Singapore’s Heather Seet & Victoria Brown, winners of the ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finals

Heather Seet (L) and Victoria Brown (R) are the official winners of the 2021 ICCO PR World Cup

Mutant Communications’ Heather Seet and Victoria Brown have today won Gold at ICCO’s inaugural Next Generation PR Word Cup. The UK’s Elliot Payne and Sophie Webster won Silver, and France’s Maria Da Silva and Vasileios Vrakas claimed Bronze.

Representing PRCA Asia Pacific as Team Singapore, Heather and Victoria competed against 10 national teams, between 13-20th October, to be crowned the world’s best. In the final, pairs representing Finland, France, Hungary, India, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, UAE, and the UK were set a brief by the International SOS Foundation. Teams had to not only come up with a creative idea but also put together a five-minute video pitch explaining how they would implement the idea on a practical level.

The Next-Gen PR World Cup is the first competition held by ICCO to showcase emerging PR talent from around the world. To reach the final, teams first had to win at a national and regional level, by responding to a brief set by a local charity or NGO.

Winners:

Gold:

Heather Seet, Associate, Mutant Communications

Victoria Brown, Manager, Mutant Communications

Silver:

Elliot Payne, Junior Creative, Boldspace

Sophie Webster, Junior Creative, Boldspace

Bronze:

Maria Da Silva, Influencer Consultant, Agence Proches

Vasileios Vrakas, Account Manager, Omnicom PR Group

Elliot Payne (R) and Sophie E. Webster (L) received silver at the PR World Cup finals

The winners will now receive the opportunity to present at the 2022 ICCO Global Summit, as well as an opportunity to lead ICCO’s new Next Generation Advisory Group, which will be launched in 2022.

Kayla Perfect, Senior Group Marketing Manager, International SOS Foundation, and Chair of the Jury said: “On behalf of the International SOS Foundation, we are humbled with the efforts put forth in the competition. The calibre of the campaigns, ideas and innovation is commendable. They all address Duty of Care in their unique way and many could be implemented immediately”. Commenting on the winners, Kayla added: “A very thorough campaign utilising all of the Foundation’s channels. Commendable emphasis on measuring the success of the campaign”.

Maria Da Silva (R) and Vasileios Vrakas (L) received bronze at the 2021 PR World Cup finals.

Rob Morbin, ICCO’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Congratulations to Heather and Victoria for an excellent pitch, beating fierce competition! The International SOS Foundation provided a tough brief but each team rose to the challenge. The ICCO Next-Gen Final was a true showcase of the global PR industry’s emerging talent. I look forward to working with Kayla and Victoria on our Next Generation Advisory Group, as we look at fresh ways to support our young members and emerging leaders.”

The competition brief is available here and all of the competitors pitches will made available on the ICCO website.

Stats show almost half of PR professionals to resume international business travel

Almost half (44%) of PR professionals around the world plan to resume international business travel in the next six months, according to new research published by the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO).

168 CEOs, Directors, and Department Heads took part in the latest PRCA and ICCO quarterly Confidence Tracker, which assesses market confidence in public relations around the world.

The study – conducted by Question & Retain – evidences a strong appetite for the resumption of international travel, with just under a third (29%) of senior professionals planning to travel internationally for business within the next three months.

Market confidence holds firm

The study also reveals impressive levels of confidence amongst PR and communications leaders. More than eight out of ten (84%) respondents said they were ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ in the future of their organisation. This represents a 20% year-on-year increase; the same study carried out in October 2020 revealed 64% felt they were ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’. The figure was as low as 38% in April 2020 at the outset of the pandemic.

PRCA Director General and ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham MPRCA said:

“Confidence across every global region is high. Many of our members have fared exceptionally well – new businesses is being driven by a growing demand for a diverse range of retained and project-based communication services. It’s also very encouraging to see so many of our members expecting to travel again in the near future.”

Jessica Oppenheim & Leticia Villegas – Mexico’s ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalists

As the competition period for the inaugural PR World Cup finals come to a close today, October 18th, we wanted to take some time out to congratulate a few more of these talented finalists for making it to this stage. Jessica Oppenheim and her teammate, Leticia Villegas from Mexico, are one of eleven teams from around the globe to participate in the 5 day long competition. Over the last 5 days, all teams have worked to create and film a PR campaign video pitch for a brief set by Think Tank, the International SOS Foundation. As of today, an international team of judges will score each pitch. Winners will be announced on October 21st. In a meantime, join us in getting to know team Mexico!

