PR Store campaign shortlisted for top award

A CAMPAIGN to promote community councils in West Lothian has been shortlisted for a top award.

The drive – to make the local groups more accessible and accountable – has been nominated for a PRide Award, the “Oscars” of the public relations world.

The contest is run by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) to find the very best PR campaigns around the country.

Bo?ness-based agencies The PR Store and web partner Oldhand Media worked with members of West Lothian Association of Community Councils to create a buzz around the 34 community councils in the district.

They created a new website -www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk – backed by eye-catching posters and leaflets, and a strong media relations campaign. The drive has attracted thousands of pounds worth of publicity – and interest from around the world.

Today (September 7), the CIPR announced that the publicity drive was one of two entries shortlisted in the ?community campaign? category of its PRide Awards in Scotland.

Helen Taylor, the chair of West Lothian Association of Community Councils, said: “The campaign aimed to raise the profile of community councils in this area = and it has certainly achieved that.

“The new website has made it much easier for people to contact their local community councils and read about their activities.

“We’ve even had emails from youngsters in Australia wanting to become pen pals with local children.

“The supporting posters and leaflets – and the press releases issued for us – have also helped raise our profile, making community councils more accessible and accountable to the people of West Lothian.”

She added: “Of course, none of this would have been possible without the help of The PR Store – which masterminded the campaign – and the guys at Oldhand Media. They turned a tiny project to create a website into a major campaign which has really put us on the map.

“Best of all, both agencies did much of the work for free – or at low cost – allowing us to achieve miracles on a tiny budget.”

Adrian Mahoney, who runs The PR Store, was shortlisted for last year’s PRide Awards in the “Independent Practitioner” category. He said he was delighted to be shortlisted for this year?s contest.

“Everybody involved – from the agencies to the community councils themselves – have worked incredibly hard on this project,” he said. “The campaign has been a real success locally and I’m pleased that judges nationally have considered it to be among the best in Britain.”

Darryl Davidson, a partner in Oldhand Media, said: “The nomination is great news. I’m particularly pleased that community councils are making such good use of the website and getting their information online.”

Colin Farrington, the director general of the CIPR, said: “The PRide Awards are all about raising professional standards and recognising the very best in the PR industry across the UK. Entering the awards gives an opportunity for PR practitioners to put their best work forward to be judged by their peers. It’s also chance for the PR industry to showcase the difference it can make to business success and wider society.

“The standard of entries this year has been very high, reflecting the vibrancy and innovation of the PR industry across the UK. The judging procedure is rigorous and all our finalists are to be congratulated.”

The Scottish awards will be announced at a ceremony in Glasgow on October 20.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

1. The website and publicity campaign for community councils was launched in the spring of 2005. Central to the campaign was http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk ? which gives information on all 34 community councils in West Lothian. Each community council has been given its own ?homepage? and the ability to easily upload news and information without any specialist knowledge.

2. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations ? behind the PRide Awards – is the professional body for PR practitioners in the UK. With over 8,000 members, involved in all aspects of the public relations industry, it is the largest body of its type in Europe. Formerly the Institute of Public Relations, the CIPR was awarded a Royal Charter in February 2005. Scottish entries in this year?s awards were judged by a panel in Wales, with the final judging carried out in London.

3. The PR Store, is a PR and communications business, based in Bo’ness, West Lothian. Founder Adrian Mahoney is a former chief reporter of The Falkirk Herald. Find out more at http://www.theprstore.net

4. Oldhand Media is a website design and development business based in Bo’ness. Find out more at http://www.oldhandmedia.co.uk

5. West Lothian Association of Community Councils is the umbrella group which represents all 34 community councils across West Lothian. These are located in the following areas:

Addiewell/Loganlea, Armadale, Bathgate, Bellsquarry, Blackburn, Blackridge, Bridgend, Broxburn, Dechmont, Dedridge, East Calder & Wilkieston, Ecclesmachan & Threemiletown, Fauldhouse, Howden, Kirknewton, Knightsridge, Ladywell, Linlithgow, Linlithgow Bridge, Longridge, Mid Calder, Murieston, Newton, Philpstoun, Polbeth, Pumpherson, Stoneyburn, Torphichen, Uphall, Uphall Station, West Calder and Harburn, Westfield, Whitburn and Winchburgh.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Please contact Adrian Mahoney at The PR Store
on 01506 823714 or 07967 150560
or email: adrian@theprstore.net

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