A COMING OF AGE FOR THE NI PUBLIC RELATIONS INDUSTRY
Mark Smith MIPR, chairman, IPR Northern Ireland Region
The PRide Awards are about much more than having a good time on a November night in Belfast. The IPR is committed to encouraging, developing and recognising professionalism, quality and excellence in PR, and PRide gives us the opportunity to do that. We're no strangers to recognising achievement and encouraging professional development either.
The annual IPR/BT Press & Broadcast Awards have long recognised exceptional talent among Northern Ireland's media. Now we can acknowledge best practice and celebrate the professionalism of our own industry. We have a very vibrant PR industry in Northern Ireland, and PRide is a great opportunity to demonstrate that public relations continues to grow as a powerful strategic comms medium.
After one year the fact that entries for PRide have increased is a measure of the success of the inaugural awards last year. The calibre of our sponsors is another indicator. It couldn't happen without them and I would like to thank each for their support. With the IPR looking to become a Chartered Institute, the industry is perhaps coming of age, an outward professional example of self-belief - just as PRide is an indication of the self-belief for our winners and all who were shortlisted.
HOW PR MAKES LIFE FOR JOURNALISTS MUCH EASIER.
Richard Buckley, editor, Business Eye
The PRide Awards for Northern Ireland help to recognise what those of us on the journalistic side of the imaginary fence have always been well aware of - that the PR industry has an extremely valuable role to play in the wider comms mix. While we don't always like to admit it, our jobs would become much more difficult without the help of the PR industry.
To that end, we are delighted to be among the sponsors of the PRide Awards for 2004.
There is no doubt that standards of professionalism within public relations have been raised significantly in recent years. I'm sure that the Institute of Public Relations can claim some credit for this. Here in Northern Ireland, agencies, in-house PR departments and public sector PR professionals are more effective, more professional, better trained and better able to service their clients than ever.
While we might have some way to go politically, relative peace in this part of the world has helped to add a positive edge to the role of the PR industry locally. The PRide Awards are comprehensive enough to reward the efforts of PR people across the spectrum of their activities. More often than not, they are organising such events or helping to highlight the awards success of their clients. The awards also give PR professionals the chance to mix with their peers and achieve some recognition themselves.
AWARD WINNERS PICK UP THEIR ACCOLADES.
The Grand Prix Award
Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education - The Hand (Winner) A fabulously simple idea, with impressive results. The Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education, under the theme 'Learning to be friends', asked famous supporters to draw round their hands, sign the drawing to endorse the group's Integrated Education Week and write messages of support.
The PR team's drive featured great use of celebrity involvement, including former national team goalkeeper Pat Jennings, boxer Barry McGuigan, Joanna Lumley, Katie Melua, Daniel O'Donnell and Mo Mowlam. Extensive media coverage was the result. A very targeted campaign that stood out. Sometimes, the simple ideas are the best.
THE PR TEAM OF THE YEAR - IN-HOUSE
WINNER - Coca-Cola Bottlers Ulster
This well-presented, well-rounded entry had a good balance of commercial and community interest, and showed excellent supporting material, said the judges. Local initiatives were particularly strong, and team spirit was vibrant, despite the limitations on the PR function as part of a global brand. Entries in several other categories were good, and included a high-quality, creative newsletter.
Its Coca-Cola Soccer Magic campaign illustrated the PR team's professional approach. A simple idea executed on a large scale - it was well-planned and creative, receiving great support. Fantastic results included widespread media coverage and £145,000 raised for charity.
THE PR TEAM OF THE YEAR - CONSULTANCY
WINNER - Citigate SMARTS
This entry leapt off the page, the judges said, adding that the panel either wanted to work for them, copy them or hire them! The company culture is clear and the team's 'personality' showed - and the desire to market themselves as the 'best' is not only apparent, but seems accurate. Presentation was also faultless. A measure of its success comes in the fact that it has all three winning campaigns in the PRCA Consultancy Value award. The words 'excellent', 'creative' and 'professional' cropped up throughout, with its Share Life drive, which got excellent coverage for a difficult and sensitive subject, coming in for particular mention. Its work for drinks clients was also highly praised.
THE OTHER WINNERS.
PHOTOGRAPHY DESIGN OR NEW MEDIA
GOLD - Citigate SMARTS Yellow Woods Challenge
SILVER - Fire IMC NITB - Spring Short Breaks Launch
FINALIST - Citigate SMARTS - Smirnoff Black Label Ice - Instinct
CHARITY OR NON-PROFIT CAMPAIGN
GOLD - Coca-Cola Bottlers Ulster Coca-Cola Soccer Magic
GOLD - JLPR 2004 Junction One North West 2004
SILVER - Morrow Communications The Woman's Heart
FINALIST - JLPR - Community Relations Week (Finalist)
INTEGRATED PR CAMPAIGN
SILVER - Fire IMC NITB 'Add a splash of colour' Where? NI
FINALIST - Citigate SMARTS - Thank Gordon's it's Friday
FINALIST - JLPR - It's Nicer to Neuter
ISSUES OR CRISIS MANAGEMENT CAMPAIGN
GOLD - Viridian Group Loss of Electricity Supplies in NI
SILVER - Citigate SMARTS Pots of Hope
SILVER - DCL Fusion
GOLD - Citigate SMARTS Share Life
SILVER - JLPR Community Relations Week
FINALIST - Fire IMC - Golden Cow Youth Games
GOLD - Newtownabbey Borough Council Source
SILVER - Morrow Comms CXNS
FINALIST - Coca-Cola Bottlers Ulster - Coca-Cola Life
TRADE OR TECHNICAL CAMPAIGN
No entries were received
USE OF INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
SILVER - MF Communication Stakeholder Engagement Strategy: Baileys New Packaging Brand Identity
SILVER - Citigate SMARTS New Car Tax Rules
SILVER - Coca-Cola Bottlers Ulster Coca Cola Soccer Magic
PUBLIC AFFAIRS/LOBBYING PROGRAMME
GOLD - DCL Safeguarding Southern Area Hospice
SILVER - Chambre PR Securing Services for People with ABI
CORPORATE AND FINANCIAL CAMPAIGN
No entries received
PUBLIC SECTOR PROGRAMME
SILVER - Citigate SMARTS New Tax Rules
SILVER - Citigate SMARTS Share Life
SILVER - DCL IntertradeIreland (Silver) FINALIST - Inform Communications - Travel Wise Northern Ireland
FINALIST - Morrow Comms - Eat Safe/Food Standards Agency NI
FINALIST Weber Shandwick - Ur Zone
RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME
No entries received
GOLD - Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education The Hand
SILVER - Action Cancer 4 Things Every Woman Should Know
SILVER - Morrow Comms Launch of Dale Farm - The One
SILVER - Pagoda PR Low Budget Campaign for Low Cost Airline
SILVER - The PR Agency Mr Oakey Doake's Kids Club
FINALIST - Citigate SMARTS - Pots of Hope
THE YOUNG COMMUNICATOR
WINNER - Richard Nelson Citigate SMARTS
SMALL TEAM/SOLE PRACTITIONER
WINNER - Ann Gorman Marketing Lomac Tiles University Boat Race
THE PRCA CONSULTANCY VALUE AWARD
GOLD - Citigate SMARTS Share Life
SILVER - Citigate SMARTS Smirnoff Black Label Ice - Instinct
SILVER - Citigate SMARTS Thank Gordon's it's Friday.