Regional PR Celebrated at MEPRA Awards

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The most creative and innovative PR campaigns of 2016 were celebrated at the Middle East PR Association (MEPRA) Awards at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai last night.

Winners in the 17 categories were chosen by the judging panel from 240 entries from across the region, including the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon and Qatar.

The highly coveted Agency of the Year award was won by Weber Shandwick MENA for its innovative and inspiring work throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Ziad Hasbani, CEO of Weber Shandwick MENA, said: “This is a fantastic accolade for us all here at Weber Shandwick MENA. Winning MEPRA Agency of the Year for the second time is a strong testament of where the firm is today in terms of creativity, collaboration, internal culture and results.

"The communications industry is transforming and we are at the forefront of this transformation delivering great integrated campaigns and results for our clients.”

It was a good night for Cicero & Bernay PR with the agency picking up three awards for Best Use of Sponsorship, Employee Engagement and Government Communication.

Ahmad Itani, COO of Cicero & Bernay, said: “To receive these awards is amongst the greatest of accolades we could accept from our industry peers in the Middle East.”

Atlantis the Palm won the award for Best Live Event, Launch or Stunt for its Waterpark Lockdown campaign, and also picked up the award for In-house PR Team of the Year.

The Young Communicator of the Year award went to Shaimaa El Nazer from Four Communications (Agency) and Sara Kazim from Mubadala (In-house).

Sunil John, Founder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, was presented with the Chairman’s Award for his overall contribution to the PR profession in the Middle East, and dedicated the award to the senior PR professionals who have helped build the sector in the region.

“The PR industry today provides a huge opportunity for young people, particularly young Arabs – and it’s fantastic to see how it is attracting some of the top talent in the market place,” he said. “I am convinced that the future of our profession is in exceptionally capable hands.”

Brian Lott, Chairman of MEPRA and Executive Director of Communications at Mubadala, said: “We are thoroughly impressed by the superb level of creativity and innovation demonstrated in the entries that we have received for this year’s awards.

"We are confident that this can only raise the bar for everyone in the business as they take inspiration from the ideas, expertise and the ability shown in this year’s winning campaigns.”

The full list of winners: