Getting your message across!

Which PR and marketing team shares your brand values? Who is the most effective in capturing the attention of your target audience? Which agency is consistently generating headlines and media interviews? These are all key questions any FMCG brand should ask when deciding which agency to partner with to deliver their PR and marketing needs. In this month’s issue, the country’s leading companies explain more about the services they offer


Brand Central

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29 May 2018

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Without a doubt, you, our readers here at ShelfLife, are already fully aware of the benefits a strong PR and marketing campaign can bring; no persuasion is necessary on that front. Just like the best ideas in life though, an impressive campaign may seem straightforward in its simplicity. However, there is a huge amount of creativity and dedication that goes on behind the scenes in order to put the wheels of an effective campaign in motion.

Strong relationships with key journalists and an ability to produce newsworthy, useful content that fits with tight deadlines, are essential attributes for any agency worth its salt. While this will not change anytime soon, it is clear that the PR and marketing sector has been significantly impacted in recent years by the growing influence of social media and online engagement. In fact, the best, most forward-thinking agencies have led this evolution.

The extent to which the sector has changed was highlighted by a recent event held by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI), specifically for Irish bloggers and influencers. Appropriately held at Facebook’s Dublin HQ, the purpose of this event was to give further guidance about the disclosure of marketing communications online.

In fact, over 100 Irish bloggers, influencers, marketers and advertisers attended the ASAI’s ‘Inform and Engage’ event in Dublin’s Docklands to discuss advertising standards and best practice. According to the authority, the goal was to ensure transparency and best practice in the interest of consumers, so that influencers’ marketing communications are always legal, decent, honest and truthful. Importantly, this is an area where agencies can also give their clients valuable advice, as well as bolstering brands’ marketing creativity, with events and initiatives that truly engage the public’s interest.

Jenny Cullen

Jenny Cullen

Q & A with… Jenny Cullen, managing director, Revolve

Q: How important are social media ‘influencers’ within the PR and marketing sector currently?

A: Traditional PR is changing and with that so are brands’ strategic objectives. Many brands now include influencer marketing in their PR plans and budgets. While working with influencers is an integral part of generating brand awareness, there are many factors to consider when doing so, as it can be a costly process. Here at Revolve, we consider all factors before linking brands and influencers, asking questions like “Are they a fit?”, “Who are their followers?” and “What will this yield?”

Q: Can you outline one of your more successful, recent campaigns within the FMCG sphere and the results this delivered for your client?

A: Our client Camile Thai partnered with blogger, presenter and influencer Holly White to create a ‘Vibrant Vegan Stir-Fry’ dish for the Camile Thai outlets. The dish was a huge success and sold out in branches across Dublin. As well as the dish being a hit for customers, the media had a particular interest in Holly’s dish with Revolve yielding strong editorial coverage and several interview opportunities. Revolve arranged samplings for bloggers and press, generating significant online interest.

Q: How do you help your clients secure a maximum amount of coverage across traditional media channels? How can you help create an editorial angle that will interest journalists and readers?

A: Firstly, we have a very strong database of media contacts that we have generated over our 15 years in business, as well as having extensive relationships with the media. We issue our releases to all relevant media contacts with all captioned images and information they might need. We try to anticipate what they require so they don’t have to contact us looking for more information; they work to such tight schedules and that’s something we really understand.

Q: Is there a minimum client budget you will work with? How can you help secure results with smaller budgets?

A: Our minimum fee is €1,200 agency income per month over a period of no less than six months.

As an integrated marketing communications agency offering advertising, marketing research, public relations, events and digital marketing, we offer our services based on three pricing methods:

  1. Time and materials
  2. Block project time
  3. Monthly retainer

There are meaningful discounts offered to clients who elect the monthly retainer or block time option.

Q: If a brand experiences a problem, for example, a recall or reputational issue, how will you help the company manage media interest? What is the best policy going forwards?

We are reactive in such situations and work to ensure our clients’ reputation remains intact. Establishing a brand representative and several key points to address the issue are key and will help manage media coverage surrounding these issues. While we have no final say on editorial, we are able to make contact with journalists and help assess the situation with them.

Ensuring the message is told in the best way

By Jenny Cullen

PR agency: Revolve Marketing and PR

Established: 2004

Contact name: Jenny Cullen

Phone: +35312841944



Client list: Revolve specialises in consumer retail marketing and public relations. Clients both past and present include, Thomas Sabo Jewellery, Weir & Sons Jewellers, De Dietrich, Camille Thai, L’Oreal, Kerastase, Bourjois, Nordmende, Remington, Russell Hobbs, George Foreman, Magee1866, Triton Showers and Regatta outdoor clothing.

