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 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.”

New training academy launches

The Middle East arm of Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA MENA) has partnered with Instinctif Partners to launch its own training academy. The CPD-accredited programme aims to educate and update Middle East media professionals on new skills, practices and developments in the industry through face-to-face training as well as webinars.

“I am thrilled that Instinctif Partners have put together a comprehensive training plan and are investing in their staff with both internal and external training, thus developing talented PR and communications professionals,” says Leanne Foy, General Manager, PRCA MENA. “It’s truly great to see the shift in traditional learning and using creative ways of continuous professional development.”