The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) hosted the second “MEPRA Leadership Majlis” at the Ritz Carlton on the May 25, 2016. The forum was held under the theme, “The Future of Public Relations in the Middle East: Innovation, Disruption, and Relevance” and saw discussions amongst prominent PR and communication specialists on a plethora of industry hot topics.
Commenting on the event, Brian Lott, chairman of MEPRA, says in a press statement, “MEPRA has been introducing innovative techniques to improve the standards in public relations across the region. We believe that the communications industry in this region has evolved as a whole and a platform like the MEPRA Majlis is a great way to evaluate how far we have come and how we can adopt creativity and efficiency in our campaigns. With the introduction of the Benchmark tool, we want agencies and in-house departments to analyze how their practices are lucrative and identify new areas that can be tapped.”
With over 200 attendees, the Gala provided a pedestal for communication professionals the opportunity to network and build new relations. The speaker line-up included H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairwoman of twofour55; Peter Baumgartner, chief operating officer for Etihad Airways; Rania Rostom, chief innovation and communications officer for GE, and Yousef Tuqan, vice-president of marketing and analytics at Careem.
This year’s MEPRA Majlis showcased the results of a new research report developed by MEPRA, called Benchmark, allowing agencies and in-house departments to evaluate their practices and performance across 12 elements of communications. Approximately 138 senior PR practitioners from 233 offices across 14 Middle East countries, employing more than 1,600 PR associates, took part in the study.
The Majlis featured a panel discussion between regional communicators on the topic of “Who Drives Innovation: Clients or the PR Industry?” The panelists included Blue Rubicon’s Simon Buerk, Marriott International’s Deema Kingsmill-Moore, Edelman’s Tod Donhauser, Stakeholder Communications and DTCM’s Aida Al Busaidi, and H+K Strategies’ Sconaid McGeachin,
Culminating the event, MEPRA awarded the MEPRA Visionary Award to H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, recognizing her valuable contribution to the communication industry in the region. Commenting on the award, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, said, “I am honored and humbled to receive this award from MEPRA. The PR and Communication industry plays an important role in the growth story of the UAE, supporting all sectors to build their reputations and in doing so, helping to build the reputation of the UAE. The work MEPRA is doing to support communication professionals with the latest trends and tools will help to ensure the UAE is at the forefront of best practice in the region.”