The first CNN Academy in the world opens its doors for applications today for journalists of the future to learn about multiplatform storytelling.

Starting in January 2021, the intensive learning programme will offer a full-time five-week course with a combination of online learning sessions and in-person workshops that will take place at CNN at twofour54, the home of Abu Dhabi’s media and entertainment industry.

Over the course of more than ten years since CNN first began broadcasting from Abu Dhabi, now one of its major international hubs, the network has continually expanded its footprint, multilingual content, and programming. In 2020 and beyond, CNN is building on its commitment to foster the growth of quality journalism through educational and training initiatives designed to equip youth across the region with the latest journalism and broadcasting skills.

Led by a team of experienced journalists, content creators and production specialists from around the world, academy participants will learn important industry skills including broadcast engineering, field production, interview techniques, how CNN gathers information, verifies sources and creates content across all platforms.


Becky Anderson, Managing Editor of CNN Abu Dhabi and Anchor of Connect the World will lead some of the curriculum and take the academy into CNN’s state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi bureau at twofour54. Going behind the scenes of the region’s flagship current affairs show, Connect the World with Becky Anderson, students will gain valuable experience about how the programme and its digital content is produced.


The syllabus will also include insights into CNN Arabic and the local media landscape along with digital storytelling, mobile journalism, photography and post-production. By the end of the course students will have learned a wide range of journalism and production skills and be able to develop a raw story idea into a broadcast-ready short film with accompanying digital and social media content. The best work created by students will be featured on CNN’s broadcast channels.


Rani Raad, President of CNN Commercial Worldwide, said: “Some of CNN’s most memorable and important journalism has taken place here in the Middle East, a region which has continued to grow in importance to our network through Abu Dhabi being one of our major global hubs and with the growth of CNN Arabic. CNN Academy is our latest commitment to the region as we foster the growth of quality journalism and champion local talent in Abu Dhabi, a place we’ve called home for almost 11 years.”


Becky Anderson said: “CNN Academy Abu Dhabi marks the latest step in CNN’s continued support of local learning and development and supplements our internship schemes, community work and partnership with the ZHO around People with Determination. With 40 years of newsgathering and over a decade of producing and broadcasting in the Middle East, CNN is able to offer extensive insights into the culture, economics, innovation and global impact that the region has. I’m proud to be involved in encouraging and supporting more upcoming journalists here.”


The twofour54 training hub, which houses its Creative Lab and Image Nation’s Arab Film Studio, will provide facilities and infrastructure including equipment, learning resources, student liaison and outreach along with the graduation ceremony.


Applications for CNN Academy Abu Dhabi are now open to applicants from the UAE and across the region over the age of 21. Entry requirements include a one-minute video demonstrating suitability for the course and a written pitch outlining a story idea for the CNN audience. The closing date to apply is 31st October.


  • END –

Media relations:

Joann Joseph,  Senior Account Executive,  or  +971 52 104 3582





Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 20 September 2020: Brazen MENA, five-times winner of Small Consultancy of the year, has launched what it believes to be the first-ever dedicated social media page to showcase PR agency credentials in the region.

Aptly named ‘Instacreds’, the page allows audiences to find out more about the award-winning agency, its team, work and services using a grid of nine squares and a series of story highlights.  The initiative was developed as an innovative post-Covid response to the lack of face to face ‘chemistry meetings’ used at credentials and pitch stages.

The InstaCreds can be found at @TrailBlazingPRMENA – and emphasises the agency’s stance to cut-through the clutter using strategic planning combined with creativity to carve out narratives for brands which quite literally leave a trail blazing in its path.

Louise Jacobson, Managing Partner Brazen MENA comments: “We’ve always known the importance of social media in the region, but since the outbreak of Covid-19, we saw the usage of social media increase by an astounding 30%. 


“Since March this year we have had to continually re-strategise in all areas to ensure we continue to prosper in what has been a very challenging market – and part of this has been devising solutions to reach out to prospective clients in lieu of face to face meetings.  We always like to do things differently at Brazen MENA and with that, continually innovate. We’re delighted to have created what we believe is the first-ever agency credentials to be showcased on Instagram. A nine-square grid with story highlights which tells you all you need to know about Brazen MENA in an innovative and engaging way instead of multiple slides on a PowerPoint deck – and in a way that overcomes the challenges of not being able to meet prospective clients in person, and this could very well become the way forward in which agency’s choose to showcase their work.”


Brazen MENA chose the social platform as a means to showcase its credentials as due to Instagram being one of the fastest growing platforms in the region – and as one of the fastest-growing agencies across MENA, it was a simple, but effective and ingenuous fit.

