ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalists – Onyeka Iyoha & Hameed Olanrewaju

Last week, it was announced that Modion Communication’s Onyeka Iyoha and Hameed Olanrewaju won the PR World Cup regionals in Africa and are set to compete globally against 10 other teams from October 13th to October 18th, in the ICCO’s Next Generation PR World Cup. Now it’s time to get to know our finalists!

Onyeka Iyoha, Research Executive/Data Analyst at Modion Communications & ICCO Next-Gen PR World Cup Finalist

Onyeka Iyoha

Research Executive/Data Analyst at Modion Communications


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

For me PR is essentially a storytelling and image-shaping tool and the best campaign I have had the opportunity to be a part of is the disruptive #Gokada2.0 campaign by Modion Communications. Our team successfully reshaped the image of the Gokada brand and re-instated public goodwill. The campaign also elevated and repositioned the brand as safe for commute, tech led and customer first. #Godaka2.0 was not only impactful but clenched a Diamond Sabre Award as best Crisis Comms Campaign in 2020.


What does being creative mean to you?

Being creative means executing a concept that has never been done or developing a campaign in a different approach from the norm.

Favourite social media account to follow?

Food Network on Instagram


Hameed Olanrewaju, Head of Innovation & Insights at Modion Communications & 2021 Next-Gen PR World Cup finalist

Hameed Olanrewaju

Head of Innovation & Insights at Modion Communications


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

I love the very talked about See Finish teaser campaign for Leadway Assurance, but my all-time favourite campaign is #DeterminedDele also by Modion Communications. The determination of Dele Fathia a schoolgirl who was pictured doing her homework at night with the illumination from an ATM facility exemplifies the Nigerian can do spirit and is worthy of reward. It is pure genius by Modion Communications to have conceptualised an award-winning PR strategy for Lumos Nigeria to improve Dele’s living conditions by installing a free solar power system in her home in less than 48 hours. The campaign is very touching, highly relatable and depicts the power of using one person’s story to illuminate a broader social issue.

What does being creative mean to you?

Creativity for me is an idea or concept that improves the way we live our lives. One of the core reasons I find #DeterminedDele campaign creative and alluring.

Favourite social media account to follow?

Mercedes-Benz on Instagram


The outcome of the finals will be announced on October 21st.

To read more about the competition, click here.

Iknoor Kaur & Neha Chandra, ICCO Next Generation PR World Cup Finalists

Get to know Iknoor Kaur and Neha Chandra, who won first place at the local PR cup in India. The duo will go on to compete against 10 other teams, from October 13th to October 18th, in the ICCO’s Next Generation PR World Cup finals.

To read more about the competition, click here.

Iknoor Kaur

Corporate Brand & Communications Lead at SPAG Asia


Iknoor Kaur, Corporate Brand & Communications Lead at the Strategic Partners Group Asia & 1st place winner of the PCRAI PR World Cup

What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?
A campaign close to my heart is Mission Medicine: Delivering Life – a campaign for Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance during the pandemic in June 2020. Amidst the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic, the agency created a campaign that showcased technical expertise as well as the emotional drivers behind the pharmaceutical industry. It was an integrated (PR & Digital) campaign that celebrated unseen heroes, not only doctors but also those behind the scenes involved in the supply chain as they work tirelessly to ensure that medicines reach us all on time, in the toughest of times.

The 360-degree integrated nature of the campaign clicked with me. The campaign was driven through a series of videos entailing the stories that shed light on the challenges faced by the pharma employees – right from manufacturers to logisticians and pharmacists as a result of the lockdown. The messaging was supported by a systematic PR campaign which created an all-round impact.

I believe in this rapidly changing world of today, integrated communications plays a crucial role. Moreover, cause-related and purpose driven campaigns hold way more impact and connect with audiences at a much deeper level. For me, it’ll always be those campaigns that’ll leave a mark.


What does being creative mean to you?
Creativity is all about looking within and going with the flow. I don’t think creativity is something that can be learnt. It’s a soft skill that needs nurturing. It’s almost a mindset, in my opinion. An ability to constantly unlearn and learn, to be aware, mindful, open to change and ever evolving; where every new idea is an opening into a new possibility. A creative world is a world without limits.

