The second Public Relations Congress, the premier annual conference for the Middle East’s Public Relations (PR) industry, drew to a close recently at the JW Marriott Hotel in Dubai. The four-day event saw leading regional and international PR experts enlighten an audience of over 150 PR professionals from across the region on the latest thinking and best practice in the ever-changing field of public relations.
A highlight of PR Congress 2006, which was organised by IIR Middle East in association with the Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA), was the announcement of the first ‘PR Professional of the Year’ Award which was presented to Dr. Khalid Bomtaia from Aluminium Bahrain.
“We are overwhelmed by the success of the PR Congress 2006,” said Jennie Bishop, Conference Manager, IIR. “The response generated by this event is perhaps a reflection of the coming of age of the regional PR industry. Organisations from both the private and public sector in the region have recognised the power of public relations in strengthening brand image and maximising visibility, thereby contributing to the exceptional growth of the regional PR industry. An event such as this serves as an ideal platform for PR professionals in the Middle East to familiarise themselves with new trends in the global public relations scenario, and we are certainly pleased with the outcome of this edition of the event.”
The first two days of the PR Congress 2006 featured keynote addresses and panel discussions where an impressive line-up of 30 leading international and regional PR, media and corporate marketing communications professionals shared their forward thinking approaches to best practice PR and communications. The discussions highlighted issues such as trends, influences, challenges and development of the regional PR industry, media relations, campaign strategies, crisis management, Corporate Social Responsibility and winning and retaining clients.
The last two days of the Congress hosted four informative and interactive workshops on the highly relevant and practical topics, ‘Writing Skills Masterclass-Making your news releases work for you’, ‘Facing The Camera: First Impressions Always Count’, ‘How To Effectively Measure, Evaluate and Analyse Your PR Performance’, and ‘Pitching To Win: Powerful Business Speaking Skills.’
“The high profile participants that the PR Congress 2006 attracted and the quality of sessions conducted underline the relevance and practical value of the event. The growth projected for the PR industry in the region for the coming years gives us every reason to believe that the PR Congress in October 2007 will be even bigger, in terms of participation and scope,” said Bishop.
Some of the prominent participants at Public Relations Congress 2006 included Sadri Barrage, Chairman, MEPRA; Loula Zaklama, President of International Public Relations Association (IPRA), Egypt; Michael Pirrie, International Media Advisor, London Organising Committee Of The Olympic Games, UK; Paul Charles, Director of Corporate Communications, Virgin Atlantic Airways, UK; Mike Seymour, International Director for Crisis Management at Edelman PR Worldwide, UK; Nima Abu-Wardeh, Presenter, BBC World and Brandy Scott, Presenter, Dubai Eye Radio.
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