public relations

Honour for The PR Store boss

cipraccTHE boss of The PR Store has been formally named as an accredited PR practitioner by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Adrian Mahoney received a certificate from CIPR President Chris Genasi at a graduation and awards ceremony in London last night (November 23, 2005).

CIPR Accredited Practitioner status is awarded to participants who have logged three years in Developing Excellence, the CIPR’s continuous professional development (CPD) scheme.

It is the only CPD scheme specifically designed to help public relations practitioners achieve their professional goals.

Adrian – who is also the vice-chairman of the CIPR in Scotland – said: “Public relations is a dynamic, global and fast moving industry that demands practitioners keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date. The CIPR’s CPD scheme provides busy PR professionals with the opportunity to do this.”

Mr Genasi said: “It is through our training and continuous professional development scheme that we can raise standards, demonstrate value, prove our professionalism and ensure public relations is taken seriously as a management function.

“Adrian Mahoney’s commitment to raising the standards of public relations practice makes him a worthy recipient of this award.

“The benefits are many – increased professional credibility and more opportunities for career progression, to name but two. The CIPR congratulates Adrian on his success.”

Adrian has been a member of the Institute since moving into PR in 1997. He was formerly a journalist with The Falkirk Herald, Scotland’s largest-selling local weekly newspaper and also wrote for a number of national newspapers.

He launched his own consultancy, The PR Store – based in Bo’ness, West Lothian – in 1999. The firm provides media relations, media training, copywriting and design services to a range of clients, including Scottish Enterprise, NHS Lothian and Dunedin Canmore Housing Association.

** Developing Excellence, the CIPR’s continuous professional development scheme which led to Adrian’s accreditation, is open to the following grades of membership of the CIPR: Fellows, Members and Associate Members. To find out more, visit http://www.cipr.co.uk/cpd

** To find out more about The PR Store, visit http://www.theprstore.net – or call 01506 823714

Advertisements
charities, community, promotions, public relations, public sector

Community campaign wins gold award

The Award certificateCOMMUNITY councillors in West Lothian are celebrating this week – after a campaign to boost their profile won a top award.

They took gold in the best community campaign category of the Scotland PRide Awards, organised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Adrian Mahoney of The PR Store – the Bo’ness agency which masterminded the campaign – picked up the award from broadcaster Fiona Ross at a ceremony in Glasgow (on October 20). Looking on were some of the community councillors who took part in the publicity push.

For the past year, The PR Store and partner Oldhand Media have worked with West Lothian Association of Community Councils to make member councils more accountable and accessible to local people.

They created a website – http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk – backed by posters, leaflets, events and press articles . . . all designed to get more people talking to their community representatives.

Community councils are active in almost every area of Scotland. Run by unpaid volunteers, they represent public opinion to local authorities and other government bodies.

The CIPR judges said the West Lothian campaign was “highly creative and imaginative”, adding that the professionals involved “went beyond the original remit”. The PR Store and Oldhand did much of the work for low cost or for free.

Association of Community Councils’ chair Helen Taylor attended the awards along with Morag Nelson of Linlithgow Community Council and Willie Boyle of Bathgate Community Council.

Ms Taylor said: “We’re absolutely delighted to win this award. Everybody involved in the campaign – from the agencies to individual community councillors – have worked incredibly hard on the project. To get recognition from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations is the icing on the cake.

“We’re now looking at ways to move the project forward, to encourage more people to engage with community councils and make their views known.”

Mrs Nelson said: “The campaign has been a tremendous success and has really put community councils on the map.” Mr Boyle added: “The award is a fitting tribute to all the work put in over the past year by a lot of dedicated people.”

The CIPR award is just the latest success for the project. In June this year, West Lothian Council leader Graeme Morrice wrote to Ms Taylor to say the website was “exceptionally good”. He also said it could become a “best practice” reference for other community councils in Scotland.

Then in September, First Minister Jack McConnell wrote to congratulate everybody involved in the project. Mr McConnell said: “I hope the project continues to build on its success and would like to congratulate you in your efforts to encourage community councils to use this facility.”

Adrian Mahoney of The PR Store was shortlisted for an award in last year’s PRide Awards. He was delighted to go one better and win in this year’s contest.

Adrian (36), who lives in Craigallan Park, Bo’ness, said: “I was absolutely thrilled to pick up this award. To get this kind of endorsement from the PR industry is fantastic.”