Favourite social media account to follow?

It’s tough to pick only one, but I think I’ll go with Kunal Shah on Twitter.



Neha Chandra

Senior Account Executive at SPAG Asia


Neha Chandra, Senior Account Executive at SPAG & 1st place winner at the 2021, PCRAI PR World Cup

What’s your favourite PR campaign that you’ve been involved in or have seen?
My favourite would be Medela’s Back to Work campaign. Medela, a breast pump and nursing accessories manufacturer, had found that many Indian women either gave up breastfeeding when they went back to work or quit their jobs when they gave birth. They took to PR to solve this unique challenge. Medela conducted a survey to study trends on maternity leave, breastfeeding practices, and work-life balance for a new mother and the results showed that nearly 42% of working mothers quit breastfeeding due to the inability to manage work and motherhood. The survey results also showed that many women didn’t know how to use breast pumps. An integrated communications campaign was designed to educate mothers on using Medela’s products through a mix of on-ground activities, video storytelling, blogger engagement, print and broadcast outreach and social media in an engaging and relatable way. Encouraging the dialogue further were the Medela Experts and the Lactoclave – a series of webinars designed for experience sharing.

I have always been passionate about healthcare communication and the power PR holds in changing the narrative, and so when I came across this campaign I knew there was something so new and refreshing about it. In India, breastfeeding is still seen as an under the covers act and women often get ogled at for feeding their children in public.  Breastfeeding in itself is such a taboo topic so when the conversation started on encouraging women to go back to work, once they feel fit and creating a suitable environment for them, it was bound to catch eyeballs. The campaign showed that while biologically, mothers are responsible for carrying and delivering the baby, taking care of the baby then on must be a shared responsibility. Women should not feel like they have to give up their passion professionally to take care of their baby. And that actually paved way for the next campaign I got to work on with Medela.

What does being creative mean to you?
Being creative means to let loose, to eliminate any bias/pre conceived notion you may hold, to not be afraid to question, and not be afraid to be questioned, to let your imagination run wild.

Favourite social media account to follow?

Tough one. At present I am immersed in healthcare content created by doctor influencers so I would say @dr_cuterus, who talks about everything we should have learnt in sex ed at school.


The winners Of  the PR World Cup will be announced on October 21st.

BHM Announced as First African Platinum Sponsor at ICCO Global Summit

ICCO has today announced BHM as its first-ever African platinum sponsor of the ICCO Global Summit. The Summit has been ICCO’s flagship annual conference for more than twenty-five years. The international public relations and communications company has committed to partner the London event on November 17th and 18th as well as bringing insights to the speaker programme.

Ayeni Adekunle, Founder, BHM said,

“By putting BHM at the forefront of activities like the ICCO Summit, we are making ourselves heard and deepening our engagement with the international PR community. I hope to see greater African participation and representation at every level in global organisations and events. This is just the beginning.”

Nitin Mantri, President, ICCO said:

“ICCO is a global organisation, and it is important that is reflected not just in our diverse, international speaker programme and membership but also our sponsor line up, so I am delighted that Ayeni has taken this step to support the event, which is a really positive statement of intent and ambition from him and his agency”.

The Global Summit can be joined virtually or in person, with speakers including Heather Kernahan, Hotwire; Gail Heinemann, Weber Shandwick; Kathy Bloomgarden, Ruder Finn. Full details here.

Inaugural PR World Cup Finalists Announced!

Eleven countries will compete for gold in the first ever ICCO Next Generation PR World Cup Final later this month.

To qualify for the global final, contestants had to win a national or regional competition, overseen by their local ICCO PR association. In each national competition, participants fulfilled a brief set by a local charity in less than 48 hours. The winning pitch was then determined by a panel of judges.

The final will take place virtually between 13th and 18th October. Answering a global charity’s brief, participants will have five days to put together a five-minute recorded video pitch, which will then be judged by a panel comprised of PR experts from around the world.

Rob Morbin, ICCO Deputy Chief Executive said:

“One of ICCO members’ priorities is to ensure the pipeline of PR talent is nurtured and that we support the next generation of global creative thinkers and internationally minded PR professionals. Winners from different associations across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East have done incredibly well to win, and the next stage will be even tougher!”

