COPIA launches first global office

Dubai-based communication and lifestyle agency, COPIA Group has launched its first office in Canada as a part of its global expansion plan. The new office is based in Toronto and will focus on crafting creative content and experiences, whilst granting accessibility across Canada. The new launch will also see the appointment of Sherry Boisvert to the role of Managing Partner bringing with her over 20 years of PR and corporate communications experience. Sherry previously worked in Canada with Citizen Relations and most recently with NARRATIVE PR, holding the role of Vice President at both agencies. In her new role, she will work closely with COPIA’s Dubai partners, Rania El Sadek and Katherine Raso to oversee all the agency’s operations and expand its presence across Canada.

“COPIA’s position has always been one of ‘local presence, global network’ and we felt the time was right to strengthen that even further with an office in Toronto,” says Rania El Sadek, Founder, COPIA Group. “It’s a vibrant city in the heart of Canada and with our expertise and connections on an international level, it made sense for us to make the move and expand to a second home.”

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.”

Facebook launches safety resources for journalists

As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, the social media platform has launched ‘Facebook Safety for Journalists’ along with a dedicated safety page under the ‘Facebook for Journalists’ website.

Created in partnership with the European Journalism Centre, the Committee to Protect Journalists, ConnectSafely, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) and the James W. Foley Legacy, ‘Facebook Safety for Journalists’ aims to help journalists protect their accounts on the platform. The safety page under the website,, provides information relating to online safety, such as how to turn on two-factor authentication, manage privacy settings, moderate comments, block harassment and more.

LinkedIn’s new video feature launches

LinkedIn has launched a new video feature that allows users to record upload and post native videos directly from their LinkedIn mobile applications to their feed. The new addition to the platform would be available to users globally and would enable them to start conversations, and share their professional knowledge as well insights through videos. To record a video or upload an existing video, users can click on the share button and tap the video icon directly from their iOS or Android devices to start recording or uploading a video to post on their feed.

New Snapchat show launched by CNN

CNN has launched new Snapchat show, The Update globally. The new daily show will provide a rundown of the biggest news from CNN’s anchors, correspondents and reporters from around the world to be published throughout each day and time zone as well as feature rolling updates as breaking news segments. The show will be featured on Snapchat’s shows section and would be accessible by Snapchat users and subscribers of The Update.

“In today’s news environment, people are hungry for news and they want a quick update of where things are at within one tap of their phone,” says Samantha Barry, Executive Producer for Social and Emerging Media, CNN. “So, we’re serving that up, speaking their language and delivering it in beautiful, vertical, mobile friendly video.”

FIPP appoints new President and CEO

FIPP has appointed James Hewes to the role of President and CEO starting September, 2017. James previously worked in the UK with BBC Worldwide’s Haymarket Exhibitions as Director and The Art Newspaper as Interim CEO. He later moved to the UAE and worked at Gulf News Publishing as Publishing Director, was appointed to FIPP’s Management Board as Director in 2015 and founded his own company, Soho Consultancy in 2016. In his new role, he will lead the FIPP team to ensure that they continue to deliver products and services that reflect their growth and strategic development as well as enhance the team’s ability to thrive in the changing media environment.

“I am a huge supporter of FIPP and it’s an incredible honour to be asked to lead the organisation,” says James. “FIPP’s ability to connect its members with the information networking opportunities and expertise they need are more important than ever.”

CNN launches VR platform

CNN has launched new virtual reality platform, CNNVR. A journalism unit and platform within CNN Digital, CNNVR will cover major news events in a 360 video, transport users to the front row of global events through VR live streams and produce weekly VR experiences. The new platform will be overseen by Jason Farkas, Vice President of Premium Content Video and will see Dubai become among the first cities to have trained VR producers and access to CNNVR through mobile phones, desktops and VR headsets.

E-learning courses for journalists launches

Facebook has launched a single destination for journalists to learn about the products, tools and services that will help increase their brand’s social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. The free e-learning courses will be available through Blueprint, their global training program and will focus on the three core pillars of the news cycle – discovering content, creating stories and building an audience. With plans to accommodate more languages, including Arabic in 2017, the online training program will serve as a learning platform for editors and journalists around the world.

Dubai Lynx announces judges

Dubai Lynx International Festival of Creativity 2017 has invited eight high-profile international jurors to judge The Dubai Lynx Awards. The festival will take place from March 5 -8, 2017 at Madinat Jumeirah Arena. Closing the festival on March 8, 2017, the awards ceremony will honour creative excellence in film, print, outdoor, radio, direct, promo and activation, media, interactive, film craft, print & poster craft, design, mobile, PR, integrated, creative effectiveness and branded content and entertainment advertising and communications.

“The jury presidents are a core element in ensuring that stand-out work rises to the top and leads the way for the year to come,” says Thea Skelton, Festival Director, Dubai Lynx. “We’re delighted to have such an experienced line-up to lead the discussions on creativity in MENA with their respective juries.”

Distripress Congress to be held in Dubai

This year’s edition of the Distripress Congress is set to be held in Dubai on Monday, 3 October until Thursday, 6 October, 2016 at Dubai World Trade Centre. This will be the first time the congress is to be held in the Middle East and the event will act as an international meeting point for everyone involved in the distribution and marketing of newspapers and periodicals. Already confirmed speakers for the 2016 Distripress Congress include Peter Newbould, International Trading Director, W H Smith; Anne-Marie Couderc, President, Presstalis; and John Lafranier, CEO, Disticor.