Questions with Chris

Questions with Chris

Chris Love, a leading Public Relations Practitioner in NI and founder of LOVE PR, offers some insight into his views on what makes a good public relations campaign and some advice for new practitioners entering into the world of PR. 

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About Chris

Chris Love is a Fellow of the CIPR and a Chartered Public Relations practitioner. A former Chair of CIPR Northern Ireland, CIPR UK Council member and Professional Practices Committee member, Chris runs his own consultancy Love PR. He is a current member of the CIPR Fellows’ Forum and winner of CIPR NI PRide Awards Outstanding Independent Practitioner three times.

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What do you think are the fundamentals to a successful PR campaign?

“There’s no one guide that fits all approach, however by applying SMART objectives and using the PESO model, both will definitely help with the structure. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of setting objectives and then working towards expected outcomes. Always ensure the campaign is being measured throughout to ensure the campaign delivers what it set out to do”.

What is a favourite PR campaign of yours?

“A favourite PR campaign of mine is #missingtype for National Blood Week. NHS convinced big brands including Nando’s, Odeon, Waterstone’s and Daily Mirror to remove the A, B & O’s from their name to highlight the lack of people signing up to donate blood. Even the street sign on Downing Street took part. An extra 30,000 blood donators signed up in the first year of the campaign in 2015 and in 2016 the campaign was rolled out across 21 countries. The campaign was started as there were 40% fewer new blood donors in 2014 compared to 2004. The campaign was designed to strengthen the donor base for the future and it has definitely paid off”.

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What information would you give to young PR professionals today to advance in the workplace?

“PR is a management discipline and it’s important for our industry that practitioners are strategic in their thinking about the value PR can bring to a business”.

 

So, there you have it folks. Simple and to the point, these words of wisdom have obviously worked for Chris, and hopefully you can take something from it for yourself in the world of PR!

 

Lauren Toal is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University, Jordanstown. You can follow her on Twitter @laurentoal5 or reach out on LinkedIn at  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/laurentoal.

Urban Myths of Armagh City

Urban Myths of Armagh City

As with anywhere in Ireland, Armagh City is riddled with urban legends and tall tales about years gone before. A conversation in the hairdressers got us talking about some of the most popular stories that haunt children and adults alike that have been passed down the years….

The Green Lady

Between the bricks of a house on Vicar Hill overlooking the city, is a green bottle containing the soul of a woman who has been named The Green Lady.

Although all renditions of the story seem to be a bit muddy (exaggeration makes everything better) the bare bones (excuse the pun) describes 21-year-old woman by the name of Bellina Prior, who killed a young girl Annie Slevin by drowning. This part is fact however as it was recorded in the local press in 1888.

After being sent off to a mental asylum for some years, Bellina emerged again in Dublin before being supposedly poisoned by her mother.

A flurry of stories have made the rounds about what happens when you go near the house, including having your eyes stabbed with fingernails if you look through the letterbox, and The Green Lady taking you away if you come too close to her house. Whispers of exorcisms and sightings have all been claimed, but I don’t think I’ll be investigating any of the accusations anytime soon.

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The Red Rose Corridor

An unwritten induction to Year 8 in St. Catherine’s College is being told about why you aren’t allowed into the Red Rose Corridor at the very top of the school.

During the fire of February 1964, one of the nuns entered the elevator to go up to the Red Rose Corridor. Unbeknown to her, the blaze had begun and one of the students shouted to warn her. The nun poked her head out of the elevator and the doors shut, beheading her and leaving the body to travel to the top floor.

Some say if you are quiet enough you can hear her pacing the Corridor, and reports of students running up to see all the lights turn off and a feint figure appear in the distance…

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Catherine McGlone

The last person to be hanged in public in Armagh, Catherine McGlone was described as a local beauty, admired by many. She bore an illegitimate son, and upon falling in love with a soldier, seen her son as a problem. As a result, she drowned him in the local Callan River.

After her hanging, Catherine was burned at the stake and her ashes kicked around the local grass area of the Mall. She is said to haunt Armagh Gaol, walking around in white, looking for her love and feeling guilty for her crime.

TV series Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunts came to the Gaol to try and capture this ghost on film along with many others, and there have been numerous claims of seeing and hearing Catherine wandering and wailing around the grounds.

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Whether you choose to believe in them or not, these legends certainly create a good story, and a great source of threat for mothers in Armagh… “Watch yourself or I’ll get the Green Lady to take you away!!”