The winner being announced on 21st October.

The full list of finalists is:

Name Agency Team/ Country ICCO Association
Nina Kenakkala Novart Oy Finland MTL
Vilma Suokko Lehto Group Ojy Finland MTL
Maria da Silva Agence Proches France SCRP
Vasileios Vrakas Omnicom PR Group France France SCRP
Gerda Scheirlich Opencom Hungary HUPRA
Csenge Miller Opencom Hungary HUPRA
Iknoor Kaur SPAG Asia India PRCAI
Neha Chandra SPAG Asia India PRCAI
Flavia Perricone Omnicom Italy Italy UNA
Ludovica Marchese Omnicom Italy Italy UNA
Jessica Openheim Porter Novelli Mexico Mexico PRCA Americas
Leticia Villegas Porter Novelli Mexico Mexico PRCA Americas
Hameed Olanrewaju Modion Comms Nigeria APRA/ PRCA Africa Network
Onyeka Iyoha Modion Comms Nigeria APRA/ PRCA Africa Network
Valeriya Yudina Elefante Porter Novelli Russia PRCA Russia
Julia Kurbatova Elefante Porter Novelli Russia PRCA Russia
Heather Seet Mutant Communications Singapore PRCA Asia Pacific
Victoria Brown Mutant Communications Singapore PRCA Asia Pacific
Sweta Fernandes Golin MENA UAE PRCA Middle East and North Africa
Hazem Beshr Golin MENA UAE PRCA Middle East and North Africa
Elliot Payne Boldspace UK PRCA UK
Sophie Webster Boldspace UK PRCA UK

ICCO and The Trust Project Announce Partnership to Promote Freedom of Media and Trusted News Ecosystem

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has announced a partnership with the media and journalism organisation, The Trust Project (TTP), to address misinformation, support free news media, and strengthen the public’s access to reliable news and information around the globe.

Appropriately this announcement comes as we are immersed in ICCO’s PR Ethics Month, which emphasises the responsibility of communications professionals to centre their work in truth, facts, and ethical practices.

ICCO has been a specialist advisor to the Council of Europe (COE) on issues including media literacy and free speech, and TTP will support this work going forward.

The partnership will also allow ICCO, together with TTP, to promote the Trust Indicators® as a powerful news literacy tool for PR professionals, clients and the general public. The organisations will collaborate to create new resources, tools, standards and a series of activities across our geographies that will promote freedom of speech, media literacy and education.

The Trust Project is a US-based not-for-profit that works with news organizations around the world to amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion, and fairness so that the public can make informed news choices. TTP’s News Partners include CBC, The Economist, El País, The Washington Post, Il Sole 24 Ore and more than 200 other online, print and television media from around the world.

“Misinformation spreads quickly, damaging the work of PR and communications, therefore it is essential we support trusted, credible media. PR also relies on a free media to report information without fear of punishment. Without a free press, there is no free communications. I look forward to partnering with The Trust Project in our work with the Council of Europe and with our members, on building productive networks, campaigns and shared practices between trusted media and trusted PR” said Massimo Moriconi, Europe President, ICCO.

“I am pleased that public relations professionals, led by ICCO, are helping to lead the effort to elevate honesty over misleading reports and claims,” said Sally Lehrman, chief executive and founder of the Trust Project. “The rise of both misinformation and attacks on the press make our collaboration urgent and essential.”

For further information about ICCO’s work with TTP or COE, please contact rob.morbin@iccopr.com


About ICCO:

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises 41 associations representing 70 countries across the globe: from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas, and Australasia. Collectively, these associations represent over 3,000 PR firms. For more visit http://iccopr.com/


About the Trust Project:

The Trust Project is a global network of news organizations working to affirm and amplify journalism’s commitment to transparency, accuracy and inclusion. The project created the Trust Indicators®, which are a collaborative, journalism-generated standard for news that helps both regular people and the technology companies’ machines easily assess the authority and integrity of news. The Trust Indicators are based in robust user-centered design research and respond to public needs and wants. For more visit thetrustproject.org/faq/


Ethical challenge facing PR practitioners in 2021

Isil Aridag, CEO, Unite Edelman Turkey

Reality Versus Truth

In this unprecedented era of pandemics; rising social tensions; unstable politics; financial uncertainty; mass unemployment; misuse of technology; and escalating natural disasters; trust matters more than ever.

According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report; among NGOs, governments, and media – only companies and brands are seen as having both the competencies and the ethical resolve needed to tackle today’s problems. Nevertheless, people still question the gap between the projected reality of a company and the truth of how they actually behave.  As comms consultants, we are tasked with a huge and vital mission to foster sustainable, purposeful, ethical business models that protect people, society, and the environment; and to create economic and social value. Consequently, communication in this new age will shift from the traditionally assumed roles of B2B and B2C to a new norm B2H. Business to Human.

The Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report also states that most consumers believe they have the power to force brands to change to take purposeful actions.  Communication practitioners should keep in mind that while acting as loyal ambassadors, consumers may also easily turn into hardened activists and jaded protestors.

The report shows that in our current age, trust in all information sources is at record lows. The public are more sceptical than ever; they doubt the reliability of information; and are wary of disinformation and misinformation; and are confused by knowledge inflation. The challenge for the communication industry, then, is to establish an accountable platform to reach out to, influence, and convince the mistrustful audiences.

The other challenge for communication people is the enormous effort needed to adapt to rapidly developing technology and guide constantly changing social media policies while protecting the privacy rights of all stakeholders. Legal and ethical regulations are a “must-have”. Yet these, sometimes curtail the possibilities of a competitive communications program that stands out among competitors. Alongside this, “strategic creativity” seems to be another challenge.

A trustworthy communication climate and excellent ethical standards can only be achieved when all stakeholders plan, pledge, and act in a collaborative effort. Furthermore, businesses must also “say” and “do” the same. Then, reality becomes truth.

Using these truths to appeal honestly and transparently to the audiences, we can leverage true B2H communications and begin to navigate the multi-layered and integrated landscape of the present day, where trust is needed more than ever.

Follow the hashtag #prethics for more throughout ethics month

High standards and professional ethics are the industry’s crucial raison d’être and an everyday call to action

By Kresten Schultz Jørgensen, CEO, Oxymoron Communication & Board Member, Kreativitet & Kommunikation (The Association of Advisory Creative Business in Denmark)

& Boline Skovly, Communication Officer, Kreativitet & Kommunikation

If recent history has taught us anything, the most important lesson for communication practitioners and the global industry is that communication has for all practical purposes become means in modern warfare. For some, this might sound as a postulate, however reality backs it up. And indeed, we professionals must acknowledge that our expertise can be used in the service of both good and evil. Good, is the articulation of knowledge and valid opinions. Bad, is propaganda and fake news.

Today, the communications industry is challenged by the commercialization of a few tech giants. The platforms are not only distorted with noise. Over the last years we have witnessed state propaganda, fake news and disinformation that has twisted rule of law and altered societies. As a concrete example, the world witnessed an American election in 2016 that was heavily influenced by Russian interests. This is ultimately what is at stake and this calls for self-reflection within the industry.

Finetune your ethical compass

High standards and professional ethics have always been the foundation of the communications industry, but today they are the most vital competitive parameters in a world where communication is the primary component in both geopolitics and social development. Communication governs the world–and with that follows a great responsibility, ethical behavior, and standards.

Within the Public Relations and Public Affairs discipline, we often work under the radar. Our work and expertise every so often take place in closed spaces, such as dealing with a crisis before it becomes a public crisis or the drafting of political legislation before it is made public. It is our job to participate in policy development for the whole of society, and every communication consultant needs to finetune his or her ethical compass to navigate. Why? Because we are a guarantee of reliable sources of information. But adjusting your ethical compass is not a static exercise. More is it a dynamic process that calls for constant attention.

Furthermore, Public Relations and Public Affairs often start with a problem–other communication disciplines have different starting points e.g., an opportunity, a solution, or a product. The political and crisis-related angles in our professionalism imply that we cannot, nor must we take the wrong shortcuts. In other words, there lies a great responsibility on the individual communications consultant and company in relation to working in accordance with the adopted standards.

