Raise Your Hand! PR at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity

Written by Renee Wilson, President, PR Council


The marketplace is quickly transforming. That is evident. The older, more traditional forms of communications are no longer moving the needle as they once did. However, one thing is clear:  the methods, strategies and activity that have PR-thinking at the core are where the action is. It is my prediction that this year at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, we will see the majority of winners from a host of categories have PR-thinking at the core of the idea. And when attendees ask why the program was so successful, raise your hand and proudly say it was “PR-thinking that powered the strategy and the creative idea.”

This will be my sixth year going to the Festival, and I’m just as excited as ever. Nowhere else in the world can you have a professional experience that is so awe-inspiring, educational and enjoyable all in one place. I’ve had the good fortune of serving on two PR juries, once as the PR jury chair, and this year, along with two of my PR Council Members, I’ll be serving as a PR Mentor in the Cannes Young Lions Marketers Academy, along with A.G. Bevilaqua of M Booth and Ron D’Innocenzo of Golin. It’s a great opportunity to help teach and inspire about the power of PR-thinking as it’s important to help marketers of all ages understand more about the types of work we do. It’s not PR versus advertising. It’s PR and advertising, and media, and in-store, online etc.

What do I mean when I say PR-thinking? It’s strategies and ideas that involve working with influencers, third parties, experiential, content and stakeholder relationships for starters. You will find it in the winning Cannes entries.

However, if you are still on the fence as to whether or not to attend the Festival, or more importantly to care, here are three reasons:

1. Cannes Festival showcases creativity at its best. There is no other festival that brings together the greatest creative minds in the global marketing communications industry and gives you access to the best and brightest in integrated communications. Think of it like the Olympics of Marketing. We can all learn from the powerful work.

2. Young Lions Competition. For only the third time, PR is included as a category in this competition. We are proudly sending Team USA and I’m sure other regions are putting forth their bright young talent too. These future leaders definitely have a thing or two to teach us about the industry.

3. ICCO House of PR. For the second year in a row, ICCO will be hosting the House of PR. This is a great meeting place for PR professionals to gather to glean insights from the juries, points of view from thought leaders, and network with colleagues from different agencies and companies from around the world. It can’t be missed!

I hope to see you at the Cannes festival, where we can push forward the power of PR-thinking from around the world, inspire others, and be inspired!


For more information about the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity visit:

Young PR Stars Compete for Chance to Represent their Country at Cannes Lions

The hottest competition for PR’s young talent has kick-started across the globe, with teams competing for the chance to represent their country at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Over 22 local Young Lions PR Competitions are underway in countries including Brazil, China, Russia, Italy, Turkey and the USA.

Last week the UK competition was won by Matt Watson and Paul Stollery of Hotwire, who were up against 40 teams around the UK. The French Young Lions place was won by the Havas Worldwide Paris team of Daniel Saltsman and Fabien Aufrechter. The winners of other local competitions will be announced over the next two months.

The winning pairs will be sent to Cannes, France in June to compete at the international PR competition, which is part of the world’s largest advertising and communications event Cannes Lions.

To take part in the challenge, entrants must be 30 years of age or younger, and be working in the PR industry. Teams of two respond to a charity brief in 24 hours, and shortlisted candidates will have their PR strategy judged by an expert jury.

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the proud sponsor of the Young Lions PR Competition for the third consecutive year. ICCO has also sponsored ‘The House of PR’ cabana for the Festival week. If you are interested in sub-sponsoring ICCO’s participation at Cannes Lions in 2016 please contact ICCO General Manager Charlene Corrin.

The 63rd International Festival of Creativity takes place on 18th – 25th June 2016.


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 33 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms.

About The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
The International Festival of Creativity, also known as Cannes Lions, is the world’s leading celebration of creativity in communications. Founded in 1954, the Festival takes place every June in Cannes, France. As the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards, over 40,000 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. The Festival is also the only truly global meeting place for advertisers, advertising and communication professionals. More than 12,000 delegates from 95 countries attend a week-long programme of exhibitions, screenings and talks by worldwide thought leaders. As the networking and learning opportunity of the year, Cannes Lions is the must-attend event for anyone involved in brand communications.




Getting ready for your first Cannes Lions?

by Gabriela Lungu, integrated creative director & Cannes Lions veteran

gabriela lungu




Congratulations! Your firm is sending you to Cannes Lions!  It’s the most important International Festival of Creativity for the Marcom industry, so you should be very proud that you were chosen (the pass for the festival, plus the transport, the accommodation and other expenses, are quite a significant investment for any company; and yours is investing in you!).

