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.


Team Indonesia Win Gold at Cannes Young PR Lions

Indonesia’s Randy Handoko and Joshua Tjandra, creatives at Leo Burnett Jakarta, are the winners of this year’s Cannes Young PR Lions competition. The team from Colombia, Rony Saavedra and Manuel Barbosa Granados won Silver, and from Germany, Alexander Walter and Katharina Kiriakou claimed Bronze.

At the global final, Randy and Joshua competed against 26 national winners to be crowned the world’s best young PR creatives. Teams had 24 hours to create a global campaign based on a detailed brief from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The brief challenged competitors to create a campaign that would get the attention from youth around the world to help make a video combating racism. The winning campaign idea was a flight anti-racism video – a safety video created by youth around the world that protects travellers against racism.

Rob Morbin, ICCO Deputy Chief Executive, said:

“Congratulations Randy and Joshua, for developing a powerful campaign that I hope will come to life on every in-flight screen across the world. Their winning work sets the bar for the entire industry and is a celebration of creativity’s power to change the world for the better.”

Also, to our UK-based colleagues, on Wednesday, 29th June, the PRCA will be hosting a Cannes Debrief: Digital & Creative Groups (in-person networking) event for all interested to hear first-hand about what caught the judges’ attention this year.

Social & Influencer Lions Jury President, Caitlin Ryan – VP Creative Shop EMEA at Meta, in conversation with PRCA Digital Co-Chair, Candace Kuss, will show award-winning case studies, talk about inspiring work and emerging themes, and share top tips for 2023 submissions.

If you’d like to reserve a seat for this event, please register your interest here!

Knowledge is Power: Rewards and Awards

One of the many definitions for Public Relations is the practice of managing and disseminating information for an organisation to the public to affect their public perception. So far so good. Many of you reading this will probably be thinking ‘why am I being told what I already know?’.

Well, there is a reason and that is the word ‘information’. It’s the cornerstone to knowledge in all its many manifestations and can have a powerful effect on campaigns. So, we want to take this opportunity to highlight how information acquired through market research cannot only help you reap rewards, but perhaps even win you an award.

When examining some of the most successful campaigns of recent years, unsurprisingly they were all informed by insight. That is to say, the messaging behind a campaign is developed with the help of research that helps them strike the right tone.

This is not hearsay. There’s a veritable bounty of award-winning campaigns whose creative direction was sparked by insight.

Take for example Don’t Cry Wolf’s activism campaign for Tangle Teezer. To create a campaign that could address a sensitive issue and more importantly prompt real change, Don’t Cry Wolf leant on research. The result was 3 awards, 2 finalists and 1 nomination.

That return is nothing to sneer at. And this is just one example. A former judge at Cannes Lions revealed that the one of the best campaigns he’s seen was driven by insight. He cited the example of a campaign by REI that one 9 (yes 9!) Lions.

Using insight gained via market research, REI developed a Twitter campaign that pushed back against the Black Friday buying rampage as the research found that its audience actually preferred not to shop on Black Friday. Insight sparked the idea that led to a wildly successful Twitter campaign that sparked a movement and challenged long-held assumptions about consumers.

Knowing this is one thing, but how can it help you? Well, these case studies can help you formulate your own campaigns. This advice comes not from us, but from Susie Walker, VP, Awards & Insights at LIONS. She recommends that those aspiring to win a Lion should learn from Lion-winning work.

If you look at some of the most creative campaigns of recent years, what connects them all is how they embraced insight and used it in their campaigns. Rather than seeing insight as an obstacle to creative, they used their new-found knowledge to get the creative juices flowing.

Let’s end with a word from Heather Kernahan, the CEO of Hotwire Global Communications. Heather is an ICCO partner and has won many awards for her work. Now, she has some advice for those who are looking to catapult into the pantheon of award winners:

“Knowledge is a powerful tool so embrace knowledge in all its forms. It won’t stop the creatives among you from coming up with all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas. Rather, it will give them a sense of structure and direction and help them to channel their efforts into the most productive avenues.”


Jane Hales who will be at Cannes Lions this year is the co-founder of the award-winning Sapio Research. Sapio Research is a full-service market research company supporting Agencies and Brands to make confident decisions or achieve extraordinary headlines. The team does this through their ABC process: Audience, Brand and Content Research.

