A VERY SPECIAL CHALLENGE FOR 2015
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Special Olympics Ireland, and in particular, Special Olympics Ulster – one of its five regional programmes – over the last four years. During this time, I have met so many wonderful and truly inspirational people that have forever changed my outlook on life.
Special Olympics athletes have proven to me time and time again that having an intellectual disability does not stop you from achieving great things; nor does it limit your ability to push your boundaries and strive to do your very best. The coaches and volunteers have also been a great source of inspiration – a group of truly wonderful people that give huge personal commitment to help Special Olympics athletes right across Ireland achieve their goals. It’s been hugely humbling to watch.
In June 2014, I joined volunteers from across Ireland in supporting athletes at the Special Olympics Ireland Limerick Games. Working as part of the media team, I helped to tell the stories of athletes, families and volunteers to press across the island. It was a small but significant role and one that I greatly enjoyed.
Next year, local Special Olympics athletes from right across Ireland will travel to the states to take part in the Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles 2015. And I’m honoured to be joining them once again as a volunteer. With the full support of MCE, I will join the Team Ireland media team at the Games in L.A. next summer. Whilst there, I will feed back stories to Irish and world media on our local athletes as they compete on a global stage, ensuring their efforts get the attention they so deserve.
My road to L.A 2015 starts now, as in order to take my place as a volunteer and to fulfill my pledge to support the Special Olympics Ireland programme, I must raise close to £4,000.
Over the next five to six months, I will host lots of fundraising events to help me reach my fundraising goal. I’ll post more details about those here in due course.
In the meantime, you can find out more about my fundraising efforts and make a donation here. All donations, however small, will be very gratefully received, particularly as my first installment is due before Christmas…
It’s a daunting challenge and there’s a lot of money to raise but I know it will be worth the effort in the long run, giving me the opportunity to do something that will be hugely personally rewarding.
In addition to monetary donations, I will have a number of events in the New Year, which will all require ballots in aid of my fundraising efforts, so I will be so grateful for any donations of prizes that companies may be willing to offer. I’ll also be enlisting the help of friends, family & colleagues in various guises from sandwich & tea making to cake baking, pub quiz compering & DJing (as well as attending events), so do let me know if you’d like to/can get involved. And, if you have an idea for a fundraiser you could help me with, please get in touch.
There’s no way I can do this on my own, so I would like to say a sincere thank you in advance to everyone that will help me on my road to LA 2015, to be part of this very special once in a lifetime event.
LA 2015 already has some well-known supporters – here’s US President, Barack Obama’s official welcome to the Games earlier this year:
And another great video from LA 2015 Games HQ that really captures the essence of what the Special Olympics World Games is all about:
CIPR NI SUMMER SOCIAL
When you tell people you work in PR, it’s not unusual to be met with exclamations of ‘Oh, that must be so glamorous!’ Whilst there’s no doubt it’s an exciting industry to work in, surprisingly to some, cocktail swilling, couture fashion and A-List parties don’t feature heavily in the day to day world of a PR consultant. In reality, we tend to spend more time in strategy planning meetings than attending fashion shows and red carpet events.
Whatever industry you work in, it’s good to down tools occasionally and network with peers – no one else can quite comprehend the particular pressures and rewards of the job than someone who works in the same industry.
As a member for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), I’m afforded many chances to network with my peers on a local and national level. Last night’s CIPR Northern Ireland Summer Social at The National Belfast was a great opportunity to meet up with other local PR professionals, down the clipboards and enjoy some relaxed, work-free networking.
I’ve benefited both personally and professionally through collaboration with peers and these social events are a great opportunity to widen networks and find ways that we can work together better. It was also particularly pleasing to see two of MCE’s newest recruits – recently signed up as CIPR members – enjoying their first CIPR NI social event.
The BBQ and mojitos went down just as well as the networking and the sun even made an appearance after what’s been a very wet few weeks. Kudos to my CIPR NI committee colleagues, Jane Williams and Seona McGrath for organising a great event. Roll on the Christmas social!
Check out the pictures from the event on the CIPR Northern Ireland Facebook page
PROUD TO STAND FOR CIPR UK COUNCIL
I’m delighted to announce that my nomination to stand for the UK Council of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has been accepted. I am joining public relations professionals from right across the UK in standing for one of eight open seats on the CIPR UK Council. I’m proud to join a collection of such esteemed peers in what is set to be a very exciting election.
Voting opens on 1st September and runs until 22nd September. I would encourage all voting CIPR members to take the time to participate in this year’s election and to help shape the future of the industry.
MCE SHORTLISTED FOR THREE INDUSTRY AWARDS
More than 350 of the UK’s leading public relations teams, consultancies and individuals, including more than 40 in Northern Ireland have made the shortlists of the 2014 CIPR PRide Awards, the UK’s premier awards scheme that recognises excellence in public relations and communications work across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and six English regions.
MCE’s work on the re-brand of Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI has been shortlisted in the Not-For-Profit category. Within this campaign, MCE oversaw the creation and design of a new brand identity, logo and website. Implementing an innovative and creative strategy for LLNI has helped raise awareness of the charity, increase donations and increase volunteer numbers.
The MCE team has also been recognised for its work on the inaugural Great Ulster Pub Week, having been shortlisted in the Integrated Campaign category. The fully integrated advertising, PR, marketing and events campaign was delivered in May 2014 by MCE for Pubs of Ulster. The Great Ulster Pub Week was the largest multi-venue pub festival ever seen in Northern Ireland and delivered on its key objectives to give consumers a reason to revisit the pub, whilst upskilling publicans and driving footfall and sales into participating pubs.
In the Public Affairs category, MCE has been shortlisted for its campaign ‘Knocking out Sectarianism and Racism in Boxing in Northern Ireland’. The MCE public affairs team worked with an Independent Working Group (IWG) to investigate sectarianism and racism in boxing in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the shortlist, Chris Love MCIPR Chair of the CIPR Northern Ireland group said: “This year we’ve had a record number of entries all of which were of an incredibly high standard, highlighting the industry-leading work that is taking place right across Northern Ireland. I would like to congratulate all of those who have been shortlisted for an award; their success demonstrates their exemplary achievements in our thriving profession.”
Winners will be announced at the gala award ceremony at the Culloden Estate & Spa on Friday 17 October 2014.