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:

ICCO and PRWeek launch World PR Report 2016

The World PR Report 2016, published by ICCO and PRWeek, has today launched at the Global ICCO PR Summit in Oxford.

The report, presented by Francis Ingham, Chief Executive, ICCO, is the annual analysis of the international public relations industry. The report includes a breakdown of the top 100 global agencies, market analysis from regional leaders, and a report on agency growth, opportunity, investment plans, and talent challenges.

The report revealed that agency heads are optimistic – on a scale of 1-10, the global average for optimism is 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).

When asked about their expectations of profitability, North America came in highest with a score of 7.2, followed by the UK at 7. Latin America came in lowest at 5.2.

Noted areas of growth include digital communications, corporate reputation, marketing communications, and public affairs. These growth areas vary by region, reflecting differing local priorities and differing levels of market maturity.

Commenting on the Report, Francis Ingham said: “The World PR Report is the definitive analysis of the global PR industry. It is only by understanding where we are and in what direction we are moving that we can continue to drive growth and invest in opportunities. We are thrilled to see that the industry is bright, and getting brighter.”

Danny Rogers, Editor-in-Chief, PRWeek, said: “We are very proud to present the World PR Report 2016; the best, and most contemporary, guide in existence to the PR industry across the globe. It has been produced by PRWeek, the pre-eminent source of news and analysis of the sector, and ICCO, the voice of PR consultancies around the world.

“As well as providing the definitive ranking of the world’s top 100 PR consultancies and further listings of local agencies, the World PR Report 2016 has asked this vast network of PR firms about the recent trends in their business, along with their forecasts for the year ahead. We look forward to the next year, and revisiting these rankings and indicators in a year’s time to gauge progress.”

Full analysis and commentary of each of the markets is available in the World PR Report, which will be published by PRWeek both online and in the magazine.

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 Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms.

GWPR Global Gender Pay Gap Survey goes live

The very first international Gender Pay Gap and Work Life Balance Survey, from ICCO sector group GWPR (Global Women in Public Relations), has now gone live.

The survey asks a number of questions about working practices and seeks to provide important data on the state of play and views of those working in PR – be it in agency, in-house or as an independent consultant. The survey is designed to provide important feedback on equality and the work/life balance for both men and women working in the industry.

The survey has been facilitated by leading market research agency One Poll and is fully supported by ICCO (the International Communications Consultancy Organisation). Media partner The Holmes Report will be publicising the survey, as well as reporting the findings. The results will be published by ICCO at the Global ICCO PR Summit in Oxford, September 29th/30th.

These are the links for the UK and US questionnaires:





Sue Hardwick MPRCA and Angela Oakes MPRCA, co-founders of GWPR said: “In the UK, women constitute two-thirds of the overall working population in the PR industry, however there is a widely reported gender pay gap. Quite simply, men and women in the UK PR industry are not being equally rewarded. We believe that this issue is not limited to the UK, but is affecting the majority of women working in PR around the world.

ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham MPRCA commented: “There is a global problem with the gender pay gap in PR, and we are very pleased that GWPR is seeking to address this issue. The existence of this gap deters entrants into our industry and encourages leavers from it. With GWPR now a member of the ICCO Board, we can work closely to shine a light on this incredibly concerning problem. And having shone that light, we can then take action to solve it.”

GWPR was launched last year, as an umbrella organisation, linking WPR national networking groups, so we can address key issues like this both for women and for the PR industry worldwide.”

The ICCO organisation is facilitating the global platform for the research. ICCO comprises PR trade associations representing over 2,500 agencies, in 48 countries worldwide.


If you have any questions about the research, or are interested in taking part, please contact Sue Hardwick or Angela Oakes


Innovation in creating media impact – The IPREX Blogbarometer

By Michael T. Schröder, IPREX Global President


In 2014 a group of nine European IPREX partners decided to study the impact of blogging on the communication industry and conducted an informal online survey among 1,360 bloggers, inviting two non-European countries to participate for comparison.

The second survey, in 2015/2016 had responses from 2,134 bloggers living in 13 countries, including China and Malaysia.

