Sunday 20 August 2017

AdLib: PR firms triumph at awards bash

PRCA Awards for Excellence in Public Relations 2017. THE BEST USE OF MEDIA RELATIONS Monaghans Cashmere Looks to the Next Generation from FleishmanHillard (and Monaghan's Cashmere) Pictured from left Rhona Blake, PRCA Chairman, Astrid Brennan, Flei
PRCA Awards for Excellence in Public Relations 2017. THE BEST USE OF MEDIA RELATIONS Monaghans Cashmere Looks to the Next Generation from FleishmanHillard (and Monaghan's Cashmere) Pictured from left Rhona Blake, PRCA Chairman, Astrid Brennan, Flei

Michael Cullen

For those working in PR, things have been busy in recent days. While the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) tries to sort out concerns prompted by Kantar Media's proposed takeover of media monitoring rival Newsaccess, its sister body, the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), presented its Awards for Excellence at a gala lunch in the Shelbourne Hotel.

Twenty-one gongs across various categories were handed over. Wilson Hartnell (WHPR) picked up four awards, for Electric Ireland's Olympics sponsorship of Team Ireland with '#The Power Within', AIB's 'The Toughest: Backing Club & County', Diageo's 'Open Gate Brewery' and Bord Bia's 'Fuel for a Busy Life'. The Reputations Agency went home with three awards, with campaigns for Lidl, Investec and Meteor.

Murray was honoured for its work for Gas Networks Ireland's 'Carbon Monoxide Week' and BHSL's 'Poultry in Motion'. FleishmanHillard also won two awards, for 98FM's Big Slide Home and Monaghan Cashmere 'Look for the Next Generation campaign'.

Beachhut PR and Limelight scored a double for 'The Ryan Academy', 'Newswhip', 'Alone' and Wildcard Distribution's Young Offenders campaigns respectively.

Teneo's 'Notorious' was a winner for Bayer Consumer Health's #BeVConfident. Legacy's VW GAA Sevens and in-house campaigns for Cork Chamber and Heineken were also prize-winners.

Teneo PSG senior account manager Cormac Coughlan was voted young communications professional of the year. The award is open to PR executives who are 28 or younger at the start of last year. A journalism graduate, Coughlan spent four years as a producer and presenter at Dublin South FM.

Speaking before the presentations, PRCA chairman and FleishmanHillard managing director Rhona Blake, said PR agencies must embrace work changes if they are to future-proof the industry and that includes encouraging diversity.

With the addition of Hume Brophy and Hanover Communications - where former Tánaiste Mary Harney is a consultant - the PRCA now has 29 agency members.

This year's awards marked the last formal engagement for PRII CEO John Carroll, before his move to the Department of An Taoiseach.

Carroll joined the institute three years ago, prior to which he was policy adviser to Leo Varadkar while he was Transport Tourism and Sport Minister. He was also Varadkar's parliamentary assistant when he was Fine Gael spokesman on communications, energy and natural resources.

Blake said while PR practitioners were sorry to see Carroll go, "at least now they'll have a great contact in the Taoiseach's office".

As regards industry concerns about Kantar's takeover of Newsaccess, the PRII is urging the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to rule that the WPP-owned company must sell off some of the business.

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As Brexit negotiations intensify and the new Government settles in Leinster House, Sky News plans to open a bureau in Dublin in September.

UK political correspondent Darren McCaffrey will become Dublin correspondent. He will be based permanently in the capital, with support from a team covering Irish news stories as they unfold.

A native of Fermanagh, McCafferty has been with Sky News since 2009 and had a stint in Brussels post Brexit. BSkyB last launched an Irish version of Sky News in 2004.

Up to that, bulletins were broadcast in the Republic with opt-op ads. Sky News Ireland nightly news broadcasts were presented around teatime by Gráinne Seoige, Ray Kennedy and Brian Daly. But ratings were poor and the service was ended in November 2006.

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The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed Boys and Girls to handle Ulster Bank, following a review which included Publicis and In the Company of Huskies.

The account was previously with Ogilvy. The bank's contacts are Tony Boylan and former Guns or Knives client service director Roisin Field.

The Ulster Bank win follows the Portobello agency picking up the Barnardos children's charity, following what was described by agency partner Chris Upton as a "multi-layered" review. Boys and Girls will work to communications manager Rachel Boyce.

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To mark its 30th year in business, Javelin is offering three bursaries worth an estimated €10,000 each to Irish startups. Founded in one room above a sweet shop in Leeson Street, the agency now works out of a converted warehouse in Smithfield. Clients include Toyota, Irish Ferries, Aviva, British Telecom, Fallon & Byrne, Energia, Coolmore Stud and Bacardi. Startups have until July 6.

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Iconic Swedish home furniture brand Ikea, whose advertising slogan is 'Better Everyday', has appointed Wilson Hartnell as its new PR agency.

The move follows pitches from a number of agencies, including Edelman, PSG and the incumbent, Weber Shandwick. Claudia Marshall is now Ikea's market manager for Ireland. Ikea has 340 standalone stores in 28 countries and 40 outlets run by franchisees.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie

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