PR represented at ‘highest levels of European Government’ as ICCO joins Council of Europe

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has been appointed an official Partner of the Council of Europe (COE) to help shape European policy on digital information and disinformation.

The induction – which took place at the Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg – will ensure the views of PR agencies are represented at the highest levels of European government.

Representatives from ICCO will attend quarterly meetings – alongside platforms including Google and Facebook, technology developers, as well as other industry associations- to support the Council’s efforts to promote respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law on the internet.

The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation, responsible for upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union.

ICCO Deputy CEO, Rob Morbin said:

“The Council of Europe’s decision to induct ICCO is a powerful endorsement of the strategic value of public relations. ICCO’s partnership with the Council is testament to the growing respect businesses and Institutions hold for PR and communications.

I’m proud that ICCO will play a prominent role in shaping the Council’s policy on digital information. Our members are responsible for the way in which information is communicated with the public; whether via social media, through the press, or directly from brand platforms. We are committed to implementing the necessary frameworks to ensure new technologies are used ethically.”

ICCO and COE representatives exchanged letters at the ceremony before attending a meeting on the Council’s workplan for digital activity in 2020. The discussion focused on four themes: Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition, Hate Speech, and Digital Literacy. ICCO will provide updates and consultation opportunities for its members going forward.

Patrick Penninckx, Head of Information Policy, Council of Europe said:

““We are pleased to welcome ICCO as a new partner to the Council of Europe, the expertise offered by their membership will prove valuable as we seek to create standards around new technologies, how they are used by business, and their impact on the public”

About ICCO
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises associations representing 66 countries across the globe: from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, and Australasia. Collectively, these associations represent over 3,000 PR firms.

Creative Culture: Insights into Poland

Creative Culture: Podcast – Insights into Poland


Every quarter, Creative Culture organises breakfast roundtables with senior leaders in the marketing, communications and cross-cultural industries. Each event tends to focus on a specific country. This time it was on Poland. The roundtable event, included insights on cultural behaviours, communication trends and business practice in various vibrant Polish market.

PD invited Andrzej Krężel (AK), Head of Economics at the Embassy of the Polish Republic in London, to briefly introduce the political, economic, and social situation in Poland. He opened with questions that framed the topics of discussion for the rest of the roundtable: how can we market in Poland? What appeals to Poles, and how much do generational differences matter?

PD then invited Karolina Króliczek (KK), the Founder of London-based London to Warsaw/UK to Poland public relations agency PR Insight, and Matylda Setlak (MS), Managing Director of All4Comms, a fullservice Polish comms agency, to share some of their knowledge about the Polish communications industry, particularly with regards to what they see as trending for Poles both living at home and abroad. Read more 

To learn more about Generation Gap in Poland, click here 

WE & Hotwire Announced As First Platinum Partners For Cannes

WE Communications and Hotwire have been announced as the first agency partners for ICCO’s programme during the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity this summer.

The event, PRovoke+ICCO@Cannes, is being led by PRovoke Media (the new name for the Holmes Report) and the International Communications Consultancy Association (ICCO). Other partners also confirmed so far include Allison+Partners, independent agency network The Network One and measurement and evaluation body AMEC.

The partnership centres on a two-day programme of content in a premium new venue, including panel sessions, podcasts, the PR Lions pre-awards reception, the annual PR Jury Insights panel session, and roundtables for network agency CEOs and independent agencies from around the world.

A previous communication may have implied this was an Official Cannes Lions venue and programme, which is not the case. Whilst ICCO are officially sponsors of Young PR Lions and all related activity, the programme with PRovoke is an unofficial venue.

Cannes Lions runs from 22-26 June 2020. For more information about how to get involved with PRovoke+ICCO@Cannes, please contact Maja Pawinska Sims and Rob Morbin.

PR Industry Partnership Unveiled For Cannes Lions 2020

The Holmes Report and ICCO are official fringe partners of the Festival of Creativity, including the Young Lions and PR-focused content.

ICCO have announced a partnership with The Holmes Report to lead the PR industry’s fringe programme at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in 2020.

The partnership will include a number of elements, including working with agency and supplier sponsors to create a two-day programme of content in a premium new location on the Croisette, podcasts with industry leaders, and hosting the official PR Lions pre-awards reception.

An evolution of the House of PR, our presence will be called PRovoke+ICCO@Cannes, incorporating the Holmes Report’s forthcoming rebrand as PRovoke in 2020.