The page sits alongside its already popular @BrazenMENAPR handle which keeps audiences up-to-date with highlights of the agency’s work, the team and insights into the ever-evolving communications industry including its popular #SocialSunday which talks about the latest social media trends


For more information on Brazen please visit


For more information please contact Louise Jacobson at Brazen

  1. +971 4 240 8395 M.+ 971 52 873 6960



Welcome to the future, in the form of a gloriously retro drive thru event as TishTash PR partners with Costa Coffee

15th September saw over 200 influencers and media and a combined audience of millions in terms of social media following and circulation, descend on #TishTashThru, held at the Costa Coffee Drive Thru on Al Wasl Road for an efficient yet innovative and Covid friendly event of the season.

Brought to you by your friends at TishTash, what is #TishTashTru exactly? Well, think a drive thru with a twist – with the path from entry to exit full to the brim with the latest beauty, health and wellness trends, with a few branded surprises along the way.

#TishTashThru marks the beginning of a unique breed of creative event, a start of a new frontier and a glimpse of things to come. The best thing – attendees didn’t even need to leave their cars! With more than a hint of the fabulous 1950s, retro drive thru events are turning out to be this season’s entertainment salvation globally – because, let’s face it, it’s been a rollercoaster of a year – we could all do with a lighthearted interlude or two.

With attendees given an hourly slot in which to arrive, fun motivational messages greeted cars as they wound their way leisurely through the drive thru with brands including Kibsons, Earth Goods, Missha, Medcare, Vierro, Citron, FC Beauty, Prickly Pear, Skin Republic, Izil Beauty, Caha Capo, Mustela, Champion Cleaners and many more showcasing their seasonal launches, allowing attendees to get an exclusive preview of new products and ventures. With each drive thru window revealing much more than fast food, #TishTashThru was a veritable voyage of discovery for beauty obsessives and wellness aficionados.

Attendees exited with wellness-orientated tips and tricks, the obligatory beauty stash, their Costa order of choice from the new Value Menu and a heady dose of motivation, TishTash style.

On partnering with TishTash on this event, Shemaine Jones, Head of Marketing at Emirates Leisure Retail said, “It was an amazing event delivered by the team at TishTash. What seemed like a crazy idea was brought to life and delivered fantastically. We reached over 200 influencers in a fun and safe manner and the coverage has been amazing and we had the highest attendance of ANY event we have ever done!!! Thank you to the amazing TishTash team!”

So, will we see you at the next one?

For more information visit or @tishtashtalks @TishTashTots.

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About TishTash Marketing & Public Relations:
TishTash: Talking beauty brilliantly since 2012. TishTash is a female owned and operated boutique beauty and wellness communications agency who use their beauty know how and passion for the latest trends to create campaigns that get brands noticed. TishTash like to talk. They know the power of a brilliant story and its importance in building a brand. Always with a personal touch, TishTash pride themselves on creative, playful, quality work that delivers awareness, consumer demand and importantly return on investment. The agency purposefully remains small in size, working selectively with the best and the brightest emerging and established brands in the industry across the GCC region. TishTash know the storylines that connect with client audiences – because they are the target audience. With a team of fierce females, they get it – from millennials to mums to menopausals, they understand what resonates, empowers and spurs them to take action. The agency is currently talking brilliantly for ASICS, The Body Shop, Bath & Body Works, Rodial, Filorga, NuFace, Sukin, Skin Republic, Medcare, PMD Beauty, This Works and FACES Middle East to name just a few. Learn more at and keep up with their journey on Instagram (@TishTashTalks) and Facebook (

For media enquiries please contact:
Natasha Hatherall / 0553100896

Amman – Jordan – 07/09/2020 Public Relations and Communications Association MENA (PRCA MENA) has welcomed Bashir Mraish Consultancy (BMC) as its latest Corporate member.

Bashir Mraish Consultancy (BMC) is a leading public relations consultancy working with organisations in Iraq, Libya, Jordan, and Syria, to increase their brand presence.

The PRCA offers a wide range of training courses and networking opportunities to PR professionals.

Mr. Bashir Mraish has expressed his enthusiasm for joining the world’s largest PR professional body, saying: “I’m very excited to join PRCA and being a member of your company as a member. From training opportunities to valuable awards events, the PRCA offers a wide range of opportunities that we are happy to be part of as a growing agency.”

