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.

ICCO Summit 2016 to be held in Oxford, United Kingdom

The PRCA is pleased to announce that this year’s ICCO (International Communications Consultancy Organisation) Summit will be taking place in Oxford, United Kingdom, between 29-30th September.

The ICCO Summit is a unique event that brings together senior practitioners from public relations consultancies around the world. With insightful talks, thought-provoking panel discussions, and lively networking drinks, the two-day event is a must for those wishing to engage with some of the most influential professionals in the industry.

Maxim Behar, President, ICCO, said: “Everyone in ICCO is looking forward to another successful Global Summit, taking place this time in Oxford. Oxford is a symbolic place for academia and knowledge and we will undoubtedly bring the best PR practitioners from all over the world. Many have noted that one of the most important issues in our industry recently is the convergence between advertising, PR and digital media, and we believe that this will be among the main topics of the Global Summit.

Francis Ingham MPRCA, Chief Executive, ICCO, said: “It is with absolute pleasure that we announce that the ICCO Summit 2016 is taking place in a location of such a high global standing. The Summit will, as always, bring together some of the biggest names from the global PR industry in a vibrant and exciting environment, and we will be tackling several of the biggest issues our industry faces.”


About PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is a UK-based PR membership body, operating in 45 countries around the world. We represent in excess of 20,000 people across the whole range of the PR industry. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry’s behalf e.g. fighting the NLA’s digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA currently has more than 350 agency members; over 250 in-house communications teams from multinationals, charities and leading public sector organisations; and thousands of individual members.

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 representing 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.

GWPR to undertake global gender pay gap survey

Women’s PR industry body GWPR (Global Women in Public Relations) is planning to undertake a global gender pay gap survey in 2016.

GWPR is a new international network of independent Women in PR associations, providing a forum for networking groups of senior PR women to meet, share contacts and experiences for their mutual benefit. It is also an important channel for discussion on major issues affecting women working in the global PR industry.

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. Initiating this Global Gender Pay Gap Survey will enable us to highlight the bigger picture.

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

GWPR has recently been appointed a place on the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) Board of Management, which will offer a global platform for the research. ICCO comprises PR trade associations representing over 2,500 agencies, in 48 countries worldwide.

ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham MPRCA said: “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 a 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.”

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


About GWPR

GWPR (Global Women in PR) is a new international network of independent Women in PR associations. As an umbrella organisation, GWPR provides an invaluable international forum for networking groups of senior PR women to meet, share contacts, experiences and ideas for their mutual benefit. It is also an important channel for debating and drawing attention to the major issues affecting women working in the global PR industry today.


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 representing 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.

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

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

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

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

What is the philosophy of the agency?

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

How did you first learn about the Cannes Lions Festival?

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

When did you know you were ready to enter?

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

Tell us about the experience of winning your first Lion.

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

How do you choose the work to enter into Cannes?

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

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

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

How did winning influence the culture of your team?

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

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

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


ICCO Welcomes Hungarian PR Association as New Member

The Hungarian Public Relations Association – Magyar Public Relations Szövetség (HuPRA / MPRSZ) has joined the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) as its 34th national member.

This announcement comes as ICCO prepares for its first Board Meeting of the year, taking place in Athens, Greece next month.

Collectively ICCO now represents over 2,500 agencies globally, as well as nine direct consultancy and network members with an international agenda.

Zsófia Lakatos, President of the Hungarian PR Association and Managing Director of Emerald Public Relations said: “We are extremely delighted to join ICCO. In the last few years the Hungarian PR Association turned in a more professional direction. We organise more events, provide market insights to our members and we focus more on international relations. Three ambassadors have been appointed to liaise with our international partners. Joining ICCO is a great step towards our aim to provide global approach, standards, best practices and hopefully business leads too.”

