International judging panel announced for ICCO Global Awards

ICCO is proud to announce the judges for the ICCO Global Awards 2016; the global showcase for the most effective PR from the world’s most talented practitioners.

The awards are the only internationally recognised awards programme purely based on effectiveness, measurement, results and impact for the global PR industry, and supported by PR trade associations representing 48 countries worldwide.

Entries are judged by an elite international panel of top PR practitioners who will consider excellence and effectiveness of PR work submitted from across the world.

David Gallagher, co-President of the jury said: “Much of the discussion in PR about earned, paid or owned media, or the changing nature of social media, or the importance of creative storytelling, or any of the other myriad topics we discuss, are largely academic. The thing that matters: results. What happened as a result of our activity in terms of behaviour, attitude or ideas? That’s what the ICCO awards emphasize – and that’s what makes them unique.”


ICCO Global Awards International Jury:

Co-President: Renee Wilson, President, PR Council (USA)

Co-President: David Gallagher, President, Growth and Development, International, Omnicom Public Relations Group (Global)

Poli Stuart-Lacey, Head of Communications, UK Government (UK)

Michael Schröder, Global President, IPREX (Global)

Michael Frohlich, CEO, EMEA, Ogilvy Public Relations (EMEA)

Victoria Wagner, CEO, Ketchum Germany (Germany)

Denise Kaufmann, CEO, Ketchum London (UK)

Lucio Bergamaschi, Director General, Below Communications and Media Relations (Italy)

Jean-Leopold Schuybroek, Chairman, Interel Belgium (Belgium)

Andrey Barannikov, CEO, SPN Communications (Russia)

John Ehiguese, Founder & CEO, Mediacraft Associates (Nigeria)

Dimitris Roulias, CEO, Out of the Box PR (Greece)

Sharon Murphy, Deputy CEO, Wilson Hartnell (Ireland)

Jürgen Gangoly, Managing Partner, The Skills Group (Austria)

Emine Cubukcu, Managing Director, Ogilvy Public Relations Istanbul (Turkey)

Kresten Schultz Jorgensen, Managing Partner, LEAD Agency (Denmark)

Bridget von Holdt, Executive Director, Glasshouse Communication Management (South Africa)

Grzegorz Szczepanski, CEO, Hill+Knowlton Strategies Poland (Poland)

Andras Sztaniszlav, Senior Consultant & Communications Strategist, PersonaR (Hungary)

Jelena Sarenac, Director of Corporate Communications, Henkel (Serbia)

Michaela Benedigova, Director and Partner, SEESAME Communication Experts, (Slovakia)

Katya Dimitrova, Managing Partner, Interpartners (Bulgaria)

Stian Lyberg, Consultant & Founder Partner, PR-operatørene (Norway)

Marina Haluzan, Information and PR Adviser, Croatia Control (Croatia)

Tatevik Pirumyan, Founder, Managing Director, Communication Management Group (Armenia)

Sari-Liia Tonttila, Managing Director, Ahjo Communications (Finland)

Gary Muddyman, Managing Director and CEO, Conversis (UK)

Aaron Kwittken, CEO, Kwittken Communications (USA)

Sconaid McGeachin, President & CEO, Africa, Middle East & Turkey, Hill+Knowlton Strategies (MENA)

Tanya Hughes, President, SERMO Communications (Global)

Isabelle Wolf, CEO & Founder, Kingcom (France)

Loretta Ahmed, CEO Middle East, Turkey & Africa, Grayling (MENA)

Barry Leggetter, CEO, AMEC (Global)

George McGregor, Managing Partner, Interel UK (UK)

Aye Verckens, Managing Director, Recognition PR (Australia)

Rakesh Thukral, Managing Director, Edelman India (India)



Final entry deadline: 02 November 2016

Shortlist Announced: 17 November 2016

Awards Night (St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London): 01 December 2016


For more information on entries the awards or attending the awards night, visit

The ICCO Global Award Entries: The Quest To Demonstrate True Effectiveness

Article by Renee Wilson, president, PR Council; co-chair of ICCO Global Awards jury

Another awards program? Oh my…….but wait! – here is a chance to get some deserved recognition for your team’s stellar work, while helping educate the global marketing communications community on the power of public relations.

