CASE IN POINT: Navigating the Uncertainty of the First Arab World Cup

Find out what makes an award winning campaign with one of our top winners from the 2023 MEPRA Awards!


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Our presenters will share all their secrets on the award winning campaign’s objectives, strategy, challenges and how they evaluated its success. This is your chance to hear and learn what it takes to create an award winning campaign and get yourself prepared for the 2024 MEPRA Awards.

Navigating the Uncertainty of the First Arab World Cup

2023 MEPRA Awards Winner

Gold – Best Campaign in Qatar
Gold – Best Sports & Recreational Campaign
Gold – Best Corporate Reputation Campaign- Defending the First Arab World Cup
Gold – Best Crisis Communications /Issues Management Strategy – Navigating the Uncertainty of the First Arab World Cup

Submitted by

Memac Ogilvy and Qatar Foundation

About the Campaign: Navigating the Uncertainty of the First Arab World Cup

After 12 years of relentless international scrutiny leading up to the first Arab FIFA World CupTM, Memac Ogilvy’s client, Qatar Foundation (QF), was propelled into the spotlight. With thousands of journalists about to arrive, we needed to show the true color, nature, and uniqueness of Qatar – whilst telling the positive and impactful story of our client.

Fostering true Arab hospitality, we warmly welcomed the world’s media, executing a program that contributed significantly to the 180-degree perception turnaround, protected and supported Arab and Muslim culture and heritage, as well as our client’s reputation, and showcased the country’s efforts both in and out of the world of sports.

We humanized the World Cup story – being present, visible, and accessible – with countless journalists leaving QF in awe of its work and initiatives. And, of course, the quantitative results speak for themselves – resulting in 5.2B+ PR reach, 17.4K+ media mentions, and 0 major crises.

Presented by

​Riham Elhoushi, Group Account Director at Memac Ogilvy

Riham is a skilled PR leader who uses her unique management, recruitment, and retention experience to run complex and large-scale PR operations. In addition to growing the Qatar Foundation team to meet QF’s changing needs, she has previously operated a 20-person integrated team for four successful editions of the Doha Forum, and grown the Qatar Tourism account from a team of one to a multi-functional team of eight.

A skilled strategic communicator and writer, Riham is frequently entrusted with providing counsel and training to Memac Ogilvy Qatar’s most high-profile clients, and played a central role in repositioning tourism as a key sector in Qatar’s national development.

Riham previously oversaw the strategic communications of public education initiatives and universities, including Teach For Qatar and Northwestern University in Qatar. She led on  international, regional and local campaigns including the Doha 2020 bid for the Olympic and Paralympic games and developed the communication for Shell Qatar’s CSR initiatives.

Before starting her communications career Riham was a journalist, covering news in Cairo and Doha for outlets including New York Times, Huffington Post, Egypt Today, and Gulf Times.

Born and raised in Qatar, Riham received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor in International Relations from the American University in Cairo.

Samantha Macgarry, Account Director at Memac Ogilvy PR

Samantha – better known as Sam –  comes with over a decade of experience in communications and PR. Since joining the Memac Ogilvy team in May 2021, she was initially fully embedded within beIN Media Group – leading the busy team with all short-and-long-term projects and deliverables in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup.

In mid-2022, she moved over to the embedded Qatar Foundation team, working within the PR department on several big events, amongst other projects – namely project managing the Earthna Summit 2023, supporting the media team during the FIFA World Cup, and helping to revamp the Education City Speaker Series. ​She now heads the Press Office & Media Relations function.

Prior to the move, Sam was with Weber Shandwick for a little under four years. Stationed in the Doha office, she has solid experience account managing an array of clients across the entertainment, education, and petroleum sectors, including Stars of Science and HBKU, and has a firm understanding of the local and regional PR market. ​

Back in London, England, she enjoyed her time as the Commercial Editorial Assistant for the online parenting forum, Mumsnet. Working with top-tier clients, she honed her skills in client relations, copy-writing, social media marketing, project management, and content optimization for SEO.   ​

Her first graduate role was Digital Campaign Executive for a London-based SME – account managing a wide range of commercial campaigns, organizing events, and leading on email marketing efforts.  ​

Sam studied Journalism & News Media with Photography at The University of Roehampton, London, and graduated with high honors. Alongside her degree, she worked as a blogger and social media assistant for an online automotive company – as well as taking on a slew of various internships. ​



This is a virtual session hosted on Zoom.

Date & Timings

Wednesday, 21st Feb 2024, 12:30 pm – 1:30pm (Gulf Standard Time)


This workshop provides 5 CPD points for CIPR account.

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Bookings are closed for this event.