PRide Awards: The stars of NI comms

In association with the CIPR, we look at the best in communications practice from Northern Ireland agencies

Chris Harrison 
Chairman, CIPR Northern Ireland
The PR industry in Northern Ireland continues to grow and play an ever more important role in economic and social life. CIPR members have a central role in the workings of government, the successes of NI business at home and abroad, and the important work of the voluntary sector.

The CIPR PRide Awards highlight the creative and innovative work being produced by PROs in NI and help illustrate the positive impact that ongoing, strategic PR can have on business and society.

This year's event has attracted higher entry levels than any
previous year, from across the public, private and voluntary
sectors. Entrants have included leading PR consultancies, sole
practitioners, charities, and trade and government bodies.

Although the standards across all categories have been extremely high, not everyone could win. Each winner is deserving of an award, and I congratulate them all.

I would also like to thank our local sponsors for their support: FlyBE, Coca-Cola, Business Eye, Harrison Photography, The Irish News and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Grand prix

Burnside
Cold Case Review

The 'troubles' in Northern Ireland left 1,800 unsolved murders, including the killings of 302 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers. While the Police Federation for Northern Ireland approved of public inquiries into many of the more high-profile killings in Northern Ireland (including the Bloody Sunday deaths), it objected to a perceived 'hierarchy' of victims and wanted the government to do more to investigate the killings of its own officers.

A campaign to lobby the Secretary of State for NI to earmark money for investigations began with sensitive talks with the RUC Widows' Association and a public challenge to reserve money. After two years, £32 million was finally granted to investigate all outstanding murders.


Consumer campaign

GOLD

Citigate Smarts
Yell About Northern Ireland
Yell, publisher of the Yellow Pages, wanted Northern Ireland to view the book as a local asset. Citigate SMARTS came up with a photo competition, endorsed by newspaper Sunday Life. It resulted in an exhibition of the winning entries at Belfast's Waterfront Hall, and Yell has rated the campaign as an overwhelming success.  

SILVER


Morrow Communications
Rankin Selection Irish Breads

Irwin's had sold Rankin speciality Irish bread in the UK in 2002 but needed a boost. A St Patrick's Day campaign saw sales rise by 42 per cent.

Stakeholder Communications
Dinosaur Encounters
The Odyssey Complex in Belfast played host to its Dinosaur Encounters Exhibition and succeeded in smashing expectations for visitor numbers, with coverage in regional newspapers.


Business to Business campaign

GOLD

Citigate Smarts, Institute of Directors Northern Ireland Division

SILVER

Anderson Spratt Group Public Relations, Ramada Invests £210m
on the Island of Ireland


Best Use of Media Relations


GOLD

Citigate Smarts
Radisson SAS Opening
When the Belfast Radisson SAS hotel opened last year, it called in Citigate SMARTS to convince people that is was not 'just another hotel'. With the help of management profiles and general media relations work, including press stays at the hotel and tours for journalists, occupancy was ahead of target, according to Citigate.

Morrow Communications
Rankin Selection Irish Breads

Irwin's is Northern Ireland's only locally owned bakery, and in 2002 exported its speciality range of Irish breads (its Rankin Selection) to the UK.  The range was promoted by Morrow Communications
to food magazines to tie in with  St Patrick's Day this year and, according to Irwin's, this led to a direct increase in sales. The campaign also paved the way for new supermarket deals.


Charity or Non-Profit Campaign


GOLD

Burnside PR Ltd
Men Against Cancer Foundation



Integrated PR campaign

GOLD

Morrow Communications
NICCY Draft Priorities & Public Consultation Launch
 

SILVER

Citigate Smarts, Yell About Northern Ireland

FINALISTS

Citigate Smarts, Harp Football Experience


Community Campaign

GOLD

JLPR
Community Relations Week 2005
Getting journalists interested in Community Relations Week – Northern Ireland's first national event co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council – was only one part of this enormous project by John Laird Public Relations. Businesses involvement was secured after a campaign that comprised proactive media relations.

Morrow Communications
Child Safety on Farms
With 18 child fatalities in ten years, Northern Ireland's agricultural industry has a poor safety record. Morrow Communications was brought in by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland to launch its 'Be Aware Kids' campaign. MC brought a mother of a badly injured child on board to promote its 'what if?' real-life case study, and extensive media training was provided.