Our industry is going through somewhat of an identity crisis redefining who we are, and what we do, at an incredible pace.  There are many types of different discipline agencies that claim to know how to ‘earn influence’ or ‘earn media’ in a way that public relations can, with credibility and relevance.  However, our discipline is truly an art and a science, and operates in some similar ways but in a lot of unique ways too.

The ICCO Global Awards is a great opportunity for our industry to showcase the way in which public relations campaigns achieve real results, through powerful outcomes.  It is the measurement of changes in attitudes, opinions, and behavior (eg,votes, shares, sales etc.) that truly helps underscore the effectiveness of our campaigns, and what the ICCO Global Awards are all about.

The Cannes Lions Festival and Awards is very much rooted in creativity, and we love it for that, while the ICCO Global Awards punctuates the campaign “effectiveness.” That’s not to say that you don’t need a creative entry to win the ICCO Global Awards too, but proving how you help achieve your clients’ objectives with something measureable and tangible, not just opinion, is where your focus should be when entering for an ICCO Global Award.

Additionally, could this be the year we come up with the best collection of global campaign entries that demonstrate the powerful effectiveness that public relations offers?  I think it could.  Let’s challenge ourselves and our industry to do it!  Then, let’s use these ICCO Global Award winning campaign entries as calling cards to clients all over the world to better demonstrate what our discipline is capable of when it comes to effectiveness.

In my role as president of the PR Council, I talk to many leaders from CMOs and marketing clients, to communication directors, about the power of PR.  In order for them to continue to prioritize PR within their organizations with supporting resource, and in some cases, start to prioritize, we need to do a better job of explaining our effectiveness.  It’s that simple.  And, it’s that complex.

If you listen to the trade media that cover our industry and the industry pundits, some feel that we are moving too slowly in doing this.  The observation – (whether you agree or not) – is perhaps we are not retooling as quickly as other disciplines in terms of our talent, infrastructure and campaign thinking.  Let’s prove them wrong!  Let’s show the remarkable work our teams produce.  Let’s enter the ICCO Global Awards and use these entries as our industry calling cards.

For more information on the ICCO Global Awards visit:

Serbian Public Relations Association awards the best in the field

The Serbian Public Relations Association (DSOJ) awarded the best communication campaigns, projects and initiatives in 2015 at the traditional 19th annual reception PRijem held this week in Belgrade.

The special guest of the evening was Maxim Behar, President of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) that recently welcomed DSOJ within its members. A total of 87 projects competed for the awards in 13 different categories at this year’s PRijem.

On the occasion of awarding ceremony, President of DSOJ, Jelena Sarenac, said to guests at the event:

“The Serbian Public Relations Association gathers all PR professionals in Serbia and improves our profession actively. We want to empower cooperation with our colleagues and similar organisations all over the world, in order to keep in track with newest trends and also present examples of good practice from our market globally. At this journey, membership in ICCO is vital for us, since it makes our organisation more visible both in our country and internationally. We are very happy and proud for having the President of ICCO, Mr. Maxim Behar, with us at our yearly awarding ceremony in Belgrade.”

At this year’s awarding ceremony, the Serbian Public Relations Association awarded Represent Communications with PR agency of the year (large agencies) and SVA agency (small and medium agencies).

Awards also went to New Moment New Ideas Company, Executive Group, Home Page, Smart Vision and Blumen Group, while a special award for Extraordinary Contribution to Communications went to Miloje Sekulic from Home Page agency.



The Serbian Public Relations Association was established on 17 May 2004, continuing the tradition of PR Society of Yugoslavia – the oldest professional organisation in this field on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The company founders are prominent representatives of the University, the agency for public relations, government institutions and organisations, as well as large private companies. The mission of the organisation is to contribute to the field and the public relations profession, to assist the introduction and implementation of the highest professional and ethical standards and implement cutting-edge professional programs, organisation of conferences, seminars and training, as well as international cooperation and exchange of experiences.


