Getting in the global spotlight at the Cannes Lions festival

The UK's best young PR talent are bidding for global glory at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Francis Ingham: "[Cannes] brings together most of the very best in our industries."
Francis Ingham: "[Cannes] brings together most of the very best in our industries."

By the time you are reading this, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will be about to begin. Now, let’s be frank – for all that the PRCA and PRWeek Awards are the highlights of the UK awards season, Cannes does remain in a league of its own. The ultimate global marketing, advertising and PR event of the year, it brings together most of the very best in our industries.

For too long though, we’ve been a little standoffish about Cannes. I’ve heard so many times the complaint that it’s dominated by advertising types; that somehow our industry simply can’t win. And, unfortunately, that’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Well, we have decided it’s time to break that mould.

That’s why the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) has become the global sponsor of the Young PR Lions competition to find the most talented young PR in the world; and why the PRCA is responsible for running the UK element to find the country’s brightest and best young PR talent.

In doing so, we’ve been very lucky to have Ketchum, Ogilvy, GolinHarris and Hill+Knowlton Strategies as our invaluable partners.

I'm filing this piece before the contest, but by now you'll which plucky young PR agency team will be representing the UK in Cannes, after competing against 11 other consultancies to deliver a winning PR campaign for our partners, Action For Children.

But the big test is still to come – to compete against representatives from up to 20 other countries. We’ve provided the flights, accommodation and delegate passes for Cannes – the rest is up to them. They and the other competing countries will be presented with a brief on 14 June and have 12 hours in which to create a PR campaign to be judged by a selected jury.

Each team will be expected to deliver a five-minute presentation explaining the PR campaign and the written submission next Monday (16 June). The winning agency will achieve the accolade of employing the brightest young talent on the planet.

We’ve seen it as an integral part of our leadership role in the UK and internationally to get involved with Cannes Lions. To do our very best to put PR where it ought to be – in the global spotlight, highlighting the enormous value it delivers. And this month, in the south of France, we will be doing just that. The best of luck to the UK team in Cannes.

Francis Ingham is PRCA director-general and ICCO executive director

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