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ASDA'A BCW - PR Agency of the Year in the Middle East and Africa

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: ASDA'A BCW, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Company Description: Over the last 15 years, ASDA'A BCW has earned its reputation as the Middle East’s leading public relations consultancy and the benchmark of PR practice in the region. The company’s growing list of prestigious clients and high-profile industry awards reflect this position. ASDA’A ASDA'A BCW, a WPP company, has 11 wholly owned offices and reaches into 18 Middle East nations.
Nomination Category: Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Public Relations Agency of the Year in the Middle East and Africa

Nomination Title: ASDA'A BCW

Tell the story about what this nominated agency achieved since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

SITUATION ANALYSIS

ASDA’A BCW is the region’s leading public relations consultancy and an integral part of the top three global firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW). With 10 wholly-owned offices and seven affiliates across 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the agency became, in 2018, a separate reporting geography within the BCW for the first time, joining Europe & Africa, North America, Latin America and Asia as an independent entity. Named the leading PR consultancy in the region by PRWeek, our strength in providing strategic solutions and deep industry experience uniquely positions us to meet clients’ complex communications needs.

In 2017 we reported another year of phenomenal growth, with double-digit revenue increases in a challenging market. Our journey and progress has been under the constant leadership of Sunil John, Founder & CEO, who was named President of BCW’s Middle East operations in March 2018.

Why are we agency of the year?

Work: Our integrated approach has produced award-winning work including our ‘Ford KSA: Women in the Driving Seat’ campaign which received a coveted Global SABRE; and our 2018 Arab Youth Survey which picked up a PRWeek Global 2018 award and the IN2 Sabre EMEA for Thought Leadership in PR Award for a record third consecutive year.

Sunil John was presented with an inaugural Middle East PR Association (MEPRA) Fellowship at the 2018 MEPRA Leadership Majlis, and the agency received the Public Affairs Asia Gold Standard Award for MEA Firm of the Year 2017, marking the agency’s best-ever year for wins, with almost 40 trophies added to the display case.

Growth: We continue to compete across every sector and market in which we operate and grew our client roster with new business wins including: UAE Federal Tax Authority (Phase 3), Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Dubai Chamber, leading low-cost carrier Air Arabia, Telecom provider Zain Bahrain, Snapchat, UNHCR, and leisure retailer Sun & Sand Sports. In Saudi Arabia, our impressive run continues, winning major briefs from the Ministry of Education, and the social and economic transformation initiative Vision 2030.

People: To be successful, we rely solely on our people, which is why this year we focused on hiring in our HR department - to boost professional development, employee engagement and training; as well as in marketing, to better show the industry and the region our accomplishments. We strengthened our operations in key markets, particularly Saudi Arabia, as new opportunities emerged. Across our offices, employees are drawn from 31 nationalities and have an average tenure of four years – well beyond the industry standard –with many here for a decade or more.

Clients: By demonstrating that we are the agency that best understands the region, and by applying global thinking to demonstrate industry leadership, we have created longstanding relationships with many clients. For 14 years we have been the PR agency for Ford Middle East and for Emaar, the region’s leading property developer. We’ve served ENOC, the Dubai oil company, for 13 years and GE for 12 years. Top local bank Emirates NBD, Lufthansa and the UAE Prime Minister’s Office all engaged us in 2010, and we are confident of building more long-lasting relationships with many more clients.

Thought leadership: We continue to demonstrate the value of effective thought leadership campaigns to our clients and industry: TheAnnual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, the only independent research of its kind into the Arab world’s biggest demographic, dominated headlines once again, with the flagship initiative gaining traction around the world and resulting in an 18% increase in print, online and broadcast coverage from 2017.

As this year marked the milestone 10th edition, the theme of the 2018 survey encompassed the whole decade and our much-anticipated gala launch event was attended by leading government, business, and media figures who came to see the findings unveiled and discussed with an expert panel.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated agency since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

HIGHLIGHTS

-Major client wins amounting to $5.9 million extra revenue, including RAK Tourism Development Authority, Federal Tax Authority, Zain Bahrain, Snap Chat and UNHCR.
-Strengthened leadership in our wholly owned subsidiaries – PSB Research and Proof Integrated Communications and with our support functions in HR and recruitment
-Investment in our people and their development
-Best-ever year for Award wins: over 40 Awards across IBAs, PR Week, MEPRAs and SABREs
-10thArab Youth Survey secures18% increase in the total print, online and broadcast coverage hits from 2017.
-Longstanding clients such as Emaar (14 years), Ford Middle East (14 years), ENOC (13 years), GE (12 years), Emirates NBD (8 years), Lufthansa (8 years) and UAE Prime Minister’s Office (8 years).