Skills and expertise

We look at our clients’ marketing plans and product catalogue, establish what they are trying to achieve and fine-tune the creative angle that turns that information into valuable news and content. We are a team of experts, with the experience, resources and media connections to land the brand.

Whether it is directing strategy on a particular media angle or reaching top press outlets and journalists, it’s our job to make sure that the message is told in the best way.

Nicky Crichton. managing director and head of brand communications, Drury | Porter NovelliDriving purposeful action through influence and engagement

By Nicky Crichton

PR agency: Drury | Porter Novelli

Established: 1989

Contact name: Nicky Crichton

Phone: 01 2605000



Client list: Road Safety Authority, Three Mobile, Love Irish Food, The Westbury, Kepak, Aurivo, ESB, CRH, McDonald’s, NIVEA, Bioderma, Oesophageal Cancer Fund, Science Foundation Ireland, Cairn Homes, Java Republic

Skills and expertise

Drury | Porter Novelli is an office of 30 highly skilled communications specialists operating across a number of practice areas – consumer & brand communications, corporate, public affairs, financial PR, health & wellness, project communications and training.

We are proud of the work we undertake – good solid, creative and impactful work, tailored to specific client needs, budgets and objectives. We are partners with our clients, large and small, across times of both opportunity and crisis, creating clear, concise communications with a proven return on investment.

Our competitive advantage lies in our people, our experience and our approach to client work. We stand up for the right idea – no matter where this comes from; dig deeper, and collaborate fiercely to create big creative consumer campaigns. Our mission is to drive purposeful action through influence and engagement, which is why we focus on behavioural change as opposed to just generating coverage for our clients.

Our thriving consumer practice is particularly passionate about FMCG brands, and decades of experience ensure that we are fluent in the debates, the issues and the pinch points in the FMCG industry.

Whilst Drury | Porter Novelli is part of a global collective of the top PR agencies in the world, Omnicom Public Relations Group, we also have all of the characteristics and spirit of a boutique agency – delivering our clients’ local, global, or multi market work with agility, personality and professional informality, and simultaneously enjoying access to the latest trends, insights, and global research.

Emma Kelly, managing director, Elevate PR

Emma Kelly, managing director, Elevate PR

Proactive, energetic and hardworking

By Emma Kelly

PR agency: Elevate PR

Established: 2001

Contact name: Emma Kelly

Phone: 01 6625652



Client list: Alpro, Fulfil, Pip and Nut, Propercorn, Peroni, Lily O’Brien’s, Green Farm, Schweppes

Skills and expertise

Elevate is one of the leading lifestyle communications agencies in Ireland, offering PR, social media, content creation, influencer relations and event management expertise.

We love brands; large global FMCG brands inspire us, as do owner-entrepreneurs who live and breathe what they do.

We are driven by consumer insights; they inform every idea we present and execute. We understand the retail, food and drinks environment, and we provide our FMCG clients with creative concepts, which we bring to life through traditional PR, social media, content creation and events, always keeping the customer in mind to ultimately help drive sales.

We are a proactive, energetic and hardworking team of ten professionals, who work in partnership with clients to execute results-driven campaigns on time and on budget.

For us, it’s all about being connected; we are creative brand connectors, connecting brands with people, with ideas and with trends. We are always connected to what’s happening, who’s involved and what’s to come.

With Brexit on the horizon, we have joined forces with Belfast-based ASG & Partners to offer all-island PR strategy and campaigns, and to provide clients with access to trailblazers and thought leaders in traditional and online media, north and south.

Lynn Hunter, managing director, Hunter Communications

Lynn Hunter, managing director, Hunter Communications

Joining the dots between brands and influencers

By Lynn Hunter

PR agency: Hunter Communications

Established: 2009

Contact name: Lynn Hunter

Phone: 01-9056350



Client list: Largo Foods, Tayto, O’Donnells, Hunky Dorys, Hula Hoops, Frank and Honest, SuperValu Tidy Towns, Lifeforce, Seedlip, Original Penguin, Buckfast, Kopparberg, Fade Laser, The Rolling Donut

Skills and expertise

Essential elements are planning, specific and measurable goals, and most importantly knowing your audience.

Since January, we have seen an increase in business and PR spend by brands. PR spend has changed over the years; there is more of a focus on fun and unique activations, innovative ways of telling brand stories. We excel in this area by working alongside the brand from idea generation to activation stage. We also create content from social media to engaging videos. Hunter Communications is constantly evolving with the industry and updating our offering for clients.

The other type of activity that has increased in recent years is influencer marketing. That’s why Hunter Communications saw an opportunity to set up The Collaborations Agency; we are the only PR agency with an influencer division. We are the first Irish full-service agency that joins the dots between brands and influencers. We have lots of talent on our books from UFC, GAA and rugby stars, to food stylists, radio DJs, fashion photographers and more.

