Kareim Abbouda

Kareim Abbouda

Summary

Kareim Abbouda’s career and professional progress are exemplary testaments to the sophistication, growth, vision and innovation that are required to achieve success in today’s economic climate. Mr. Abbouda’s professional achievements span nearly 20 years of expertise in public relations, communications and brand marketing at premier multi-national firms such as Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Fleishman-Hillard, Burson-Marsteller and BBDO. Abbouda’s success is due largely to the breadth and depth of his expertise and his multi-disciplinary approach to PR solutions architecture. Ranging from comprehensive knowledge of diverse PR vehicles, trend-setting media technologies, communications techniques and brand-marketing strategies, Abbouda cultivates dynamic and engaging campaigns that elevate the value of the PR discipline and clearly demonstrate ROI to discerning clients.

As Director of Public Relations for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide’s Saudi Arabian division, Abbouda captained a transformational overhaul of the region’s PR infrastructure, service delivery and team-building in order to integrate best practices and drive value for both internal and external stakeholders. Throughout his tenure with Ogilvy, Mr. Abbouda tenaciously pursued dynamic business development opportunities, expanding business with existent clients, as well as onboarding high-profile accounts. His succeses include a crisis communications campaign  resulting in the client’s retention of 96% market saturation; an intervention to turn-around a faltering relationship with Samsung and the launch of a successful PR campaign elevating their market-hold in the Middle East to 2nd place; as well as captaining the successful media and public reception of the Carlyle Group’s $500M greenfield entry in the ME market following their 30% acquisition of General Light. Additionally, Mr. Abbouda’s leadership contributed to the agency’s high-profile win of the coveted Emaar, The Economic City project.

Additionally, Mr. Abbouda leveraged his entrepreneurial instinct, business acuity and passion for the discipline of public relations to launch 2 successful agencies specializing in PR and brand marketing campaigns for complex IT organizations. Mr. Abbouda’s technical prowess and mastery of communications enables him to demystify intricate technical products and services, devising a refined and communicable message for diverse business (B2B) and consumer (B2C) groups. Among his success, Mr. Abbouda piloted the industry-acclaimed Arla Foods comeback against the anti-Danish boycott, recovering the client’s 80% market-share loss and earning a case-study publication in the Journal of Public Relations Research; as well as governance of the notable alliance between Hewlett Packard and the University of Hong Kong to launch a commercially viable medical e-Learning platform.

Mr. Abbouda’s successful restoration of Citigate Dewe Rogerson as a sought-after PR agency, after several years of disappointing performance, was a direct result of his innovative “Aptitude + Attitude” (A+A) recruitment stratagem and his commitment to internal training and development through his original “Speed + Accuracy” program to improve technical consulting and client service. At Fleishman-Hillard, Mr. Abbouda’s contribution enabled the agency to penetrate the Malaysian high-tech sector. Mr. Abbouda began his exemplary career with Account Leadership roles with such reputable, global firms as Burson-Marsteller and BBDO.

Skills

Skills

Business Development Breakthrough

At Ogilvy: Enhanced relationships with core clients and internal partners, driving strategic PR services as a vital business development component to generate cross-functional opportunities.  Integral contributor to high-profile win of the coveted Emaar, The Economic City, and retained relationships with Samsung, Bayer, Indomie-brand foods and various locally-bound brands.  

Multidisciplinary Stakeholders

COO & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR - PENTOMINOS LTD – Hong Kong Co-launched this PR agency specializing in top-tier IT & Technology communications & public engagement solutions; double-hatting in Operational & Business Generation roles with ownership across key pipelines: profitability, HR, project management, financial & cash-flow management, as well as legal relations with internal & external stakeholders.

Tactical Crisis Communications

Successfully managed crisis communications to circumvent allegations of hazardous effects from consumption of E621 (MSG) in food products. Collaborated closely with client to develop risk-averse strategies for brand security, consumer confidence and retention of market-leadership (96%).   Steered the precedent-setting Arla Foods comeback against the anti-Danish boycott, recovering the client’s 80% market-share loss in 6 months and rescuing the global food co-operative. Gained industry-wide recognition with results published in the Journal of Public Relations Research: Examining the Heuristic Value of Models of International Public Relations Practice: A Case Study of the Arla Foods Crisis (2008).

