PARIS — Edelman has joined the Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) Coalition of 34 leading international companies, including Mars, L'Oréal and BNP, Danone and Sodexo, who have committed to advance human rights throughout their value chains and build inclusive workplaces. The aim is to advance G7 government-led efforts to strengthen equality of opportunity, tackle regional disadvantages and fight gender discrimination. Edelman is the only communications agency to be a member.

LONDON — CCgroup has been chosen as Tribe Payments’ PR agency, after launching the fintech this summer. The agency will help drive sales for the payments company – whose CEO Suresh Vaghjiani has developed pioneering systems that sit behind services from fintechs such as Curve, Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank – through raising its profile in the European fintechs sector. In addition, WiFi Spark, which provides WiFi services to the NHS, has asked the agency to support its Spark Media platform with media relations, press office and campaigns that will drive business development, after a competitive pitch.

BAHRAIN — APCO Worldwide has expanded its presence in the MENA region with the opening of a new office in Manama, Bahrain. CEO Brad Staples said: “Bahrain is one of the fastest growing of the Gulf economies and its effort to channel its long history of regional financial services leadership into a compelling fintech offer is winning increasing global recognition.”

DUBAI — PRCA MENA has announced its inaugural board, under the chairmanship of Omar Qirem, Edelman’s Middle East CEO (pictured). Other board members from agency and in-house roles across the region include Grayling MEA CEO Loretta Ahmed, Markettiers4DC CEO and founder Howard Kosky, Suzanne Talhouk, general manager, Levant at H+K Strategies, and Alex Malouf, corporate communications manager at Procter & Gamble.

LONDON — Alfred has won two new clients. The agency will support animal charity World Animal Protection with #TheRealCheekyNandos campaign calling on Nando’s to improve their welfare standards, across PR, social, OOH and owned channels. Alfred is also managing the B2B launch of Slerp, an on-demand food ordering platform.

LONDON — The CIPR has teamed up with mental health charity Mind to produce a skills guide and webinar to improve understanding of mental health and wellbeing in PR. The guidance is designed to help employers build a working environment that supports positive mental health and advises practitioners on how to take care of their mental wellbeing. The half-hour webinar features health experts, professionals in health communications and those with experiences of living with a mental health condition discussing how to take positive action. The resources follow the CIPR’s State of the Profession research earlier this year, which revealed a “mental health epidemic” in the industry.

DUBAI — Markettiers MENA has carried out the UAE’s first study into the podcast landscape, and found that 92% of regular podcast listeners in the region trust podcasts more than traditional media. Listenership in the UAE is on a par with the UK and some podcasts saw listenership double between 2017 and 2018. The research also showed a different listenership profile to the West: in the US and the UK, listenership is largely male and young, while the UAE podcast gender split is roughly equal and penetration increases with age, hitting a peak of 60% in over-45 year olds.

MOSCOW — iMARS Communications has been chosen to provide communications support for small and medium-sized businesses from the Novosibirsk region of Russia for the China International Organic and Green Food Expo 2019 in Shanghai.

LONDON — Virtual B2B media and startups agency PPR has made its first senior hire since being founded last year, appointing Ben Robinson to its central team as head of media and marketing. The role has been created to provide a link between the company’s outbound media relations, its growing client base, and its network of freelance associates, enabling founder and MD Matt Phillips to focus on strategic client counsel, sales, product, and associate training.