Shortlist for Young PR Lions MENA 2018 announced

PRCA MENA has released the shortlist for this year’s Young PR Lions MENA competition to find the best young PR professional in the region. Eight teams have been shortlisted to win the accolade this year and one of them will be heading to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to take part in the international competition from June 17 – 21, 2018. The shortlisted teams include BPG Cohn & Wolfe, Edelman, Golin MENA, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Q Communications and Weber Shandwick.

On March 19, the shortlisted teams will be asked to deliver a five minute presentation explaining their PR campaign and the winning team will be announced on March 20.

Major leadership changes at Edelman DABO

Communications and marketing firm, Edelman DABO has undergone major leadership changes in the region following mass layoffs earlier this year. Camilla and Lucy d’Abo, founders of Dabo & Co, which in 2015 was acquired by Edelman and rebranded as Edelman DABO, will step down from their current roles and leave the agency. After seven years of working with the brand, Managing Director, Jason Leavy will also depart Edelman DABO to pursue new opportunities in the PR and publishing industry.

The new management transition will see Jason Galucci, previously CEO at Lexis UK take on the role of Managing Director, Brand at Edelman UAE. In his new role, he will oversee the combined Edelman DABO team and its operations across the country.

Alex Apthorpe will also be joining the agency’s new management team to take on the role of Director of Brand Experience and Creative for Edelman DABO. Previously Senior Vice President and Joint Managing Director for Jack Morton Worldwide – Middle East, in his new role, Alex will oversee the experiential team reporting to Galucci.

Edelman makes key appointment

Edelman UAE has appointed Robin Gordon-Farleigh to the role of Regional Director for Government Strategies for the Middle East. With over 23 years of experience, Robin previously worked with the UK Department of Health as the Head of Media Planning and Strategy and is currently with the Prime Ministers office as the Senior Communications Strategist. He will take on his new role in Dubai in March, where he will offer his advice on the Middle East operations in the private and public sectors as well as work across government clients and executing strategies to position Edelman internationally.

“I am really pleased to be joining the Edelman Middle East team at such an exciting time,” says Robin. “They are doing such amazing work there in the space of government communications and I look forward to helping them to build out the business. It has been a great six years at No10 which throughout I have felt truly honoured and humbled to work there at the top of Government and in some small way contributed to deliver its agenda.”

Nominees announced for MEPRA Awards

The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards 2016 shortlist has been announced. The awards have been divided into 17 categories – including Best Integrated Campaign, Best Use of Social Media and newly added category for in-house professionals, Outstanding Young Communicator – each award is designed to recognise exceptional returns on investments, creativity and strategic impact by agencies, corporates, teams and individuals. Shortlisted companies include: Four Communications, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Edelman, Mubadala, Seven Media and Weber Shandwick MENA. The winners will be announced at the award ceremony on November 23, 2016 at the JW Marriott Marquis, decided by a panel of renowned industry judges.

“Judging this year was even more challenging than ever,” says Jamal Al Mawed, Head of Corporate Communications, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The industry has advanced in terms of its use of data analytics to measure the performance of campaigns. This means we had greater access to real figures than ever before making the judging process more about the cold hard results, than about the creativity of the idea. We are delighted at the progress made and we see a very strong future for the communications industry across the region.”

MEPRA confirms key partners for 2016 Awards

The Middle East PR Association (MEPRA) has confirmed key sponsors for the 2016 Middle East PR Awards, due to take place at the JW Marriot Marquis on November 23, 2016. The awards will be supported by platinum sponsor, Mubadala; gold sponsor, MCG Associates and bronze sponsor, Edelman, with category sponsors including; Middlesex University Dubai, Sumo Sushi & Bento, Pan Arab Research Centre, RAK Media office and BUZ PR. The 2016 MEPRA awards will recognise innovation in the PR sector from across the region and reward practitioners who have made a distinctive contribution to the communication industry.

“The communication industry has evolved and modernised over the last few years and the MEPRA awards is the perfect opportunity to shine the spotlight on the public relations sector and celebrate the creative individuals who craft innovative communication campaigns,” says Brian Lott, Chairman, MEPRA and Executive Director – Communications, Mubalads. “I would like to thank all our board of sponsors for their support towards encouraging originality and imagination in the industry.”

