Myrna Abou Mrad: Ahead to Full Circle Adventures
Preferring not to dwell on why she decided to leave her position as the General Manager of Porter Novelli Beirut, Myrna Abou Mrad opted instead to focus on her new adventure, after assuring that her move was executed on good terms with Joe Ayache, the previous MD of Impact BBDO Beirut and the current founder of what became today Ayache & Associates Porter Novelli. The announcement of your departure was unexpected considering that your future plans had not been made clear, so what prompted this move?
Everyone reaches a tipping point in life driving one to make bold moves. 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of my career in Communication at BBDO; throughout, I was feeling the urge to fly solo, to put my dreams into motion and overcome the internal fear and self-doubt. I did it and it is looking fabulous so far. The market response was immediate and positive.
What can you tell us about The Full Circles, the company you just established?
The Full Circles is a start-up agency that offers traditional PR and engagement in many ways. I work with freelancers - the worldwide trend now; I co-share platforms and I enjoy a lot of brainstorming time alone or with groups of friends in non-conventional set-ups.
What are some of the accounts you are currently handling?
It’s too premature to talk about a client base yet I can assure you that the start was far better than expected.
Having worked in the PR field for over two decades, what has changed in the clients’ mentality and the field itself?
The market is ripe with opportunities, considering the new trends, new sectors and a new generation of executives waiting to prove themselves and counting on new partners and dialogues to do so. Clients want to see results. Clients want exclusive concepts based on engagement, influence, ROI, contributions, and thought leadership, all of which are not only buzz words but will help square the circle.
I was feeling the urge to fly solo… I did it and is looking fabulous so far…
MCN group in the same capacity. Today, as general manager of Magna, part of MCN group, I feel more confident and happy with my choice.
What role does agency culture play and how does the former compare to the latter?
Each company has its own culture and I respect each one fully. The most important thing is to be able to understand it and to feel integrated.
What have been the greatest challenges faced during all these years at the helm of Optimedia and what do you believe will be your next biggest challenge?
I faced many challenges, the first was to create an identity for Optimedia as a separate entity from the creative agency at that time known as Publicis-graphics. The second was to drive the team and the business safely, during the transitional phase of the acquisition period of Optimedia by Publicis. In other words, the challenge was to successfully guide the team and help them to comply with the new company’s rules and regulations, without affecting the outcome within the changing and unstable environment. My next big challenge is to place the new rising star ‘Magna’ on the map of top MBUS in Lebanon.
Sadly, within Publicis’ current structure, there no longer was room for me to move up, or even sideways.