Five Minute Focus – PRCA x TMN Training

With the launch of the ‘PRCA x TMN Training’ by Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and The Media Network (TMN), Team TMN sit down with Leanne Foy, General Manager at PRCA MENA to talk about the initiative and what to expect…

Tell us about the concept behind the ‘PRCA x TMN Training’…

The concept behind PRCA x TMN training is to provide a platform for continuous professional development. We strive to deliver excellent training that develops talent in the region by offering online training through our live or on demand 90-minute interactive webinars, half day, face-to-face and bespoke training as well as our global CPD program. By developing talent, we will keep the industry up to date with emerging trends and best practices. This results in increasing industry standards, talent retention and more effective practices.

Who is your target audience and how can they get involved?

PRCA has training courses at introductory, intermediate and advance levels. We are targeting those that work in PR and communications looking to enhance their professional development.

What is the approximate cost per session?

Our face-to-face half day training courses are priced at AED 695 for members and AED 1,295 for non-members. The online training webinars are priced at AED 295 for members and AED 395 for non-members.

Can you give us some more details about the trainers?

All of our trainers are industry professionals and have completed a PRCA trainer’s accreditation, where they have been observed on delivering a training session. All trainers are part of our quality assurance plan and are observed every six months as part of our quality promise.

Why should agencies participate in the training session?

Training and development is a proven technique in retaining talent. It demonstrates staff investment, and will train staff in key areas of the business.

What kind of changes are you hoping to promote and encourage with this training?

One of the PRCA’s main objectives is to increase the standards in the industry. Training and professional development is one way we are actively doing this. Our training incorporates best practice and develops talent.

Why did you feel the need to launch the PRCA x TMN Training in the region?

The PRCA has an extremely successful and comprehensive professional development program, with certified training to an industry standard. PRCA MENA has adopted this in the region after consulting with our members and identifying a lack of industry accredited training. It is vital that we develop and retain talent in our industry and by partnering with TMN it will extend our reach.

How does this training course differ from other courses in the region?

PRCA MENA training courses are certified by the most dynamic industry body for PR and communications. All of our training courses whether they are online or face-to-face contribute to our global CPD program. We offer a variety of training across key skills, writing, digital, creative, crisis, public affairs, winning new business, personal skills and finance and profitability, at introductory, intermediate and advance levels.

What has been your advertising strategy in the region?

We’re promoting our training courses through our networks of members and non-members as well as through content such as our newsletter.

What is the reaction you expect from participants, following the training sessions?

We expect our participants to be extremely satisfied with their courses – we require very high levels of feedback for all trainers.

What benefits are participants expected to gain from the sessions?

Increased knowledge in the subject field, alongside areas of best practice and techniques to use in their day to day work. All sessions have a set of learning outcomes relevant for each course.

What does the future hold for the PRCA x TMN Training?

We will continue to work with our members to identify skills gaps and develop training courses that meet their needs.

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 launches Digital PR and Communications Report

PRCA MENA has revealed the results of its first Digital PR and Communications Report, produced in partnership with YouGov. Aiming to provide a benchmark of how the PR industry is performing with digital communications, the online survey was conducted in April 2017 with a sample size of 2,027 adults.

“The revolution of the digital world has influenced PR and Communications beyond doubt,” says Leanne Foy, General Manager, PRCA MENA. “Now is the right time to start benchmarking just how the industry is perfoming with digital communications, whether in-house or agency side.”

To receive a copy of the report, contact

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.”

Weber Shandwick wins at MENA Young Lions

PRCA announces Weber Shandwick as the winners of the MENA Young Lions Competition for their ‘#spareoneminuteforchange’ campaign. The second year of the competition held by PRCA saw teams create an effective campaign as per a brief given by Dubai Cares. Sponsored by ICCO, the team, Angelina Hedra and Viviana Villasmil will get to represent the region at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity that will take place from June 17 – 24, 2017.

“We are absolutely delighted that Angelina and Viviana were selected by the PRCA to represent Middle East PR industry at the Young Lions Competition this summer,” says Andreas Keller, Managing Director, Weber Shandwick MENA. “We’ve had many Weber Shandwick teams take part in this competition over the last two years as it provides an excellent platform for young PR professionals to experience the realities of developing integrated campaigns for clients in a pressured environment. Producing Cannes Lions award winning work is something that all agencies aspire to do. This will undoubtedly be a very memorable and enriching experience for both consultants.”

PRCA MENA announces award winners

PRCA MENA has announced the winners of its inaugural awards ceremony that took place on February 08, 2017. Hosted at the H Hotel Dubai, the awards ceremony honoured and recognised individuals, teams and campaigns from the PR and communications industry across the Middle East and North Africa.

Winners included Q Communications for Best B2C Campaign, Weber Shandwick for Best B2B Campaign, Volkswagen for Best Influencer Relations, Instinctif Partners for Best Crisis Campaign, Dubai Multi Commodities Center for Best Integrated Campaign, MCS Action for Best Media Relations Campaign, Brazen for Regional Campaign of the Year, Golin MENA for Results on a Budget, Matrix Public Relations for Small Consultancy of the Year and Seven Media for Large Consultancy of the Year. Bassem Ayache, Associate Manager at Golin MENA won the Rising Star of the Year award and Ziad Hasbani, Chief Executive Officer at Weber Shandwick was honoured as PR Leader of the Year.

“It is a great pleasure to announce the winners of the inaugural PRCA MENA Awards,” says Leanne Foy, General Manager, PRCA MENA. “The breadth and depth of entered campaigns, teams and individuals, demonstrates the strength with which PRCA MENA is growing.”

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 joins hands with media intelligence firm

The Middle-East edition of PRCA, PRCA MENA has collaborated media intelligence agency, LexisNexis. The12-month partnership aims to provide members of PRCA with the best practices and market insights as well as special offers on a range of media monitoring and analysis tools.

“LexisNexis is delighted to partner with PRCA MENA in the Middle East region,” says Jeremy Shayler, Business Development Director, LexisNexis Middle East. “This is an exciting new venture for both parties and demonstrates our joint commitment and support of the local Middle East market for public relations and communications professionals. Our relationship brings a fresh approach to the media monitoring and analysis space and will help drive world-class expertise and practice in the region. We look forward to sharing our global best practice and thought leadership with PRCA MENA and their PR agency and in-house communication professional members.”