Wilson Hartnell at the Cannes Lions

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is a global event for those working in the creative communications, advertising and related fields. The seven-day festival, incorporating the awarding of the Lions awards, is held yearly at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France. This year’s festival kicks off next Saturday, June 15 and closes on June 21. This year Wilson Hartnell has a special interest as for the first time in the 60 year history of the festival a special competitions, the Young PR Lions, has been set up to recognise the best young PRs in the industry. WH and Ireland will be represented at this competition by Niamh O’Keeffe and Martyn Rosney.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is considered the largest gathering of worldwide advertising professionals, designers, digital innovators and marketers. Inspired by the International Film Festival, staged in Cannes since the late 1940s, the Cannes Lions were first held in Cannes in 1954 with 187 entries from 14 countries. Fast forward to 2013 and the festival saw a record 35,765 entries from all over the globe. This year’s Cannes Lions features more than 250 speakers, from industry superstars to thought leaders and celebrity icons, each sharing their insights on the communication industry. From seminars and forums to hands-on workshops, 2014’s festival will offer seven jam-packed days of professional development and learning opportunities.

The Young Lions Competitions at Cannes Lions are unique. They give national teams of young professionals from around the world the chance to compete against each other and showcase their creative talent in a series of timed challenges. The Young Lions Competitions started in 1995 and 2014 will see seven divisions: print, cyber, film, design, young marketers, media and for the first time, PR.

Participating in and winning a Young Lions Competition is a hugely rewarding experience that can change one’s career forever. The entrants are competing against the most talented and creative young professionals from around the world and, if they win, they will be awarded on stage at Cannes Lions in front of the entire international communications industry. The competition shows how PR is effectively used to engage audiences with an organisation or a specific topic that the ‘client’ is dealing with. The competition allows some elements of creative to be produced by the contestants so that their strategy takes shape in front of the jury.

Best of luck to Niamh and Martyn! You can follow updates from them at the festival on Twitter at @niamh_okeeffe and @martynrosney