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World PR Day: Millions Around the World to Celebrate Public Relations on July 16

Release by BHM, UK

Date – 1st July, 2022

Millions of Public Relations practitioners across the globe are set to celebrate the second edition of the annual World PR Day held on July 16, 2022.

Launched in 2021 to forge a global agenda of enlightening the world about the nobility and misconceptions around PR, World PR Day witnessed participation from thousands of practitioners, organisations, and public observers.

Set aside as a day dedicated to truth, honesty and reputation management in a way that is beneficial to all people across the globe, July 16 also honours Ivy Lee, one of the pioneers of Public Relations practice who was born on the same date 145 years ago.

The second World PR Day will further advance conversations on the topical understanding and outlook of the practice. It will extensively spotlight the strengths, limitations, and potential of the profession, as well as the utilisation of new tools and trends, value propositions, and funding.

BHM Founder and CEO, Ayeni Adekunle, said, “We decided to begin to have tough, largely ignored conversations about PR last year, and we want to show once again how the practice has deeper connotations to how our world functions than it gets credit for.

“It is in our collective interests for the world to continue to understand the role of PR in shaping and inspiring not only businesses or governance across the globe but critical human actions that can make or mar generations to come.”

As part of a three-pronged activity, the 2022 World PR Day will feature #MyPRStory – an inclusive new media activity where every PR professional will be encouraged to share one unforgettable memory from their journey in the PR industry. The stories will help to show the world the many facets of PR practice and how they impact society.

The event will also feature the PR Bible – a crowdsourced repository of PR resources from PR pros across the world.

A Fireside Chat on Twitter Spaces featuring top PR executives across the world to drive conversations and answer questions on trust, truth, and transparency will make up the third frame of the day’s activities.

Alastair McCapra, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR); Francis Ingham, Director General of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA); Nitin Mantri, President, International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO); Rachel Roberts President, Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR); Sylvester Chauke, Chief Architect – DNA Brand Architects; Steve Barrett, Editorial Director, PRWeek and Emma Wenani Chief Director, GMA Worldwide, have been confirmed to speak at the event.

PR practitioners and enthusiasts across the globe are encouraged to actively participate in the celebration by hosting formal events, global recognitions, seminars, debates, or workshops and; reading up and learning about PR through CIPR, PRSA or PRCA publications.

Stephen Waddington, a WPRD Committee Advisor and the Managing Partner, Wadds Inc., a professional advisory firm said, “We urge practitioners to drive social conversations by sharing their thoughts about the value, opportunity, relevance, and future of the PR profession on social media or publish blog posts and opinion editorials on their LinkedIn page or company websites.

“Participants can add to the conversations by sharing videos of their PR experience on YouTube or Instagram tagging @wordprday or using the hashtag #WPRD.”

In the first-ever World PR Day celebration, BHM successfully propelled conversations around the world to extol the merit of PR practice. Conversations in the edition centred around the rise of digital communications over the years, the reductive view of PR’s scope of functions, and the common failure of organisations to attribute the results of PR activities to their top line.

BHM also drives the Global Day of Influence – an annual event launched in 2020 to raise awareness about the need to stop the abuse of influence.

The events are part of the international PR firm’s general commitment to continually propagate the appreciation of PR and its impact on the world.

You can learn more about World PR Day here.

 

GWPR Report Highlights Boardroom Barriers but Flexible Working May Accelerate Change

Angela Oakes, GWPR Co-founder & Joint President

By Angela Oakes, Co-founder & Joint President, Global Women in PR

The Annual Index is a GWPR (Global Women in PR) report measuring the position of women in PR around the world. This research-based report* is part of a five-year plan to help us understand the issues affecting women in the industry and to measure the progress towards gender equality.

We recently launched the third edition of the GWPR Annual Index and what has become increasingly clear from our annual research is that progress towards equality continues to be extremely slow. In addition, as a direct result of the Covid pandemic, the pace for driving women forward into a more balanced PR industry appears to have taken a step backwards.

When asked about the effect of the pandemic, some of the negative feedback included slower progression for women reaching leadership positions, less job security, increased stress from working 24/7 and the belief that it will take even longer to close the gender pay gap.

Without question these are serious career issues for PR women, but the effect goes beyond women.