Jessica Oppenheim, Senior Account Supervisor for P&G, Porter Novelli Mexico & ICCO Next – Gen PR World Cup finalist

Jessica Oppenheim

Senior Account Supervisor for P&G, Porter Novelli Mexico

 

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

Jessica: The first campaign that I worked for in a PR Agency made me fall in love with PR, it was about bringing the first chapter of ILTM Americas (International Luxury Travel Market) to Mexico’s Riviera Maya. It was an amazing experience to host media from all over the world, having the same interests as me, while showcasing the beauties of my country.

Q: What does being creative mean to you?

Jessica: Being creative is to have the ability to see beyond a brief or requirement and, instead of doing it the traditional-lineal way, it is taking it to another level of inspiration, turning it into something unexpected, surprising, and intelligent.

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?

Jessica: @prgirlmanifesto, @herve_in_paris, @allaboutwanderlust_, @dudewithsign, @mrwonderful_, @pictoline, @ocean_obsessions_

Leticia Villegas, Porter Novelli Mexico’s Senior Vice President & ICCO Next-Gen Finalist

Leticia Villegas

Senior Vice President, Porter Novelli Mexico’s 

 

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

Leticia: What I enjoy the most of my work in PR is to create connections and strategies for brands to be and show their best version and have a positive impact on their communities, with results being seen through the engaged response shown by people. A memorable instance where I was able to participate was Batman’s 80th anniversary celebration, where the Batsignal was shone on different buildings across the world, an iconic symbol which brings good memories across generations.

Q: What does being creative mean to you?

Leticia: Being creative is to give shape to ideas in order to take risks, create the unexpected and always retain the ability to improve and adapt as needed.

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?

Leticia: @natgeo, @magnumphotos, @humansofny, @seregalandudas, @rp_latam

 

Winners of the PR World Cup will be announced across all ICCO platforms on October 21st.

Sophie Webster & Elliot Payne, UK’s ICCO PR World Cup Finalists

Boldspace’s Sophie Webster and Elliot Payne are the UK’s finalist duo in the 5 day long, ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finals. As the competition period comes to a close today, October 18th, we are taking some time out to highlight these talented young PR professionals

Sophie E. Webster, Junior Creative at Boldspace and ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalist

from around the world for making it to this stage.

Over the last 5 days, all teams have worked to create and film a video pitch of an original campaign for a brief set by think tank, the International SOS Foundation. As of today, an international team of judges will score each pitch. Winners will be announced on October 21st. But for now, we’re getting to know a little bit more about Sophie and Elliot in this joint round of Q&A.

 

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

Sophie & Elliot: Our favourite campaign we’ve most recently worked on at Boldspace is for Fridays called Celebrate the Game. We really enjoyed this as it challenged the stigma surrounding women’s football in an engaging way, by taking hate from behind a screen, and turning it into respect on the pitch. It really said a lot about attitudes to women’s football, attitudes which we want to change.

Q: What does being creative mean to you?

Eliot Payne, Junior Creative at Boldspace and 1/2 of Team UK’s Next-Gen PR World Cup finalists

Sophie & Elliot: For us, being creative means not only seeing a problem from one angle but flipping it around and looking at it from every point possible. It’s about letting your mind wander but knowing when it’s time to start heading back.

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?

Sophie & Elliot: We are both massive fans of Aldi’s Twitter account. They are pros at reacting creatively and show how a brand’s voice can be fun and engaging – even if it’s just where you go for your weekly shop.

 

Official winners of the inaugural ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finals will be announced on October 21st, 2021, across all ICCO digital platforms. Stay tuned!

Maria da Silva & Vasileios Vrakas – France’s ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalists

Maria da Silva and Vasileios Vrakas form France’s finalist duo in the 5 day long, ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finals. As the competition period comes to a close today, October 18th, we wanted to take some time out to celebrate talented finalists from around the world for making it to this stage.

Over the last 5 days, all teams have worked to create and film a video pitch of an original campaign for a brief set by Think Tank, the International SOS Foundation. 