As Hayley Clements, PRCA MENA General Manager, expressed her enthusiasm for BMC joining as a member; saying: “I am proud to welcome Bashir Mraish Consultancy as a new member of PRCA, and personally look forward to working with and supporting the team at this exciting time of growth. As our access to the Middle East and North Africa expands, there is no better time to become part of the Assembly. BMC will be able to enjoy our training sessions and networking opportunities at our events across the year.”

PRCA offers individual and corporate membership. They champion best practices in communications, promote ethical behavior, and provide unmatched networking opportunities.

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About BMC

BMC was established in 2008 and is located in Jordan and is distributed in Iraq, Libya, the UAE, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a company that builds the identity of your project, communicates and translates your message on the ground, and provides advice to get the results of your project.

The Consultancy is based on the principle of innovation and the constant pursuit of knowledge through certification and training to gain experience and continuous expansion.

For further information, kindly visit our website or follow us on social media platforms:


  • Jordan |+962 79 602 0000
  • UAE |+971 5 62448068


About the PRCA

The PRCA was founded in London in 1969 and launched PRCA MENA in 2016 with the aim of raising standards in PR and communications.

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body.

We represent more than 35,000 PR professionals in 70 countries worldwide. With offices in London, Singapore, Dubai, and Buenos Aires, we are a global advocate for excellence in public relations.

Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry. We champion – and enforce – professional standards in the UK and overseas through our Professional Charter and Code of Conduct. The Code compels members to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice.

We deliver exceptional training, authoritative industry data, and global networking and development opportunities. We also manage the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), the umbrella body for 41 PR associations and 3,000 agencies across the world, and LG Comms – the UK’s national body for authorities raising standards of local government communication.


The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Ethics Council has today launched its annual global #PRCAethics Month in September, under a thematic banner, “The PoweR of Ethical PR.”

A range of free-of-charge #PRCAethics educational and advocacy content throughout September will spur renewed ethics conversations, centered on issues impacting the global PR industry.

The ultimate goal: transition PR dialogues toward stronger ethics-driven action, behavior and C-suite / board-level executive counsel.

The #PRCAethics content will flow seamlessly into the PRCA’s UK National Conference theme, “PR as a Force for Positive Change,” set for Thursday, 24th September 2020.

The Council also has announced that it will undertake a research audit project, with results in early 2021, which will inform agenda-setting toward the Council’s formal remit, “To raise ethical standards around the world.”

The PRCA Ethics Council – which was formed in May 2020 – has recently appointed American Mary Beth West, Senior Strategist of Fletcher Marketing PR, as its Co-Chair with David Gallagher. More announcements will be forthcoming as the Council continues to evolve, including geographic representation and ambassadorship.

The Ethics Council is now composed of working groups under Framework, Research, Engagement, Liaison, Practice Review and Newsletter committees, with work scopes in progress.

David Gallagher of Omnicom PR and PRCA Ethic Council Chair, commented:

“In a calendar year defined by utter disruption and chaos at transformative levels, one thing in our industry has remained steadfast: the importance of ethical decision-making, relationship-management and communications. This September, the PRCA will join once more with our members to drive ethics as a global topic to the larger public. It’s an inherent part of our organisational brand.”

PRCA members and other public relations practitioners worldwide can follow the #PRCAethics conversation and tap into free resources and programs, using that hashtag across social media.

– David Gallagher. President, Growth and International Development of Omnicom Public Relations Group. Former Chairman of PRCA UK. Former President of ICCO.
– Mary Beth West. Senior Strategist of Fletcher Marketing PR

– Bob Pickard. Principal of Signal Leadership Communication Inc.
– Bridget von Holdt. Business Director of BCW. President of ICCO Africa.
– Claire Walker. CEO of Firefly Communications Group. Chairman of PRCA UK Professional Practices Committee
– Francis Ingham. Director General of PRCA. Chief Executive of ICCO
– Gustavo Averbuj. CEO and Regional Director Latin America of Ketchum. Chairman of PRCA Latin America
– Kim Sample. President of PR Council.
– Kiri Sinclair. Founder and CEO of Sinclair, Partnerships Chair of PRHK
– Lee Nugent. Executive Vice President APAC of Archetype. Chairman of PRCA Southeast Asia
– Massimo Moriconi. General Manager & Amministratore Delegato of OmnicomPRGroup Italy
– Matt Neale. Global CEO of Golin. Former Chairman of PRCA UK
– Nitin Mantri. Group CEO of Avian WE. President of ICCO. President of PRCAI
– Omar Qirem. CEO of Edelman Middle East. Chairman of PRCA Middle East and North Africa
– Philippa Foster Back CBE. Former Director of the Institute for Business Ethics
– Rob Flaherty. Chairman of Ketchum
– Simon Goldsworthy. Former Professor of Public Relations and co-author of the forthcoming PR Ethics: The Real World Guide
– Stephane Billiet, President of We Agency. Former President of SCRP
– Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, Group Managing Director, CMC Connect (Perceptions Manager)
– Brad Love.

