Mohamed El Koossy is a TV presenter, PR guru and one of our dedicated male voices. He shot to fame through his award winning show “My Dad, the winner!” which was aired on National TV. We chased him to Chicago where he now lives with his wife and son and we talked with him about his views on the media scene in Egypt and how it is like working in Public Relations which is considered one of the most sought after careers these days.
How do you evaluate the media scene in Egypt today?
The media scene is so disappointing and full of nonsense. If you take any talk show (with the exception of very few), there are no morals and ethics that control them anymore. In the past many used to complain about the previous government’s interference and how they are controlled by “national security” which was true to a great extend, but what about now? The current government is not controlling them and the sky is their limit so how come we don’t have a decent media? My only explanation is that whoever is in charge of the TV channels are keeping the same faces who worked harmoniously with the previous regime. They where doing what they are told and made a great deal of money and fame in return. So how can these same media people become all of a sudden the voice of the street and revolution? New faces and new performance is the answer.
Your show “My Dad, the winner!” received many awards, what are the main pillars of an award winning show in your opinion?
The show won the GOLD Award at the 16th Annual Arab Media Awards twice in a row, making it an unprecedented GOLD Award winner for two consecutive years for the Best Entertainment Program in the Middle East! The main pillar for any show to succeed is that you like and believe in what you are doing. The audience can sense it and if you are not happy with what you are doing then you won’t succeed. The common feedback I usually get was “Can you get us on the show?”. I get this everywhere from the guy who sells papyrus in front of the Egyptian Museum to the people I meet when I’m out dining or partying, through out all the socio-economic classes. As for the mom’s they always ask “when will you do something for us?”. I was also so much surprised with how kids are these days. Almost all of them have neither stage fear nor are camera shy. I was so impressed by many of them and how they took my lead and didn’t need much coaching. I’m hoping when things cools down in Egypt we will continue with more seasons. As for me I have two programs in the pipeline hopefully they will be out soon.
How was it working on set with two different generations?
It’s not really much different since we are dealing with dads and their kids but what I can tell you is that most of the dads really made a huge effort to win. Their only worry is their image in front of their kids and not wanting to let them down. The dynamics between both was amazing.
Your one year old son Dean is being raised outside of the country, as a father, do you see that challenging?
I was raised most of my life out of Egypt and that helped me a lot in being more tolerant and understanding towards other cultures and was able to deal with the outer world much better. So hopefully he will be the same if not better.
How should fathers with busy schedules like yourself manage to spend quality time with their family, do you have any tips?
It’s the quality of time you spend not the quantity. I believe this is the best way if you are leading a busy life.
You have a long resume of working in PR, how do you think it influenced your life as a personal level and not just on career basis?
PR is a very interesting line of work. It’s all about communication and how you use it effectively to deliver your message. I believe that also helped me a lot in my personal life. I learned how to select my messages and how to deliver them in the right time using the right methods.
What are the main pillars of being a PR guru in Egypt?
In Egypt, PR is misunderstood in many cases. People measure the success of a PR person to his personal network. Having a strong network is good but this is not PR this is networking. PR is simply about knowing what your client needs to deliver to which target group. You as a PR professional develop the messages and use the right communication tools to reach the target group or groups in the right timing.
You are involved in lots of charity work, how did it all start?
I used to do lots of charity activities as long as I remember then in 2006 I started an NGO called “4 OUR KIDZ” with the help of my wife and other friends. We developed different projects one of them is “My dream, we make dreams come true”. We are very focused on helping children in all aspects of life.
Up-close and personal:
What’s on your wish list for 2012? “The wind of change” to include the whole Arab world.
What’s the best thing you ever cooked? Whatever I cook is amazing (laughs).
If you were in another life, what would you be? Singer, movies star and a director.
Who is your guru? My inner conscious.
Do you know what women want? I wish (laughs).