The best thing to do now is to make the most out of this awesome experience. But the truth is that going to Cannes Lions for the first time can be quite intimidating.

This is no small event. It’s one who practically takes over an entire city for a full week. Huge main venue, and many other smaller ones. 12,000 people attending. Lots of things, all very interesting, happening in parallel. Amazing superstars, from the industry and beyond, to see and meet at the different gatherings – some official and some not so official. And all the temptations of the French Riviera at walking distance. What to choose? How to make sure you’re not missing out?

As a Cannes Lions veteran, I’m asked lots of questions every year.

Here are my top 7 tips:

  1. Download the official Cannes Lions App. This app is your best friend. Read what’s happening at this year’s edition and start planning. Decide who you want to see, where you want to go and put together a personalized agenda. Make a plan A, but also a plan B. You’ll have to be flexible to fully enjoy the week
  2. When you get there, take the official “HOW TO CANNES DAILY TOUR” to find your way around the Festival’s main venue, Le Palais des Festivals. After you know your Grand Audi from your Debussy, you’ll instantly feel more confident.
  3. From the Palais, take a walk on the Croisette and maybe even a little sightseeing tour around Cannes. Remember where the biggest hotels (especially Majestic, Carlton and Martinez) and the beaches are. Many events, especially the evening ones, are happening outside the Palais, in one of these locations.
  4. Keep in mind that you’ll be one of the 12,000 people who come to be inspired at Cannes Lions. If a seminar sounds very interesting to you, chances are the other 11,999 people will think the same. If you really want to be in the same room with an inspiring speaker, make sure you are in that room really early (with 2-3 hours in advance) and you don’t leave it. Not even for bathroom breaks.
  5. If you can’t get in for one of the big seminars, don’t be disappointed. Go to a workshop instead. Many times, the most valuable and practical information are shared in the smaller sessions.
  6. Go to the parties you’re invited to. There are amazing networking opportunities. Go to the after-parties too; there are many planned and unplanned ones all over the city. Enjoy the rosé (they call it ‘the Festival’s water’). But make sure you’re up and running again early in the morning. There must be parties all the time where you’re coming from; but there’s only one Cannes Lions Festival every year.
  7. Go to The House of PR (Grand Palais Beach, Cabana 11), a fun and comfortable meeting space for the PR community. Get involved with the scheduled activities from Monday 22nd June to Wednesday 24th June, from 9am till 6pm. Throughout the festival the House of PR will play host to interviews, live streaming and much more. Look out for the live updates – twitter: @ICCOpr, #WELOVEPR.

Of course, the most important thing is to… relax. If you ever feel confused, remember that even the smug veterans had their first Cannes Lions once. Enjoy it to the maximum, let yourself be inspired, and then share this inspiration with your colleagues back home.

See you there!

Young Lions PR competition springboards fresh talent for a 2nd year; ICCO continues partnership


The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced, that after a successful launch year, the Young Lions PR Competition is set to return at the 2015 Festival.Offering its support and commitment, the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), will continue its partnership with the 2015 competition.

Steve Latham, director of talent & training, Cannes Lions said: “The competition provides a real opportunity for young PR professionals to showcase their talent on a global stage. With a carefully chosen charity providing the brief, it’s also humbling to know that the work they produce can make a real difference – with the charity being given the option to adopt and use the winning campaign. I’m delighted that the ICCO are on-board for a second year, helping us to once again springboard both talent and awareness.”Competitors, who are first decided at regional competitions, are given 24 hours in Cannes to pit their skills against each other and show how PR can be effectively used to engage audiences with an organisation or a specific topic that the ‘client’ is dealing with. They are then asked to present to a dedicated jury who will decide which team is worthy of taking Gold.

David Gallagher, president of ICCO said: “ICCO is committed to promoting the value of PR consultancy worldwide and we see the Young Lions PR competition as an opportunity to show a little swagger under a global spotlight.  Last year’s debut was a smash hit and we’re eager to give our gifted young professionals an opportunity to shine again in 2015.”

ICCO, the representative body of forward thinking PR agencies, will be present at Cannes Lions with its “House of PR” cabana situated at the beachfront alongside the pavilion. This will be the place to meet prominent representatives of the PR industry and learn more about ICCO international activities. PR delegates attending the Festival are welcome to visit and attend networking events from 22 -24 June. More information is available at the ICCO Guide to Cannes website.

Cannes Lions will take place from 21-27 June in Cannes, France. A comprehensive learning programme designed to accelerate essential training across all career levels and disciplines is available during the event, as well as Young Lions Competitions for Print, Media, Cyber, Film, Design and Marketers. Further information on how to be part of it can be found at


Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria