Rasha Omer is social media manager at Netflix, where she’s worked since 2015, based in Amsterdam. Before this, she worked at the Starcom MediaVest Group and Digital Ape Media, an independent agency based in Dubai. Rasha studied management information systems at the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
“…The working culture at Netflix allows for diversity of thought, culture, background and perspective in its essence. We live by important cultural drivers such as freedom and responsibility, and this allows us as employees to celebrate, embrace and live what matters to us the most…”
Rasha, please can you tell us about your career to date and what made you want to work in social media?
I started working in the ‘digital space’ as a creative copywriter for a grassroots music, film and photography platform in the United Arab Emirates. From there I developed an interest in working with creative talents in the region and a passion for creating content with them for ‘social’ platforms. Even though, it was a rich and dynamic experience, it wasn’t sustainable in its essence at the time, so I moved into a specialised social media job at Starcom MediaVest Group.
What does your role at Netflix involve on a day to day basis?
Managing the social media communications for Netflix in the Middle East / North Africa region (MENA). From overseeing communities across different social platforms, to brainstorming and activating campaigns for the brand in the region or creating local extensions to Netflix Originals that fit the Middle Eastern / Arabic narrative. We also do a lot of work with notable social media content creators and influencers.
Why is social media so important to Netflix and what projects are you working on at the moment?
Social media is crucial for us because it is our first contact with our consumers. Our communities on social media are avid fans of entertainment and technology and it’s so important for us to listen to them to better their experience. Enabling the passion and fandom of our fans is definitely more accessible through social media. I’m currently working on a seasonal campaign celebrating strong female leads from our Originals and also from our community of content creators in MENA.
What advances are you excited about in social media and how will these enhance the experience of your audiences and your ability to engage with them?
I’m excited about all of the ‘live’ experiences and advances that are going on, and how they bring us even closer to our fans. I’m certainly looking forward to exploring this further to showcase how our stories and technology are truly global in a very personal manner.
Netflix is actively working to support diversity of thought, culture, background and perspective amongst its staff. How is it going about this?
The working culture at Netflix allows for diversity of thought, culture, background and perspective in its essence. We live by important cultural drivers such as freedom and responsibility, and this allows us as employees to celebrate, embrace and live what matters to us the most.
An example of this is the Employee Giving Programme, where employees can donate to any qualified and eligible charity, and the company matches the contribution (up to $10,000).
What are the challenge (and opportunities) of working in a global organisation with colleagues in different regions?
The challenges pale in comparison to the opportunities, working in a global company really broadens your horizons and motivates you to work even harder to bring people together through what they love the most. We are all more similar than we think and at Netflix we certainly have a role in highlighting that. I’d say a challenge is working across regions / globally would be the different time zones, but even that is great fun.
How will Netflix be marking International Women’s Day this year?
Some of my colleagues are working on social-media specific content to mark the occasion. We celebrate strong female leads through our Originals and this a definitely sustained effort across all of our functions. It’s important to note, that at Netflix we don’t mark occasions based on the usual calendar – each employee is free and encouraged to celebrate what matters the most to them – so there isn’t a ‘typical’ way of marking events.
What is coming up next for you and Netflix?
For Netflix in the MENA region on the social media front, I’m looking forward this year to celebrating more creative talents and their affinity towards our brand and highlighting more female-led stories in the region. I’m also looking forward to engaging with fan communities in the North African part of MENA.