In an industry where women make up two-thirds of the workforce, the boardroom is still predominantly male. We know from leading management consultancies, like McKinsey & Co; (Women in the Workplace 2020) that there is a direct link between boardroom diversity and a company’s financial performance. Our Annual Index research highlights the benefits to business of having women in the boardroom in terms of productivity, creativity and improved working practices.

Business Benefits

Overall, a significant 89% of respondents believe that more needs to be done to ensure women in the PR industry have greater boardroom presence.

So what should be done and what are the barriers to women entering the boardroom? Not surprisingly the biggest barrier continues to be women taking on childcare or caring responsibilities. Half of our survey respondents had children at home and two-fifths of women reported caring responsibilities had negatively impacted their career.

First and foremost organisations need to offer flexible working practices, so that women with children can schedule their work and home commitments accordingly. On a positive note this is happening much more frequently – and all thanks to Covid. 91% of respondents reported that they are currently working flexibly.

In addition remote working is on the rise – up 20% in a year. Over the next year PR professionals believe they will be working remotely 3 days a week and 21% expect to be doing this full time. Remote working is such an important benefit that more than half rank it more highly than financial reward.

In conclusion, the acceleration of flexible, and in particular remote working, may counter some of the obstacles created by the Covid pandemic, but there is still a long way to go before PR women achieve gender equality in the workplace.

It will be fascinating to see if the long-term impact of Covid will have positively helped women in the PR workplace of the future.

* The 2021 research was conducted Summer 2021 by strategic insight agency Opinium using an online questionnaire. This year 430 PR professionals from around the world participated; over half (61%) were at director level and the vast majority (97%) were women.

 

About GWPR

Founded to connect, champion and support women in senior PR and Communication roles around the world, GWPR is a not-for-profit organisation driven by a desire to change the landscape for women working in our industry.

www.globalwpr.com

CMS More Accessible with 5 New Auditors Added to Roster

For more than 20 years, PRCA and ICCO have offered CMS audits framework for independent certifications to help agencies be accountable and to improve their business processes. Customers’ growing demand for trust and accountability is fuelling a desire from clients to work with more quality certified agencies.

The growing international demand for certifications has, in turn required ICCO to actively grow its pool of approved auditors, making the standard more globally acknowledged and accessible in alternative languages. The most recent a CMS auditor development course took place in Vienna from 16th to 18th February, hosted at the premises of The Skills Group. Organised by ICCO’s audit partner organisation AgencyExperts.org

Five distinguished PR experts and ICCO board members have successfully passed a state-accredited auditor exam under the auspices of the inspection organisation TÜV, comparable to BSI or ISO.

Now AgencyExperts has a growing pool of international CMS auditors who can be booked to run quality certifications in communications agencies and in in-house comms departments. The newly certified CMS auditors are all in the leadership teams of their national PR associations and experienced agency managers:

Alexander Dourchev, Bulgaria
Dimitris Roulias, Greece
Patrik Schober, Czech Republic
Andras Sztaniszlav, Hungary

(Photo: from left to right, incl. Anita Mohl, CEO AgencyExperts, Juergen H. Gangoly)

The new auditors are enlarging ICCO’s and AgencyExperts existing auditor team with experts from 11 different countries, additionally including Austria, Germany, Egypt, Switzerland, and the UK. With the PR associations of Ireland and Turkey also processing audits.

The next CMS auditor development course shall take place in autumn 2022. If you would like more information about gaining CMS accreditations or becoming a certified auditor, contact rob.morbin@iccopr.com

Four Global Industry Leaders Inducted into ICCO Hall of Fame

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) inducted UK Government Communication Executive Director Alex Aiken, Nigerian PR trailblazer Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, and Global Women in PR co-founders Angela Oakes and Susan Hardwick into its exclusive Hall of Fame during today’s ICCO Global Awards ceremony.

Established in 2003, the ICCO Hall of Fame recognises those who have made exceptional progress in the internationalisation of the public relations industry, and who have combined cultural sensitivity with commercial acumen to create agencies that share global reach with local relevance.

The 2021 Class joins industry greats like Harold Burson, Richard Edelman, and Margery Kraus.