ICCO President Maxim Behar said: “We all welcome our Hungarian friends to the global family of ICCO and are sure that it is a great step ahead in the development of the PR business in the country. The Hungarian PR market is very well developed and we hope to see them playing a significant role both in the ICCO Global Summit later this year, and also many Hungarian companies competing to win some of the ICCO Global Awards.”

ICCO offers its members market insights and ethical standards, as well as professional training to allow local PR consultancies to develop within their region and also internationally.

ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham said: “HuPRA is the seventh national association to join ICCO in the last three years – a record of growth which reflects ICCO’s increasing strength. ICCO is now indisputably the largest and most dynamic international PR membership body in the world, set for even further growth in the years ahead.”

Andras Sztaniszlav, the Hungarian PR Association ambassador to the international market, will represent Hungary on the ICCO Board of Management.


About ICCO
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations in 33 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. Collectively, these associations represent some 2,500 PR firms.



ICCO appoints Charlene Corrin as General Manager

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has appointed Charlene Corrin to the role of General Manager, who joins from a key role at Lions Festivals, organiser of the Cannes Lions.

Corrin will be responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day running of ICCO, assisting the Chief Executive, President and Board of Management to set the overall strategy for the organisation, communicating key trends of interest to the worldwide PR industry, and organising the annual ICCO Global Summit and ICCO Global PR Awards.

She was formerly the PR Lions Awards Manager for Lions Festivals, responsible for management of the PR awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Spikes Asia, Eurobest and Dubai Lynx events.

Corrin began the role on 14th March 2016, replacing Binta Hammerich, who steps down after successfully running the organisation since January 2015. ICCO was recently named Best International Association at the Association Excellence Awards 2016.

Corrin will report directly to Francis Ingham, ICCO Chief Executive, and Maxim Behar, ICCO President.

Prior to working for Lions Festivals, Charlene worked in the United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand producing conferences, business summits and incentive events. Originally from New Zealand, Corrin has a background in communications and a keen interest in the creative industries.

Corrin said: “I am thrilled to be joining this world leading organisation at such an exciting time for the PR industry. I will be focusing my attention on refining the organisation’s current programmes and events, and continuing to drive engagement initiatives and recognition for our members on a global platform. I’m looking forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Ingham said: “I’m very pleased to be welcoming Charlene to the role of General Manager at ICCO. With her background in world class marketing events such as Cannes Lions, she is the perfect person to take our award-winning international association from strength to strength.”

Behar said: “We all are excited to welcome Charlene Corrin to ICCO and having in mind her experience, personal qualities and ambition we are more than sure that day-to-day management of the organisation will be in good and reliable hands. ICCO has grown tremendously over the past three years from the point of view of global coverage, quality of training and high level events. Both the ICCO Global Summit and the ICCO Global Awards are real trend setters in the world of modern PR. Charlene will have the important task of continuing this growth in the same speed and even faster.”


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

The Swedish model – How to turn rookies into Cannes winners

Written by: Joseph Borenstein, Cohn & Wolfe Sweden Print@J_Borenstein
Linnéa Rinäs, Cohn & Wolfe Sweden Print@linnearinas

We were invited to the ICCO Global Summit 2015 to talk about our winning campaign from Cannes Young Lions this summer. However, since talking about one single campaign for 30 minutes gets kind of dull, we decided to  broaden the theme and name our seminar “The Swedish model – How to turn rookies into Cannes Winners”.

In many markets, the PR business is very hierarchical and it takes many years for a junior consultant to even meet the client. Not to mention taking own initiatives, like pitching on a new client or managing a big account. For us, that has never been an issue. Our CEO has never been afraid of letting us try, letting us fail, and letting us succeed.