Lauren Toal is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University, Jordanstown. You can follow her on Twitter @laurentoal5 or reach out on LinkedIn at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/laurentoal.

Life Advice from a 3-year-old

Life Advice from a 3-year-old

A doting godmother to a 3-year-old boy, I am constantly amused and intrigued by Jude (biased I know). Whether it be his fascination currently with thinking the word ‘poo poo head’ is so funny or his constant questioning of EVERYTHING, he definitely has a fresh and light hearted look on the world. Which got me thinking, could we benefit from approaching life like a 3-year-old?

A few things I have observed from this blue eyed boy with a devilish grin can definitely be applied to ‘adult life’ (or the beginning of it for most of us).

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He never says “I can’t”

If his brother says “See how far you can go if you jump off the sofa” he will. If I tell him to try and lift me up to see how strong he is, he will. Granted, I go on my tip toes to pretend he lifted me, but he still looks at someone three times his height and doesn’t think twice to wrap his tiny arms around my legs and give it a go.

Jude doesn’t think of setbacks, obstacles or any reason as to why he can’t do anything. He charges in, gives it a go and if it doesn’t work out – oh well. Either on to the next thing, or he will keep trying until he can.

He never gives up

If he wants a drink of your coke, he will get a drink of your coke. No, it’s not giving in – it’s giving my head peace! Jude will climb on top of you, climb on top of the table, constantly ask and talk about this glass of coke – anything until he gets what he wants. Once he gets a sip, he’s happy and away.

So if you don’t get the first job you applied for, you apply for another. And another, and another and another, until you get the job you want. It won’t come easy, but if you give up it won’t come at all. This is in all areas of your life – the cliché of “nothing worth having ever came easy”. Yep, even Jude knows that.

He constantly asks Why?

All. The. Time. The first 8 are alright, but when you’re knee deep into the 23rd why, you just answer “because”.

“I have to go to the shop now”

“Why”

“To get some dinner”

“Why”

“Because I’m hungry and we eat dinner in the evening don’t we?”

“Why”

You get the point.

But why don’t we ask why? We are dangerously slipping into a culture of acceptance. That’s just how things are, that’s just how the world works, it’s been like that for years it won’t change now.

Constantly, news articles are accepted as they are. Why did the Journalist write about that topic? Have they an agenda for the politician they are writing about? Is it really true that coconut oil is the best oil for us because these bloggers all use it? The answer to that one is no by the way – it is the same as any other plant based oil.

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He keeps it simple

You are either happy or sad. Big or small. Hungry or full. In a 3-year-old’s mind the world is simple. Yes, they are oblivious to many ‘grown up’ things, but for the most part, they are pretty tuned in.

Jude can tell if you are sad, and if you are sad Jude will try and make you laugh to make you feel better, or give you a hug. That is simple. Problem + remedy = solution. And you know what, it always works. So why don’t we keep it simple?

We are always over complicating things. Over complicating situations, over complicating assignments and deadlines, over complicating our lives. Strip it down and make it simple.

  • Is what you are doing right now making you happy? No.
  • Do you know what makes you happy? Yes.
  • Well why don’t you stop doing what makes you unhappy and do what makes you happy? I don’t have time. I don’t know how to start. It’s too hard. Scrap those excuses and just do it. Simple.

And finally, he always finds the fun in things

Cleaning up the toy room? We can make this fun; I’ll throw the toys see can I get them into the box. Long car journey? Ok, I’m going to sing some songs and see how many birds I can see.

In a stressed out, serious world, it’s easy to become bogged down with must-dos and have-tos. Find the fun things in everyday tasks like playing your favourite music when doing housework or better yet, make time to do things you enjoy or to spend time with people who make you laugh. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.

From someone whose day consists of breakfast, nursery, playtime, dinner, bath and bed, Jude has a very good outlook on life. Not to say he doesn’t have his bad days where he falls or throws a wobbler – but when he has his bad days he brushes them off very quickly and moves on (another thing we can learn).

Keeping things simple, always having a laugh, never giving up, always questioning, not sweating the small stuff and believing he can – I think he’ll do alright if he keeps that attitude up.

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Lauren Toal is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University, Jordanstown. You can follow her on Twitter @laurentoal5 or reach out on LinkedIn at  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/laurentoal.