 

Alex Aiken, Executive Director for UK Government Communication, said:

“It’s an honour to be recognised alongside leaders of our industry like David Gallagher, Karen van Bergen and Barry Leggeter. And I’ve learnt from the work of many people that the ICCO have already recognised, from Harold Burson to the Edelman’s, and the late Lord Bell. I’m grateful to the ICCO and will use this recognition to redouble my efforts to promote effective, ethical and enterprising communication around the world.”

 

Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, President, African Public Relations Association (APRA), Group Managing Director, CMC Connect (Perception Managers), said:

“I am deeply humbled and honoured to have been elected into this famed hall of achievers in public relations. As I celebrate it, I am quickly reminded of how much more work we still have to do to ensure public relations is rightly valued. Many of our clients relate with us with great levels of ambiguity, which blunts our competitiveness. We as practitioners must collectively correct this anomaly through Affirmative Public Relations. I thank ICCO for recognizing Africa through me and as a continent, promise to continue our contributions to the advancement of global practice.”

 

GWPR Co-Founders Angela Oakes and Susan Hardwick said:

“We are both absolutely delighted to accept this award in recognition of the networking organisation we founded and developed – GWPR. Sue and I launched GWPR as a not-for-profit membership organisation in 2015. Our goal is to champion, connect and support women in senior roles in PR and Communications all over the world.

“Over the last six years we have successfully built a truly global membership organisation, with GWPR national networking groups and affiliates across Europe, Russia, India, Africa, the Middle East, Central America and Asia Pacific.  And in 2022 we are thrilled that the US will also be joining the GWPR global network.

“The gender issue of ‘women in the boardroom’ is high on the business agenda globally and although PR women dominate this industry worldwide, there remains a significant imbalance in the boardroom. We strongly believe that creating a better balance is important; not just for women, but for business as a whole. Not only do we shine a light on these issues, but we drive activity programmes to come up with solutions and help make change.

“Finally, we would wholeheartedly like to thank ICCO – and in particular Francis Ingham – for having faith in us and supporting us since the very beginning.”

 

 

 

Further information about the 2021 ICCO Hall of Fame Inductees:

 

Alex Aiken is the Executive Director for Government Communication covering international issues and national security. He is part of the leadership of the Government Communication Service and was appointed in December 2012. He had led the biggest government campaigns of the last decade on Covid, Brexit, and the GREAT Britain campaign. Between 2000 and 2012, he was Director of Communications and Strategy for Westminster City Council. Before joining Westminster he worked in Parliament and for Conservative Party. He has trained and advised politicians and officials in countries and states around the world in the practice of government and communications.

 

Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, or YBO, as he is popularly called, is one of the premier PR practitioners in Nigeria and Africa, with more than 30 years of experience. Having founded CMC Connect Limited in 1992, Yomi has consulted for many multinationals and governments in Nigeria and abroad in areas of government relations & legislative affairs, perception management, marketing, advertising, PR and crisis communications. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) where he was past Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter. He also sits on the boards of several blue-chip companies in Nigeria. As part of his continued efforts at mainstreaming Africa into global PR practice, YBO has served as a Board Member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA).

His love for Africa is evident in his selfless service to the African Public Relations Association (APRA) where he served as a two-term Secretary-General and is the current President. He was recently appointed as West Africa Chair for the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA). He has bagged several awards in his profession including the prestigious PR Golden Eagle Award as the Most Outstanding Public Relations Person of the Year 2010.

 

Angela Oakes is a PR professional with an impressive track record working with global multi-nationals on strategic brand development and integrated consumer campaigns. In the 1980s, Angela worked at several London-based PR agencies including Hill & Knowlton, Catalyst Communications and the Grayling Company, where she worked with the Grayling founder to help develop the business. This invaluable experience of seeing a successful agency being built from scratch led her to subsequently launch her own PR agency Oakes Bacot, later re-branded Treehouse PR.

Angela’s personal experience of the value of a networking organisation like WPR, at a time when she was juggling her own business with childcare responsibilities, spearheaded her decision to work with Sue Hardwick on launching Global Women in PR in 2015. She believes this is her legacy to the global PR industry and a clear demonstration of her passion to empower the next generation of PR women to become senior leaders.

Susan Hardwick was formerly a board director at one of the UK’s top PR consultancies (owned by Countrywide Porter Novelli), head of communications for a large retail chain, and ran her own business (Hardwick PR).