For more information, contact

Dubai, United Arab Emirates 01 September 2020:

The partnership has been developed to support the most aspiring and ambitious COOs across Middle East and North Africa to access professional development in the form of receiving insights, mentoring and growth initiatives, whilst providing a platform which stimulates innovative thinking and collaborative connections amongst global professionals.

The COO Network has partnered with PRCA UK as well to form the PRCA Chief Operating Officers Group.

The COO Network Founder Chair Mandip Dulay, said:

“Chief Operating Officers (COO’s) are experiencing the greatest disruption within their roles, particularly during and post pandemic. COOs were able to rapidly evolve their working models whilst maintaining their corporate culture through the application of adaptive internal and external communication.

“The role of the COO continues to evolve, with communication remaining central to their strategy, to maintain employee engagement in remote settings, whilst driving organisational stability and growth forward.

“In alliance with PRCA, the COO group will be powered by ‘The COO Network’, a not-for-profit institute which primarily enables an eco-system for aspiring COOs to shape their profession further, enabling them to navigate the emerging challenges, whilst providing them with a platform which stimulates innovative thinking and collaborative connections amongst global professionals.”


Hayley Clements, General Manager PRCA MENA, said:

“The turbulence of 2020 has brought immense challenges for business leaders. Our partnership with The COO Network is perfectly timed to provide a platform for aspiring and present COOs to exchange ideas and enable strong strategic planning as we continue to navigate through the covid-era.”

For further details, please visit,, or contact

Dubai, United Arab Emirates 30 August 2020:

The best in the digital PR and communications profession can now enter into the PRCA MENA Digital Awards 2020 for the chance to be recognised and celebrated by the world’s largest PR Association.

The PRCA MENA Digital Awards are an opportunity to take stock and celebrate the outstanding digital communications work that’s taken place across the Middle East and North Africa over the past year.

The earlybird entries will be open until 17th September 2020 at the discounted rate of 399 AED for Members, and 799 AED for Non-Members. The final deadline for entries will be Thursday, 15th October 2020.

As the industry continues to navigate through the covid-era, awards may still be the last thing on your mind, but the Association is determined to continue to celebrate the fantastic industry at this year’s PRCA MENA Digital Awards.

PRCA MENA General Manager Hayley Clements MPRCA, said:

“Despite the ongoing challenges facing our industry, we believe it is incredibly important to spotlight talented teams and individuals who have achieved so much across the region. The power of PR has never been more apparent over the last year with its ability to make meaningful societal impact and deliver real business value. We look forward to hopefully celebrating in-person the awesome digital talent across the Middle East and North Africa in December.”

These awards are open to all parties involved in the use of PR and communications, PR consultancies, freelancers, in-house communications departments, digital agencies, and media owners.

The Digital Awards will be held in December 2020. A decision to host these events virtually or face to face will be reflected by the government guidelines and safety measures imposed by the UAE government.

For more information on the Digital Awards please visit or contact

20th August, 2020 – PublicAffairsAsia is pleased to announce the timeline for The 2020 Gold Standard Awards, which will this year be operated in conjunction with the PRCA South East Asia and the International Communications Consultancy Organisation.

Nominations for the programme open on August 10 and will close on Friday, September 25. The Awards recognise “Gold Standard” achievements by agencies, corporations, NGOs and governmental agencies across 25 categories including stakeholder engagement, crisis management, media relations and CSR.

Commenting, Mark O’Brien, Vice President of PublicAffairsAsia, said: “Now in their 12th year the awards are the leading programme for the communications and corporate public affairs industries across Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Through our collaboration with PRCA South East Asia and ICCO we look forward to building on these strong foundations and extending our reach across the industry right across the region.”

Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General and ICCO Chief Executive said: “The Gold Standard Awards have a phenomenal reputation throughout the region, so PRCA SEA and ICCO are delighted to be joining with PublicAffairsAsia to deliver them this year. 2020 has been tough for us all. But as we see a road forward to recovery and growth, it’s more important than ever that our industry celebrates its fantastic work.”

This year, the programme will be judged by more than 100 of the region’s most senior practitioners. Sponsors and the 2020 categories will also be announced on August 10, along with our new judging line-up.

