MEPRA appoints new Chair and Vice-Chair 

The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) has appointed Jonty Summers to the role of Chair and Lisa Welsh to the role of Vice-Chair of the Executive Board from 2019 to 2021. Jonty Summers works with Hanover Middle East where he holds the role of Managing Director while Lisa Welsh works with Hill+Knowlton Strategies MENA where she holds the role of Managing Director. Jonty has served on the MEPRA Executive Board for a year while spearheading MEPRA’s partnership with PR Week UK and participating in the planning and execution of the MEPRA Awards. Lisa has served on the MEPRA Executive Board for a year where she led the planning and implementation of MEPRA’s inaugural REMAP Festival.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to build on MEPRA’s strong foundations as a champion of excellence in public relations,” says Jonty. “MEPRA’s work is shaped by the dynamics, creativity and energy that characterise the region. Signature events like last month’s REMAP creativity conference, the Majlis and the Awards, as well as partnerships with international bodies like CIPR, reflect this mission as we look to encourage ever greater levels of professionalism in the industry.”

“MEPRA is transforming the communications industry as we know it, driving creativity, excellence and development across the region,” says Lisa. “I am honoured to take on the Vice Chair role, and thank both Ray and Deema for their exceptional work to date, along with the executive and strategy board. We look forward to announcing next year’s strategy in January, and taking MEPRA to the next level.”

Shortlist announced for MEPRA Awards

The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards 2018 shortlist has been announced. The awards have been divided into 26 categories including Large Agency of the Year, Small Agency of the Year and In-House Team of the Year and will have more than 30 agencies competing including ASDA’A BCW, Cicero & Bernay, Four Communications Group and Seven Media. The awards are designed to recognise exceptional returns on investments, creativity and strategic impact and the finalists will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze during the event. The winners will be announced on November 28, 2018 at the JW Marriott Marquis.

“The quality of entries submitted for this year’s Awards is very strong,” says Jonty Summers, Managing Director, Hanover Middle East and MEPRA Awards Judge. “There are some real stand-out entries, highlighting how public relations teams in this region are delivering impactful business results for organisations through creativity, storytelling and thoughtful planned campaigns. This year’s MEPRA competition is tough, and those recognized as finalists should be immensely proud of their work.”

Hanover acquires Bell Pottinger Middle East

Hanover Middle East has signed an agreement to acquire all the assets of Bell Pottinger Middle East. The acquisition will include a name change to Hanover Middle East and will continue to focus on strategic consultancy advice in the financial services, healthcare, technology, media and telecoms sectors as well as maintain its creative agency, The Playbook.

The agreement will also see the appointment of a restructured senior team from both agencies. Jonty Summers will take on the combined business in addition to his role as Managing Director at Hanover. While BPME’s Archie Berens, previously Managing Director will be appointed to the role of Chairman and Amy Piek previously Associate Partner to the role of Director.

New launch of Hanover office in the Middle East

Independent consulting firm, Hanover has launched its operations in the Middle East. Founded in 1998 with offices in London, Brussels and most recently in Dublin, Hanover’s new office in Dubai will offer strategic communications services and integrated programs to clients across the Middle East requiring access to other regional markets. The new office will also see Jonty Summers with over 20 years of experience and previously Regional Director at Edelman appointed to the role of Managing Director, where he will oversee and develop strategies to expand Hanover’s operations across the region. Also joining the Dubai team is Keri Sutherland, Associate Director of Hanson London with experience in reputation and crises management, to work towards establishing the agency’s presence across the Middle East.

“As Dubai grows in standing as a global centre for business, organisations increasingly require specialist advisers who can support them in protecting their reputations and promoting their market proposition as they take advantage of the cross-border market dynamics that characterises the modern world of business,” says Charles Lewington, Founder and Chief Executive, Hanover Group.