An experienced advisor on brand development and issues management, Sue handled a wide portfolio of UK and international clients. Clients ranged from FTSE 100 companies to top international sporting events. Whilst being primarily based in the UK her work was of a global nature masterminding communications programmes throughout Europe and the USA.

Being involved with Women in PR provided a very important support network when juggling running a business with being a mother. To have had the chance to then develop GWPR has been a significant part of Sue’s involvement in the PR industry. Networking remains an essential part of business life and to have helped to generate a worldwide group of organisations, supporting each other, has been a real high point and an important part of supporting women in an industry she loves.

Ketchum shine at ICCO Global Awards

Ketchum companies clinched the most wins with five at the ICCO Global Awards: Purpose, Digital and New Media, Influencer Marketing, Financial Services and Media Relations.

Fleishman Hillard claimed the team award for Network of the Year as well as the team award for Championing Diversity. BECG won Independent Consultancy for the Year, while the Grand Prix Prize for the best campaign of the year went to Fanclub PR for ‘Mount Recyclemore’. Leader of the year was Dr Vivien Chiong from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

 

The awards, sponsored by CARMA, Vuelio, thenetworkone, Milk and Honey PR and M&A Advisory, took place online and were hosted by ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham. Finalists from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States competed for 25 prizes.

Alison Clarke, Awards Jury President, said:

“As the challenges of the pandemic have continued throughout 2021, the awards entries show that agencies have responded with impressive campaigns at the heart of critical global issues, creative commercial work, and impactful ideas. What all the winning campaigns share across a wide variety of countries and cultures, is that they achieved tangible results in line with their strategic objectives. It was a joy to see the work and I’m greatly encouraged by this evidence that the industry is in great shape”.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Healthcare Award – sponsored by PRovoke

Walgreens Boots Alliance and Hill+Knowlton Strategies/WPP – Walgreens Combats Health Disparities During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Its Vaccine Equity Initiative

 

 

Digital and New Media Award – sponsored by BlackHouse Media

Ketchum London – Bodyform/Libresse – Pain Museum

 

 

Best Cross Cultural Campaign

Omnicom Public Relations Group – SEA BEYOND: A PRADA GROUP CAMPAIGN IN COLLABORATION WITH UNESCO

 

 

Purpose Award

Ketchum & McCann and CARAT – Mastercard – The Strivers Initiative

 

 

Broadcast Award

The Others – JUST THINK ABOUT THIS!

 

 

Influencer Marketing Award

Ketchum & Omnicom Public Relations Group – The Incredible Egg Challenge

 

 

B2B Award – sponsored by M&A Advisory

Kurio – Framery One – The First Connected Sound Proof Pod

 

Financial Services Award

Ketchum, McCann & Carat – MastercardThe Strivers Initiative

 

 

Strategy and Evaluation in a Campaign – sponsored by CARMA

Methods and Mastery – Biden for President Influencer Activation

 

 

Media Relations Award

Ketchum Austria – New German Media Makers #WeatherCorrection

 

 

Public Affairs Award

Interel UK – APPG – On Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing #notalaughingmatter

 

 

Event, Launch or Stunt Award

Fanclub PR – Mount Recycelmore

 

 

Consumer Award

W7Worldwide – Healthcare Innovation for the Saudi Market

 

 

Technology Award

Fanclub PR – Mount Recycelmore

 

 

Not-for-Profit Award

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and Hill+Knowlton Strategies – Making the Global Goals Personal

 

Lifestyle Award

Orta Communications – Barbie, «You can be anything», with Anna Kikina

 

 

Automotive and Transport Award

Value360 India – ANCHORING in the storm of national unrest: MG Motor India

 

 

Crisis & Issues Award

FleishmanHillard Vanguard – Avon Campaign Against Domestic Violence

 

 

Employee Communications

Pragma komunikacjie  Internal Product Launch for Takhzyro

 

Grand Prix: Overall Campaign of the Year

Fanclub PR – Mount Recycelmore

 

 

Rising Star of the Year

Victoria McNish, Interel UK

 

 

PR Leader of the Year

Dr Vivien Chiong, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

 

 

Championing Diversity

FleishmanHillard

 

 

Independent Consultancy of the Year – sponsored by The Network One

BECG

 

 

Network of the Year – sponsored by CARMA

FleishmanHillard

ICCO announces new Regional Presidents

ICCO is pleased to announce that five Regional Presidents have been appointed, who will represent the recently formed Regional Boards covering Europe, Americas, Middle East, Africa and Asia.
 
