Industry News Dec 07
Top PR Firm receives mark of quality
Cork based PR consultancy, O’Sullivan Public Relations has been awarded a new internationally recognised quality standard for PR companies.
The Consultancy Management Standard (CMS) has been introduced by the Public Relations Consultants’ Association of Ireland (PRCA) to demonstrate the competencies of member firms. The PRCA represents the most successful public relations companies in the country and qualifying for the CMS is now a mandatory requirement for PRCA membership.
To be awarded the CMS, PR firms must undergo an independent assessment to ensure that they conform to minimum standards in ten separate areas. These include business management, service delivery, staff training and development as well as adherence to a code of professional practice. The assessment is carried out by accountants Ksi Faulkner Orr.
Gerry Davis, Chief Executive of the PRCA, believes that the CMS is the single most important initiative to be undertaken by the Public Relations Consultants Association since its foundation. “In achieving this international industry standard, PR firms demonstrate that they have the capability to deliver a quality service to clients. Those who seek to retain the services of a PR consultancy should always seek to hire a CMS qualified firm,” he says.
Ann-Marie O’Sullivan, O’Sullivan PR, was delighted to receive the CMS accreditation at a function in Dublin. Ms O’Sullivan said that acquiring the Standard “highlights the high levels of professionalism members aspire to and also demonstrates to the marketplace that PRCA membership is a genuine mark of quality”.
Convention Centre Dublin- Pivotal Role in Doubling Tourism Revenue
Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, Séamus Brennan T.D. visited the site of The Convention Centre Dublin, the new national conference centre, at Spencer Dock, Dublin, to mark an historic milestone in the construction process.
Minister Brennan was joined by Noel Ahern T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance and Dermod Dwyer, Chairman of The Convention Centre Dublin in laying the start of the massive steel works for the spectacular new building. Minister Brennan said that construction work on site is ahead of schedule and the project to build Ireland’s first national convention centre at Spencer Dock in the IFSC is on schedule to open on the 1st September 2010.
When completed The Convention Centre Dublin will deliver- The capacity for 8,000 conference delegates in various configurations. An Auditorium with a 2,000-seater venue and a 400 square metre stage that will serve as the facility’s central hub. A total of 22 multi-purpose meeting rooms with approximately 4,500 sqm of flexible exhibition and banqueting space. It is expected the centre will stage over 200 events each year, the majority being events with between 1,500 and 3,500 delegates.
Minister Brennan said that currently, business tourism attracts 295,000 visitors and is worth some €475 million to the Irish economy annually. With the opening of the new Convention Centre, Fáilte Ireland’s target is to grow this sector to 600,000 promotable business visitors with a revenue value of €1 billion by 2013.
Independent estimates have projected that The Convention Centre Dublin, when fully operational, will generate additional foreign revenue earnings of between €25m and €50m per year for the economy.
The scale of the new building, which will be approximately 50m high, can be gauged from the fact that almost 7,000 tonnes of primary steel will go into the structure as well as 3,635 tonnes of concrete reinforced steel, 37,000 sqm of concrete slab reinforcing mesh, almost 4,0000 sqm of glazing and 7,241 sqm of stone cladding.
Over the next three years the project will employ in excess of 600 construction personnel. In a major boost for the local area, the arrival of The Convention Centre Dublin will create 250 new full-time jobs, 300 part-time posts and indirectly support an additional 2,000 jobs.
Discover Ireland - in Second Life
Tourism Ireland has announced it will be hosting a series of promotional events in Second Life’s ’virtual Dublin’ to market Irish tourism to the community’s users.
The campaign is the first of its kind to be hosted in the ’virtual world’ Second Life by a real-world tourist board, and it will see a series of events take place online in the virtual Dublin between now and St Patrick’s Day 2008.
The version of Dublin within the online simulation was created by John Mahon of PickSL and is already a well-established Second Life location for live music and DJs -- occasionally making the top ten list of the most popular locations to visit.
Tourism Ireland spokesperson Sinead Grace told ENN that the main motivation for her organisation’s Second Life move was the fact that 60 percent of its users are located in the four biggest markets for Irish tourism: the UK, the US, Germany and France. "Because of this, it seemed like a good fit," she said. "It’s a unique and different hook for us and something we hope will catch people’s attention."
In a statement, Tourism Ireland’s director for central marketing, Mark Henry, said: "We are committed to using e-marketing to the best possible effect in promoting the island of Ireland as a holiday destination and our involvement in Second Life is about finding new ways to connect to today’s web-savvy consumer."
Tourism Ireland has doubled its digital marketing spend over the past three years. It currently spends a total of 14 percent of its marketing budget online, representing an investment of EUR6.5 million last year. This number is set to increase once again in 2008, with a quarter of the marketing budget has been earmarked for online activities.
Since its establishment in 2003, the so-called virtual community of Second Life, created by Linden Lab, has grown significantly and currently has more than 9 million registered users or ’residents’, 1.6 million of whom are considered regular users. Many major brands already have a presence there and, within the tourism industry, Starwood Hotels has used the virtual world to pilot the design of a new series of hotels, while travel agent Thomas Cook is offering virtual package tours to customers.
Senior management changes at Wilson Hartnell
Wilson Hartnell Public Relations - which is part of the Ogilvy Group - has announced the appointment of Brian Bell as Managing Director from 01 January next. He will also be joining the Ogilvy Group Board. Brian will succeed Roddy Guiney, who is becoming Executive Chairman of the company. Roddy will continue working on a full-time basis, focusing on WHPR’s extensive sports portfolio.
’Cosmos at the Castle’ unveiled in Cork
Micheal Martin, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, launched the final element of Blackrock’s Observatory and Interactive Visitor Centre in Cork on Monday.
Cosmos at the Castle is a EUR7.5 million joint venture between Cork City Council and Cork Institute of Technology. Housed at Blackrock Castle, it claims to be Ireland’s foremost Astronomical Research Facility and hosts a team of scientists working on new technologies for searching for planets around distant stars.
"We need to cultivate an attitude that values scientific curiosity and endeavour in the same way and we must strive to promote a more positive attitude towards the sciences through our schools, third level institutions and through projects such as the Blackrock Observatory," said Minister Martin speaking at the launch.
"My department, through its integrated awareness programme, Discover Science and Engineering, is happy to support this unique project. Blackrock Castle Observatory is now a Discover Science Centre and offers a wonderful facility in Cork for children to explore the universe."
Minister Martin pointed out that Ireland has set a goal to become a leader in research, development and innovation and has committed a budget towards this of EUR8.2 billion under the National Development Plan 2007-2013 and the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI) 2006-2013. The Cosmos at the Castle Project falls under the strategy’s remit.
The state-of-the-art exhibition highlights recent discoveries of extreme life forms on earth and their implications for life in space. It also invites interactive debate on mankind’s ultimate place in the universe.
A gallery of cinema-sized, high-definition, digital video screens with proximity sensors allow visitors to interact with the universe’s evolution process and of life on earth.
"Blackrock Castle Observatory is about inspiring passion in science and discovery. It will be a great educational and leisure resource for the public, and it will introduce young people to the wonders of science but also to demonstrate its relevance to people of all ages," said Peter Brabazon, Programme Director for Discover Science and Engineering.
"To develop as a society and economy, we need scientists and innovators who will provide the expertise and leadership which will contribute to job creation, sustained economic prosperity and advances in healthcare and environmental protection. The integration of research, an interactive astronomy exhibition centre and an educational outreach programme makes the Blackrock Castle project unique in Ireland."
Funding for the project was provided by Cork City Council, Cork Institute of Technology and a private benefactor.