Here are some encouraging results showing bloggers’ attitudes to our industry:

  • 73% of bloggers said they have been approached for PR or marketing reasons,
    27% were contacted weekly and 19% daily. But there are major regional differences: in “advanced technology” countries, a much higher proportion of bloggers is targeted by companies.
  • A majority (85%) of respondents thinks positively about approaches by companies and actually wish for more (52%). Only 7% are reserved about this contact and only 2% are against.
  • Invitations to events, marketing or PR material and product samples or free products are the most commonplace approaches. Astonishingly, only 20% of bloggers received photos or other images from companies.

These are some more general findings about bloggers:

  • Three quarters of all bloggers are female. Although teens do not dominate, two-thirds of the bloggers are younger than 35 years.
  • The most popular blog themes are focused on consumer and lifestyle topics like beauty, fashion, food and travel. The main goals for blogging are sharing information and experiences, having fun and professional development.
  • The highest rated social media channels for blog promotion are Facebook and Instagram.

DBM Prague Blogbarometer 2015 summary infographic DMB Prague Blogbarometer infographic 2015 Walsh PR Ireland IPREX Blogbarometer Infographic

The Blogbarometer showed that our industry could improve its relationship with this important media channel significantly using better research, more targeted approaches and more creative engagement.

Interestingly, the Blogbarometer exemplifies one important way in which IPREX has been evolving as an organisation: rather than being a global survey from which partners took sub-sets of data for their own use, it was designed primarily to boost partners’ profiles in their own markets – with the global view emerging from the sub-set of common questions.

This mirrors a shift in our perspective from a “top-down” managed network structure to a platform on which individual partners can operate worldwide. IPREX is inside the agency, rather than the other way around – making each IPREX partner a global agency.

The Blogbarometer worked so well on both levels, generating useful information and news in each partner’s market as well as for IPREX as a whole, that we will continue to run it in a two-year cycle.


IPREX was founded in 1983 to help independent PR firms deliver high-quality client work in major markets worldwide, and it has evolved into a tightly knit peer group of more than 70 of the world’s most successful communication agencies.

We offer our partners’ clients seamless world-class advice and implementation – and we provide partners with the infrastructure and support they need to win and manage such assignments.

Clients choose IPREX partners for their influence in their own markets and because our management systems make the diversity, innovation and dynamism of owner-managed agencies work to their advantage.

Partners join IPREX for the assurance of high-calibre work for their clients in remote markets, and to develop their agencies in a collegial environment through best practices, new business opportunities and a common program management language.

Partners communicate frequently, review each other’s work rigorously and meet often. When they join forces they’re working with agency owners they know as partners – not strangers united by a brand name and divided by internal competition.

Interel Global Public Affairs Survey 2016

An interview with Fredrik Lofthagen, CEO of Interel

Each year Interel surveys the CEOs of independent public affairs consultancies in 60 markets to gauge the health of the industry. Fredrik Lofthagen talks about the outcomes of this year’s survey and shares his thoughts on the future of public affairs.


What do you think the key takeaways from this year’s survey are?

Our clients around the world are increasingly concerned about political risk – and that’s no surprise given the recent UK vote to leave the EU and the instability that’s causing in Europe.

Further afield, the US elections are also catching the world’s attention as we grapple with what all this means and how businesses can secure a sustainable future for their customers and employees. China continues to develop as an economic and political power, but it’s a political and social culture that businesses can struggle to understand. Combine that with instability in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey…and the conclusion can only be that political risk is the biggest worry of today. Business hates uncertainty and we certainly have plenty of that at the moment.

We’re not alone in identifying political risk as a major concern for business at the moment. PWC runs an annual CEO survey and geopolitical concern was the number two worry for respondents after over-regulation.

Of course political risk is good for business for us in public affairs, but on the whole, we find that business is not matching these concerns with spending. Spending on public affairs is still a fraction of what businesses spend on marketing for example, which I find strange, given that protecting the business and shaping the operating environment are hot topics which are keeping CEOs awake at night.

What’s your take on what the public affairs profession can do to alleviate concerns about political risk?

My take on it is that we need to do a better job of explaining the potential positive impact on a business’s bottom line of taking a proactive approach to public affairs.

Often the public affairs guys in a business are viewed as risk managers – fighting legislative proposals when they might have an adverse impact on the business. But in reality, the role of the public affairs professional is so much more than that.

