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Postcard from Cannes sent by PRCA’s Francis Ingham

22nd June 2017


So. Cannes is over for another year. The planes from Nice are full of elated PR people; disappointed PR people; tired PR people; hungover PR people. And PR people who are sick of the sight of rose wine. 

Here are my thoughts on the past week:

This was a good year for PR. We said last year that Cannes' definition of PR was wrong, and precluded much excellent work. Well, Cannes listened, and we together sorted out a better rubric. As a consequence, our industry returns to their homes with more Lions in their luggage than ever before. That's good news. And indeed some are seeing 2017 as a breakthrough year (I do hope Ketchum gets that pun). 

Our industry is getting used to Cannes. To its mindset. To what is going to win and what isn't. To how results need to be framed.

For all that some agencies and holding groups have questioned their investment in Cannes over the years, it still matters. For all of its flaws (and yes, there certainly are flaws), it remains the pinnacle of creative acknowledgment in our industry. Winning Lions matters

AVEs are still prevalent. They are used repeatedly by PR agencies to measure success. We need to do more to end this ridiculous use of meaningless metrics. By which I mean help the industry to get to the place it craves to be; not to rage impotently, shouting ever more loudly 'we are banning AVEs'. And ICCO and the PRCA are working with AMEC to do just that. AMEC was present in the ICCO House of PR for the first time this year. I'm confident they'll be with us next year too. Creativity without measurement is pointless. We are working together to enshrine that insight. 

One final thought. 

We believe in the importance of Cannes. We are invested in it, and in helping PR making a success of it. But we all need a sense of perspective. 

If you entered Cannes and won, fantastic. If you entered and didn't win, well there's always next year. If you didn't enter, you should think about doing so. But if it isn't for you, then that's fine too. There are plenty of proofpoints of PR success, creativity, and professionalism. Cannes is one of them, and a great one. But there are others too. Our industry's present is bright; its future brighter still. We all roar in our own way, whether or not we've won at Cannes

On which note, I hear the rose calling. I'm not *quite* sick of it yet.  Sante! 

Written by Francis Ingham, director general PRCA and chief executive ICCO



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