How ICCA Created its Public Relations Award

As posted on International Meetings Review

Last year, ICCA launched its inaugural Best PR Award, which was presented to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre by Martin Lewis, Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of International Meetings Review, the sponsor of the Award. IMR’s James Latham spoke with ICCA CEO Martin Sirk for the rationale behind the award.

The basis, Sirk said, was twofold. “One is that we believe our members are gross under-utilizers of PR,” he said, “and it’s really undervalued as a tool.” ICCA has a PR Kit that the Association wants its members to use, so the award was partially established to encourage people to use the kit and get them to understand the value of public relations.

RELATED: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Wins First ICCA Best PR Award

“The second reason was to actually recognize really great PR, because often it’s un-sung and there wasn’t a big award for it, anyway,” Sirk said. “We wanted to really get out there and give some praise where praise was due.”

Martin Lewis said that the 14 member publications of International Meetings Review worked together to spot the public relations efforts and decide on the creativity and efficiency of each. “Then they nominate that activity, which goes through to a shortlist and is then judged by the publishers,” Lewis explained.

RELATED: ICCA Partners with IMR for Public Relations Award

“Once we’ve identified some good candidates,” Sirk continued, “ICCA and a selection of judges from representatives of the media companies get together, identify a short list and then contact those organisations and ask them to provide the full back-story–what was the strategy, how was it executed, did they use an agency, did they do it themselves, how much did they spend, was it cost-effective…so we get a full picture.” Taking all of that into account, the team then decides who should take the top spot.

Ultimately, Lewis said, what makes good PR is the creation of a story. “It’s simple,” he said. “Create a story that engages the readers, and you’ve got a result.”


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