Winning at Cannes – an Interview with Tom Beckman, Prime PR

Swedish agency Prime has received more Cannes Lions awards than any PR agency since the creation of PR Lions in 2009. Cannes Lions interviews Tom Beckman, Executive Creative Director and Senior Partner of Prime PR, about what it’s like to win and the affect on the agency.

Tell us about the foundations of Prime; where do the agency’s roots lie?

Our origin traces back to American political campaigning in the 90’s. That was probably the real birth of the channel agnostic approach – long before social media or even the internet. To build and activate a universe of communication assets under one common frame story is still a valid principle for us.

What is the philosophy of the agency?

Communications should have a value in itself beyond the product, idea or message its promotion. We try to create value that generates awareness – not create awareness that generates value.

How did you first learn about the Cannes Lions Festival?

The founder of legendary ad agency Forsman Bodenfors took us there. He introduced us to the festival and how to use the insights from the festival to grow our business. And we’ve been there ever since. For our delegates it’s all work and (almost) no play – see all the seminars, look at all the case reels, and bring home the insights.

When did you know you were ready to enter?

We started to compare our work with the best work out there from all agencies, not just PR agencies. And the only way to do that is start building your own case videos. We didn’t know if we were ready when we entered the first time – I guess you must just start somewhere and build from your experiences and learnings.

Tell us about the experience of winning your first Lion.

A shortlist is really a remarkable achievement. In fact – the way I evaluate our performance is the number of shortlists divided by the number of different campaigns entered (not multiple entries of the same campaign). That gives you a good idea of the strength of your agency. To win a Gold – that’s special of course. People don’t realize how big the audience actually is on that stage – it’s insane.

How do you choose the work to enter into Cannes?

Sometimes the clients take the initiative, sometimes it’s the team. Regardless we make sure that the work can represent us and our clients. Entering in the right category is important of course. The fact that a good case fits in a lot of categories proves how integrated the industry is today.

Since first entering in 2010 Prime has been awarded 14 PR Lions alone – what impact has this had on your business?

It has given us access to pitches we didn’t get have before. And going head to head with ad agencies forced us to up our game even more. It has led to more CMO budgets and to a ticket to play on an international arena.

How did winning influence the culture of your team?

It has changed the way clients look at us obviously. But more importantly it has created an internal culture of living up to our own requirements and expectations. We now benchmark with the best – and that’s a painful but rewarding relationship to your own work. It has helped us break free from limiting industry definitions.

What advice would you give PR agencies looking to enter work into PR Lions?

Cannes Lions is about ideas. Make sure your unique idea comes through. And then validate the relevance of that idea through engagement from stakeholders and media. Getting a lot of clippings is not enough – all decent campaigns in Cannes have that. Instead make sure to focus on the problem and the solution – what did you solve and why was it important? And show how the idea came to life and became a part of society or discussion.