Maria da Silva, Consultante Influence with Agence Proches & ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finalist

As of today, an international team of judges will score each pitch. Winners will be announced on October 21st. But for now, indulge in this joint round of Q&A, as we get to know a little bit about team France!

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

Maria & Vasileios : “A hard pill to swallow” for the Swedish pharma network APOTEK HJÄRTAT. The campaign raises awareness on water pollution by pharmaceutical factories in manufacturing countries such as India.

To highlight the problem, the designers of the campaign created a new kind of medicine (pill) made from the active substances extracted from the water polluted by the pharmaceutical factories.

Omnicom PR Group France’s Vasileios Vrakas, Account Manager, Digital & PR as well as an ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finalist

The pills were sent to politicians together with a medication package insert that states what was found in the water, what the effects are on people’s health, and what needed to be done for better regulation of the industry.

The campaign was highlighted in Sweden’s and Europe’s biggest news outlets and won first place at Eurobest 2020 Awards.

Q: What does being creative mean to you?

Maria & Vasileios: Creativity is getting people to see things with fresh new eyes. Just like an artist would do. It involves changing the way things are offered to the public’s eye, by altering their properties or dimensions, getting things out from their usual context or questioning social standards.

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?

Maria& Vasileios: Creapills on twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram… Innovative ideas, original campaigns and art: everything we need to boost our creativity.

 

The official winners of the 2021 PR World Cup finals will be announced on October 21st, across all ICCO platforms.

Julia Kurbatova & Valeriya Yudina – ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalists from Russia

Julia Kurbatova and Valeriya Yudina form one of the eleven teams from around the globe currently participating in the 5 day long, ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finals. As the competition period comes to a close today, October 18th, we wanted to take some time out to congratulate these talented finalists for making it to this stage. Over the last 5 days, all teams have worked to create and film a video pitch of an original campaign for a brief set by think tank, the International SOS Foundation. 

As of today, an international team of judges will score each pitch. Winners will be announced on October 21st. In a meantime, join us as we get to know just a little bit more about team Russia.

Julia Kurbatova, team Russia’s ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalist

Julia Kurbatova,

Elefante Porter Novelli 

 

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

Julia: I feel an unconditional love to my profession. I treat each project like my own child, so every project is special to me in their own way, because a piece of my soul is inside each of my campaigns.

Q: What does being creative mean to you?

Julia: For me, being creative means seeing the world from your own angle, filling everything with your own meanings, and being able to translate your vision and meanings to everyone.

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?

Julia: I really love popular now accounts in Telegram (Telegram is a popular messenger in Russia with it being about news from various spheres) like Русский маркетинг.

Valeriya Yudina, ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalist

Valeriya Yudina, 

Elefante Porter Novelli

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

Valeriya: I am proud of all my projects and campaign. We offer and execute a various tools and decisions for our clients. Of course, each campaign is unique. Nevertheless, there is something special about each of them.

Q: What does being creative mean to you?

Valeriya: Creative is unexpected insight for me

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?

Valeriya: I follow many social media accounts. The most interesting is Ruthless PR specialist in Telegram (Telegram is a popular messenger in Russia. The audience of Telegram is more than 600 million people around the world. After the global bug with WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram early last week, the audience has grown by 70 million people). This account is about PR sphere, interesting cases, and marketing news.

 

The results of the 2021 PR World Cup will be announced on October 21st, across all ICCO platforms.

Sweta Fernandes – ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalist from UAE

Sweta Fernandes is one half of Team UAE’s ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finalists. The finals of the global event kicked off on October 13th and comes to a close today, October 18th. Leading up to the official end of the tournament, when a winner will be selected, we have been highlighting the talented group of young professionals who’ve made it into the finals after winning local and regional rounds of the contest over the past month.

Sweta Fernandes, Account Executive at Golin MENA & 2021 ICCO Next – Gen PR World Cup Finalist

Below, join us as we get to know Sweta Fernandes in a brief round of Q&A.