We therefore decided to share with the audience a few Swedish-inspired tips for how they themselves can turn their rookies into Cannes Winners:

  • Throw away the titles! We would never have won our awards if we would have been stuck in the blogger-email, journalist-calling, social media-copy-trap for 2 years. Which is easy if you’re bound by titles and official work descriptions. In Sweden, we dropped a lot of the formal structures at companies in the 70’s, and we sure don’t miss them. What junior consultants may lack in experience, they compensate with in curiosity – let them not only be part of creative processes, but sometimes even lead them!
  • Mix & Match! A wannabe engineer with a political junkie. A sports geek and a fashionista. Unexpected combinations of people can be pretty awesome!
  • Enable us! Our boss sometimes say that the least she can do is to not stand in our way. That might sound harsh, but I’d say it’s crucial to believe and trust in your younger team members. They want do things differently than you? Explore a whole new way of doing PR? Let them try! They might fail from time to time, but so what? That’s how people learn and grow, both as individuals and as businesses. And that’s how you get to keep your talent past the famous 3-year “I quit”.
  • Let us have fun! It’s been proved that millennials want a fun and social workplace, and that doesn’t mean we’re slackers. One of the reasons we work at Cohn & Wolfe is that it is hard to imagine a more fun place to be. Our colleagues are the goofiest, funnest and sweetest people we’ve ever met, and sometimes our open floor plan feels more like a schoolyard than an office. Does that mean we win less new clients, score less coverage, or are less productive? On the contrary. It just means we have fun along the way.

We came to Milan not only to tell the story of how we won Cannes Young Lions, but also to encourage agency leaders  to nurture and take care of the talent they have within their agencies. Because we’re pretty sure that every single agency has the potential of winning a Young PR Lion  – by just following our tips.

Next year, we’re going be too old to compete in Cannes Young Lions, but we’ll be standing on the side, cheering for the next generation of Cohn & Wolfers to get their chance to shine. And we’re looking forward to seeing not only all agency leaders from the ICCO Summit, but their junior PR-talents as well.

See you in Cannes!

Eight things you need to know from the ICCO Global Summit in Milan

Written by: Tanya Hughes


Over 150 communications and PR leaders from all around the world gathered in Milan last week to attend the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) Global Summit. This year’s theme was “Food For Thought” and explored how consultancies and communicators are surviving and thriving in our changing world. SERMO president, Tanya Hughes, joined the heads of some of the biggest independent agency networks for the “Going Global 2.0″ panel discussion. Here are her top eight take outs from the conference on the state of the global PR industry:


The two biggest drivers of change in the PR industry are the rise of social media and PR’s increased presence at Cannes Lions – the world authority on creativity in communication, still dominated by ad agencies, but changing fast.


AVEs RIP! PR must deliver business results. Ask yourself if your account teams know the share price of their clients.


Corporate and brand reputation are now indivisible – marketing and communications are converging. It’s estimated that 60% of market value can be attributed to reputation.


And the CEO’s reputation matters. Successful CEOs must now fulfil a public engagement mandate. For PR agencies too, the CEO must embody the brand.


Agencies need to restructure to attract young talent – millennials are demanding: they want best possible technology, equality and diversity, customisation, rewards beyond salary, mentoring, a ‘noble’ purpose, recognition access to leadership and empowerment.


Over 400 hours of video are uploaded per minute on to YouTube. To have stand out your content needs to appeal to a community (spark and be part of a conversation), engage (hit on a passion point) and have authentic value (entertainment, inspiration, education).


Video series are a big trend on YouTube.


PR agencies give 20% of their work away. They like to be liked, but the more they give clients, the more they’ll want. That means Fridays are free!

Click here to read more on SERMO

Milan Launch for Global Women in PR

GWPR – Connecting Women in PR around the worl

A new international association, linking independent networking groups of senior women working in PR, has been launched at the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) Global Summit in Milan, currently underway.

Global Women in PR (GWPR) has been formed to act as an umbrella organisation to enable groups of senior PR women worldwide to come together to share ideas, contacts and experiences and to campaign on the major issues directly affecting women working in the PR industry today.

The development of GWPR is fully supported by ICCO and their President David Gallagher had this to say about the new initiative: “Women are the heart, soul and mind of PR consultancy all over the world, and we at ICCO are pleased to be associated with GWPR’s ambitious global plans.”

