Moderating a panel discussion: “For Them” Campaign
On Wednesday, April 14, I moderated a panel discussion as part of THE CAUSE conference events. ‘The Cause’ project started at the beginning of March, 2016 with the aim to raise money for 3 children charities in Kuwait, among of them are The Kuwait Association for Learning Differences (KALD), and Abeer 2 Voluntary Group for Mentally Disabled. The project followed by conference on to discuss Corporate Social Responsibility in Kuwait and to highlight the charities campaigns.
The participants in the panel discussion, as the poster shows, were the Abeer Al-Safran the founder of Abeer 2 charity, and managing and creative directors of Horizon FCB Kuwait. Horizon FCB Kuwait is a professional Marketing agency that helped Abeer 2’s campaign. The poster of the panel discussion was posted on ‘The Cause’ twitter account. (Click here to see the post)
My role was to introduce the Abeer 2 charity and Horizon FCB agency to the audience of the panel, and to bring to the audience attention the campaign development and its outcomes. Entitled “Form Them”, the campaign aimed to raise money to train volunteers and give them proper information and skills through workshops to help mentally disabled children.
During the panel discussion, which the video on ‘The Cause’ Instagram account shows, I asked questions about the challenges faced the Abeer 2 charity and Horizon FCB during the campaigns. I also asked Horizon FCB directors about the difference between campaigns for profits organizations, and non-profits organizations, and the role of social media.
Among the challenges that Abeer 2 charity faced during the campaign are the lack of awareness about the needs of mentally disabled children in society, the difficulty to move the disabled team to places where they can show their artwork. An additional burden is the regulations that do not allow a charity to raise money in public spaces. Horizon FCB main challenge was to create a media plan that fits the budget of charity.
There are three key ideas that I learned: (1) Charity should have a clear and realistic goal. (2) You cannot only depend on social media to raise money in a country in which traditional media still have strong presence in Arabic language.
(3) When planning to a campaign, as I learned, there no difference between profits and non-profit organization; you should have a creative work and media plan according to your budget. Horizon FCB distributed its creative across traditional media, including Cinema. When I asked why Horizon FCB decided to use a traditional approach using mass media, the managing director’s answer was that Abeer2 is not very active on social media. FCB Horizon decided to start with traditional media, and use social media during the closing days of the campaign.
Among of the statements that I can quote on the Creative Director are: “Any marketing campaign needs a simple message”, and that “planning is planning regardless what you plan for”. The Creative Director, elaborated on the simplicity of the message indicating that tagline of the campaign, ‘For Them’ seems unclear, but it actually make people curious about the subject of the message. Audience will later know that the campaign title refers to the mentally disabled children.
The moderation of a panel discussion is an exciting assignment, as you need to ask the right questions, and make certain that participants get the same time to answer questions, and that the audience remains attentive and gest engaged. I would love to be a moderator of panel discussion again; particularly I get to learn about the subject of the discussion.