The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) announced the finalists for the 2020 MEPRA Awards this week, the largest-ever edition, with more than 80 organisations shortlisted across 51 categories. 460 entries were submitted this year, with the most entered for ‘Best Integrated Campaign’ and ‘Best Creative Approach During Covid-19’. More than 30 entries were submitted for each category, providing a clear indication of where the industry’s work was focused in 2020.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, together with MullenLowe MENA and markettiers MENA lead the nominations for their entry; The World’s Tallest Donation Box, a campaign which put the Burj Khalifa’s 1.2 million lights up for sale to raise funds and provide meals for hard-hit communities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The submission is up for six awards.
This year brought in new contenders for the Small Agency of the Year title, with more entries submitted for this category than ever before. New entrants; Gambit Communications, Sticky Ginger, Cylka Corporate Social Responsibility and Matrix PR join Atteline, Acorn Strategy, Brazen MENA, KEKST CNC, markettiers and SOCIATE in battling it out for the coveted title.
Havas PR is this year’s new nominee for the Large Agency of the Year category, joining the usual contenders; APCO Worldwide, ASDA’A BCW, Four Communications, Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Weber Shandwick MENAT.
For the first time, the Dave Robinson Outstanding Young Communicator of the Year Agency & In-House winners will be invited to join the MEPRA Youth Board and with six former winners to help shape MEPRA’s strategy for engaging and supporting young communicators in the region.
Finalists will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze during a virtual MEPRA Awards ceremony on Wednesday, 9th December 2020. For the first time, MEPRA has developed an online showcase, which includes a preview of all shortlisted entries for each category so entrants can review their competition ahead of the awards ceremony next month.
This year marks the 12th edition of the MEPRA Awards, the communications industry’s most prestigious event, which celebrates and recognises the most creative and impactful practitioners in the Middle East. The annual Awards is open to all Middle East based agencies, corporates, government organisations and non-profits working in the communications profession.
This year’s entries were assessed by a panel of more than 50 regional and international industry experts to select the 2020 finalists and winners. The judging process was also reviewed by CARMA CEO Richard Bagnall, who served as an independent adjudicator. This year, shortlisted entries were limited to 10 per category. For categories, which received a larger collection of entries, only the top 10 were shortlisted, even if the submission reached over the 70% scoring threshold.
MEPRA Awards Adjudicator, AMEC Chair and Co-Managing Partner CARMA International, Richard Bagnall said:
“Once again I have been honoured to chair the judging panel for the annual MEPRA Awards. This year I have reviewed nearly 50 entries from across the region allowing me to see the brilliant and diverse PR and comms work being undertaken. As we face a challenging economic environment, it is critical that PR and comms professionals can tell a meaningful measurement story and evaluate their activity with credible and relevant metrics. We saw many examples of entries linking their communications strategy to desired organisational outcomes which is to be celebrated, and truly represents international best practice. My thanks to the team of judges who have worked so hard to be fair and thorough in their assessment of the entries, and my warm congratulations to all of those shortlisted and the winners!”
For the third year, the MEPRA Awards ceremony will be preluded by the REMAP Creative Communications Festival, which will also be held virtually, allowing more practitioners than ever before the chance to learn, share knowledge and celebrate the best through one event. The Festival will be held over two afternoons on 7th and 8th December. So far, speakers include; Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Creative Director, Behavioural Science lead + author at Ogilvy UK; Roy Armale, Global Chief Innovation Officer at Geometry; and Andrew Elia, Managing Director of Arishi (a VR and AR agency based in the UK which just opened in Abu Dhabi.
The 2020 MEPRA Awards is supported by corporate and agency partners including, Acorn Strategy, Brazen MENA, CARMA, Emirates Global Aluminium, Emirates Water and Electricity Company, Hanover Middle East, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Travelport, Nunify Networks Unified, Mubadala Investment Company and YouGov MENA and Zayed University.
To purchase virtual seats and party packs for the 2020 MEPRA Awards and REMAP Creative Communications Festival, visit mepra.org/events