Sunil John, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and President – Middle East of Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), has been recognised by industry peers with a Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Fellowship.
John received his Fellowship from Ray Eglington, MEPRA Chair, during the fourth annual MEPRA Leadership Majlis held in Abu Dhabi which brought together almost 200 industry professionals from more than 40 organisations. The Fellowship is awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the PR industry in the Middle East and for commitment to adhering to the highest professional standards.
Eglington said: “Sunil has been at the heart of PR in the Middle East for more than two decades. His agency, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, recently appeared in the PR Week league table as the largest agency in the Middle East. He is a founding member of MEPRA and has received huge international recognition – he was the first person in the Middle East to receive the Outstanding Individual Achievement SABRE Award (EMEA) and was awarded with the MEPRA Chairman’s Award in 2016.”
Eglington continued: “Sunil is also responsible for a defining piece of thought leadership in the region - the Arab Youth Survey, which launched its tenth edition last week and further demonstrates Sunil’s impact on the industry and his commitment to better understanding our market.”
During his acceptance speech Sunil recounted the story that led him to be a founding member of MEPRA back in 2001 and congratulated everybody in attendance for their active participation in MEPRA.
“MEPRA was born out of my agency ASDA’A in 2001 – it was one of the first things we did. My colleagues and I recognized the requirement for an agency body who could bring about high industry standards. We started MEPRA with 12 other public relations agency members and held our first meeting in Dubai Press Club in Deira.”
Today, MEPRA boasts over 1,000 members which include agencies, companies with in-house communication roles and individual industry professionals.
John was recognized alongside Sconaid McGeachin, SVP EMEA & CEO Africa, H+K Strategies, based on a unanimous vote from MEPRA Board members.
In addition to announcing the two inaugural MEPRA fellowships, the MEPRA Leadership Majlis welcomed speakers and panellists from the National Media Council, Facebook, Arthur W. Page Society, CARMA, Marriott International, PR Week UK, Etihad Aviation Group, Mubadala, The Corporate Office, United Eastern Medical Services, and Hanover ME.
Under the theme ‘Power Forward’, the conference covered topics such as CEO Activism, countering fake news in the UAE, how brands define communication and how public relations can be the most powerful marketing discipline in the future.