Given their deep understanding of the political landscape and their ability to predict what’s coming down the line, they can, and should, play a strategic role in business. Our goal is to position the profession as strategic business partners. In many enlightened companies, that’s already the case, but we’re working to make it the case across the board.

Anticipating change and helping clients to proactively engage were highlighted by the survey as critical to success – can you give us some examples?

We often help clients to avoid legislation altogether, by being part of the discussion with civil servants and politicians, and working as partners in finding solutions that work for business, consumers and society as a whole. If legislation is imposed on you, it’s likely that the costs of compliance will be high. But if you work with legislators to find solutions that meet everyone’s objectives, then the cost burden for business is likely to be less.

We often help clients to form coalitions with other businesses in their sector, to go to legislators with solutions which address the legislators’ concerns and are workable for business. Often these solutions are accepted and legislation is avoided as a result.

We also work with our clients to identify issues which are winning public support and form coalitions around those issues. This was the case with the European Kidney Health Alliance for example, where we brought together all interest groups working on kidney disease, worked for the formation of an MEP group on kidney health and in the end, secured €1million in the EU budget for more research into and support for the disease.

Your survey found that building long term relationships with stakeholders is the strategy which has the most impact? Can you explain a bit more about the benefits of that approach?

Government doesn’t work in a vacuum and needs facts and figures, and business experience to make good law. What works for our clients is to engage regularly with those with an influence over the future of their businesses. We don’t just engage when we’ve got a problem, but build trust by sharing information which helps politicians and regulators to fully understand the business environment and the potential impact of their policy options. We firmly believe that business should be part of the democratic debate.

Social media is having more and more influence on policy makers according to your survey. What role can social media play in a public affairs campaign?

Because of social media, public opinion, and therefore government opinion, can shift in a very short space of time. Most policy makers are on twitter and other social media platforms and closely monitor reactions to their statements and proposals.

We use many of the techniques that brands use in social media to identify influencers and trends and to target our messaging at the people who can make a difference and get messages across. We mobilise public opinion and campaign using social media, to get people to sign petitions or contact their MPs for example. But like all the tools we use, social media is just one part of our armoury and we use it as part of an integrated campaign strategy.

Have you learned any tricks from the PR profession about getting a public affairs message across?

Yes, going back to what I mentioned above about informing and being part of the decision-making process, the important thing for us is to get sometimes very complicated facts across in a compelling, easy-to-understand way.

We use a lot of infographics and brochures to tell stories, show the stages in a process or share statistics. We also use a lot of video and animation.

We recently made a video for Broadcast Networks Europe using lego to tell the story of digital terrestrial television and call for more bandwidth for the service. And we also recently made an animation for a client to show how plans to deepen a quarry would work in practice and what would be done to protect the local water supply.

Attention spans are short, even in politics and it’s important to get the core of the message across in the clearest possible way and in the shortest possible time.

How do you think public affairs will evolve in the future?

I firmly believe that public affairs is going to assume more strategic importance for business. We will be more engaged with blue sky thinking about political and societal change and how that will impact on businesses, their future sustainability and their licence to operate.

We will still fight the big issues of the day on behalf of our clients in the traditional way with members of parliament and civil servants, but we will increasingly find that we and our in house colleagues spend more time preparing the C-Suite for the challenges and, importantly, opportunities which are coming down the line.

We will help businesses to shape their operating environment and will be a recognised and respected part of the democratic process. We will also become a more ‘professionalised’ discipline with transparency, codes of conduct and self-regulation by professional bodies becoming a requirement for us to engage with politicians.


Download the full survey


New Italian guidelines for private tenders: agreement between Assorel and UPA

Assorel, Italian PR Agencies Association and ICCO Member, and Utenti Pubblicità Associati (UPA), the organisation representing Italian investors in communication, have drawn up a document providing guidelines for the correct and transparent conduct of the selection of the agencies during a private tender.

According to the two Associations, consultations would be the most profitable way to start the selection, but if for operational reasons a tender is required it is good practice to have reports for its proper conduct, or to establish shared principles between clients and agencies.

The document includes guidelines about the number of participants, indication of agencies invited to participate in a tender, evaluation criteria of projects, timing of presentations and flat rate refunds for all projects.

The report does not offer prescriptive directions, but shared principles between clients and agencies. With these guidelines UPA and Assorel hope to set a relationship that benefits the quality of work and results for both parties.