Coaching & Mentorship

At Ogilvy: Cultivated a performance-driven 11 member team and nurturing capable personnel with core competencies across PR best-practices, client relations and media management. Designed and implemented team-building & succession plans to buttress corporate growth initiatives, mentoring, coaching and evaluating staff to develop and align centers of expertise.   Catapulted CDR’s Hong Kong brand as a desired agency in IT & technology communications pitches. Reversed years of poor credentials in the market by via deep-cutting recruitment & training efforts: Innovated “A+A” teambuilding, sourcing staff with “Attitude + Aptitude” for success. Originated “Speed & Accuracy” regional culture, educating teams on IT & Technical consulting.

Driving Market Share Growth

Samsung – Multi-Media Campaign Management Rescued faltering account through personalized consulting with the country manager and brand counselling for a tactical PR strategy that propelled Samsung’s market-hold from 3rd to 2nd place.

Deep-Cutting Process Re-engineering

Overhauled PR approach at Ogilvey Public Relations Worldwide (Saudi Arabia), eradicating isolated projects to implement strategic and client-centric plans for both short and long-term brand integrity & development, organic business growth and enhanced opportunities for market capture.

Strategic PR Account Planning

Dynamic and innovative PUBLIC RELATIONS & COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIST with 10+ years of executive successes elevating brand awareness and corporate profile for multi-national organizations in the IT, Technical, Financial, Automotive, FMCG and Government sectors. Offers an astute understanding of PR best practices to engage target audiences, convey key messages and establish media & public credibility. Adept at packaging and demystifying complex product offerings such as financial and top-tier technical products to capture audience attention. Directed the activities of the Regional External Affairs unit for the Coca-Cola International account, including implementation of strategic communication plans and press briefings on new product developments.

Work History

Work History

2008 - Present

DIRECTOR: SAUDI ARABIA

OGILVY PUBLIC RELATIONS WORLDWIDE

Joined this premier, global PR agency to steer operations and elevate the PR discipline in the Saudi region; standardizing, enhancing and interlacing PR initiatives as indispensible of the agency's marketing, communications & business offerings.

  • Cultivated a performance-driven 11 member team and nurturing capable personnel with core competencies across PR best-practices, client relations and media management.
  • Designed and implemented team-building & succession plans to buttress corporate growth initiatives, mentoring, coaching and evaluating staff to develop and align centers of expertise.
  • Overhauled PR approach, eradicating isolated projects to implement strategic and client-centric plans for both short and long-term brand integrity & development, organic business growth and enhanced opportunities for market capture.
  • Strategically corralled P&L to hit $MM ROI targets, reporting to a member of Memac Ogilvy's Executive Committee.
  • Enhanced relationships with core clients and internal partners, driving strategic PR services as a vital business development component to generate cross-functional opportunities.
  • Integral contributor to high-profile win of the coveted Emaar, The Economic City, and retained relationships with Samsung, Bayer, Indomie-brand foods and various locally-bound brands.
  • Designed & implemented Ogilvy's acclaimed TULIP software.
  • Sought-after lecturer in Communications at King Abdulaziz University and frequent interviewee as a PR & communications subject matter expert in major Saudi Arabian newspapers.

SELECTED PROJECT LEADERSHIP

Client Name - Crisis Management

Successfully managed crisis communications to circumvent allegations of hazardous effects from consumption of E621 (MSG) in food products.

Collaborated closely with client to develop risk-averse strategies for brand security, consumer confidence and retention of market-leadership (96%).

Launched a public education campaign, enlisting nutritionists, physicians, food scientists & families to counter damage via evidence-based testimony.

Samsung - Multi-Media Campaign Management

Rescued faltering account through personalized consulting with the country manager and brand counselling for a tactical PR strategy that propelled Samsung's market-hold from 3rd to 2nd place.

Integrated a multi-channel media campaign, increasing media attention and interest by 80%.

Carlyle Group - Greenfield Market Entry

Choreographed PR strategy for this global alternative asset management firm's $500Million market entry.

Positively positioned Carlyle's 30% acquisition of General Lighting through aggressive media exposure.

