The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) concluded its inaugural creative communications festival, REMAP, last week, with more than 500 industry professionals in attendance. The festival included a creative proposal competition, masterclasses and a congress, and culminated with the 10th MEPRA Awards Gala on the 28th November 2018. The Awards ceremony saw Brazen take home Small Agency of the Year and Hill+Knowlton Strategies win the coveted title of Large Agency of the Year.
The Small In-House Team of the Year prize was awarded to Marriott International MEA and Large In-House Team of the Year went to Emirates Global Aluminium. Big winners for the night were Hill+Knowlton Strategies, who took home 13 awards, closely followed by Four Communications Group with 12 awards to their name. This year marked the 10th edition of the MEPRA Awards, which celebrates and recognises the most impactful and creative campaigns in the Middle East. More than 30 agencies and in-house communication teams were shortlisted across 26 categories.
Brazen’s Jennifer Love and Etihad Aviation Group’s Ellie Swingewood were crowned The Dave Robinson Outstanding Young Communicators of the Year, for Agency and In-house respectively, and will each receive a MEPRA Academy scholarship. The prize includes eight complimentary training sessions from the 2019 MEPRA Academy calendar to assist with their continuous professional development.
The 2018 Chairman’s award was awarded to Amina Taher, VP Corporate Affairs, Etihad Aviation Group for outstanding contribution to the industry.
This year saw 231 entries submitted, which were assessed by a panel of more than 50 regional and international industry experts to select the 2018 finalists and winners. The judging process was also reviewed by AMEC CEO Barry Leggetter, who served as an independent adjudicator.
MEPRA Vice Chair, Deema Kingsmill-Moore said: “The 2018 MEPRA Awards represent the culmination of a decade devoted to nurturing the regional communications sector. The quality of the work and the calibre of PR practitioners recognized this year demonstrate the impact our organization continues to make in regional communications, faithful always to our founding principal of representing our members and amplifying the power of their work. In recognition of this milestone, MEPRA extended its annual Awards event with the launch of an accompanying series of communications industry events. The ‘REMAP’ masterclass is designed entirely to make us better at what we do. Household industry names came to impart critical insights to an audience of the best and brightest in Middle East Public Relations.”
For the first time, the MEPRA Awards were preluded by a series of industry events under the brand REMAP. The three-day festival provided practitioners from across the region the chance to learn, share knowledge and celebrate the best through one event in Dubai. The REMAP masterclasses, which were held from 26-27 November, 2018 included a workshop on ‘How to Run a PR Agency’, led by David Brain, the former President and CEO of Edelman, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and a session on ‘Mastering Government Communications’ with Gemmaine Walsh, the Director of Communications for the UK Government.
The REMAP creative communications congress held on the 28th November in the lead up to the Awards brought in six renowned international speakers to discuss the evolution of modern PR, building connections through content and tapping into the minds of content creators to unleash the undiscovered realm of creative thinking.
Speakers included, Anthony Geffen, an Emmy & BAFTA Award winning creative director; Ryan Holiday, a marketing guru and international best-selling author; and Gerry Hopkinson, CEO and Founder of Unity London, an agency which has been awarded ‘Most Creative Agency in the World’ by Holmes Report and Creative Consultancy of the Year by SABRE. VICE MENA, Snapchat, Google, Hyper Island, Promont and RCG Media also joined the stellar line up of speakers to deliver inspiring debates engaging topics and showcase globally recognised campaigns.
MEPRA Chair, Ray Eglington said: “This festival of creative communications has been the biggest and most successful event in MEPRA’s history, reflecting the growing maturity of the industry in the region. We’ve been delighted to welcome such an impressive array of international experts and to celebrate the excellence of the award-winning campaigns.”
The 2018 MEPRA Awards and REMAP Festival was supported by corporate and agency partners including, APCO Worldwide, Etihad Aviation Group, Mubadala Investment Company, Four Communications Group, Hanover Middle East, CARMA, Multiply Consultancy, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Kingston Stanley, YouGov, LexisNexis, Middlesex University Dubai and PRWeek.
To view the full list of 2018 MEPRA Award winners visit www.mepra.org/awards