Irish Media Movement

Leslie Ann Horgan has joined the Irish Independent and is now editing the Weekend magazine.

Mary O’Regan has joined UTV as political editor.

Fergal O’Brien has left his position as news correspondent with Today FM to join TV3.

RTE has appointed Fiona itches as its new London correspondent.

Colette Sexton is now responsible for the Media & Marketing section in the Sunday Business Post.

Stuff That Caught My Attention #28

Ahead of the launch of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, GAME hired a Hollywood acting coach to provide a few professional pointers to those planning on taking sick leave the next morning.

To celebrate the launch of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, HMV created their own special version of the Molly Malone statue outside their Henry Street store.

One of the many initiatives undertaken by Dublin Zoo to celebrate October as month of the elephant included releasing a ‘herd’ of elephants onto the streets of Dublin.

Irish Media Movement

Ian Kehoe has been appointed as editor of the Sunday Business Post.

Cliff Taylor has been appointed as managing editor of the Irish Times.

Paul Colgan has left RTE to join UTV as economics editor.  He has also been joined in the newsroom by Sinead O’Donnell, who was previously a reporter with TV3, Today FM and NewsTalk. Mick McCaffrey has left the Sunday World to become news editor at the station.  Chris Donoghue, host of NewsTalk’s breakfast show, is also joining UTV in January, whilst also retaining his role at the radio station.  NewsTalk will now also supply radio news for UTV’s regional radio stations, with UTV staff moving to its TV operation.

RTE will establish the position of London correspondent in January.

Steve Wynne Jones has become the managing editor of both Checkout and its sister publication ESM – the European Supermarket Magazine.

TV3 will broadcast a toy show to attempt to rival the RTE Late, Late Toy Show.  It will be presented by Brian McFadden and Karen Koster, with Jedward on hand also.


The latest Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times political poll makes for a depressing read for Fianna Fail. In the wake of a number of blunders by the Fine Gael and Labour coalition, Michael Martin and the rest of the Fianna Fail party must be wondering what they need to do to get a boost in the polls. Needless to say, hours after the poll the public soul searching by some of Martin’s rivals has already begun.

How is it that Sinn Fein gain in popularity, while Fianna Fail’s support continues to stagnate?

Is the party out of touch? Is Martin the wrong man for the job? Did the collapse of the Celtic Tiger fundamentally destroy the base of what has been the most popular party in the history of the State?

Perhaps the answer is a lot simpler. I read a great interview in the FT today with Timothy Bell, one of Margaret Thatcher’s main advisers (registration required, but free to read.)  There is a fantastic quote in the article:

“When you’re in opposition the only argument you’ve got is that it’s time for a change,” he says.

This is what makes the next election in the UK so interesting, he says. “Whatever happens there’s going to be a change. So nobody’s going to be able to do ‘it’s time for a change’ and nobody’s going to be able to do ‘it’s no time for a change’.”

The problem for Fianna Fail is that they are essentially seen as part of the establishment, whether they are in opposition or not.  Telling the electorate that they are the party to deliver change simply won’t wash with the public, no matter who the leader is at the moment.  The fundamental reason for Sinn Fein’s gradual rise in popularity is that more people are seeing them as the only real alternative.

This is also what will make the next election so interesting to watch. It would be in Sinn Fein’s best interests to stay out of Government for as long as possible.  They will be faced with a real gamble – take the reins of power and potentially see their popularity crumble like a castle with foundations built on sand over five years.  Or alternatively hold off for the same period to underline their position as the only political alternative, whilst praying that the continued turnaround in Ireland’s economic fortunes does not lead to the public repaying Fine Gael with their loyalty.

Media Movement

Paul Cunningham has been appointed as editor of RTE’s The Week in Politics. He will continue as European correspondent until also until the end of the year.

Cormac Ó hEadhra, drivetime host on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, has been confirmed as the new presenter of The Late Debate on RTÉ Radio 1.

Media Movement

Colette Sexton and Jack Horgan Jones have both joined the Sunday Business Post.

Conor Ryan has left the Irish Examiner to join RTE.

Marcus Lehnen has been appointed as news editor at UTV Ireland.

Arthur Beesley has been appointed as economics editor at the Irish Times.

Cormac Moore and Danielle Moyes are the new presenters of Spin FM’s Zoo Crew.

TV3 is launching a new show called The Gadget Buzz, which will be presented by Laura Wood, Joe Donnelly, Keith Nolan and Georgie Galvin.

Vincent Browne has finished writing his column for the Irish Times.

Amanda Brunker has finished writing her column for the Sunday World.

Mairead Farrell is leaving the Ray Darcy show to become the new producer of the Ian Dempsey breakfast show.

Claire Grady has stepped down as editor of the Irish Independent. A search for her replacement has commenced. Ian Mallon is acting editor in her absence.

KISS magazine has closed.

INM is merging the Evening Herald and Sunday World newsrooms which will lead to some voluntary redundancies.

As part of the revised TV3 schedule, FYI has finished up and will no longer air on 3e.

Topical ad from Toyota in the wake of the Jay-Z/Solange controversy.

