CIPR Pride Awards 2010 Northern Ireland: N. Irish are on cloud nine

Lighthouse Communications and Smarts are among Northern Ireland's finest.

Winner: Volcanic Ash Air Travel Disruption campaign

Crisis management: Lighthouse Communications Volcanic Ash Air Travel Disruption

George Best Belfast City Airport is the second largest in Northern Ireland. In total, 60,000 passengers were affected by the volcanic ash crisis that closed airspace.

The PR team worked with airport directors, air traffic control and airlines, meeting every four hours to provide updates. Over a five-day period, the team handled more than 550 media enquiries and gave countless briefings. As a result, 32 releases were issued and updated on the website, and airport directors held 63 interviews across the UK.

Outstanding PR Consultancy: Smarts

Smarts has achieved consistent growth since 2000. Offering global PR support to consumer brands, it has exceeded its target of doubling international income during 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Outstanding in-house public relations team: Newtonabbey Borough Council

The six-strong marketing and PR team has worked on a large campaign to launch the council's theatre, designs and produces publications, manages civic events and runs the website.

Best Campaign £10K and under: MF Communication

Baileys Irish Champion Dairy Cow Competition

In dairy breeder circles, winning 'the Baileys' is a sign of prestige and profile. MF Communication was asked to help achieve high awareness levels for the competition, drive entries and give the competition a strong online presence.

Pre-launch teaser gifts were sent to all target media. The PR team then organised a photo-shoot with Miss Ireland, sponsors and a cow to launch the competition, followed by lunch for guests and media. The visual stunt allowed for a number of angles, from the humour value of the cow posing with the beauty queen, to consumer outlets given facts on how the cow was styled pre-competition with false tails and polish to the feet. Broadcast footage was also produced and competitions for free tickets placed in agricultural media outlets.

The campaign generated international, national and regional coverage. The show received one of its highest levels of entries as a result.

Best Newspaper or Magazine: Belfast City Council

City Matters

Residents' magazine City Matters was relaunched in 2009 and increased in frequency from three to six times yearly. It contains information about council activities, an A-Z of council services, a 'what's on' guide and regular features such as a seniors' section. To help cover the costs of the magazine, advertising is included. The magazine is distributed free to more than 130,000 households in the city, is designed in-house and written in plain English, not council-speak.

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