Justin McGuire, CEO, MCG Group, adds “The MEPRA awards go beyond known boundaries and disciplines, encouraging the most innovative PR professionals and agencies who make a mark in the communication industry. It inspires path-breaking campaigns that happen on the edges of tradition. We are excited and proud to be able to support the Awards, which are considered to the the pinnacle of the communication industry in the region.”

Hill+Knowlton Strategies named EMEA Agency of the Year

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has been named EMEA Agency of the Year at this year’s SABRE Awards in Berlin. The awards saw Hill+Knowlton nominated alongside other EMEA agencies Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, Ogilvy PR and Weber Shandwick, with the agency’s win being accredited to service innovation and significant client wins.

“Since consolidating our Europe, Middle East and Africa regions two years ago, a lot of people have worked hard to take H+K in the region to the next level,” says Lars Erik Grønntun, President and CEO, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, EMEA. “By implementing our regional strategy of connecting, converging and learning we’ve managed to take the agency to a new level, winning exciting new business, building stronger creative and content bids as well as strengthening our regional footprint.”

Shortlist for Young PR Lions MENA announced

PRCA MENA has released the shortlist for the Young PR Lions MENA competition to find the best young PR professionals in the Middle East and North Africa. Eight teams have been shortlisted to win the accolade this year and one of them will be heading to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to take part in the international competition on June 19, 2016. The shortlisted teams of two PR agency professionals aged 30 or under are from; Memac Ogilvy, MCS Action, Edelman, Grayling META, Golin MENA, H&K Strategies, Memac Ogilvy and Weber Shandwick.

On May 17, the shortlisted teams will be asked to deliver a five minute presentation explaining their PR campaign at Motivate, located in Media One, Dubai and the winning MENA team will be announced on May 19.


Edelman welcomes new Head of Digital

Ema Linaker, former Regional Director – Digital, Leo Burnett MENA, has joined Edelman as Head of Digital. With over 20 years of experience, Ema has worked across companies in the UK as well as the UAE, including Google, Intent HQ and Social@Ogilvy. In her new role, she will be responsible for heading up Edelman’s digital team assisting clients achieve authenticity online through content and creative strategy as well as experiential marketing and social business.


Edelman welcomes Tod Donhauser

Global communications marketing firm Edelman has welcomed Tod Donhauser to the role of CEO, Edelman UAE. Formerly the Managing Director at Edelman South Africa, Tod has over 15 years of experience in PR and public affairs. In his new role, he will report to Robert Holdheim, CEO, Edelman South Asia and work to integrate the agency’s new capabilities and talent with its existing offerings.

The appointment of Tod comes as Edelman sees a reorganisation into Brand and Reputation units, following its recent acquisition of Dubai-based DABO & CO – now Edelman DABO. The reshuffle will also see Jacob Drake named Managing Director, Reputation, Jason Leavy named Managing Director, Brand and Camilla and Lucy D’Abo joining the Edelman UAE Executive Committee.

“We are significantly expanding our offering by investing in new areas and our structure will maximise the delivery of our talent on behalf of our clients,” says Tod. “I am excited to be joining our sixth largest market by revenue at such a pivotal time.”

Edelman completes acquisition of DABO & CO

Edelman has completed its acquisition of DABO &CO, expanding the company’s presence in the Middle East region. The completion sees the launch of a new co-branded entity – Edelman DABO – which combines the consumer public relations and digital capabilities of both companies. The co-brand will also see the launch of Edelman DABO Experiential which builds upon DABO’s creative events management division. The company now has a roster of over 50 clients in the Middle East.

“The communications marketing landscape is evolving at a pace where yesterday’s innovation horizon is reached at a speed that was unimaginable even a couple of years ago,” says David Bran, President and Chief Executive Officer, Edelman Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. “Our focus on building our leadership position requires us to be one step ahead of our clients’ evolving needs. DABO & CO has been consistently able to deliver high levels of creativity in consumer communications and experiential activations, making it an ideal addition to our existing business in the Middle East.”

Lucy d’Abo, Managing Director, Edelman DABO Experiential, adds “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition process and to have revealed our new brand identity as an Edelman company. In terms of both strategic vision and cultural fit, it was clear that Edelman represented the best partner for us and everything we’ve experienced to date has reinforced that view.”