It will feature regular elements such as the annual PR Jury Insights panel session – Weber Shandwick’s president and CEO Gail Heimann was recently announced as the president of the PR jury – and the prestigious CEO Roundtable for network agency leaders, chaired by Paul Holmes, as well as a new Indie Roundtable for leaders of independent agencies from around the world.

Holmes Report EMEA editor Maja Pawinska Sims said: “We’re elevating our presence in Cannes to reflect the broader earned media universe, and PR’s rightful place at its centre. We’re planning a provocative fringe programme of lively sessions, in the heart of the action, that really gets to grips with the future of communications.”

The partnership will also again be supporting the UK, Middle East and Southeast Asia Young Lions competitions within the annual festival showcase of the global creative stars of the future.

ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham added: “Our firm view is that PR agencies must come together internationally to demonstrate our creative might in Cannes. Our 2020 partnership will amplify the voice of PR at the festival.”

Cannes Lions runs from 22-26 June 2020. The first PRovoke+ICCO@Cannes sponsors will be announced at ICCO’s #CannesUncovered event on 29 January. Come along to find our more about visiting the festival and putting together an award winning entry.

For more information about entering the awards or marketing your agency at Cannes, please contact

Earlybird  Entries for Cannes Lions 2020 open 16 January, with a final deadline on 16 April

Creative Culture: Insights into India

Creative Culture: Podcast – Insights into India

Every quarter, Creative Culture organises breakfast roundtables with senior leaders in the marketing, communications and cross-cultural industries. Each event tends to focus on a specific country. This time it was on India. The roundtable event, included insights on cultural behaviours, communication trends and business practice in various vibrant Indian market.


Interview with Kanika Mittal, Business Head at Twitter India

Tune into the podcast on the Indian market. Creative Culture interviewed Kanika Mittal, Business Head of Twitter India, who provides in-depth insights and advice for how to succeed in the Indian advertising and communications landscape.

Access and download the whitepapers, covering Sustainability and Diversity in India here.


‘PR’s global growth set to surge beyond 2020’ – ICCO World PR Report 2020



Global agency heads are overwhelmingly optimistic about the growth of public relations, according to figures revealed in today’s International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) World PR Report.

The report – published in partnership with Opinium – delivers a compelling snapshot of the global PR landscape, revealing the issues, trends and opportunities for agencies across seven worldwide regions.

The research uncovers impressive levels of optimism and profitability in every region. When asked to express their levels of agreement with the statement ‘I am optimistic about the growth of the public relations market’ on a 10 point scale, PR leaders revealed a global average of 7 out 10, with levels of optimism particularly strong in North America (7.7).

The buoyancy of global PR is further evidenced by data on expectations for profitability in the coming year. Across all regions, participants scored an average of 6.7 in terms of confidence in increased profits, with market confidence prominent in Latin America (7.3) and Eastern Europe (7).

The report – which also features the Holmes Report Agency Rankings – drills down into the areas of practice triggering market growth. Strategic consulting, the second largest area of growth last year, accounts for just under a third (29%) of all growth and is expected to be the largest area of practice over the next five years.

Other findings include:

  • Global AVE usage has fallen to 46% from 52% over the past year
  • LinkedIn is the most popular B2B social media platform for agencies in the Middle East and Africa, followed by Twitter and Facebook
  • Influencer marketing is the most likely area to see an increase in investment from consultancies in Asia Pacific
  • Western European leaders believe creativity skills will be the most important skills for PR professionals over the next decade
  • Agency heads cite retaining top talent as the biggest industry challenge and believe high salaries are the most significant barrier to sourcing talent from outside the industry

Commenting on the research Francis Ingham, Chief Executive of ICCO said:

As 2020 approaches, the global PR industry faces the future in fine shape. Growth, optimism and profitability have become the norm. The industry has transformed itself, embracing new skills and new methods of communicating. In short, PR stands tall.

However, we must not take our position of strength for granted. At every level of the industry and in every region of the world, we have a talent problem. We simply do not attract and retain enough of it. That is because we do not pay enough. And we do not pay enough because we charge too little. At the heart of this is our failure to adequately measure the effect of our work. The global fall in AVE usage is a welcome sign of our progress on this issue. Along with AMEC, ICCO will continue to champion professional standards on measurement so that our industry can continue its growth with renewed confidence in its value to business and society.”


ICCO reveals 2019 Global Awards shortlist

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has unveiled a shortlist of world-leading agencies, in-house teams, and professionals for its 2019 Global Awards.

