The annual Awards for Excellence in Public Relations, now in its 26th year, was held in the Mansion House, Dublin on Friday 21 June. A record attendance of almost 398 practitioners, clients and employers attended the gala lunch which celebrates the best work in public relations in both the private and public sectors in the past 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).

Opening the Awards, PRCA Chairperson, Mari O’Leary, FPRII, said that 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.”


Pictured is Young Communications Professional of the Year Sponsored by Kantar, Niamh Breathnach(centre), MPRII, from Alice PR with Martina Quinn(left) Managing Director of Alice PR and Mari O’Leary, PRCA Chairperson.
Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography.

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.


News/Business 21062019. No Repro Fee.
Pictured is from left Pat Montague, Beatrice McCann, Mari O’Leary,PRCA Chairperson and Emma Archbold who won the award for the Best Issues-Led Campaign, Sponsored by RuePointMedia, for ‘Irish Travellers Ethnicity Celebration’ by Persuasion Republic and the National Travellers Celebration/Irish Travellers Movement. Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography.


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. A showcase of the culture, heritage, language and identity of Travellers, it marked the first anniversary of the State’s recognition of Traveller Ethnicity.

In all, twenty Awards for Excellence were presented across a wide range of categories recognising the variety of public relations activity.

Pictured is from is Mari O’Leary, PRCA chairperson, with Sharon Murphy(Wilson Hartnell ) and Roddy Guiney who, won the award for Best Long-Term Campaign ‘National Stadium – Local Community’ by Wilson Hartnell and Aviva Stadium.Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography.

The full list of winners at the Awards for Excellence in Public Relations 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 – Sponsored by RuePointMedia

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