PRCA MENA will be co-chaired by Mohamed Al Ayed, CEO of 240-strong MENA PR agency TRACCS, and Loretta Ahmed, a PRCA fellow and Middle East CEO of Grayling.
The trade body will be open to consultancies, in-house comms teams and individuals in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Egypt. Founding members include Golin MENA, Memac Ogilvy, Fleishman Europe, MCS Action – the UAE branch and Middle East hub of the Action Global Communications network – Sept PR and Instinctif Partners.
PRCA MENA will work alongside the International Communications Consultancy Organisation – both organisations are led by Francis Ingham – to aid its members in developing global networks and links to London.
The launch event will take place on 8 March in Dubai, including a presentation from PRCA partner YouGov. The office location for PRCA MENA is not yet confirmed.
Ahmed said PRCA MENA would "help the industry here to grow, to improve its professionalism, and to increase its profitability", while Al Ayed said discussions about the project had been ongoing since 2013 after TRACCS and the PRCA "discovered similar synergies, ambitions and a vision for the growth and development of the PR industry in MENA".
Ingham said: "By creating a new, vibrant association across the entire region, we will bring PR professionals even closer together, and raise standards even higher. The link with the PRCA in the UK, and its management of ICCO in 32 countries, will make the region fantastically well connected with the global PR community."
The PRCA was founded in 1969 and represents more than 18,000 professionals in more than 350 firms globally.