The Global Awards celebrate outstanding of PR practice from across the world. This year, entries for the 27 awards came from more than 30 countries and were judged by an international panel of experts spanning four continents.

The black-tie awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, 3rd December, at The Savoy, London. The prestigious ceremony will unite PR professionals from a diverse range of cultures and countries for a night of networking and celebration. The event will be hosted by broadcaster and journalist Ayesha Hazarika MBE.

Chair of Judges, Loretta Ahmed, CEO, Grayling Middle East: “Once again we’ve had a stellar set of entries into this year’s ICCO awards. Work from so many countries around the world showed the judges time and again the power of storytelling done well in many different contexts. Winning agencies are to be commended on the dedication to stand-out creativity and flawless execution, with campaign measurement in particular improving year on year. In many categories the winners secured their award by a fraction of a point, proving the quality of all agencies shortlisted. So, to every agency that was shortlisted and made it to the screens of judges around the world we commend you!”

If you would like to book a seat or table at the event, please contact

If you are interested in sponsoring a category and presenting an award on the night, please contact

The shortlisted candidates and campaigns are:

World’s Best PR Campaigns

Transport and Automotive Award

Newington – The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA)
Value360 – No calm before the storm! (with MG Motor India)

Technology Award

APCO Worldwide – #BestOfBothWorlds (with Majorel)
FleishmanHillard Fishburn – Samsung Mobile Couture (with Samsung)
Netprofile Finland Oy – Search for Engineer’s Digital Intelligence

Strategy and Evaluation in a Campaign Award

Genesis BCW – Marie Gold MyStartup (with Britannia)
Netprofile Finland Oy – Search for Engineer’s Digital Intelligence

Purpose Award

Avian Media Pvt. Ltd. (AvianWE) – Dettol Banega Swachh Bharat (with RB)
Genesis BCW – Barbershop Girls: #ShavingStereotypes (with Gillette)
Ketchum – We Believe (with Gillette)
Ketchum – Viva La Vulva (with Essity Libresse)
Ketchum – Ariel: Sons share the load (with Procter & Gamble)
Netprofile – Not on our watch! (with SomeBuddy)
Orta Consulting – New future for khanty people in Western Siberia (with LUKOIL)

Public Affairs Award

Avian Media Pvt. Ltd. (AvianWE) – Generating healthy tourism-based livelihood opportunities tourism destinations of Northeast India (with Airbnb India)
BECG – Give Us a Chance (GUAC)
Intelday Solutions – Air Quality Group
Newington – The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA)

Not-For-Profit Award

BECG – Give Us a Chance (GUAC)
FleishmanHillard Fishburn – Writing a global wrong in LGBT+ Media (with Thomson Reuters Foundation)
H+K Strategies – World Humanitarian Day 2019: 24 Stories with 24 Women Humanitarians (with United Nations)

Media Relations Award

DNA Brand Architects (South Africa) – Lion Lager – Ilobola Nge Bhubesi (with ABinBev)
Hotwire Global – Leading the world with 5G (with Qualcomm)
Pro-Vision Communications – The All-Russian Initiative “Vote for Your Skating Rink” (with Nivea)
SPN Communications – Turkstream

Lifestyle Award

FleishmanHillard Fishburn – Samsung Mobile Couture (with Samsung)
Pro-Vision Communications – The All-Russian Initiative “Vote For Your Skating Rink” (with Nivea)

Influencer Marketing Award

Competence S.r.l. – If you are expecting a child, alcohol can wait (with Assobira)
Kurio The Social Media Age(ncy) – #SurfaceTheWomen (with Microsoft)
MWWPR – A man’s best friend/ My Wahl Cut (with Wahl)

Healthcare Award

Allison + Partners – Live your best life with type 1 (with DEXCOM)
H+K Strategies – Vaccinate for life (with GSK)
Ketchum – Life Lolli (with The University Hospital Düsseldorf
Ketchum – Viva La Vulva! (with Essity Libresse)

Financial Services Award

BECG – Ageas, the crew behind you – (with Ageas)
Genesis BCW – PNB Back on track (with Punjab National Bank)
H+K Strategies – DO Black: The Carbon Emission Limit Credit Card (with Doconomy)
Ketchum – #AcceptanceMatters (with Mastercard)

Event, Launch or Stunt Award

FleishmanHillard Fishburn – Samsung Mobile Couture (with Samsung)
Ketchum – #AcceptanceMatters (with Mastercard)
Weber Shandwick – Do you think yoga can sell more truck lubricants? (with Castrol)

Best Employee Communications Awards

Milk and Honey PR

Digital and New Media Award

APCO Worldwide – #BestOfBothWorlds (with Majorel)
LESENSKY.CZ – Barbora Poláková
Netprofile – Unlocking mysterious business of 5G (with DNA)
Netprofile Finland Oy – Search for Engineer’s Digital Intelligence

Crisis and Issues Management Award

Genesis BCW – PNB Back on track (with Punjab National Bank)
Netprofile – Surviving international cyber-attack – (with Mobimus)

Broadcast Award

Markettiers – Papal Visit to UAE

Best cross-cultural campaign

ORTA Consulting – New future for Khanty people in Western Siberia (with LUKOIL)

B2B Award

APCO Worldwide – #BestOfBothWorlds (with Majorel)
Hotwire Global – LEADING THE WORLD TO 5G (with Qualcomm)

Individual Awards

PR Leader of the Year

Barbara Bates, Global CEO, Hotwire Global
Lubomir Alamanov, Managing Partner, SiteMedia Ltd.

Rising Star of the Year

Rishitu Amarnani, Vice President – Integrated Media, Current Global
Boyan Ivanovich, CEO, Intelday Solutions
Jess Ballinger, Associate Partner, Milk and Honey PR

Team Awards

Independent Consultancy of the Year – Americas

Imagem Corporativa Comunicação Ltda
WE Communications

Independent Consultancy of the Year – Asia Pacific

RICE Communications

Independent Consultancy of the Year – EMEA

SiteMedia Ltd.
Ballou PR

Regional Network of the Year – AMERICAS

WE Communications

Regional Network of the Year – ASIA PACIFIC

WE Communications
Weber Shandwick

Regional Network of the Year – EMEA

H+K Strategies

Postcard from Lisbon: Emma Hopkinson, Cision

Emma Hopkinson, Vice President – Insights, Cision gives her thoughts on her productive week at the ICCO Global Summit in a mostly sunny Lisbon

The ICCO Global Summit was a valuable forum to exchange views and ideas with industry leaders, particularly regarding how we evolve as an industry as the media landscape continues to change. I was invited to take part in a panel exploring how we can use Insight to respond to the challenges faced by the communications industry with a focus on better strategy, higher standards and the application of appropriate data. It was an enlightening discussion with interesting observations about the balance between automated and human-driven insights, how we use insight to influence day to day decision making, the ways we can apply data to fuel better strategies and the most appropriate methods to report back on the impact of PR activity. There were a lot of other inspiring sessions throughout then conference with innovative thinking regarding the emerging and the unresolved issues faced by our industry. I left with new perspectives and fresh ideas.

ICCO Global Summit 2020 to be held in Singapore on 4th – 5th November

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has announced that its 2020 ICCO Summit will be held in Singapore.

Following a presentation at the 2019 ICCO Global Summit, held in Lisbon on the 9th and 10th October, ICCO President Nitin Mantri and PRCA SEA Chair Lee Nugent have announced that the ICCO Global Summit 2020 will be in Singapore, hosted by the Public Relations Communications Association Southeast Asia branch, PRCA SEA.

This is the first time the Summit will visit Singapore, with previous events in Asia having been hosted in India.

It’s also a notable achievement for PRCA SEA, which recently celebrated its first-year anniversary, yet has already established itself as a major association within the region, with over 40 members and growing.

The Summit is due to take place in Autumn 2020, with the exact dates still to be confirmed.

Nitin Mantri, President, ICCO, said: “We are delighted to be back in Asia, especially Singapore, which has a vibrant and fast-growing PR and communications industry. Asia is a key market for every corporate brand today and we believe that a lot of the communications industry growth in the future is going to come from this region. We thank the PRCA SEA for hosting the Summit. We look forward to sharing and learning from our peers across the world as to how best we can prepare ourselves to counsel our clients and help them navigate a digitally-disruptive world.”

Lee Nugent, Chair, PRCA SEA, said: “We’re proud and honoured to host next year’s ICCO Global Summit here in Singapore. And the timing could not be more perfect. According to the World Economic Forum, 2020 will see the value of the economies of Asia become bigger than the rest of the world combined for the first time since the 19th Century. Asia’s future is here, now, and we look forward to welcoming communicators from across the world to this most exciting and innovative of regions.”