Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The 15th edition of the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards took centre stage on November 23rd at the Atlantis, The Palm, marking a historic moment with the largest ever judging panel. The event, attended by over 500 guests and 87 organisations, transformed into a red-carpet spectacle for Middle East-based agencies and professionals across 47 award categories.
In celebration of the best public relations strategies and campaigns, the awards ceremony spotlighted outstanding performance in the industry throughout 2023. From impactful communication campaigns to outstanding organisational excellence, finalists demonstrated brilliance in concept, execution and brand building. The MEPRA Awards, now considered the benchmark of high performance in the Middle East public relations industry, has organically grown in popularity since its inception in 2008.
The 2023 MEPRA Awards drew 750 entries across diverse categories, recognising the best agencies, individuals, teams, campaigns, techniques, and innovative solutions meeting evolving industry demands. PR professionals seized the opportunity to showcase creativity, receiving accolades for strategies, leadership, and impact. The event featured a special address by Mr Sunil John, President of BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), highlighting the positive impact that communicators have on industries.
Among the notable wins, Gambit Communications claimed Medium Agency of the Year, while Memac Ogilvy set an industry precedent for the Best Campaign Demonstrating DE&I Initiatives. Current Global, FP7 and Heinz celebrated team spirit with the Best Collaborative Campaign, and Sticky Ginger secured the Best Food and Beverages Campaign. New categories brought fierce competition, with Hill & Knowlton Strategies named Large Agency of the Year, Current Global MENAT as Small Agency of the Year and Brazen MENA awarded Best Homegrown Agency.
In Sector and Services, Hill & Knowlton, TECOM Group and Emirates Red Crescent secured Best Business to Business, while Weber Shandwick MENAT and OnStar by General Motors together won Best Consumer Services Campaign. In Techniques and Services, Dubai Holding earned Best Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement campaign and Action Global Communications claimed Best Campaign Demonstrating Environmental Initiatives. The Best in Market category witnessed Memac Ogilvy triumph Best Campaign in the UAE while Havas Red Middle East excelled in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, winning Gold in both.
The Chairman's Award honoured MEPRA Executive Board Member and Communications Consultant, Monther Tayeb and the Young Communicator of the Year Award celebrated industry newcomer Khyati Megchiani of Brazen MENA.
Memac Ogilvy took home an impressive total of 20 awards, securing the highest number of titles, closely trailed by Weber Shandwick MENAT with 19 accolades, and Hill & Knowlton in close pursuit with 17 awards.
“This year's awards ceremony was special for more reasons than one. With four new categories and the largest-ever judging panel, it demonstrated stringent processes to select nothing but the best. We are delighted to celebrate the winners as these communication experts are driving the industry forward with innovation and passion. The PR campaigns recognized today are beyond boardroom strategies and the collaborative approach feted speaks volumes of the region's willingness to explore newer avenues within the industry. MEPRA will continue encouraging growth in industry standards, skills, and creativity and is immensely proud to establish a platform where PR practitioners are recognised for their worthy contributions. I take this opportunity to congratulate all the finalists and winners,” said Kate Midttun, Chairperson of MEPRA.
Nominees were evaluated by an expert panel of over 112 regional and international industry experts to select the 2023 finalists and winners. The 2023 MEPRA Awards received support from partners including Weber Shandwick as Diamond sponsor along with Carma, Edelman, Four Agency Worldwide, TrailRunner International, Place Communications, Hill & Knowlton, First and Ten Productions, Matrix Public Relations, and AMEC Measurement and Evaluation.
The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) is the leading industry body for the public relations and communications industry in the Middle East. MEPRA has more than 1,000 members, which include consultancies, corporates with in-house public relations functions, and individual industry professionals. The organisation was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. MEPRA drives growth and sets standards of excellence in regional public relations. It is the unique voice for the industry and aims to nurture the development of public relations professionals.
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