For more information:

ASSOREL – Alessandro Costella –

UPA – Giovanna Maggioni –



ASSOREL is the Italian Association of Public Relations Agencies, founded in 1982 which brings together the major operators in Italy and a member of Confindustria Intellect and ICCO – International Communications Consultancy Organisation – the global organization that brings together the Associations of 36 countries.

About UPA

Utenti Pubblicità Associati (UPA) is an Association that brings together the most important and prestigious industrial companies, commercial and service companies that invest in advertising and communications in Italy.

An Armchair Conversation to reclaim Public Relations

Written by: Georgia Stephens,


Set in cosy 332 Manhattan café, Canberra, the first PRIA ACT Armchair Conversation took place between two Fellows, Tom Parkes and James Mahoney.

With a glass of red and canapés, Tom interviewed Jim about public relations, in particular the importance of strategic communication. Full of anecdotes and evidence, Jim shared his research findings, experience and advice with a captive audience who left revived about their purpose in professional communication.

Jim recalled a stage in his career when it was a struggle to convince senior practitioners to take a strategic approach to communication – a must for an organisation to succeed.

“The problem for PR practitioners is we tend to have all this accountability but no authority. We need to think strategically and avoid getting drawn into just digital media.”

“For PR to prove their worth to an organisation we need to demonstrate our understanding of how the business operates, pre-empt issues and create a communication strategy that supports an organisation’s short term, midterm and long term horizons.”

Jim believes our current politicians are an example of defaulting to tactics rather than strategy, “Everything they do is for media exposure, their channel, and their short focus – reactive.”

Strategy on the other hand requires analysis about who you want to read the story, and creating the right situation to do it – an environmental scan – one of Jim’s must do’s as a PR practitioner. “You need to be aware of what’s happening all around you. Read the news every morning – watch ABC news of an evening – watch the 7:30pm report tonight. View!”

With his hard hat on, Jim was honest about many topics, including the public sector’s need to begin evaluating properly, starting with smart objectives. “Too many people produce outputs rather than focus on outcomes which requires measurement.”

In summary, Jim’s top advice is:

  1. Don’t accept the status quo – challenge it;
  2. Always think strategically; and
  3. Don’t default to tactics.

Special offer to ICCO members for top Stockholm conference!

Help shape the future of PR measurement!


ICCO members can help shape the future of PR measurement by taking part in a special session at the International Summit on measurement in Stockholm next month, the biggest event of its kind in the world.

The International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), which is organising the Summit on June 3rd/4th, will be asking PR and communications professionals to help simplify measurement metrics in a major session at the conference. The Summit is being held at the Hilton Stockholm Slussen Hotel, Stockholm.

Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General & ICCO Chief Executive, will be taking part in the metrics session.

AMEC is giving ICCO members a special discount price on Summit registration because of its strategic partnership with ICCO.

One day attendance for the plenary day on June 3 is being offered at a price to ICCO members of only €400. Bookings can be made on this link. ICCO members can book for the two-day event (June 3rd/4th) for the special price of €554 using this registration link.

Barry Leggetter, CEO, of AMEC, said: “We will be presenting new research that will show the PR market, both professionals and their clients are confused by the multiplicity of measurement metrics that exist. We want Precis members to attend the Summit and help us shape what the future of simplified metrics would look like.”

More than 50 expert speakers from Europe, the US and Asia will be speaking at the Summit, which will be attended by more than 200 delegates. They include Stuart Smith, Global CEO of Ogilvy PR, who is flying in from New York and Nissan’s Global Communications chief, Jeff Kuhlman, a Summit special guest who will arrive from Japan.

Other top speakers are Alex Aiken, Executive Director of Government Communications, HM Government UK; Paloma Escudero, Director of Communications, UNICEF; Frida Roberts, Head of Communications Unit, The Swedish Institute; Daniel Dellham, Head of Sustainability Consulting, KPMG Sverige; Miguel Veiga-Pestana, Chief Communications Officer, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Nick Hindle, Senior Vice President, UK Corporate Affairs & North West Division Strategy & Alignment, McDonald’s; Edvard Lind, Head of Media Relations, Skanska AB Group Communications and other speakers from GE, Unilever and eBay.

Click here for more information!



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