Golin MENA’s Sweta Fernandes

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

Sweta: I think my favorite PR campaign is a fictional one. Mad Men is one of my all-time favorite shows and I watched it as a young advertising student and learnt more about advertising from watching the show than in my classes. In one of the episodes aptly titled, “Public Relations” Peggy Olson comes up with an idea to regain the Sugarberry Ham account. She hires two actresses to fight over ham in a grocery store. The plan goes awry when the fight turns real and one of the women pressed charges against the other for assault, and Peggy has to ask Don for bail and hush money. Don disapproves of the stunt (which was carried out behind his back), but Peggy points out that they did retain the account. Of course, public relations is so much bigger than just a stunt but it always stuck with me when I think “PR Campaign”

Q: What does being creative mean to you?

Sweta: Being creative to me means thinking like the quirky side characters who are cooler than the protagonists. Think Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld, think Phoebe from Friends and of course Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?

Swera: Twitter

Over the last 5 days, Sweta and her teammate Hazem Beshr  have worked to create and film a video pitch of an original campaign for a brief set by think tank, the International SOS Foundation. As of today, an international team of judges will score each pitch. Winners will be announced on October 21st.

Results of the 2021, inaugural PR World Cup Finals will be announced on October 21st, 2021 on all ICCO platforms.

Heather Seet & Victoria Brown, ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finalists – Team Singapore

Heather Seet and Victoria Brown are one of 11 teams partaking in the inaugural ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finals.

The finals of the global event kicked off on October 13th and comes to a close today, October 18th. Before an official winner emerges, ICCO and PRCA wanted to highlight the talented group of young professionals who’ve made it into the finals after winning local and regional rounds of the contest over the past month. Join us as we get to know team Singapore below, in a brief round of Q&A.

Victoria Brown, Manager at Mutant Communications & ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup finalist from Singapore

Victoria Brown

Manager at Mutant Communications

 

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?
Victoria: My favourite PR campaign that I’ve worked on recently has to be Pavilion KL’s Christmas campaign in 2020. Pavilion KL is Malaysia’s premier shopping destination and known for their stunning festive decorations. However, because we were in the middle of a pandemic, we could not organise a big media launch to unveil the mall’s Christmas decor. So, to engage the media, we organised the delivery of festive media drops filled with Christmas goodies to select media and KOLs to invite them for a specially curated Christmas experience at Pavilion KL. Media and KOLs were treated to a personal one-on-one tour of the mall’s festive decorations, a pampering session, a festive dinner, followed by an overnight stay at Pavilion Hotel.

This personalised and fun-filled media engagement not only built media relationships with key editors, journalists, and KOLs, but we also garnered quality coverage and social media posts on the mall’s festive decorations and pitched listicles on Christmas gifting and Christmas activities at Pavilion KL.

On top of that, we pitched and secured regional coverage on Pavilion KL’s exclusive Dior Holiday Tree from the likes of Bazaar Vietnam and LionhearTV (Philippines). We also secured an exclusive interview in Malaysia’s largest English daily The Star, where shoppers shared their favourite Christmas memory at Pavilion KL and reminisced about their favourite Christmas decorations over the years.

Despite the restrictions and challenges faced due to the pandemic, we managed to secure 88 pieces of media coverage (a 214% increase from the year before) that helped to boost awareness and drive footfall to the mall. It was overall such a fun campaign to work on, I loved coming up with creative ways to engage the media and different angles to pitch to different publications to garner maximum PR mileage for the client.

Q: What does being creative mean to you?
Victoria: Coming up with fresh, bold, engaging, out-of-the-box ideas!

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?
Victoria: There’s so many! I love Ryan Reynolds’ digital marketing agency Maximum Effort’s Instagram page (@maximumeffort) – I like their approach to video ads. I am also a fan of Nike’s and Heineken’s social pages. They have great campaigns, videos, and social content!

 

Heather Seet, Associate at Mutant Communications & 2021 ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalist

Heather Seet

Associate at Mutant Communications

 

Q: What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

Heather: I remember coming across the IKEA ThisAbles Project via its award-winning campaign. The project was conceived to allow people with special needs to easily use and access IKEA products within their homes. It had all the right elements: compelling storytelling, meaningful purpose, targeted partnerships, and scalable outcomes that really make a difference. My favourite part is that the campaign continues to expand and impact – new blueprints have been created, including developments for children. That’s how you know an idea really moves people – when it goes beyond the campaign to become its very own movement.

Q: What does being creative mean to you?