ICCO named Best International Association at Association Excellence Awards

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has been named Best International Association at the Association Excellence Awards. ICCO won the award on Friday at London’s Hilton Bankside hotel, beating four other shortlisted associations including the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). 
The Best International Association award was presented as a recognition of ICCO’s impressive achievement of its goals in 2015.
Francis Ingham MPRCA, ICCO Chief Executive said: “ICCO is in rude health – in fact, we’re in a stronger position than ever. We represent more consultancies and more associations than at any time in our history. Our services are better and more numerous than they’ve ever been. Our relations with other leading organisations such as AMEC have never been deeper. 
“So I am delighted that this strength has been recognised by the Association Excellence Awards. I’m proud to agree that yes, ICCO is indeed the best international association in the world. And I’m honoured to be its Chief Executive.” 
The judges said that “ICCO has worked hard to position itself at the centre of the industry and has a fantastic set of services and benefits. They launched a really exciting set of recent activities.”
The award recognised the fact that ICCO achieved the following goals during 2015:
To grow ICCO’s membership, and increase turnover by 20%
Three associations joined in 2014-2015: Canada, Nigeria and Kazakhstan. ICCO also launched its Direct Membership proposition and welcomed eight new consultancies and networks to the organisation. ICCO membership grew to 33 national trade associations in 32 countries across the globe, collectively representing 2,500 PR firms. ICCO turnover increased by 46%. 
To increase engagement and influence with our existing national trade associations worldwide 
ICCO set up committees where each country member is invited to contribute to set the agenda for the organisation. ICCO also built a new user-friendly website, and launched Global Women in PR, a new global networking organisation for senior women working in public relations. 
To increase perception of ICCO as being central to the global PR industry
ICCO became a sponsor of the Young PR Lions competition at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, to increase the awareness of young talent at the festival. ICCO also formed partnerships with Haymarket, publisher of PRWeek, and AMEC.
To bring more content, research and events to members 
ICCO launched the World PR Report, in which it polls its member trade associations and gathers their opinions on a wide range of topics. ICCO also launched its PulseCheck, providing a quarterly update for members on global markets, and a revised and enlarged PR Professional’s Guide to Evaluation.
On the events side, ICCO launched the inaugural ICCO Global Awards in London at the Riverbank Plaza Hotel on Thursday 26th November 2015. Over 28 countries entered the Awards, which was attended by PR professionals from around the world. 
ICCO also held the ICCO Global Summit in Milan, bringing together senior practitioners from public relations consultancies around the world, in conjunction with the Milan EXPO 2015. 
About ICCO
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations in 32 countries across the globe: from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australasia. Collectively, these associations represent over 2,500 PR firms. ICCO provides a forum for senior management of the world’s best PR consultancies to meet and address issues of mutual interest and concern.

Inaugural ICCO Global Awards 2015 recognise consultancy and individual PR excellence

London 27th November 2015: The ICCO Global Awards 2015 saw leading agencies, and individuals from across 6 continents win accolades for effectiveness in PR and communications.

Leading PR practitioners from across the globe attended the ICCO Global Awards 2015 at the Park Plaza Hotel, Riverbank on the evening of Thursday 26th November, hosted by BBC personality Helen Fospero. Top consultancies, individuals, and networks all competed for awards in 18 categories.

The winners for Independent Consultancy of Year include: Interel Group for the EMEA region, Avian Media for the APAC region and Imagem Corporativa in the Americas.

Christopher Onderstall of FleishmanHillard won the award for Rising Star of the Year while Nitin Mantri of Avian Media was awarded PR Leader of the Year.

Ketchum walked away with the award for Regional Network of the Year in the Americas, Weber Shandwick in APAC and TRACCS in EMEA.

David Gallagher, CEO of Ketchum Europe and ICCO Jury President said: “We believe that effectiveness is the one true and equal parameter we can all be measured by. We wanted to recognise not just the obvious, loudest campaigns but the smartest, most elegant, and highest value work our industry has to offer. Congratulations to all the winners.”

Francis Ingham, ICCO Chief Executive, said: “I would like to congratulate the winners, and indeed all of those shortlisted. We are delighted that our inaugural awards have been such a success, celebrating outstanding PR professionalism from around the world. PR is great shape on every continent, and ICCO is proud to help showcase that fact.”

The full list of winners is below:

Regional Network of the Year Award:      


APAC: Weber Shandwick



Independent Consultancy of the Year Award:

EMEA: Interel Group

APAC: Avian Media

AMERICAS: Imagem Corporativa


World’s Best PR Campaigns Award:        

Media Relations: Hill + Knowlton Strategies

Consumer: Burson-Marsteller

Digital and New Media: MSL Group

B2B: NetProfile

CSR: The Skills Group

Not for profit: CROS

Technology: MSL Group

Crisis & issues: CROS

Broadcast: Lansons

Healthcare: FleishmanHillard


Rising Star of the Year Award:

Christopher Onderstall, FleishmanHillard


PR Leader of the Year Award:

Nitin Mantri, Avian Media


ICCO Hall of Fame:

Arun Sudhaman, The Holmes Report

Kathy Cripps, PR Council

Ray Kotcher, Ketchum

Richard Houghton, Agency Doctor

Barry Leggetter, AMEC


About ICCO
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations in 32 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms.


Press Contact

Binta Kristin Hammerich
ICCO General Manager



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