The PRovoke Africa Sabre Awards are Africa’s leading public relations awards and this year's Awards attracted more than 2,000 entries from public relations agencies all over the continent.
The Sabre Award recognises APO Group and IOM’s commitment to improving global perceptions of migration issues in Africa.
Established in 1951, the IOM is part of the United Nations System and is the leading inter-governmental organisation promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all with a global presence in over 100 countries.
IOM’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa commissioned APO Group to launch a competition for African journalists reporting on migration.
Logistical challenges caused by the pandemic meant they had to adopt a purely virtual campaign, with the submissions process, press events, and the assembly of four thematic jury panels all coordinated online.
Despite this, the results of the campaign were exceptional with 230 quality submissions received in English and French, with a total public relations value of more than $19m generated.
The virtual Awards ceremony with eight winning journalists receiving their awards was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube, and also included a discussion about the challenges of reporting on migration.
The competition was designed to recognise outstanding stories from the region that shed light on migration from various perspectives, including safe migration, climate change and returning migrant reintegration.
Of particular importance to both APO Group and IOM was the debunking of false and discriminatory narratives about migration in Africa.
The competition called for submissions from journalists with stories that demonstrated balanced, evidence-based reporting, and gave the public a clearer picture of the real issues.
With its reputation for media relations in Africa, and extensive reach into all 54 African countries, APO Group’s project team was able to promote the competition to journalists all over the continent.
“When we started this campaign, it was essential we had a partner who understands African media and has the depth of contacts to attract submissions across West and Central Africa.
“We are thrilled with this Sabre Award as it demonstrates the importance of our mission to change the narrative about migration in Africa," says Mia Barrett, head of Awareness Raising at IOM’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa.
“APO Group has always championed fair and balanced reporting, so it is fantastic that we are able to give greater prominence to compelling African stories that provide true insight on migration.
“We are extremely grateful to the IOM for the opportunity to take part in this campaign, and share in their determination to reward ethical journalism and shine a light on what is an important issue,” says APO Group founder and chairman, Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard.