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

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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.”

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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 pehlu.ghotra@iccopr.com.

If you are interested in sponsoring a category and presenting an award on the night, please contact rob.morbin@iccopr.com.

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

BECG
SiteMedia Ltd.
Ballou PR

Regional Network of the Year – AMERICAS

FleishmanHillard
WE Communications

Regional Network of the Year – ASIA PACIFIC

WE Communications
Weber Shandwick

Regional Network of the Year – EMEA

FleishmanHillard
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.”

New ICCO Ethics Chair

Christina Forsgård Announced as Inaugural ICCO Ethics Chair

As part of a drive for continuous improvement of ethical standards in PR globally, ICCO has named Christina Forsgård, Founder of Netprofile, as its inaugural Ethics Chair. She assumes the role ahead of ICCO’s annual ‘Power of Ethics’ campaign in September and will continue to drive progress in this area beyond the one-month campaign. The move comes as part of an ICCO Strategy to work with other sectors to focus on educating the public, businesses and PR professionals in regard to identifying and combating misinformation, disinformation and malinformation; whilst aiding identification of reliable information and trusted sources.

Christina is an experienced PR and Marcom leader, entrepreneur and the founder of PR multi award winning consultancy Netprofile in Finland. She takes an active role as a marcom technology angel investor, has appeared on several Top Influencer lists, and was awarded a National Security Award for designing a ground-breaking cyber security and disinformation training course.

Christina Forsgård, Founder, Netprofile Finland, said: “We acknowledge that our profession comes with great powers of influence, therefore we have responsibility to combat disinformation and fake news. Not because it’s important, but because it is absolutely vital for humanity. I am honored to act as the first ICCO Ethics Chair globally and fortify the power of ethics in communications with ICCO leaders.”

Elise S. Mitchell, President, ICCO, and Founder and Chairman, Mitchell, said: “Ethics is one of ICCO’s top strategic priorities. Christina’s expertise and leadership will help ICCO continue to elevate the global conversation about ethics and promote professional principles such as advocacy, honesty and transparency. I am delighted to serve alongside her.”

Francis Ingham MPRCA, Chief Executive, ICCO, and Director General, PRCA, said: “The establishment of an Ethics Chair demonstrates the importance ICCO places on raising ethical standards in PR globally. Having played a key role in developing the Helsinki Declaration, Christina is well positioned to lead ICCO’s work in tackling the new and changing ethical challenges of our time.”

ICCO works to raise professional and ethical standards of the public relations industry internationally and  the campaign marks two years since the Bell Pottinger expulsion from PRCA on 4th September 2017 that caused shockwaves throughout the profession as well as the creation of ten globally binding principles, agreed across 66 countries in the Helsinki Declaration, that champions the #PowerofEthics.

Find out how to get involved in #PowerofEthics here.

ICCO is the global voice of public relations consultancies, with membership comprising national trade associations, networks, and agencies in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Australasia. Collectively these associations represent over 3,00 PR firms. ICCO organised an annual global PR summit, has an international awards programme, and provides PR training and qualifications. www.iccopr.com

New Handbook for Travelling PR Pros

The new PR International Business Handbook was developed through a collaboration between Creative Culture’s network of over 2,000

cultural experts in 110 countries and ICCO’s network of over 3,000 agencies across 66 countries.

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Melanie Chevalier, CEO, Creative Culture writes:

In the globalised world of PR, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate

different business and cultural environments. This handbook will provide PR

practitioners around the world with key information for

conducting international business; highlighting the extremely

important, but often overlooked, details that will help your

business relationships with foreign stakeholders run smoothly.

 

In a globalised world, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t get

you anywhere. To ensure success, you’ll need to spend time

getting to know your local audiences – such as their

environment (political, cultural, social and economic), and their

likes and dislikes, for example, in order to understand what works

and what doesn’t. The latter, in many ways, is often more important.

 

Global communications are littered with examples of cultural

blunders, which in many cases, have led to damaging years

of crisis management and brand re-building. Knowing how to

position and communicate around a brand, product or service, in

a way that is understood by the target audience, is vital to success.

However great your USP or message appears to be, it

doesn’t necessarily always cross boundaries in the same

way. First, you need to understand the international

challenges and devise a strategy to overcome these.

Then you need to decide which channels to use. Where

does the local audience watch, listen or consume media, and

how is that particular media landscape structured? These

answers will, no doubt, differ from market to market.

 

Demand ICCO’s members, spread across 66 different countries,

have galvanised the production of this unique handbook, bringing together both the

key information you need to understand each market’s political,

linguistic and cultural nuances, as well as examples of recent

campaigns that have demonstrated a good understanding and

articulation of communication requirements for key markets.