The following candidates were elected by the ICCO Global Board of Management:
 
Europe: Juergen H. Gangoly, Managing Partner, The Skills Group; Vice President, Public Relations Verband Austria (PRVA)
 
Americas: Aaron Kwittken, Global Chairman & CEO, Kwittken; Board Director, PR Council
 
Middle East: Loretta Ahmed, CEO, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Grayling; Chairman, PRCA MENA
 
Africa: Bridget Von Holdt, Executive Director, Glasshouse Communication Management; representative of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA)
 
Asia Pacific: Nitin Mantri, CEO, Avian Media; President, Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI)
 
The Regional Presidents will join the Global Executive Committee, comprised of the Global President, Vice President, Treasurer, immediate Past President, the Regional Presidents, and the Chief Executive.
 
The new structure, announced at the Global ICCO PR Summit in Oxford in September, aims to ensure that all regionals, organisations and individuals represented by ICCO can create and develop their own voice for the benefit of the regional and global PR and communications industry.
 
Commenting on the new structure, ICCO President Maxim Behar said: “All regions from now on will be represented in the ICCO Global Executive Committee. But not only that; elected Regional Presidents are great professional colleagues and widely known PR experts and we do believe that their input into ICCO’s management will be significant. We all look forward to working together to strengthen ICCO’s position as the largest global PR community.”
 
Juergen H. Gangoly, newly appointed Regional President – Europe said: “With ICCO’s new regional structure in Europe, we have the goal to further grow the organisation and make the voice of Europe’s PR industry even more heard by the public. We will intensify ICCO’s relations to European institutions and to partner organisations in the wider communications industry all over Europe. Supporting cross-border co-operation amongst our members from training and educational activities to business and information services will be part of ICCO’s working programme in Europe for the coming years.”
 
Aaron Kwittken, ICCO Regional President – Americas said: “I am looking forward to working with my colleagues around the world to better promote cross-border collaboration and conversation around a compelling point of view on our role in an increasingly digital world without agency borders.”
 
Loretta Ahmed, ICCO Regional President – Middle East said: ““As we continue to evolve our agencies and what we do on behalf of our clients, we must also do so with one eye on the rest of the world. That connection, especially for a region emerging as fast as the Middle East is critical. I’m honoured to be elected President for ICCO in the Middle East. Having lived in the region for four years I continue to see communications consultancies delivering world class campaigns and ICCO provides another platform for recognition on all that the Middle East PR sector is achieving.”
 
Bridget Von Holdt, ICCO Regional President – Africa said: “Africa tends to be the forgotten continent, yet is identified as a focal growth point for so many international companies. As the Regional President, I will use the ICCO platform to position Africa and the agencies represented on the continent as strategic partners, as innovative and of course as the experts within the region.”
 
Nitin Mantri, representing Asia Pacific as Regional President, said: “ICCO has been making giant strides in elevating the public relations profession, and now with the regional bodies there will be greater consistency in communications standards across the world. The aim would be to encourage discussions on the issues facing the industry and sharing the best practices across this region to elevate ICCO’s role in Global public relations.”
 
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, agencies and networks in 48 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms.

www.iccopr.com

ICCO President in Oslo: PR is the most challenging business in the world

“Public relations has been turned on its head, only in the past couple of years and has became the most challenging business in the world”, ICCO President Maxim Behar said at the recent international conference “Oslo PR Talks”. Behar was a keynote speaker at the conference, officially supported by ICCO and PRCA.

“These days to practice public relations is a great challenge and it requires very special qualities from our teams – fast decision making, story telling in a very short and catchy way, but also vision to the future and predictions of what will be the next means of communication. The challenges come mainly from the fact also that the three main elements of public communications – advertising, public relations and digital – are merging very fast and we must prove our place as leaders in the future joint business”, Behar said.

“Oslo PR Talks” is the first conference of its kind organised by the The P World. “We were happy to cooperate with ICCO on this significant project, as we also did earlier this year in Reykjavik, Iceland. Our Oslo participants were very pleased by the motivating keynote speech of Mr. Behar”, said Kosta Petrov, CEO of The PR World.

