NOffLA Speaks: Local stories

With fantastic stories full of rich detail to tell, the independent off-trade sector can play a major role in local communities

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13 August 2014 | 0

The Support Your Local campaign continues to be a major success. NOffLA members, as part of the drinks industry in Ireland, have told local stories about how their businesses have contributed to the local economy and the ways in which they are part of the local community. The independent off-trade are part and parcel of their communities, knowing their customers individually and supporting local projects.

Radio advertising

Irish people are known for their storytelling, which is probably one of the reasons for the success of this campaign. The Irish drinks industry has many great stories to tell. In particular, those in the independent off-trade engage personally with each of their customers, providing advice and swapping experiences.

Radio is a particularly effective medium for those who appreciate storytelling. The Support Your Local campaign has run a radio advertising campaign on RTÉ to encourage consumers to support their local pub, off-licence, restaurant or hotel.

Economic impact

The campaign has focused public attention to the many ways in which the industry contributes to, and is part of, local communities across Ireland. Although the recession has undoubtedly impacted on the sector, the drinks industry is a major employer, accounting for some 90,582 jobs and a payroll of €2 billion. Its impact on other industries like tourism and agriculture can be seen from statistics like the 219,412 tonnes of Irish barley that go to create iconic products each and every year.

The Support Your Local campaign was launched on the back of a new wide-ranging report by economist Tony Foley from the DCU Business School: ‘Drinks Related Employment in Dáil Constituencies’. Speaking about the report, Tony Foley gave details of the huge economic impact of the sector: The national economic impact of the drinks industry is substantial. There are 8,298 public houses and other bars and almost 1,700 full off-licences. In addition to the large brewers and distillers there are 25 craft or micro-breweries and 15 new distilleries are being developed. Nationally, the drinks industry directly provides 63,000 full or part-time jobs with a wages bill of €885m and purchases over €1 billion of Irish produced agricultural, other materials and services inputs. These purchases support about 11,600 jobs. The direct and indirect employment total of 74,600 supports an additional 17,500 jobs. Overall, the drinks industry supports over 92,000 jobs.”

Social media

Despite the global reach of social media, studies have shown that social media can be particularly effective for local retailers. So many NOffLA customers are active on one, or more, social media channels, that it is a missed opportunity not to engage with them. These customers expect to “meet” someone from their local off-licence on Facebook, Twitter or the other popular platforms that now form part of the daily interaction for most Irish consumers. NOffLA members are encouraged to remind their social media based customers that supporting your local enterprise is important economically, but will also provide a level of service not found anywhere else – online or in their local retailer.

Tell your story

This is an exceptional industry, with fantastic stories full of rich detail to tell. From the popularity of Irish pubs with tourists, to the iconic Irish brands that are known the world over.

Every NOffLA off-licence contributes to its local economy. Every NOffLA off-licence has a story to tell about how supporting local businesses can benefit local communities. The campaign website clearly shows the impact of the industry, not only nationally, but in each constituency in the country. NOffLA members are encouraged to log on to www.supportyourlocal.ie and tell their story. “From farmers who are producing world-class ingredients to the brewers and distillers who are creating world-class products. From Mizen Head to Malin Head, in every town and village in this country, there are families who are relying on the drinks industry to make their living. This is an exceptional industry, with fantastic stories full of rich detail to tell.”

NOffLA members should tell their local stories by going to www.supportyourlocal.ie.

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