Oral history interview with Syrine Cherif, 2015
Syrine Cherif is one of the founding managers of Memac Ogilvy Label. She was press attaché to the head of government for Mehdi Jomaa, and did pro bono communications work for former Tunisian prime ministers Ali Laarayedh and Hamadi Jebali.
Scope and Contents
Syrine Cherif recalls her experience of the Tunisian Revolution, which was rapid and characterized by a sense of unity among all Tunisians. As a digital advertising and public relations professional, Cherif observed the unfolding of events online. She surmises that the first transition government failed because it was infiltrated by interests from the Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime. She supported the Troika government, especially the Ettakatol party, but it was difficult to manage its communications because there was no consensus on what message ought to be delivered to the public. Cherif speaks to the communications landscape under Ben Ali, the Troika, and the technocratic government. The events of 2013, especially the election of Ennahda and its subsequent cessation of power, taught Tunisians a lesson about democracy. The Jomaa government, on the other hand, appreciated the value of clear communications, and Cherif collaborated with the ministries on issues of security crisis and subsidy reform. The Jomaa government worked on behalf of its successors. Cherif describes her strategies for monitoring public opinion, and, finally, her hopes for Tunisia's democratic future.
Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2015.