MENA public relations pioneer recognised among ‘Top 50 Game-Changers of PR’ in global ranking
Cicero & Bernay founder Ahmad Itani only MENA PR leader inthe PR News globallist
Ahmad Itani, COO of UAE-based Cicero & Bernay Public Relations (C&B), has been recognisedin PR News’ globalranking of the ‘Top 50 Game Changers of PR for 2017’. C&B is the only PR agency from the MENA region to appear on the list – a global ranking which celebratesindividuals who have been accelerating the expansion and growth of brand communication across the world. Theglobal PR community has been posting its nominations since last spring and the final selections were made recently by the PR News editorial team.
Ahmad Itani commented: “It is both a great honour and a great responsibility to appear on this list – not only to be representing the MENA region and to rank among global PR powerhouses, but alsoexciting to be charged with continuing to making a real difference in our industry –locally and globally. To do this, I believe it is now more crucial than ever for PR professionals to anticipate where the industry is going andto ensure that they are equipped to take on the future. This involvesadopting global trends and then adapting them not only to the local market but also to each client. At C&B, we believe in answering the distinct business objectives of every account; one size no longer fits all.”
With the digital era continuing to change the face of PR, the selection criteria applied by PR News was comprehensive, encompassing both traditional and new-age methods – from an individual’s mastery of traditional PR skills to a command of social media, data and analytics, visual storytelling, influencer marketing, SEO, content marketing, and advertising. The list honoursindustry pioneers who areinnovating and pushing the boundaries of brand communication to new heights, including leaders from top global companies such as IBM, Pinterest, and PWC.
Ahmad Itani added: “At C&B, we have keptabreast of the rapidevolution of our industry by launching dedicated digital and brand outreach programmes, and by becoming the first public relations consultancy to launch an influencer communication division – ‘See & Be’. ”
Under Ahmad Itani’s leadership, C&B became the first organisation in the region to adopt new-age communication tactics includingdigital outreach, experiential activation, thought leadership, and content amplification. C&B similarly took the lead in extending beyond traditional media to reach out to new contributors including bloggers, and beyond the UAE to enhance its MENA network capabilities via strategic affiliations in 14 markets. The agency will have offices across 16 markets by the end of 2017, giving it an unrivalled regional footprint.
The agency celebrated another regional first when it was awarded three golds at the Middle East PR Association Awards 2016 for ‘Best Government Communications’, ‘Best Use of Sponsorship’ and ‘Best Employee Engagement’, also being shortlisted for seven categories and winning a silver for ‘Best Corporate Reputation Management’.
C&B’s pioneering attitude reflects the vision and growth of Dubai itself, which is underpinned by an ambitious pursuit of excellence and innovation across all fields.
Ahmad Itani concluded: “The right stakeholder communication is now an integral part of any business plan. This mandates that PR professionals are more actively involved in helping companies to meet targets and objectives, and inachieving measurable results. PR must be about having a real and quantifiable impact for our clients, not just in terms of reputation but also in delivering a solid return on investment; in fact, this is where the game has changed.”