This anti-racism campaign is inspired. In order to highlight the prevalence of racism in Spanish football, two Barcelona players had planned to eat the next piece of fruit thrown at them during a match. Dani Alves kicked off the campaign in the clip below, which was followed up by a series of posts by numerous players and fans. You can read more about the campaign here.

Paddy Power has been all over David Moyes’ reign as manager of Manchester United, eventually culminating in his dismissal. Their two best stunts involved having a grim reaper in the crowd at the Everton game that proved to be his eventual undoing and erecting a statue of David Moyes outside Anfield.

With the World Cup around the corner, Paddy Power has moved on from David Moyes to try and solve the mystery of how England can win the World Cup. Paddy Power commissioned Stephen Hawking to analyse the key factors which have affected England’s World Cup performances in their 45 finals games since 1966. The resulting scientific model was then used to help predict the probability of England winning key matches in Brazil this summer. Although it’s similar in nature to a Ladbrokes stunt from a few years ago, it garnered wall-to-wall coverage.

Paddy Power’s most inspired stunt, however, has been tricking the public to believe that they had cut down tries in the rain forest to carve out a message of support for the English football team. has the full back story.

Although Nigel Farage led UKIP to some success in the recent European and local elections, he came under some media scrutiny, particularly around employing his German wife as his private secretary. Xpat jobs, a recruitment site, put up an ad for the job, which led to hundreds of applications and some column inches for the company.

Irish Media Movement

Jennifer Bray is now health correspondent with the Irish Daily Mail.

Vincent Ryan has moved from the Irish Examiner to the Sunday Times business desk.

Padraic Halpin is now Dublin bureau chief for Thomson Reuters after the departure of Sam Cage.

A number of appointments have been announced at the Irish Independent. Kevin Doyle and Donal O’Donovan have been appointed as the news editor and deputy business editor respectively. Cormac Bourke has been appointed as executive editor and will, according to the paper, “play a key role in day-to-day news generation” and “also be involved in strategic planning in the context of a digital first newsroom and overseeing special investigations.

Time And The Creative Process

Working in a PR agency, you are constantly challenged to deliver creative ideas within very tight deadlines. Despite the short amount of time available, it never fails to amaze me that we all constantly turn work around. That said, this video about time and the creative process, which Cafe Creative made and circulated to their clients clearly illustrates how you will get better results by giving an agency the time and space to deliver. Their point is simply made in the video by contrasting the drawings of primary school children given ten seconds to draw a clock face and then given ten minutes to repeat the same task.

So You Want A Career In PR?

I get contacted often enough about people thinking about pursuing a career in PR looking for advice, so I’m writing down my thoughts here so I can copy and past them in future.

1. Go for a cup of coffee for someone who works in PR – It never fails to surprise me that people will spend a lot of time and money to get into the world of public relations, but not actually have a clue what the world of communications involves. Meet someone for a cup of coffee, ask them what their day job involves and then decide if it’s the career for you. A simple step to save a lot of stress in the future.

2. Don’t waste your time with a PR degree – There only seems to be a couple of PR degree courses in Ireland to be fair, it seems to be a much bigger UK phenomenon, but you should not spend up to four years of your life to learn how to work in public relations. A different qualification will allow you to offer far better insights. If you really want to do a course, do a post graduate qualification, but to be honest you would be just as well off by buying a copy of Ellen Gunning’s book and teaching yourself. My biggest hangup about PR courses in Ireland is that there simply isn’t enough entry level positions to cater for the amount of students coming through each year.

3. Get experience – One of my biggest regrets from university was not doing a work placement over the summer. If you’re doing a four year course, you have three potential opportunities to do an internship and get to learn about the world of communications and see if it’s what you actually want to do. More importantly, it’s a great way to position yourself for a job with a future employer as there simply isn’t enough entry level positions out there.

4. Help out a charity – There’s no better way to gain experience and build media contacts by helping out a charity. It’s a great way to demonstrate to employers how capable you are.

5. Read papers, listen to the radio, watch TV and surf the web – I am consistently amazed at the amount of people I meet in interviews, who tell me they want to work in public relations, but can’t tell me much about what they read, watch or listen to. You have to know what is going on in the world around. How else will you be able to know what’s newsworthy, what is top of mind for the public and what inspires people to take action.

6. Be social – Besides the fact that your future employers will automatically assume you’re a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat et al addict, social media is actually one of the simplest ways to develop media relationships. It’s a window into journalists’ personalities and what they cover. You should also take a step back to understand what content works on social media channels and which organisations use it well from a communications perspective. It’s also important to familiarise yourself with things like the Facebook admin or the WordPress admin panels.

7. Think visually – I’ll leave you with this video below. It was made by a seventeen year old. I would love to be growing up now and be able to develop skills like this. People with the technical skills that are able to communicate effectively visually are going to be the winners in the multimedia world we’re moving into.

I Believe That We Will Win! – Belvedere College Basketball from Bold Move on Vimeo.

Piaras Kelly
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Musings about PR, Marketing, Advertising and Current Affairs by an Irish Public Relations Consultant