Five Minute Focus – PRCA Awards

With the launch of the PRCA MENA Awards coming up, TMN sat down with Loretta Ahmed, Chairperson PRCA MENA, to find out more about what to expect from the upcoming event…

When is the launch of the PRCA MENA Awards and where will it be held?

The PRCA MENA Awards will open for entries from November 7, 2016 – December 13, 2016. The Awards will be held at the H Hotel, Dubai on February 8, 2017.

Tell us the concept behind the awards…

We wanted to have an awards night with a difference, to recognise the good work that PR and communications professionals are doing in the region. We also wanted to mark our first year in the region by looking for creative strategies that achieve results and recognising the talent here to ensure the region is profiled globally for the world-class campaigns undertaken here.

What makes an award event such as the PRCA MENA Awards different from other regional PR awards?

We have a totally different concept and variety of awards which will be judged by an international judging panel.  The night itself is a fresh take on awards and we’ve done away with a long sit-down meal in favour of an event that encourages networking.

Can you give us some details about the nomination process?

To enter is easy, it’s all online. Submissions are the standard 1000 word entry, but we are looking for creative strategies, execution and most importantly results.

How can non-members participate in the awards?

We have a rate for members and non-members. We encourage all PR and communications professionals to take part.

Can you tell us more about the awards/categories themselves?

There will be twelve categories. Eight campaign awards and four awards focused on teams and individuals. The award categories will include, Rising Star of the Year, Results on a Budget, Best Integrated Campaign of the Year and Best Regional Campaign of the Year.

Who judges the entries for the PRCA MENA Awards?

The Judges will be announced next month. Our panel will be an international judging panel with experience in the region. Some will be based here and others will be from our other key global PR markets.  This is key for us as we are a global organisation committed to raising the profile of the MENA PR industry across the world.

What has been your advertising strategy for the UAE/Middle East?

We don’t have a traditional advertising campaign for PRCA MENA and we rely heavily on our networking events programme and word of mouth.

Did you face any challenges establishing the event in the Middle East?

We have had a great response so far and we are seeing participants very focused on budgets and resources. For this reason we’ve kept our entry fees low and the entry process as simple as possible.

How do you think the PRCA MENA Awards will develop in the future?

PRCA MENA Awards will develop by being held in different parts of the region, and attract PR and communications professionals from different areas to nominate their work for the awards. The UAE is a key regional hub but there is exceptional work undertaken right across the region and we see no reason why the UAE should always be the host country.  We will have new innovative categories and dedicated specialist awards in the future.