WEDNESDAY 11 MAR 2015 12:19 PM

MEDIA RELATIONS LEADS THE WAY FOR PR AT DUBAI LYNX AWARDS

At what was once the home of advertising and marketing, the Dubai Lynx public relations awards recognised some of the most effective and impactful campaigns in the Middle East. While most shortlisted projects were consumer facing, those that embraced Lynx’s core value of creativity were able to excel. 

Kafa, a women's rights organisation in Lebanon received a gold for it's voting influence campaign. MTV took home a gold for Revive Culture and Sony went home with a gold for the world's first underwater store. The Grand Prix went to a popular campaign on the evening - Coc-Cola's Hello Happiness - which the PR jury president said, "We really wanted to have invented that ourselves."

For Coca-Cola Company, the Hello Happiness Phone Booth enabled Coke to ease an inconvenient issue – that of citizens taking their own ID photos – by putting Coca-Cola’s happiness brand value to work. The result was a photo booth that took photos of smiling faces leading to happy IDs, happy people and a free Coke.

Across the shortlist, companies focus on their brand values, their ability to tell a story through their communications and for most, their position as a global company in creating successful public relations campaigns. Coca-Cola’s Chinese arm devised a promotion to yield a higher profit off bottled water while providing clean water to thousands of Chinese children without access to it. The cultural tensions in Lebanon and the Levant were addressed through campaigns to rediscover local culture and unite broken communities. Another campaign, Text if You Can, based in Lebanon was designed to encourage safe driving practices.

For most Lynx winners in the PR category, the successes – and objectives – were largely based around media relations. In regards to product launches and social missions, this is to be expected from PR campaigns, yet the field has yet to widen in order to embrace strategic, stakeholder influencing PR. One campaign, Emirates NBD’s Hey Future Me project was designed to change the perception of the bank among affluent parents. It sought to reposition the bank from a simple service provider to a brand that knows children and families.

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