PRCA MENA Awards: H+K and Seven Media top winners list

Both agencies took home two gongs at the 2020 PRCA MENA Awards.

Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, at the MENA Awards
Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, at the MENA Awards

Hill+Knowlton Strategies was one of the biggest winners of the night at the PRCA MENA Awards 2020 - taking home two gongs, including Large Consultancy of the Year.

The agency also won the award for Best PR Campaign: Crisis Communications during the event, which took place on 5 February at W Dubai – The Palm hotel.

Bashar AlKadhi, CEO - Middle East, Turkey, Africa and India at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, told PRWeek Middle East: "I want to thank PRCA for this wonderful recognition of our great team's work. We go into 2020 full of confidence, continuing the focus on delivering campaigns we are proud of to delight our fantastic clients, with innovation at the heart of everything we do. Awards such as this drive us even more and heighten expectations from our clients and everyone we engage with, and that's just the way we like it."

Homegrown agency Seven Media - founded by Matt Slater and Gregg Fray - also took home two awards, for Best Regional Campaign and Best PR Campaign – Media Relations, for the Special Olympics held in 2019, the first time the event was staged in the Middle East in its 50-year history.

Following the rebrand of her firm Grayling Dubai to Houbara Communications, which comes after her acquisition of the agency from parent company Huntsworth last year, CEO Loretta Ahmed was named PR Leader of the Year.

She told PRWeek Middle East: "My thanks go to the PRCA. To be shortlisted amongst such stellar industry colleagues and friends was incredible and to win in in the week we rebranded to Houbara Communications was simply the icing on the cake.

"We are fortunate to work in a country where our discipline is flourishing and where the talent just gets better and better, and I’m grateful for the part I get to play in it."

The PRCA MENA Awards 2020 celebrated the best individuals, teams, and campaigns from the PR and communications industry from across the Middle East and North Africa.

Other winners included Edelman, ASDA’A BCW, Cicero & Bernay Public Relations and Weber Shandwick MENA.

Brazen PR also took home the gong for Small Consultancy of the Year for the third consecutive year.

Louise Jacobson, Brazen managing partner, said: "I am humbled and honoured to win PRCA MENA Small Agency of Year three times in a row. I would like to thank our amazing clients and industry friends and the Brazen team who make it all happen day in, day out. Brazen MENA recently celebrated its fifth birthday and since then we have blazed trails in the region with our creative, strategic solutions for clients. I would like to congratulate all the other finalists and winners – being awarded with so many other talented PR professionals is very inspiring. Thank you, of course, to PRCA MENA."

Francis Ingham, director-general of the PRCA, said: "The PR industry in the Middle East and North Africa is in fantastic shape. Without exception, the quality of work showcased at last night’s PRCA awards was world-beating. We congratulate all of the winners for raising the bar even higher."

Full list of winners:

  • Best PR Campaign – B2C: Edelman – #RSATravelPhotoFails
  • Best PR Campaign – B2B: ASDA’A BCW – Network
  • Best PR Campaign – Influencer Relations: Q Communications – Mo Salah: The Social Human Network for DHL Express 
  • Best PR Campaign – Digital: Weber Shandwick MENA – How to break the internet in Saudi Arabia for Netflix
  • Best PR Campaign – Crisis Communications: Hill+Knowlton Strategies – Best of BAKU
  • Best PR Campaign – Game Changer: M&C Saatchi Public Relations – #EVERYONESKINGDOM for MOBILY
  • Best Integrated Campaign: Jotun Paints, Master Painter
  • Results on a budget: Atteline – Future-proofing the next generation for STEAMathalon 
  • Best Regional Campaign: Seven Media – Special Olympics World Games
  • Social Impact: BPG Orange – #STEMINIST for L'oréal
  • Best PR Campaign – Media Relations: Seven Media – Special Olympics World Games
  • Strategic Communications Campaign: Cicero & Bernay Public Relations – Azizi Developments
  • Rising Star of the Year: Hadeel Mansour, Markettiers 
  • PR Leader of the Year: Loretta Ahmed, Houbara Communications 
  • Small Consultancy of the Year: Brazen
  • Large Consultancy of the Year: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • In-House Team of the Year: Discovery

PRCA MENA also welcomed new board members this week.

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