Heather: Creativity goes beyond big, bold ideas – it needs to present vibrant solutions to existing challenges. So creativity at its best is a collaborative process, a constant refinement that blends different perspectives and opinions to deliver holistic results.

Q: Favourite social media account to follow?

Heather: Ketnipz – I love how the artist uses Instagram Stories in compelling, engaging ways. Even ads on the account don’t seem like it, because they blend with creative storytelling to deliver the most satisfying and engaging content!

 

Over the last 5 days, the Victoria and Heather have worked to create and film a video pitch of an original campaign for a brief set by Think Tank, the International SOS Foundation. As of today, an international team of judges will score each pitch. Winners will be announced on October 21st.

Workplace Mental Wellbeing Audit 2021: Francis Ingham Forward

Francis Ignham, PRCA Director General

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), Opinium Research and The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) have published new research on the state of mental health in the UK industry. PRCA Director General Francis Ingham reflects on the findings and shares his own battle with mental health.

I thought long and hard about what to say in this foreword. And after a great deal of hesitation, I reached the conclusion that honesty was best. So here goes…

I have suffered from appalling mental health my whole life. Frequent bouts of depression; destructive and pointless anxiety; an underlying lack of confidence. All of which I’ve hidden from almost everybody.

Why do I say this now having kept quiet about it for decades? Because it would be disingenuous to do otherwise given the content of this report, and given the recommendations it makes, particularly about the need for candour.

Covid threw a powerful spotlight on mental health. I have never before had so many conversations about how people were feeling. And they were honest conversations, not the ‘Oh fine thanks. How about you?’ type. That’s one positive of Covid, and I can’t see it going away.

This report delivers data on where we are, and recommendations on what we should do. Some of its findings -such as nine out of ten practitioners have suffered mental ill health over the past year- are shocking. Others -such as three out of four have found their workplace to be supportive- are very welcome.

The four recommendations are simple, sensible, and sound. You shouldn’t feel guilty because you’re feeling unwell. You definitely should talk about the issue. We need to take better care of ourselves, and for many, that’s about workload. And where hybrid working works well, keep on with it -we’ve certainly embraced it at the PRCA and ICCO: some people like working from an office -cool. Some people like working from home -that’s cool too. Most people like a mix.

For many of us, this has been the most stressful, challenging period of our lives. Many people have been broken by it. Even more have come close to breaking point. But every crisis is a catalyst for change, whether for the better or for the worse. If we embrace the recommendations made here, then that change can definitely be for the better.

Csenge Maller & Gerda Scheirich, Hungary’s ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalists

The finals of the ICCO Next Generation PR World Cup will be underway this Wednesday, October 13th. Having won the local PR cup in Hungary, Gerda Scheirich and Csenge Maller are set to compete against 10 other teams in the final round of the inaugural event. Join us as we get to know two of Hungary’s trailblazing young PR professionals.

Gerda Scheirich, PR Consultant at Open Communications & ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalist

Gerda Scheirich

PR Consultant at Open Communications

 

What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

My favorite campaign I worked on is ”rEGGelem* campaign” (*reggelem means ‘My Morning’ or in a creative way: ‘BrEGGfast’). The Hungarian Egg Association’s CSR campaign, rEGGelem, that is a school program launched in 2019, emphasizes the importance of having breakfast for young people. But it could not continue within the usual school framework due to the pandemic. Therefore, we proposed that the program should move to social media platforms, including TikTok, which is the most dynamically developing platform in Hungary and globally.

 

What does being creative mean to you?
For me, being creative means being able to solve a problem in a unique way. And as a result, creating something valuable that has a positive impact on others: making them laugh, think, take action or “simply” making their life better.

 

Favourite social media account to follow?

Gulyás Lídia  and Formula 1 official Instagram page.

 

 

Csenge Maller, Junior PR Consultant at Open Communications & ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalist

Csenge Maller

Junior Public Relations Consultant at Open Communications

 

What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?

One of my favorite campaigns is related to support premature babies. It included among others expert interviews, media and influencer collaborations,  and also a strong online presence. This theme always warms my heart.

 

What does being creative mean to you?
For me, being creative means to create something unique that grabs attention and leaves a lasting mark in people.

 

Favourite social media account to follow?

Neubeller Réka. I’m impressed by her thoughts, style and perspective on life.

 

To read more about the competition, click here.