Our two businesses are about creating strategic alignments and campaigns that are relevant and results driven. Each collaboration, like each brand, is unique. We create bespoke packages to suit our client’s needs and budgets from ongoing support to shorter-term consultancy briefs across fashion, beauty, sport, entertainment and lifestyle sectors.

RNN Communications’ senior team: Jolene Kelly, Jill McLernon and Riki Neill, founder and director of RNN Communications

RNN Communications’ senior team: Jolene Kelly, Jill McLernon and Riki Neill, founder and director of RNN Communications

Delivering cohesive cross-border campaigns, subtly tailored for each market

By Riki Neill

PR agency: RNN Communications

Established: 2013

Contact name: Riki Neill

Phone: 048 9521 3621



Client list: Delivering cross-border representation for brands in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, RNN Comms works with clients in the FMCG, retail and hospitality sectors.

Brand activation and storytelling is at the heart of RNN Comms. Having worked with global brands such as Ocean Spray, Lactalis Nestle, Eat Natural and Fisherman’s Friend, the company has a wealth of experience in this sector.

Other notable names include Gala Retail, Robert Roberts, Valeo Foods and Kinetica Sports Nutrition, and on the B2B side, RNN Comms manages and executes the communications plan for CATEX in Dublin and IFEX in Northern Ireland.

The company operates three divisions: @RNNComms, @RNNSocial and @RNNGreen. Services include: sponsorship identification and activation, event management, social media, content creation, trade communications, crisis management and everything in-between!

At RNN Comms, we work in partnership with clients and it’s the agency where results count. The company’s values – integrity, partnership, flexibility and responsible citizenship – run through all of the agency’s actions, relationships and campaigns.

It’s a winning combination that has delivered award-winning work for RNN Communications’ clients and growth for the agency year-on-year.

Social handles:

Twitter: @RNNComms @RNNSocial @RNNGreen @RikiNeill

Instagram: @RNNComms

Facebook: @RNNCommunications

Vero: @RNNComms

Skills and expertise

We work with clients to truly understand their brand or organisation; this includes the company’s business direction and vision. By understanding the big picture, we create communications strategies that will help our clients to work towards their organisation’s overall goals.

We understand the challenges and opportunities, and create campaigns that deliver cut-through and longevity, aligned to our clients’ brand values.

Our wealth of experience in the FMCG sector, in addition to our knowledge of the media landscape and our brilliant ideas, ensure that each client benefits from a customised approach that is best suited to their business.

For many clients, we deliver integrated campaigns that live and breathe both on and offline, and for an increasing number of clients, we are delivering cohesive cross-border campaigns that are subtly tailored for each market.

For clients, they’re recognising the savings that can be delivered by using one agency in two markets, without compromising on results.

At RNN Comms, we pride ourselves on being nimble and adapting our approach to every client’s requirements. This includes everything from our reporting structures to billing models, preferred currency, and adaptability in delivering both retainer and project briefs.

It’s the flexibility of our approach, our expertise and ‘can do’ attitude that’s leading to RNN Comms delivering more services for clients and winning new business both in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Maeve Governey, deputy MD, Walsh:PR

Maeve Governey, deputy MD, Walsh:PR

Customisation is king

By Maeve Governey

PR agency: Walsh:PR

Established: 1984

Contact name: Maeve Governey

Phone: 01-6613515



Client list: Flahavan’s, Dr Oetker, Avonmore Milk range, Dalata Hotel Group, EPA, Golden Irish, Perrigo

Skills and expertise

At Walsh:PR, we’ve seen a huge step change in how we communicate food brands to consumers. In fact, we’ve come full circle in the past ten years. Social provides plenty of scope for innovation, fun and education around brands, with competitions providing the reward element. But consumers are demanding much more from brands. They’re looking for engagement on a real level. They want to touch it, feel it and taste it. But most of all, they want to enjoy it their way. That means customisation is king.

We’ve recently worked on a number of events that have provided this sort of direct engagement with the consumer. The Flahavan’s #OfficeOats Café at the WeWork offices on Harcourt Street, Dublin attracted 2,000 consumers to enjoy Flahavan’s Oats their way. The launch of Avonmore Balance is another example of clever consumer engagement. We challenged Dubliners to test their balance by crossing a balance beam placed over a 3D illustrated, 40 foot crater in the ground. This sort of on-street activation is great for encouraging people to engage in a personal way with the brand and offers the brand great rewards. And in this case, they engaged in their droves by sharing branded pics of their balance attempts widely on social.

We provide end-to-end support and delivery of these types of activations to our FMCG clients and continually seek ways to innovate and keep our ideas fresh. We’ve come full circle, the event is the hero and social media, the medium that fuels it!




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