ICCO CMS Certification testimonial

Testimonial from Jürgen Gangoly, CEO / Managing Partner, The Skills Group

Why CMS certification?
We are CMS-certified… because we have always focused on outstanding quality and the CMS certification has enabled us to have this quality standard externally verified by independent auditors since 2004.

Why do you think agencies need an international quality label like CMS at all?
The demonstrable and obligatory compliance with international industry standards gives clients security when commissioning agencies and at the same time helps to recognise quality providers in the communications industry at first glance.

What has certification brought to your agency in concrete terms?
We are of course getting better and better! 😉 No kidding: the certification – and especially the re-certifications every two years – ensure that you can actually live a continuous improvement process in practice and that mistakes – if any – only happen once. This demonstrably increases customer satisfaction, the length of time customers and staff stay with the agency and automatically makes the agency more successful economically. Onboarding new employees and communicating the agency’s quality standards takes less time and is more effective. As a recognised and quality-certified agency, you are not only more attractive for clients, but also on the labour market, and you appeal particularly to “high potentials”.

Why do you recommend other colleagues to tackle CMS certification for their agency?
For all the reasons mentioned above – and because you can of course also be proud of being demonstrably one of the best communication agencies internationally in terms of quality.

In what way does the CMS label help you in acquisition?
In the last 15 years we have noticed several times that the quality certification is a significant plus point in agency presentations and pitch processes. Of course, you don’t win new clients with this alone – you also have to convince them personally, through consulting and implementation competence and creativity. But the certification is an additional evaluation and decision criterion for clients – and demonstrable quality sometimes justifies higher prices.

What influence does a label have on the internal effect – on your employees?
Our employees are really proud to work for a recognised and quality-certified agency. This has a positive effect on everything from the number of applications to the length of time they stay with the company.

What are your wishes for the further development of the CMS? What is missing today?
Public institutions and companies looking for communication agencies should increasingly demand CMS certification or at least provide it as a positive evaluation criterion with extra “points” in the pitch process. This requires the PR industry associations to become active nationally and internationally.


ICCO CMS Certification testimonial

Testimonial from Heinrich Beate, Board Member at HEINRICH GmbH Agentur für Kommunikation (GPRA)

We are CMS certified because…
… this quality management system fits the demands of agencies. We are the fourth GPRA member agency to be certified according to CMS III shortly before the first lockdown in 2020. The timing could not have been better. We were perfectly prepared to move all our staff to the home office immediately. Whether goals, competencies, processes, methodology or digital communication: thanks to CMS III, everything was regulated and the quality of the output was assured.

Why do agencies need an international quality label like CMS at all?
When choosing an agency, companies look for personality, conceptual strength and creativity. However, professional agency and quality management should also be important decision-making criteria for the successful awarding of contracts. We can prove this to our clients with the certificate. CMS III provides new convincing arguments.

What did the certification of your agency bring in concrete terms?
The preparations for the certification according to CMS III have already brought us significant progress in terms of organisation and content. We wanted to prove that this quality management system also works for an owner-managed agency of small to medium size. We have succeeded. CMS provides a measurable framework, but leaves a lot of room for the individual agency DNA.

Why do you recommend other colleagues to tackle CMS certification for their agency? 
A CMS III certification challenges every agency and means real work for the management and team in advance. All relevant processes are scrutinised and checked for functionality, relevance as well as practicality and future viability. The gain is enormous and is called: clarity. The clearer the goal and the processes, the better the output and the higher the economic success. Therefore, we strongly recommend all colleagues to take this step.

How does the CMS label help you in acquisition?
The consulting services of agencies must be measured according to objectively comprehensible standards. Clients are therefore looking for suitable criteria. Unfortunately, CMS III is not yet satisfactorily known. Therefore, in every conversation with new and existing clients, we explain in detail our attitude to quality and innovation, CMS III and our certification. This gives us security and a good feeling that we are talking to the right partners.

What influence does a label have on the effect internally – on your employees? 
Our team was committed both in the run-up to and during the audit. It was a source of pride for everyone to be awarded the certificate. Especially the examination of daily work processes with regard to relevance and optimisation potential was meaningful and motivating.