In-house Campaign

GOLD

Coca Cola Bottlers (Ulster) Ltd
Stars in Yer Eyes 

SILVER

Coca Cola Bottlers (Ulster) Ltd
School Canteen Person 


Corporate and Financial Campaign

GOLD

Citigate Smarts
Institute of Directors Northern Ireland Division
The Institute of Directors (IoD) is the leading representative body for businesses in Northern Ireland, but suffered from perceptions that it was outdated and facing competition from other business bodies for share of voice. Analysis by Citigate SMARTS showed the IoD had excellent brand recognition and that its quality and diverse member base could act as its voice. A media relations campaign to coincide with the appointment of a new chairman  pushed the theme that membership was about individuals rather than companies. Creative photography and media one-to-ones brought 69 pieces of news and 121 new members.


Trade or Technical Campaign

No entries submitted


Issues or crisis management campaign

No entries submitted


Low Budget Campaign

GOLD

Citigate Smarts
Launch of St George's City Food and Garden Market Gold

SILVER

Morrow Communications Ltd
James Adam & Sons Adding Value to Auctions

FINALIST

The PR Agency
Mr. Oakey Doake's Art Attack 

Pagoda PR
easyJet's 6th Birthday Party Celebration 


PR Team of the Year

WINNER

Morrow Communications Ltd, Consultancy 

Coca Cola Bottlers (Ulster) Ltd, In House 

FINALISTS

Citigate Smarts, Consultancy 

NICCY, In House


Small Team/Sole Practitioner

GOLD

Core Communications
PR that packs a Punch
Core Communications was set up in 2003 by Jennifer Maguire. As a sole trader the NI Pride judges felt it consistently punched above its weight for the results it gave to its clients. When promoting a voluntary sector community development project, Maguire negotiated with the health editor of the Irish News to secure a full-page feature on how groups could apply for funding. A news spot on UTV was also secured and both results helped achieve a 20 per cent rise in the number of applications for funding. 

Other projects in 2005 saw Maguire launch a Young Citizens Website for the Voluntary Service Bureau and a community relations programme to help improve communication to Belfast's Chinese community. 

Judges also praised Maguire's work for the CIPR. In her role as an
education officer this year she organised a 'Meet the Editors' event for NI members and a workshop on the Freedom of Information Act– both of which were over-subscribed.


Young Communicator

WINNER

Catherine Heron, Anderson Spratt

FINALISTS

Kathryn Anderson, JLPR

Sara Thompson, Morrow Communications


Use of Internal Communications


GOLD

Citigate Smarts, Harp Fit to Fight


Public Sector Programme

GOLD

Morrow Communications Ltd
The Introduction of Metro

SILVER

Citigate Smarts
Safefood

NICCY
Shouting Out for Children


Public Affairs / Lobbying Programme

GOLD


Burnside PR Ltd
Cold Case Review

SILVER

Federation of Small Businesses
High Insurance Costs for Business


Relationship Management Programme

GOLD

Morrow communications
Translink
Morrow Communications has worked with rail and bus services provider Translink since 2000 to maximise coverage for sponsorships, awards and business announcements. Recent work has included managing a media trip to Spain to watch the first result of its £80m investment programme roll off the production line. Other announcements include a £70m investment, including a £20m government rail programme that has secured the future of lines north of Ballymena and Whitehead. Following the launch of its Metro bus service in Belfast, Translink was able to report that 24,000 additional bus journeys are now made each week.


Use of Photography, Design or New Media

GOLD

Mencap
Snap!
Mencap's 2003 photography competition designed to showcase the talents of people with learning difficulties was a success in the UK but had gained only a handful of entries from NI. Research found a lack of understanding about learning difficulties in the NI public, so in 2005 the competition was relaunched at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. It showcased the pictures from the 2004 finalists and offered a masterclass session on how to take pictures by Belfast Telegraph photographer, Bobby Ingram. In total, 105 entries came from NI. The winning picture (above) was of Patrick Tunnah, taken by family friend Vivien McKe.


SILVER

Andersons spratt group
Demolition of Churchill House

The £300 million regeneration of Belfast's Victoria Square meant demolishing 1960s block Churchill House.  The shots got the front page on the Irish News.

FINALISTS

JLPR/Pacemaker
Junction One North West 200

Morrow Communications
"St. Patrick's Day National Holiday Petition" 

Stakeholder Communications
Dinosaurs Are Coming

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