Well, we’ve been looking forward to this for a while. Dubai baby! Yep, we are in the sun-blasted business hub of the Middle East for the latest gathering of Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) – and it’s awards time.
PRGN is a global, invitation-only alliance of the world’s foremost independent PR agencies – Cullen Communications being the sole Irish member – and each year the 50 or so member agencies get to submit their best work as part of the PRGN Best Practice Awards. Everyone has a vote and the winners are presented with their gongs at the network’s autumn meeting.
This year we got everyone on the client team involved in the voting process, a couple of categories each to share around the workload – and the knowledge. This is one of the true benefits of belonging to PRGN, as we get a direct insight into the ideas and strategies that are being devised by some of the best and sharpest PR firms on the planet.
Once again, the standard of this year’s entry has been formidably high. Obviously we won’t divulge where our votes went but some of the work being carried out in cities as far apart as Seattle, Santiago, Moscow, Hamburg and many, many more is just outstanding. Reading through each submission, from background to strategy to execution and finally results, is a brilliant learning exercise and one that can only help every agency involved.
We have a couple of projects in the PRGN awards mix, including work on behalf of both Ford and Continental Tyres, so we’re hopeful that the suitcase will have a little extra something on the way home. Fingers crossed!
Whatever happens, Dubai is also an opportunity to catch up with good friends and great colleagues from our fellow PRGN agencies. These twice-yearly meetings give us a chance to discuss trends and issues in the changing world of PR – there are a number of workshops scheduled – plus of course there’s a bit of socialising to get through as well. Agency chief Owen Cullen will be representing us, and we look forward to all the stories!
We have another piece of work that’s also up for an award this week, same client – Continental Tyres – but a different set of awards and a very different type of project. Our launch of the Continental Tyres Women’s FAI National League has been shortlisted in the 2015 Sport Industry Awards (Best Activation of a Sports Sponsorship) so who knows? Could be a good week.
It’s already been a pretty good week, to be honest, and how fitting it would be if our Ford project scooped an award in the same week that we welcomed to Dublin none other than Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company.
Mr Ford – great grandson of company founder Henry – was in town as guest speaker at the renowned Web Summit tech conference, an event that has been played out against the backdrop of an interesting PR wrangle between organisers and the Irish Government. Mr Ford spoke on Tuesday about the increasing influence of technology in the automotive world – a trend he described as “awesome”.
Plenty going on, as ever. Here’s to a great meeting in Dubai – can’t wait to see all our fellow PRGNers – and here’s to awards of all shapes and sizes!
Cullen Communications is Ireland's sole member of PRGN