KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is delighted to announce the launch of the 13th edition of the Malaysian Public Relations Awards 2021(MPRA2021), which are now accepting entries ahead of the early bird deadline of 15th October.

After taking a Covid19-induced hiatus, MPRA are back with a vengeance, presenting a bigger line-up with more entry categories, an expanded judging panel and stronger integration with leading businesses through attractive sponsorship packages. The event promises renewed commitment to be the most recognised industry award, representing the best work produced by both agencies and in-house communication teams.

The 13th edition of the awards will announce its winners in December 2021. For this year, two special categories have been added to recognise the excellent initiatives and campaigns implemented during the pandemic.

According to PRCA Malaysia president Andy See: “Covid19 presented the PR industry with unprecedented challenges, but also with the opportunity to prove our value as a strategic ally to organisations struggling to cope with the pressures, restrictions and constant changes required to successfully navigate the pandemic. MPRA2021 will be held to recognise the resilience and ability of PR teams, to ADAPT and evolve with fast
changing circumstances even in the face of prolonged crisis.”

Covid’s impact on businesses of all sizes across multiple industries has been widely reported. MPRA mission this year is to draw attention to the fact that behind the myriad of stories – from their financial reports to their community outreach initiatives, from their pivoting to their SOP compliance efforts, there was a PR team that made sure each story was told in a compelling way and connected with the right audiences.

According to Stefanie Braukmann, Head of MPRA2021 Committee, “Covid-19 has brought the true value of Public Relations to the fore. Agency and in-house communication teams have been at the frontlines of communications, helping organisations to ADAPT and navigate through the pandemic, while maintaining the trust of their stakeholders.”

Covid also resulted in a change in consumer behaviour, perceptions and attitudes. According to a report jointly published by Facebook for Business and Bain & Company on 30th August 2021, the pandemic brought on a new consumer way-of-life, including new consumption habits, new purchasing habits, new ways to discover, new preferences and new expectations:

 In the battle for loyalty, product quality and experience, not just price, win over consumers

 51% of consumers have switched from their most purchased brands in the past 3 months.

 ESG has become a new frontline in the battle for customer loyalty: 90% of consumers say they were willing to pay more for brands that meet ESG criteria

 Across all South East Asian countries, ESG was among the top 5 five reasons to switch brands (4th in Malaysia)

Covid has also changed the way we need to do PR. Messages need to be carefully balanced and communicated with sensitivity. PR is there to help ensure brands marry a sound business message with a genuine caring attitude and a concern for their surrounding communities and society at large.

During this time of uncertainty, with many businesses not being allowed to operate, honest and sensitive communication with employees, about job security, potential lay-offs or salary cuts and how the company would handle them as well as about work-from-home SOPs and how to ensure the mental and physical well-being of staff, proved absolutely crucial.

In this regard, Joint-Head of MPRA2021 Committee, Prof. Said Bani CM Din shared, “PR agencies were not exempt from facing these business challenges, which is why a special award category was introduced this year, to recognise the best ADAPT agencies, that managed to successfully steer their teams through the pandemic and take care of their welfare while intensifying their efforts to support their clients.”

This year, MPRA are hosted on the AwardStage platform , which facilitates a smooth online submission and payment process. Get all the details on key dates and register for MPRA2021 at https://mpra.awardstage.com/

Key Dates for MPRA2021

 Early-bird entry deadline: Friday,15 October 2021
 Closing Date: 31st October 2021
 Announcement of Winners and Award Ceremony: 17 December 2021

For Media enquiries, please contact :

Stefanie Braukmann (+6017 322 0433); stefanie.braukmann@sprg.com.my
Mohd Said Bani C.M. Din (+6012 233 1267); saidbani@bzbee.com.my