What are your wishes for the further development of the CMS? What is missing today? 
Before CMS III is further developed, we as a communications industry should first use the potential of the present system and bring it into the mainstream. The more agencies are certified nationally and internationally according to CMS III, the better known the label will become and the significance of consulting quality will increase overall. Whether and how this works is up to us agencies.

ICCO CMS Certification testimonial

Reto Wilhelm Dr., (Managing Owner at Panta Rhei PR AG) CMS testimonial

Can you explain in one sentence why your agency pursued CMS certification?
We have been certified according to CMS, and since our agency has been in existence,we have always focused on quality. am absolutely convinced that this will prevail on the market. Even more, right now!

Why do we need an international quality label like CMS for agencies at all?
Because we – like architects, lawyers or other industries – need a reliable standard that can be used to distinguish pioneers in the world of communication from those who do not conduct their business sustainably. We owe this to our customers – and to our offspring as well. Quality matters.

What exactly did the certification of your agency bring?
A drastic development boost. We have already completed 8 recertifications and the democratization of knowledge and skills in our agency has increased enormously thanks to CMS. The learning curve is unmistakable. Everyone can rely on solid processes and fully exploit their creativity thanks to these instruments. And as an agency manager, running the agency has become much easier – because we all speak the same language and pursue the same goal: Quality sells better.

Why do you recommend other colleagues to tackle CMS certification for their agency?
Because we need a common sense for our industry. We need more pioneers for quality, for ethics, for fair cooperation and solid business. The CMS provides all of this – it is our compass for an industry that is undergoing major change. CMS guarantees stability, for the customer, for the individual agency and for us as an overall organization at ICCO level, which is responsible for the CMS.

To what extent does the CMS label benefit you in acquisition?
We address the label in all our channels, on offers, on the website, in presentations, on social media. I also write regular technical articles. We see ourselves as the standard bearer for this label, which needs even more visibility – with customers who are looking for a reliable partner.

What influence does a label have on the effect on the inside – on your employees?
A quite considerable one – especially the next generation wants to know what ethics, fair behavior and communication and sustainable action are all about. CMS is the right answer – because the standard operates holistically: socially, ecologically and economically.

What wish do you have for the further development of the CMS? What is missing today?
We need to reflect the concerns of inclusion and diversity even more strongly – especially when we talk about talent search. When I think about how difficult it is to gain a foothold in communication as a person with a migrant background. We also need to shed better light on the issue of succession planning in owner-managed agencies. And, of course, the topic of “ethics” in a very broad sense – from the technological to the behavioral level.

Reto Wilhelm BLOG

To learn more about the Consultancy Management Standard certification, please click here.

ICCO CMS Certification testimonial

Testimonial from Alexandra Fuchs, CEO at Fink & Fuchs AG

In one sentence, why did you pursue CMS certification?
We have been certified according to CMS because we are convinced that high and consistent quality and thus economic success are only possible on the basis of stringent and transparent processes.

Why do we need an international quality label like CMS for agencies at all?
Our market is very fragmented and sometimes confusing. A generally valid and binding quality seal provides the necessary orientation and order in the search for the best partner. I am also convinced that this will strengthen competition and further increase quality in our market.

What exactly did the certification of your agency bring?
Our customers think this is great and expect a high degree of management competence and structure from us in their daily cooperation. As an organization, we have made our teams much more efficient and powerful. However, we have also noticed that young people in particular demand binding processes. This provides security and supports working on the same understanding of quality.

Why do you recommend other colleagues to tackle CMS certification for their agency?
With the seal of approval, you make the difference in the market and learn a lot about your own organization.

To what extent does the CMS label benefit you in acquisition?
Customers rely on this, as they themselves are usually bound by high quality guidelines. In some cases, proof is even required in tenders.

What influence does a label have on the effect on the inside – on your employees?
It motivates all employees to work together on a quality goal.

What wish do you have for the further development of the CMS?
What is missing today? We urgently need generally applicable standards for the further qualification of our young industry talent. This should be taken into account more comprehensively in the CMS. But also how to make the advice more comparable to one about the standard. At least to some extent.

Lithuanian PR Association Joins ICCO

KIA, the PR association for Lithuania, has joined ICCO as the 42nd PR association member, bringing an 82nd country into membership.