More than 200 participants joined the event, including speakers Mary Jo Jacoby, US Presidential Adviser; Malena Cutuli, Global Head of Brand of Communications for Shell; Donald Steel, former spokesperson of BBC; John Shields, current Director of Communications of BBC and many others.

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 48 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms.
www.iccopr.com

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)

 

KEY DATES:

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 awards.iccopr.com.

Executive Summary – World PR Report 2016

Article by Francis Ingham, Chief Executive of ICCO

The ICCO & PRWeek World PR Report is the definitive analysis of where the global PR and comms industry stands today; how it has been performing over the past year; and what it predicts will happen in the next few. Drawing on the breadth and depth of ICCO’s membership – 37 national associations, operating in 48 countries, and representing more than 2,500 agencies – it is a vital tool in understanding our industry.

What are the headlines?

Agency heads are optimistic. On a scale of 1-10, there is a global average of exactly 7. The most optimistic markets are the UK (8.1), and the Middle East (8.0); the least are Latin America (5.9), and Africa (6.0).

And they are expecting an increase in profitability, with a score of 6.2. Leading the pack is North America (7.2), followed by the UK at precisely 7. At the other end, we have Latin America again (5.2), and Western Europe (5.7).

Both of those findings deserve celebration, given the at times tempestuous and uncertain state of the world economy. What is driving this performance? I would highlight three factors, which we have seen for the past few years now, and which are remarkably constant region-by-region.

The first is chief executives taking corporate reputation seriously. Quite simply, the business community around the world is more aware than ever before of the fact that their most important asset is their reputation.

The second is that marketers are taking their spend away from other disciplines, and diverting it into more effective mediums of PR and comms. And the third is that clients are increasingly asking public relations firms to provide non-traditional services.

Those last two points amount to one incontrovertible trend – in an increasingly integrated marketing world, PR’s nimbleness, insight, and creativity is beating the competition.

What have been the main practice areas of growth?

Four stand out head and shoulders above the rest – digital comms; corporate reputation; marcomms; and public affairs. And when agency heads are asked to predict which sectors will drive growth over the coming years, they name exactly those four again.

Obviously, there are variations by region, reflecting different local priorities, and different levels of market maturity. But the message is clear – those areas have driven growth in the past, and are set to do so again in the future. Looked at by sector, we again see four key areas of growth now and in the future – technology; consumer; healthcare; and financial and professional services. And underpinning all of this behaviour is the crucial role PR and comms agencies now play in social media and community management, and in creating content across the whole range of media – areas where wise agencies are making significant investment. So far, so encouraging.

But what of the challenges faced by the industry?

It will come as no surprise that two perennial ones are right up there – meeting profit margins, and handling general economic conditions. The first is a symptom of PR’s inability to charge appropriately for the value it delivers – former ICCO chairman Richard Houghton’s regular lament that ‘Fridays are free’; the second is something over which we have no control.

The area where we certainly have the ability to make a difference is talent. In six of the nine world regions, it tops the bill as the key challenge. In fact, only in Asia does talent not rank in the top three. Although our industry continues to power ahead, its growth is being hindered by our failure to attract and then to retain the very best.

Within that challenge are two specific areas of concern: hiring senior staff, and attracting people from non-traditional background. The latter is of particular concern to ICCO. If agencies keep on recruiting the same type of person, with the same type of background, they are automatically excluding themselves from large parts of the market. The more varied teams are, the abler they are to deliver excellent services to the widest possible range of clients.

I would make two final observations: First, and it is a point made by several contributors from different regions, the industry has reached a happy place of maturity. Social media and content may be the biggest areas of growth, but there is still room for the older skills of PR and comms, such as media relations. And that place exists in established and developing markets.

There is, quite simply, a home for all branches of our profession.

Second, what a brilliant time to be in this industry. Even in difficult economic circumstances, PR and comms agencies are profitable, growing, and optimistic.

How would I sum up the future? Bright. And getting brighter.

