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Public relations body appoints new board members

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Public relations body appoints new board members

Public relations body appoints new board members

Pictured: Laurie Mannix

Michael Keane, founding partner, Insight Consultants and WHPR director Sharon Murphy have been elected to the board of the Public Relations Consultants Association Ireland (PRCA).

The rest of the board for 2012 includes Joanne Coffey, MD, Keating & Associates; Nigel Heneghan, MD, Heneghan PR; Caroline Heywood, joint MD, Walsh PR; Laurie Mannix, MD, MKC Communications; Anne Marie O’Sullivan, executive director, H+A Marketing + PR; and Niall Quinn, vice president, PRII, and account director, Gibney Communications.

The PRCA said turnover among its member firms is now estimated at €40m a year. Between them, these firms employ around 600 of the estimated 1,500 public relations professionals in Ireland.

“PRCA member firms have proven very resilient in meeting the challenges of recent years,” said the association’s chairman, Laurie Mannix. “Our members are continuing to win new business and give valuable employment to hundreds of people. 

“Anecdotally, PRCA firms are reporting a strong final quarter in 2011 and the level of new business enquiries in the first two months of the year is also ahead.  While business sentiment is still fragile there is a definite sense of movement.

“Many business have been in limbo for the past three years and they realise they cannot remain in a holding position indefinitely.  These businesses are recognising the need to actively manage their reputation and to proactively promote their businesses.  When investing in PR, they want to be sure they are engaging the best professionals.” 

“Social media and crisis communications have been strong growth areas in the past 12 and social media in particular has the potential to be a game changer for our industry,” said Mannix.

“Social media is first and foremost a communications channel and in terms of reputation management, its natural home is within PR and communications.  Many of our members are leading on social media strategy with their clients. While 2012 is likely to remain challenging, PRCA member firms are well placed to take advantage of opportunities arising.”

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