Unilever - Lipton Brand Tea

Generated exemplary organic growth & revenue for existing clients to attract new FMGC business.

2004 - 2008

FOUNDER & DIRECTOR: MENA

KINSEY MCALLEN COMMUNICATIONS,

Envisioned and established a multidisciplinary communications firm, implementing global PR best practices to the market advantage of clients in Middle East & North African region.

  • Championed company growth, establishing a winning corporate culture, methodology and client services models through comprehensive business planning, strategic recruitment & training and consistent brand-integrity.
  • Enlarged operations and elevated company reputation, acquiring multinational business with up to 40% year-over-year growth and team expansion from 6 to 11 personnel.
  • Steered the precedent-setting Arla Foods comeback against the anti-Danish boycott, recovering the client's 80% market-share loss in 6 months and rescuing the global food co-operative.
  • Gained industry-wide recognition with results published in the Journal of Public Relations Research: Examining the Heuristic Value of Models of International Public Relations Practice: A Case Study of the Arla Foods Crisis (2008).
2002 - 2004

COO & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

PENTOMINOS LTD – Hong Kong

Co-launched this PR agency specializing in top-tier IT & Technology communications & public engagement solutions; double-hatting in Operational & Business Generation roles with ownership across key pipelines: profitability, HR, project management, financial & cash-flow management, as well as legal relations with internal & external stakeholders.

  • Managed 7 direct reports with oversight for the design and architecture of software projects and supervision of the technicians in project deployments and support services.
  • Launched a commercial solution for the University of Hong Kong's medical e-Learning platform, forging a first-of-kind integrated academic-corporate partnership with Hewlett-Packard to drive sales in China, Hong Kong & the Middle East.
  • Penetrated growth markets in the Middle East to promote the company's key product offerings, including e-Learning and IT security for corporate and government intelligence utilization.
2000 - 2002

DIRECTOR, HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY

CITIGATE DEWE ROGERSON (CDR) – Hong Kong

Engaged by this international, award-winning PR agency to operationalize the Hong Kong office, strengthen the APAC regional practice and introduce the firm's Momentum ManagementTM (MoMa) methodology that combined traditional media relations with cosystem communication and leadership-driven platform concepts to Singapore, India and Japan.

  • Nurtured and expanded business with Sun Microsystems, WorldCom (Chapter 11 communications), Sprint, AMD, Fujitsu & the UMTS Forum and Philips Semiconductor etc.
  • Interfaced with London, San Francisco, Austin, and New York to coordinate winning business development efforts in Asia.
  • Trail-blazed "Outsourcing for e-Government" program for Fujitsu, positioning the firm as a government contract winner.
  • Generated and retained business for CDR in APAC (including onboarding Fujitsu), collaborating with MCI WorldCom's Chief Internet Strategist & Architect to head the Technology practice.

STRATEGIC CONTRIBUTIONS

Catapulted CDR's Hong Kong brand as a desired agency in IT & technology communications pitches.

Reversed years of poor credentials in the market by via deep-cutting recruitment & training efforts:

  • Innovated "A+A" teambuilding, sourcing staff with "Attitude + Aptitude" for success.
  • Originated "Speed & Accuracy" regional culture, educating teams on IT & Technical consulting.
1996 - 2000

MANAGING SUPERVISOR

FLEISHMAN-HILLARD

Marshalled the Kuala Lumpur office start-up after achieving executive buy-in from FH regional headquarters in Singapore.

  • Leveraged understanding of Malaysian media scene to successfully develop innovative solutions for client issues within the technology PR sector, and gained greater penetration in marketing communications for consumer brands.
  • Fronted all new business pitches with a significantly high win ratio, onboarding new accounts with Avon, Kimberly-Clark and other multinational consumer brands, including the BMW/Rover Group to solidify FH in the Malaysian market.
  • Piloted Intel's global Science and Education Fair (ISEF) program, bolstering the 2 year campaign to achieve significant media output and increase investment from Intel into FH for additional programs related to education.
  • Successfully led the external customer and internal communications program for the merging of two Fujitsu subsidiaries into one encompassing managed services and outsourcing powerhouse.

Education

Education

BACHELOR OF ARTS

American University in Cairo