The Middle East PR Association (MEPRA), which is considered the leading public relations industry awards program in the Middle East, recently announced new guidelines for their 2012 awards (article in the Gulf News). Judging guidelines are now more transparent, so agencies will know how they are being evaluated. Also, they will be requiring agencies to show measurement beyond advertising value equivalency (AVE).
Moving away from AVE as the key measurement tool is an important step for the industry as ad rates don’t accurately represent the value of public relations campaigns. When a key player in the industry recognizes that publically, clients will follow.
MEPRA is an important body since public relations continues to grow in importance in the Middle East, so it’s good to see them using that influence to advance the industry. The awards add a sense of legitimacy to the field and reward the great work that happens in the region.
Here is Iain Twine, Edelman’s general manager of the Middle East, discussing the importance of the awards (originally posted on Edelman UAE’s blog Arabian Bytes):
The MEPRA Awards will be held on Wednesday 5, December 2012 in Dubai, so be on the lookout to see some of the great campaigns from the past year. The top picture is the Edelman team last year after winning 2011 Agency of the Year.
Julie Wilder is a Fellow for Edelman in Abu Dhabi, from Los Angeles.