Bell Pottinger barred from PRCA

British multinational PR and marketing firm, Bell Pottinger has been expelled from the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), following an investigation into its work for Oakbay Capital in South Africa. Bell Pottinger’s membership has been terminated with immediate effect and the company won’t be eligible to reapply for PRCA’s corporate membership for a minimum period of five years.

Following a complaint from the Democratic Alliance, the investigation revealed that Bell Pottinger breached four clauses under the PRCA Professional Charter and Public Affairs and Lobbying Code of Conduct, and that the firm’s campaign could possibly induce racial tensions in South Africa.

“Bell Pottinger has brought the PR and communications industry into disrepute with its actions, and it has received the harshest possible sanctions,” Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA. “The PRCA has never before passed down such a damning indictment of an agency’s behaviour. This outcome reflects the huge importance that PRCA places on the protection of ethical standards in the business of PR and communications.”

New appointment at PRCA

Georgia Ramm joins the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) as International Relations Officer. Currently completing her masters in public relations and corporate communications, Georgia will be responsible for increasing international engagement for the PRCA (UK and MENA) as well as developing initiatives for the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO).

“Georgia’s appointment as the new PRCA International Relations Officer will allow us to increase our international work even further,” says Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA UK and PRCA MENA. “We already manage ICCO, operating in 55 countries around the world and have an office in Dubai. We will now ramp up our activity, exploring other markets where the PRCA can usefully establish itself, and increasing the range of services we provide to members in the UK, MENA and elsewhere.”

PRCA and TMN to launch training sessions

PRCA MENA has partnered with The Media Network to launch half-day face-to-face training courses in Dubai. The trainers are accredited and certified by PRCA and all delegates attending will receive a certificate upon completion of the course. In addition to this, a series of face-to-face training sessions in Arabic are due to launch later this year. The sessions are priced at AED650 for PRCA members, AED850 for Premium Members of The Media Network and AED1,000 for non-members.

“I am very pleased to partner with The Media Network, to broaden further the range of training options available to PR and communications practitioners in Dubai,” says Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA. “It is a key priority of the PRCA to improve standards within the industry, and this is an important step forward.”

Michelle Kuehn, Managing Partner, The Media Network adds, “We’re so thrilled to launch face-to-face training sessions with PRCA. Our ethos has always been to create a nurturing media community in the region, and through this step, we aim to provide access to quality training for PR professionals in Dubai.”

PRCA introduces PR competition

PRCA MENA has partnered with Cannes Lions to introduce the Young Lions PR competition to the region. The competition will open for entries from February 1 – 26, 2017, accepting teams of two members aged under 30. With the creative brief issued on March 1, 2017 and the shortlist announced on March 14, 2017, the MENA winners will be announced on March 23, 2017 following a final 24-hour competition that will take place on March 22, 2017.

“PRCA MENA is committed to promoting and demonstrating the value of PR and communications in the region,” says Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA MENA. “The Young PR Lions competition allows us to do exactly that – show off the calibre of PR and communications practitioners in the Middle East and North Africa.”

PRCA launches mentoring scheme

Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has collaborated with PRWeek to launch a new mentoring scheme in the UAE and UK. Aiming to inspire the next generation of PR and communication leaders, the Fast Track mentoring scheme will launch with an initial 21 mentors including Yiannis Vafeas, Managing Director at Golin MENA and Alex Malouf, Corporate Communications Manager for the Arabian Peninsula at Procter & Gamble.

“We are very proud to launch the latest stage in the Fast Track mentoring scheme, aimed at inspiring mentees to go even further with their careers,” says Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA. “Mentoring is a fantastic way of passing on the expertise and knowledge held within the industry to a new generation of hopefuls.”

PRCA MENA announces headline sponsor

The Dubai-branch of international talent consultancy, MCG Associates has partnered with Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) MENA as the headline sponsor for the inaugural PRCA MENA Awards. The awards ceremony will take place on February 8, 2017 at the H Hotel, Dubai.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome MCG Associates as the headline sponsor for our first PRCA MENA Awards,” says Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA MENA. “Having an established, influential and trusted agency backing the awards demonstrates its confidence in PRCA MENA and our work.”

Justin McGuire, Chief Executive Officer, MCG Group adds, “I’m delighted that MCG Group will be the headline sponsor for the inaugural PRCA MENA Awards. We take pride in partnering with the best agencies in the region and look forward to a night of celebration.”

Cannes Lions launches Young Lions PR competition

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2016 and PRCA MENA are launching the first Young Lions PR competition in the Middle East and North Africa. The competition aims to discover the leading young creative PR team globally and will see teams of two competing for the prize, with all teams having gone through a pre-selection process in their own country set up by local Cannes Lions representatives. PRCA will be handling the competition to find a team to represent the MENA region.

“Cannes Lions is committed to showcasing and developing global talent through its extensive programme of training and competitions,” says Steve Latham, Head of Talent and Training, Lions Festivals. “The Young Lions Competitions provide an opportunity for rising stars to demonstrate their abilities and creativity in front of some of the most influential names in the creative communications industry. We’re delighted that the PRCA are coming on board to help deliver this incredible opportunity to young PR talent in the MENA region.”

Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA MENA and Chief Executive, MPRCA, ICCO, adds “We are delighted to be conducting the inaugural Young Lions PR competition for the MENA region. Not only does this offer a brilliant opportunity for young, creative minds, but it also demonstrates the growth of PRCA MENA and it’s reputation on the international stage.”