KIA is an established PR association with an excellent tradition of industry development, codes of ethics and an active membership base. Arturas Jonkus, Partner at Agency 1323, and President of KIA will join the ICCO Board of Management to represent the interests of Lithuanian members.


ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham commented:

“I am delighted to be welcoming KIA and their members in Lithuania into ICCO. At such a turbulent time in Europe, it is vital that the international PR community works together for the collective benefit of the industry and stands up for our shared belief in the critical importance of free speech. Our growth during this period is testament to the growing confidence in the value of global membership bodies like ICCO”.

Arturas Jonkus said:

“We are very pleased KIA has joined ICCO. To gain access to international services and networks will be invaluable for our members. We also look forward to contributing insight, ideas and intelligence from Lithuania into the international industry dialogue and to working with other ICCO members to improve global standards. It is a vital time for the PR industry to pull together and collaborate on ethics, standards, and other critical issues ”.

PR’S Relationship with Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech and a free public relations business are interdependent in a democracy. In countries where freedom of speech is restricted, the pressure faced by journalists is also felt by public relations professionals. Only through a free press can PR function as an ethical business. To represent clients properly through both traditional and new media, freedom to speak the unfettered truth is a necessity. The loss of a free press and increasing state control, particularly of TV, radio, newspapers, and in some cases, of online media and communication channels, create an impossible landscape for PR agencies, particularly international ones, to operate. This is the current landscape in many European countries and around the world.

PR agencies and communications consultants often control or advise on the use of their clients’ social media accounts. These are key communication tools in every country and through them clients can reach the public with important, truthful messages. They can also be used by the public to more closely engage with clients (brands, politicians, influential individuals). Most governments wield little control over these platforms and therefore the regulations and standards are controlled by technology firms. Perhaps, there is no specific regulation (although that is changing and there is increasingly more content regulation applicable to social media, a recent example being Covid-19 laws targeting health misinformation), but there is censorship in many states across the globe. Also, platforms are often being accused of complicity with non-democratic regimes in removing politically undesirable content.

PR professionals are natural allies to trusted and independent journalists, news organisations, broadcasters, educational institutions, NGOs, and other think tanks in communicating and promoting freedom of media and freedom of speech. The logical conclusion is that PR professionals must not be silent on this issue.

This text is an excerpt from ICCO’s first White Paper: Modern Communications Challenges for Society (Click here: Global Communication Challenges 2022 to download)


This paper has been created to inform influential institutions on the important views of PR and communications experts regarding modern
challenges in communication.

It is to be used by institutions to inform their own decisions with regard to policy as well as to begin a dialogue with PR and communication experts.

Consider this paper as the start of a productive conversation in which we can openly exchange views and information relating to these critically important challenges and opportunities.

The challenges addressed may vary in extent internationally, but share overarching characteristics. The paper has been written to advise the
Council of Europe in the first instance, but with global contributions, it’s designed to be useful in any country or region in the world.

All three major challenges addressed in this paper overlap with one another and collectively form the three biggest communication challenges for society at the present time. Let’s tackle them together.

PROI Worldwide joins ICCO


PROI Worldwide is committed to pushing communications boundaries and leverages the influence of its team of business owners to solve client problems worldwide.

PROI Worldwide is a network of some of the world’s most ambitious entrepreneurial firms, bringing together like-minded PR business owners. Now part of the ICCO membership of associations, direct members and partners, PROI Worldwide’s members will have access to ICCO resources, events, services and networks. Members can also benefit from increased visibility in and outside the global PR industry.

Ciro Dias Reis, Global Chair, PROI Worldwide and CEO, Imagem Corporativa, Brazil said:

“Many of the 85 PROI Worldwide agencies around the world are involved with the national associations that are the core of ICCO, and we are pleased to now better integrate at the global level as well. We are looking forward to being part of the ICCO community and fostering collaboration for our members among the global PR industry.”

Rob Morbin, Deputy Chief Executive, ICCO said:

“We are delighted to welcome PROI Worldwide into the ICCO family of members and partners. PROI members are shining examples of professional, progressive agencies that share the values of ICCO, striving for continuous improvement and high standards.”


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