We look forward to your nominations in this industry leading awards programme for the communications and corporate public affairs industries across Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Due to the currently fluid situation regarding meetings and events as a result of Covid-19, the precise date and nature of the awards winners ceremony is subject to confirmation, although the winners will be announced in early November 2020.


2020 Awards Timeline:

August 3: Awards Launched

August 10: Categories Announced and Nominations Open

September 25: Nominations Close

October 16: Shortlist Announced

Early November: Winners Announced


For more information visit

Wednesday 19th August 2020

COVID-19 has significantly changed the relationship between business and government as the crisis impacted every country, threatening not only its people, but also their economies.  Governments consolidated their powers to enable rapid decision making on lockdowns, introducing special emergency measures, public health guidelines, recovery funding and post-lockdown plans for reopening societies.


Governments have had to rely on businesses to step forward quickly to provide key workers, essential supplies, services, and advice.  COVID-19 is a significant new responsibility for the corporate sector who now needs to team up with government to restart the economy.  Collaboration between the public and private sector will help drive recovery.  Neither business nor government can go this alone. At a time when governments depend on the continued cooperation of the corporate sector to help manage the ongoing demands of COVID-19, Public Affairs needs to react immediately to the new situations around it and is therefore one of the fastest moving communications specialists during this crisis.


‘COVID-19 has seen a high level of lobbying and public affairs activity as businesses seek to influence the policies employed by governments to manage the economic fallout of the pandemic.’ explains Abdulrahman Inayat, Director and Co-Founder of W7Worldwide.  ‘Building the right relationships now will ensure you create a positive climate of opinion about your company as being part of the solution going forward.  There are many strategies companies can deploy to ensure they are included in the new close dialogue between government and industry.’


W7Worldwide has produced a helpful 7-step guide for companies to build their COVID-19 Recovery Public Affairs Programme. (Click Here to Read Full Report).


  1. CEO & Board Leadership – It should always be the CEO and the board that sets out the tone for responsible advocacy and oversees activities. They inform stakeholders about policies, statistics and other information regarding sensitive issues associated with the business.
  2. Stakeholder Management – Public affairs is the bridge connecting companies with relevant stakeholders, such as government departments, civil servants, business groups and professional/trade organizations. 
  3. Virtual Advocacy – Public Affairs practitioners need to take advantage of the fact that in person meetings, consultations and events will be taking place virtually for the foreseeable future.  The benefit of this is that there is greater accessibility, with governments in full listening mode.
  4. Increased Government Involvement – Every business sector will see increased involvement from the state with various interventionist measures to steer the recovery of their country. The repercussions of this can include taxes, an expectation of better support for employees, businesses being asked to play a role in the delivery of social and economic agenda.
  5. Transparency – To reduce the risk of undeclared conflict of interest, companies that are engaging with the government in stimulus packages should disclose to external stakeholders who is ultimately benefiting.  Society will not only remember what companies did to save lives and the economy but how they did it.
  6. Agile Planning – Governments will be working on urgent recovery efforts for the coming months to bring their economies back on course.  Public Affairs needs to closely monitor for developments in all areas that may affect an organization as this remains a fast moving situation.
  7. Future Opportunity – As governments are seeking to kick-start the economy and encouraging businesses to recover, there is the opportunity to help shape a favourable regulatory landscape.  Provide expert insight, backed up with facts and figures, adopting an approach of advising government on how your industry sector can survive the challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis.


W7Worldwide carried out a recent poll to understand Public Affairs Practitioners’ current focus, with most of the English (24.5%) and Arabic (19.7%) respondents seeing ‘Agile Future Planning’ as their top priority.  ‘Supporting Remote Working’ practices is considered important by both the Arabic and English sample (24.9% Arabic/15/1% English.  In comparison to Arab respondents (9.4%) a greater number of English survey participants (18.9%) prioritized ‘An Increase in Public Affairs Activity.’

The greatest change emerging from the pandemic is the social change across the globe in every country.  Public Affairs strategies need to align with the changing way we communicate not only with policy and decision makers, but with society at large.  Governments wish to protect the reputation of their country in the way they are seen to contain, manage and emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, which will ultimately shape public opinion and their place on the global stage.  This is a time where business and industry can make an important and meaningful contribution to national recovery efforts and show that we really are all in this together.


Public Affairs can be a complex communications discipline because companies need to understand how to galvanise the right support and conduct themselves in an ethical and transparent manner.  W7Worldwide provides its 7-step guide to help businesses and CEOs formulate their ‘Public Affairs Towards COVID-19 Recovery’ strategies and plans.