 

Creative Culture, working with ICCO’s network and our own network of over 2,000

cultural experts in 110 countries, and utilising our 10 years

of experience in advising, developing and managing

communication strategies for a wide-ranging group of brands,

we hereby present essential information on 61 countries.

 

The information within is easy to navigate and designed to

provide the essential, top line, level of knowledge for each market.

The handbook is constantly updated to remain current,

in light of ever-changing political and media landscapes.

In some instances, you may require deeper and more bespoke

intelligence into a market, sector and/or culture. If

this is the case, we can provide this tailored insight,

with fast turnaround, and in-the-moment knowledge,

through our expertise both centrally and locally.

Please contact us or ICCO so we can understand

the exact and bespoke insight that you require.

We hope you find this handbook useful and please

let us know if there is anything else you would like

to see included or amended in the following issues.

World PR Report 2019-2020 Survey Launched

Share your views on challenges, growth and skills and receive a free copy of the report in advance – complete here

The World PR Report is the definitive study of the global public relations industry, conducted annually by ICCO and The Holmes Report.

Published together with The Holmes Report’s Global Top 250 Agency Rankings, the World PR Report provides agency leaders with vital information on the composition and direction of the public relations and communications industry. The report offers an analysis of where the global PR and communications industry stands today; how it has been performing over the past year; and what we predict will happen over the next few years.

With sections on challenges, growth, sectors, profitability, skills, evaluation and talent all being broken down by global region, the report provides a comparison of trends across both developed and developing PR markets.

This is a vital source of guidance for PR leaders operating internationally, please provide your views to receive your free copy in advance the published report later in the year.

The 2019-2020 report is being conducted in partnership with Opinium. To find out how to sponsor or advertise in the 2019-2020 report, please contact rob.morbin@iccopr.com

Share your views on challenges, growth and skills and receive a free copy of the report in advance – complete here

ICCO Elects Grzegorz Szczepanski as Vice-President

Grzegorz Szczepanski has been elected as Vice-President of ICCO (International Communications Consultancy Organisation).

The long-time industry leader fought off competition from four rivals to win the position which he will assume in October 2019. He will serve as Vice-President for two years before becoming ICCO President in October 2021.

Szczepanski is currently CEO, Hill + Knowlton Strategies Poland, having held senior positions at Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, UniCredit, and Heineken. He is the founder and first President of the Polish Public Relations Consultancies Association (ZFPR), which he brought into the ICCO network in 2001. In 2016 Szczepanski began a second period as ZFPR President.

The role of ICCO President is to lead the strategic vision and direction of the organisation, uniting a diverse membership around the most critical global PR issues. Szczepanski’s message to ICCO members focused on consolidating and reclaiming PR professionals’ position as reputation management experts that impactfully communicate truth. Szczepanski says:

“I believe PR professionals are destined to play a decisive role in shaping a stable future for humanity. As ICCO’s future President, I would focus on communicating the strong value proposition we offer to businesses, governments and the general public, enabling us to more frequently win our deserved seat in the most meaningful decision-making forums, both globally and regionally.”

Current President Elise Mitchell, representing PR Council, USA will finish her tenure in October and Nitin Mantri, President of the Public Relations and Communications Association of India (PRCAI), will move from the ICCO Vice-Presidency to the President seat, which he will occupy for the next two years. On Grzegorz’s victory, Nitin said:

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Grzegorz Szczepanski as ICCO’s new Vice- President for the next two years. Grzegorz is one of the most experienced PR professionals in Europe, with an illustrious 25-year career. I am looking forward to working alongside him to advance our profession and grow ICCO’s services to members”.

Over the past three weeks ICCO board members representing 66 countries across their national and regional associations have been voting for two ICCO Officer positions.

The second of these is the Treasurer, who serves on the Executive Committee as well as exercising supervision over the organisation’s financial affairs. Alison Clarke for the PRCA in the UK was elected into this role, which she too will assume in October, replacing Andrey Barannikov, CEO, SPN Communications.

ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham said of the results:
“The ICCO Board has been blessed with some outstanding leaders over recent times, who continue to drive our ever-expanding organisation and I look forward to working with another. Grzegorz will bring a wealth of international experience and a fresh perspective when he becomes our first Polish Vice-President and later President.”

ICCO Europe – Combating Misinformation

On Thursday 6th June, ICCO European members gathered in Rome, with the theme of combating misinformation running throughout the day culminating in an open debate. PR association leaders from fifteen countries were represented and have all agreed to work collaboratively on tackling this issue through affiliations with international institutions, journalism bodies and lawmakers. More detail will follow from ICCO in the coming weeks but for now, some of the insights are available below.

Full event slide deck

European Council slides

European Council article