Over 400 PR professionals and their clients attended the annual Awards for Excellence in Public Relations in Dublin’s Mansion House last week. Celebrating the best work in both the public and private sector, the awards are now in their 26th year.
The Awards are hosted by the profession’s representative bodies, the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) and the Chartered Institute of PR (CIPR Northern Ireland).
Fifty-four organisations entered 156 campaigns covering everything from puppy farming to Brexit and from celebrations of ethnic identity to infrastructural projects. One fifth of the entries came from in-house teams including those working in the public sector.
Among the Award winners was Niamh Breathnach, an Account Manager from Alice PR, who won Young Communications Professional of the Year. Niamh works with health, innovation and education clients such as the Irish Research Council, Springboard+ and the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. As a fluent Irish speaker, Niamh can also liaise with Irish language media for her clients. Sponsored by Kantar, this award recognises outstanding performance by those aged 28 or younger.
A new category this year, sponsored by Ruepoint Media, recognised Issue-Led Campaigns. The inaugural winner was the Irish Travellers Ethnicity Celebration organised by Persuasion Republic and the Irish Travellers Movement.
Another new category, for Long-Term projects, was won by Wilson Hartnell for years of community relations around the re-development of the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin.
In all, twenty Awards for Excellence were presented across a wide range of categories recognising the variety of public relations activity (see full list below).
According to PRCA Chairperson, Mari O’Leary, what the best entries had in common was innovative and strategic thinking. “This more than anything is what impresses our Judging Panel, clients and employers. Not budgets or levels of activity or indeed media coverage but strategic thinking and a demonstrable contribution to an organisations’ objectives. The growth of the profession in Ireland, to the point where employers are finding it difficult to recruit, is testament to the significant impact effective public relations makes to the performance of organisations.”
The full list of winners at the Awards for Excellence in Public Relation is as follows:
Best Public Affairs Campaign: Alcohol Health Alliance Public Health Alcohol Bill campaign by Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland
Best Consumer Public Relations Campaign €20k or under: Dublin Bus Show Your True Colours Campaign 2018 by Conway Communications and Dublin Bus
Best Consumer Public Relations Campaign €20k to €50k: HB Dayting: The Iceberger Bar a unique dating experience by Teneo and Unilever Ireland
Best Consumer Public Relations Campaign Over €50k: The Rise of Hybrid & The Demise of Diesel by Teneo and Toyota Ireland
Best Use of Media Relations: Breaking the Barrier: Eucerin Eczema Awareness Month by Drury Porter Novelli and Beiersdorf
Best Use of Digital PR: AIB Backing Doing by Wilson Hartnell and AIB
Best Public Information Campaign: 129 Litres – National Water Conservation Campaign by Irish Water
Best Public Sector or Civil Service Campaign: Our Balbriggan by MediaConsult and Fingal County Council
Best Internal Communication: Bringing Strategy from Rhetoric to Reality at EY Ireland
Best Campaign by A Charity: The Great Pink Run with Avonmore Slimline Milk by Lynfort Communications and Breast Cancer Ireland.
Best Campaign by a Not-for-Profit Organisation or NGO: How is that Doggie in the Window? by the Dogs Trust Ireland
Best Corporate Communication Campaign: ‘Irish roots; global opportunities’: The Ornua employer brand by Murray and the Ornua Co-operative
Best Corporate Communication in Support of Organisational Values: The Re-Launch of No. 11 Liffey Ferry by Gibney Communications and the Dublin Port Company.
Best Healthcare Campaign: Sightsee with Me: AMD Awareness Week by Teneo and Novartis Ireland
Best Use of Sponsorship: AIB Backing Club and County. Bigger, Braver, Better #TheToughest by Wilson Hartnell and AIB
Best Public Relations Event: 20×20: ‘If She Can’t See It, She Can’t Be It’ by Wilson Hartnell and Along Came A Spider
Best PR for an Event: Launching Dublin Port’s ‘Brexit Buster’ by Gibney Communications and Dublin Port Company
Best Issues-Led Campaign: Irish Travellers Ethnicity Celebration by Persuasion Republic and the National Travellers Celebration/Irish Travellers Movement
Best Long-Term Campaign: ‘National Stadium – Local Community’ by Wilson Hartnell and Aviva Stadium
Young Communications Professional of the Year (Sponsored by Kantar): Niamh Breathnach, MPRII, Alice PR