Download a free copy of the ICCO & PRWeek World PR Report 2016 here

 

Trends transforming global PR

Article by Tanya Hughes, President, SERMO Communications

This summer, we locked SERMO’s 15 lifestyle PR agencies from all over the world in a conference room in Milan for three days to talk about transformation.  Transformation of clients’ and brands’ needs, of our services, of digital influence, of retail and technology, of our staff makeup. There was plenty of inspiration and plenty of handwringing. In the end we agreed that ‘only the paranoid survive’ and that that’s a good thing. Here are outtakes from the conference – the trends we think are transforming global PR:

  1. Every company is a digital company

Generalist PR skills such as writing, media relations, event management and strategic planning are still core competencies. But now that digital content is the new ‘me time’, every agency is piling in to fill the space. Specialist skills in multimedia content development, SEO, social and digital and analytics are now critical ingredients in the arsenal of progressive PR agencies. To find these digital experts, SERMO agencies are recruiting from media, advertising and production agencies. Nota Bene in Spain have recruited Art Directors, Online Marketing Managers and IT/Programming Managers and Mojo PR in Dubai have a new Head of Creative Content who’s highly connected to filmmakers and other producers, training agency staff in video production and editing.

  1. Keep millennials happy

How to keep our people happy, especially ‘millennials’, was a hot topic this year. Millennials (those born between the 1980s and 2000s) need targeted attention. They have grown up in a society thriving on rapid technological advancement. They expect to be able to access the latest technology at work. Upgrade or die! For them, change is the constant, and they demand this from an employer – they want their careers to progress quickly. According to a report produced by PwC Australia, 71% of millennials are dis-engaged at their jobs as a result of this sense of entitlement. SERMO agencies know that human capital is their biggest asset so they’re investing in training, tailored benefits and new perks to help recruit and retain the very best talent. Talk PR in the UK have introduced a mentoring programme, RSVP in Singapore hold weekly yoga classes in the office to improve staff’s health and wellbeing and Tomorrowland Group in Australia have introduced a quarterly reset day (extra holiday day every quarter) to help their people maintain a work/life balance. All report improved retention and productivity.

  1. The seismic shift in retail

Retail, and fashion retail in particular, is going through enormous structural change. From the push for change in the now outdated two season fashion calendar, to the shift in consumer buying habits facilitated by digital and mobile technology. We heard from expert e-commerce speakers. POPSUGAR talked about the challenges of co-creating content for brands that will grab the eight second attention span of Gen Z, the domination of mobile and the holy grail of marketplace sites – seamless check out. While Yoox said their customers know what they want and come to them to shop, not for content! At the sharp end of technology, Metail are creating virtual fitting rooms that will improve and personalise service and cut returns. In the real world, bricks and mortar retail is moving toward creating experiences that can’t be replicated online.

All of which has implications for PR – the lifecycle of fashion/lifestyle stories is shorter and requires an integrated approach across content and channels, from influencer marketing to creative execution. It’s all about driving sales across all consumer touchpoints. Working with digital influencers, in particular, now drives huge sales for brands and retailers, often resulting in completely sold-out pieces.

  1. Redefining influence

Influence is not what it used to be. It’s more complex and dynamic and, above all, digital. But the digitisation of influence, doesn’t diminish PR’s core competence – harnessing influence through relationships. What it does mean is that working with digital influencers and KOLs and creating compelling digital content requires constant innovation – Negri Firman in Italy has set up a creative content arm called NFLAB, Flare in Hong Kong set-up a social and digital PR Hub in summer 2015 which now contributes over 33% of their total revenue, Tomorrowland Group in Australia and RSVP in Singapore have launched Talentland and RSVP@Talent (respectively) to manage the profiles of experts, digital influencers and creators. SERMO agencies like Adventi in China are also offering integration of paid, owned, shared and earned media and broadening their portfolio from working with digital influencers and paid amplification to programmatic advertising.

  1. Global media vacuum

Condé Nast Italia impressed us all with their innovative work with brands and co-created, extraordinary content. But what they can’t do, and what no major publishing house can do, is press a ‘button’ for global reach. There’s really no such thing as truly global media. We know this from our work with global clients such as Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. It occurred to us that we could bring each of our market’s local influencers together, connected by the network partners, to create tangible global online reach for our clients’ brands. And at the same time, help influencers extend their global reach. So our next step is to make the SERMO Digital Influencer Index interactive, live and a service for clients and influencers – watch this space.

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