second time that Grey Doha was brought on board to bridge the academic-professional gap and provide students with a unique real-world learning experience.

“At NU-Q’s strategic communication program, the students learn by doing. We are fortunate to have enthusiastic and supportive partners like Grey Doha to supplement the conceptual learning with professional experience,” said professor Ilhem Allagui.

As part of this year’s programme, Grey Doha briefed graduating students who fleshed out a fully integrated campaign for its strategic client, Qatar Postal Services Company (Qatar Post), the national provider of postal services across Qatar that is continuously investing in connecting the younger generation to the postal service through innovative and creative products.  

Head of Qatar Post Global Sales, Marketing and Product Development Alberto Manzo who contributed to this initiative, stated: “Over the past few years, Qatar Post has been going through an amazing transformational journey, touching on all facets of the business, and highly becoming customer-centric with a keen interest in - and a passion for - product diversification, creativity and innovation.  A transformation journey whose effective results are evident for all to experience on a daily basis and which has seen Qatar Post mutate into a fully-fledged commercial and customer-oriented organization with so much ambition and desire to change”.  

In the first leg of the project that kicked off in January 2021, students were introduced to agency fundamentals that drive the end-to-end campaign life cycle – from briefing, to ideation, creative execution, and post-campaign reporting stages.  Grey Doha then challenged students to a real-market scenario with an exciting campaign brief for Qatar Post including specific timelines, budgets, objectives, and campaign KPIs. While putting lessons into practice, the students presented a plan book detailing their campaign lifecycle, content and creative multimedia strategies as well as monitoring and evaluation frameworks.

Advising this year’s masterclass, Grey Doha’s Client Servicing Director, Samih Ardati, encouraged students to push boundaries through strategic thinking. “The global pandemic has affected us all one way or the other. But it’s our passion for creativity, and the love for what we do, that makes us turn challenges into opportunities. During these unprecedented times, there is an increasing demand for peers to upskill, reinvent, and rebrand themselves to meet our job market dynamics, our clients’ needs, and ultimately, our industry’s growth and lifetime value.”

On the Client’s side, Qatar Post’s Head of Global Sales, Marketing and Product Development Alberto Manzo, supported GREY Doha and NU-Q in assessing the cohorts of students through their group presentations.  “As a Business leader, and on behalf of Qatar Post, I am delighted to be able to play a small contribution in coaching NU-Q’s future professionals in an effort to prepare young people to access the world of work with conviction and competence from the get-go.  Never before has it been so critical that the “established” meets the “new” so that together we create amazing and memorable customer experiences, leveraging on each other’s unique vantage points enabling younger people to lead the Business of the future”, said Alberto with his usual passion and positive outlook.  

We are bound by a collective responsibility fuelled by great partnerships such as NU-Q and Qatar Post, to ‘loop in’ the next generation of talent on this transformation in the early learning stages – and arm it with the arsenal it needs to raise the bar at that. It is imperative that young minds are exposed to the market realities and truly understand what consumers want in these current scenarios. They need to learn how to juxtapose creativity with practicality and deliver something that is truly effective. “We are extremely impressed by the dedication and quality demonstrated by the students, who are on their way to becoming creative professionals”, both Samih and Alberto agreed in their closing remarks.

Building on the success of these programmes, Grey Doha pROmised it will continue to empower the next generation of industry leaders to celebrate creativity in the face of adversity. Think with innovation, thrive with resilience - will be the mantra for future talents to rebuild this industry in a post-pandemic world.