Elovation Consulting founder and CEO Marie de Foucaud is playing a major role in developing Saudi 100 Brands, a group of 100 brands that are part of Saudi Arabia's drive to develop new industries from scratch as the country diversifies its economy away from a dependence on oil.
Part of that drive is the Saudi Fashion Commission. "The Saudi Fashion Commission is developing programs and the aim of these programs is to support the development of brands that have been identified as potential interesting contributors to this Saudi fashion industry," de Foucaud says.
While Saudi Arabla's international reputation may have been a hurdle for some, de Foucaud says that focusing on "the evolution of the country" is key to helping create opportunities for Saudia Arabia's developing industries. "I deeply know the country and not only the country, but the people of the country. So, any time you get some people who do criticize, I'm super happy to discuss with them and to give them very concrete examples of people's life changes for the past few years, examples to explain the way I do think they should think about Saudi Arabia these days.
For communicators who are looking to work with international organizations, de Foucaud says that learning about the country that your efforts are targeting is essential. "Beyond educating yourself about the history and about the geopolitics and reading media and reading books, do make sure you go to the country yourself, and meet with real people and have a very local experience and understanding," she says.
After you have educated yourself, de Foucaud says, it is then important to educate others. "The community of people you're trying to reach, whether they are journalists or other kinds of influencers. If you can, do take these people and do offer these people the country themselves, organizing trips and getting them into some out-of-the-box and not most obvious visits."
She also stresses the importance of having media and other influencers "meet with real people because at the end of the day, we know that everything is about people."
Finally, she says that an essential element is that "whatever your mission is, do make it a passion because I think not only will it make a huge change in your daily work and life, but also definitely have a huge impact on the relationships you will develop with your clients. And at the end of the day, it will also affect how successful you will be."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]