«The meetings industry is bad at PR»


(Not many people understand the importance of an impactful headline, for example!)


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ICCA Best PR Award Judging Panel stresses the importance of storytelling in the digital age and adds Johanna Fischer of tmf dialogue marketing as a chairperson and moderator.

Digital and social channels are rapidly changing the field of PR. However, the core values of effective PR remain the same: Both traditional PR and social- and content marketing are about the art of getting others to talk about you in order to amplify and spread your message, and using creative storytelling to achieve this goal.

The ICCA Best PR Award, which was set up in 2012 with ICCA Business Partner International Meetings Review (IMR), aims to increase the PR efforts of ICCA members, the main suppliers to the international meetings industry.

Johanna Fischer is the Managing Director of tmf dialogue marketing, which provides marketing and PR services to ICCA members and has been an ICCA member for almost 10 years. Ms. Fischer will not only be part of the judging panel, but she will also be moderating a session on best practices in PR at the ICCA Congress, in which the Best PR Award finalists share their PR cases with ICCA members: “Great PR builds on the best combination of meetings journalism and marketing/sales driven stories. There is lots of new education for meeting professionals in how social media and a variety of communication channels can work and interact with each other to reach the final goal – marketing and “selling” your meeting product.”


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Martin Lewis, Managing Editor at CAT Publications and Chairman of IMR’s Editorial Advisory Board said: “We believe the meetings industry could be much better at PR. By finding and sharing strong case studies of ICCA members’ activities we hope to increase the PR efforts of the whole meetings industry. PR is all about being creative and finding angles to create a story that engages readers, and which communicates your key messages and brand values. The same principles apply to digital PR.”

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: “Why are ICCA and IMR collaborating in this award? Very simple: we both believe that PR is still the most under-utilised and misunderstood weapon in our industry’s arsenal, and we have a shared mission to demonstrate to ICCA members just how powerful and uplifting great PR can be! It isn’t enough to shout out your message loudly through mainstream marketing, today what’s really critical is for others to be talking positively about you, your objectives, and your successes, and to achieve this goal there is nothing better than well-directed, creative PR. It’s the cheapest way to get noticed too, not to be underestimated in this age of austerity!”

ICCA functions as a PR amplifier for its members, by offering ICCA members some very simple and effective tools to improve their PR efforts, like the ICCA Press Database (often referred to as “The press list for the international meetings industry”), The Digital Clipping Service (an online news monitoring tool), and members have the possibility to share their news by uploading it to the ICCA website and sharing it via ICCA’s social media channels.


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About the ICCA Best PR Award

The ICCA Best PR Award recognises exceptional PR performance by ICCA members, covering both traditional print and web/social media channels. The unique feature of the ICCA Best PR Award competition, in association with International Meetings Review (IMR) is that there is no need to actually send in an entry. Instead, editorial representatives from IMR publishers are carefully evaluating the PR coverage of ICCA members over the course of the year. They are looking out for high-visibility coverage, for strong story-telling, for brand consistency, for innovative and creative ways of successfully using web and social media channels, and for PR that showcases success or helps to overcome a crisis.


For more information visit: bestpraward.iccaworld.com

The judging panel consists of:

  • Johanna Fischer (Chairperson and Moderator), Managing Director of tmf dialogue marketing
  • Martin Lewis, Chairman of IMR’s Editorial Advisory Board and Managing Editor at CAT Publications
  • Roger Kellerman, Publisher at Meetings International
  • Betsy Bair, Content Director at MeetingNet
  • Jena Fox, Editor at International Meetings Review
  • Mathijs Vleeming, Communication Strategist at ICCA

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