Lamia Charlebois is a famous Lebanese-Canadian Communication Expert, well known for her 20 years successful career in the field of Communication consulting, Marketing and Public relations. Proud of her Lebanese origins, Lamia has created a large network of Lebanese expats happy to contribute to the development of their community in Canada and Lebanon.
Back to Beirut for a few days, despite her busy schedule, Lamia is happy to share her unique experience with a large and varied audience at The Agenda Beirut. Invited by its founder Tony Abou Ghazaly, Lamia visited her home country, Lebanon, for a week full of beautiful encounters.
Lamia’s exceptional talents include mastering several languages and a life-long passion for Arts and Culture. Today Lamia focuses on topics such as Education, Media, Publishing, Fashion as well as the Legal world. She navigates easily between the different strata of geopolitics.
Her frequent trips from Montreal to Quebec, Ottawa and Toronto have accustomed her to change and made her keen on adapting to different markets. She was also Art Commentator on the morning show of the CBC French radio and contributor at L’Express (Toronto). In the bright and stylish offices of The Agenda Beirut we came to meet a modern & dynamic woman, known to spread fresh vibes of success wherever she passes.
Today Lamia is dedicated to only addressing topics that inspire her action: such as Strategic consulting, Media relations, Crisis management, Product launches and Content creation. Before revealing some of her tips during the Workshop, we took a little time to sip together some coffee & green tea. Exclusive interview.
The Diaspora feels sometimes isolated from its’ base back home, despite several major initiatives to facilitate contacts..
Indeed, that’s why it’s essential to constantly build bridges between the Lebanese in Lebanon and abroad. I’m very happy I was invited by The Agenda Beirut; together we share the common goal of empowering todays’ youth. I’m happy when I share knowledge and experiences but also ideas that contribute in their own way to developing the potential of Lebanon. Also, I always learn a lot when visiting my country of origin.
In a traditional and family-business environment, consulting in Lebanon is sometimes misunderstood, how do you promote the essence of this activity?
Some professionals still do not conceive that we can hire the services of a consultant for his/her specific approach, experience, ideas and “brain juice.” It is therefore our duty to demonstrate the added value of our work which has the merit of proposing a new angle as well as different and innovative solutions.
Consulting is also about sometimes showing that abstention or waiting for the right time can also be the right action.
The PR industry is also often misunderstood:
Absolutely, this is also the case in several Western countries. It is easy to confuse the social activity of a person and her social presence with the Public Relations which is a skill that is learnt in college and a career which is enriched by daily experiences.
Lobbying and network dynamics are as fascinating as they are complex. That’s why increasing numbers of leading companies are hiring specialists with a proven portfolio and an excellent reputation.
A consultant is distinguished from another by his style, interests and challenges he is ready to take. How is flexibility important in this field?
Adaptability is an essential quality communication consultant must possess. He/she should be able to move from clients in the IT sector to Pharmaceutical and Fashion clients. This style is specific to certain types of consultants and doesn’t suit all personalities.
Cumulative experience earned in a variety of fields then allows creativity to be injected in complex projects addressing multiple layers.
You have a professional life and a personal life that are both very active. How do you find time to relax?
It’s a question of balance and also personality. So I try to find a balance between my need for activity and my longing for calm. This applies to both my career and my role as a mother. The liberal profession I chose allows me to be present also at home.
I often say that we should not confuse speed with precipitation.
Finally, I like extreme sports that evacuate the tension that piles up at work. The fact that I work on my concentration in sports also helps me to gently tackle issues popping-up in the professional field.
Do you have a tip you would like to share with our readers today?
Often it happens that our customers want to be present and visible everywhere all the time. Today with social media, blogs and platforms offered by technology and the Internet I would advise to carefully select our networks. Because they require content, animation, interaction and a lot of resources.
Too much communication kills communication.
So communicate less, but better communicate better?
In a way, it’s part of the approach.We first start with the strategy, segmentation, and then the tactics to be employed. It is a question of priorities and targets as well.
On a personal level, what do you love about Lebanon?
So many things ! Nature, the hospitality of the people, human interaction, and of course the mountaineous roads of my childhood.
I remain very attached to Lebanon; that is also why I created several initiatives in Canada to bring together Lebanese who want to do something for their country.
Lebanon and Canada are two great countries; opportunities to progress together keep rising!