Helsinki, Stockholm, and Danish national ethical guidelines

The most urgent challenge today is to value and nurture the ethics of the industry. We believe that we must be at the forefront of standing together with and about high standards. On a national level, we work under a collection of ethical guidelines in Denmark and on an international level we support and conform to ICCO’s Helsinki Declaration and Stockholm Charter.

Heather Kernahan announced as new ICCO Americas President and Board Member

Heather Kernahan, Global CEO, Hotwire, has been announced as ICCO’s new US Board Member and Americas President. The role will see Heather represent Unites States based agencies on ICCO’s Board of Management, as well as offering strategic insight and direction ICCO’s Executive Committee.

Heather replaces Barbara Bates, who stepped down last month following a move to an advisory role within Enero Group. Heather is currently the Board Chair at PR Council, ICCO’s membership association in the US, providing an ideal platform to continue the excellent partnership between US based agencies and the global PR community.

Heather said:

“It is an immensely exciting time to be a leader in PR and communications, and I look forward to collaborating with colleagues and friends across the global PR community to keep advancing our industry forward in all regions of the world”

Francis Ingham, CEO, ICCO, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Heather to the ICCO Board of Management and Executive Committee. Her experience and global insight will be a valuable addition to our organisation and I look forward to working with her over the coming years”

Heather Kernahan joined Hotwire from Eastwick Communications, as president of Hotwire North America and Australia, after its acquisition in 2016 by Enero Group. In 2019, she was named Hotwire CEO of North America. Under her leadership the agency has experienced record growth. With over 20 years of industry experience, Kernahan has held senior marketing and executive leadership roles at fast growth and global technology organisations including Autodesk, Enphase Energy and Alias. Under her leadership, Hotwire has developed partnerships with technology companies including: Adobe, Facebook, McAfee, Commvault, NetApp and Pinterest. As a global tech expert and business leader she has been named one of 2020 SF Business Times’ 100 Most Influential Women and is the Board Chair of The PR Council. Kernahan holds an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise from Dominican University of California.

The term for Americas President is fixed until Autumn 2022.

UK Team Win Gold at Cannes Young PR Lions

Gigi Rice and Elle Bellwood, creatives at Hope and Glory, have today become the first ever UK winners of the Cannes Young PR Lions competition. The team from Ireland, Orna Clarke and Lughan Deane won Silver, and from Taiwan, Ya Ting Chien and Tze Yu Yeh claimed Bronze.

Elle and Gigi won the UK heat as freelancers earlier in the year, beating 60 other teams. At the global final, they competed against 24 national winners to be crowned the world’s best. Teams had 24 hours to create a global campaign based on a detailed brief from One Young World.

The brief challenged competitors to create a campaign that would promote young voices in conversations around climate change. The winning campaign idea was “Time for Action” – a strategy to target global leaders and politicians with a series of sustainable luxury watches.

The other five teams make the final eight-team shortlist were: Croatia, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, USA.

The previous gold winners hail from Japan in 2019, China in 2018 and Hungary in 2017.

PRCA Director General Francis Ingham MPRCA said:

“Congratulations to Elle and Gigi on making history as the first ever UK winners of the Young PR Lions competition. It’s been inspiring to see so many brilliant young teams from around the world compete and demonstrate the growing power of public relations.”

Gigi and Elle said:

“We are utterly over the moon to have won the UK’s first gold PR Cannes Young Lion in our initial year in the industry. We’d particularly like to thank Hope and Glory and Candace Kuss for all their support in this round and cannot wait for Cannes Condensed next week where we get to finally meet (and buy a few drinks) for the incredible people in PR who have inspired us through this last year. It’s officially coming home!”


Nitin Mantri extends ICCO Presidency to 2022

ICCO’s Board of Management have together agreed to extend the ICCO presidency of Nitin Mantri, Group CEO, Avian WE, by one year. Many of the traditional Presidential activities have been halted over the course of the past 15 months and the Board have decided to enact this one-off extension.

The two-year ICCO presidency was due to end in November 2021, however current ICCO Vice-President Grzegorz Szczepanski, CEO, Hill +Knowlton Poland, will now take over in Autumn 2022. Alison Clarke, Alison Clarke Consulting, agreed to continue in her role as Treasurer for one additional year. An election to determine the next President and Treasurer will take place in Summer 2022.