Following the recent success of Women in PR (WPR) in the UK and its resurgence as a significant and powerful networking organisation, former Joint-Presidents Angela Oakes and Susan Hardwick felt that the time was right to encourage other countries to form their own WPR associations.

“The widely reported gender pay gap and the lack of women in the boardroom are two major issues which are not limited to the UK PR industry, but affect those working in PR worldwide. Coupled with what we believe to be an important vehicle for senior women to meet in a non-competitive environment, WPR also offers its members a chance to help shape the future of the industry and to act as mentors to the next generation. We want our successful networking blueprint in the UK to be rolled out globally and are taking the first steps to make this happen,” commented Angela and Susan.

The launch of GWPR is being supported by Business Wire (a Berkshire Hathaway company) and a major sponsor of WPR in the UK. “We are delighted to be supporting this important launch,” said Kim Deonanan Business Wire Regional VP, Northern & Central Europe.

Notes to Editors:

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

Business Wire
Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure. Investor relations, public relations, public policy and marketing professionals rely on Business Wire to accurately distribute market-moving news and multimedia, host online newsrooms and IR websites, build content marketing platforms, generate social engagements and provide audience analysis that improves interaction with specified target markets. Founded in 1961, Business Wire is a trusted source for news organisations, journalists, investment professionals and regulatory authorities, delivering news directly into editorial systems and leading online news sources via its multi-patented simultaneous NX Network. Business Wire has 32 offices worldwide to securely meet the varying needs of communications professionals and news consumers.

WPR is a sector group of the PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association) in the UK and a networking organisation for senior women working in the PR industry. It provides an important platform to enable members to share their experiences, assist one another in business and exchange ideas. Founded in 1962, WPR offers support for its members and has helped to shape the development of the PR profession as a whole. WPR works to encourage and promote the highest standards of professionalism and to assist and support younger members within the profession.

– See more at:

The Death of the PR Pantologist? Hiring for the future of our industry – from the ICCO 2015 Global Summit in Milan

Written by: Aaron Kwittken


The Death of the PR Pantologist? Hiring for the future of our industry -- from the ICCO 2015 Global Summit in Milan

Last week, I traveled to Milan, Italy to participate in the ICCO Global Summit to moderate a panel called, “The Talent Integration Game, Decoded.”

ICCO is a gathering of some of the best and brightest in the global PR community so I was thrilled to take on the job – plus, how bad could a few days of work in Italy (and the inevitable extra pasta) be?

The panel I moderated explored the implications on hiring talent for an industry that is shifting toward a more integrated and omni-channel approach. I was joined by Maxim Behar, CEO of M3 Communications Group, and Rachel Bell, CEO and founder of Shine Communications. In our discussion, we explored how the historical sentiment that PR agency talent should be “jacks of all trades” fits in with today’s omni-channel environment. Social strategy, community management, content creation, experiential and data analytics skills are all par for the course in today’s world of PR agencies.

One of the major takeaways from the conversation came in the staunch agreement that PR agencies, globally, must start changing their internal culture to be more inclusive of specialist talents and non-traditional backgrounds. Agencies need to start integrating team members who understand a multi-disciplinary approach in order to form inter-disciplinary teams that are focused on building data-driven programs that are social and digital by design. There has been an increasing amount of comfort and credibility in the minds of CMOs, but we need to change the hearts and minds through procurement practices as well. Finally, we need to navigate meeting the “old-school” earned media needs of certain clients with the more “modern” demands of clients who favor an omni-channel approach and understand the value of a creating for them a broader message and brand awareness.

The discussion was an important and timely one, held among influential peers in the industry and around the world by whom I was honored to be surrounded. I look forward to continuing to explore and embrace the changing agency landscape, as Kwittken continues to build our specialist talent practice areas to enhance our client offerings. And meanwhile, I will continue to decompress from over indulging in gelato.


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