The week-long Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, founded in 1954, has announced the appointment of Hill & Knowlon as the official PR partner for the event. The traditionally advertising dominated event has recently expanded to include other communications disciplines including PR in 2009 amongst the award categories.
“This is a great honour”, said Tony Burgess-Webb, chief marketing officer, Hill & Knowlton. “Creativity is fundamental to effective communications and Cannes Lions is the epi-centre for creativity in communications. By getting actively involved, we have tried to set a lead for the PR industry worldwide,” he added.
In 2009, the first year for PR award entries, H&K hosted its first PR seminar and first ever Cannes Lions ‘tweet-up‘ with Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter to highlight the importance of social media. In 2010, it hosted another PR seminar with ImprovEverywhere and created a street event, a spoof ‘VIP Party’ gently satirising Cannes Lions’ VIP party culture. The agency also created a dedicated videoblog called Cannes Eye, webcasting two editions daily of interviews.
On the development, Phil Thomas, CEO, Cannes Lions International Festival, said, “Cannes Lions has evolved way beyond pure advertising and creative PR is key to what brands want. H&K understood this very early on and have shown real leadership. We are pleased to recognise this by making them our first ever Official PR Partner".
The next Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is scheduled from June 19-25, 2011.