The CIPR PRide Awards showcase the very best work and talent in the communications arena outside of London. The Awards saw PR practitioners in Wales review the Scottish submissions and then put through finalists to a second round of judging. A panel of experts from London then assessed the shortlisted entries to choose the winners. The panel was chaired by Colin Farrington, the director general of the CIPR.

Mr Farrington said: “The PRide Awards are about raising professional standards by identifying, recognising and rewarding the first-rate work going on in the PR industry outside of London. They are also about advancing the profession by clearly demonstrating just what PR can achieve at its best, as a strategic management function that manages relationships and reputation.

“The PRide Awards judging process is rigorous and to win is a tremendous achievement. The PR Store, Oldhand Media and West Lothian Association of Community Councils are worthy winners.”

*** Adrian enjoyed working with the community councils so much he stood for his own community council in Bo’ness – and was elected with nearly 2000 votes last week.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

1. The website and publicity campaign for community councils were formally launched in the spring of 2005. Central to the campaign was http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk – which gives information on more than 30 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.
A private online forum was also created to provide advice and guidance to individual community councils. Training at a local school was also arranged to support community councillors.

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.

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 the community councils across West Lothian.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Please contact Adrian Mahoney at The PR Store

on 01506 823714 or 07967 150560 or email: adrian@theprstore.net Or call Helen Taylor on 01506 633925

charities, community, promotions, public relations, public sector

First Minister’s praise for website

Helen Taylor with the letter from Jack McConnell praising the Your Community Council website. The PR Store worked to help create the site.FIRST Minister Jack McConnell has praised a pioneering internet project.

He has written to West Lothian Association of Community Councils to congratulate everyone involved in the launch of their website – http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

The portal was launched earlier this year, with information, news and contact details for more than 30 community councils across West Lothian. It has been hailed as a model for similar groups around the country.

In a letter sent to Association chair Helen Taylor, Mr McConnell said: “Community councils are at the heart of local government in Scotland and I know volunteers play a key role in encouraging community engagement and participation. I sincerely appreciate the dedication and goodwill shown by both you and the other volunteers in successfully achieving the launch of the West Lothian community council website.

“Neighbouring community councils sharing information, news and knowledge and encouraging people to interact with their community representatives online are steps towards e-democracy.

“I hope the project continues to build on its success and would like to congratulate you in your efforts to encourage community councils to use this facility.”

The First Minister even provided a special version of his message to publish on the website.

It said: “The fact residents can, with the click of a mouse, access information on community council meeting dates, items of community news, and have the facility to email local councillors, as well as getting information from other useful links, is a great achievement.”

Mr McConnell’s message is just the latest endorsement of the project, which aimed to raise the profile of all the community councils in the district – making them more accessible and accountable to local people.

In June, West Lothian Council leader Graeme Morrice wrote to Ms Taylor to say the site was “exceptionally good”. He also said it could become a “best practice” reference for other community councils in Scotland.

Then last month it was revealed that the web project – which has been backed by leaflets, posters and media relations work – was one of two entries shortlisted in the community category of the PRide Awards in Scotland, the country’s public relations’ Oscars.

Ms Taylor said: “It was very kind of the First Minister to take the time and trouble to send a message of support. Community councils are run by unpaid volunteers to reflect the views of local people to public bodies. I’m sure his endorsement will be a huge boost to all the people who worked so hard to get the website and publicity campaign off the ground.”

The Association of Community Councils was given professional help and support by Bo’ness consultancy firms The PR Store and web partner Oldhand Media. Ms Taylor added: “Both businesses did much of the work for free – or at low cost. This endorsement is as much for them as it is for all our community councillors. They have helped to deliver something which has really put us on the map. Even the First Minister has noticed us!”

WHAT COMMUNITY COUNCILS DO:

Community Councils are run by volunteers from the community.

They work to safeguard and promote their area’s best interests – and represent public opinion to the local authority and other government bodies.

Each community council is regularly asked to comment on a range of issues such as:

* the local environment;
* local planning applications;
* drinks (liquor) licensing;
* local plans;
* decentralisation of public services; and
* community planning.

People in West Lothian can find out more about their community councils or the Association, read news and minutes, and make contact with the groups by logging onto: http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk. Alternatively they can
email: info@yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

NOTE TO EDITORS:

* West Lothian Association of Community Councils, which commissioned the website and publicity campaign, represents more than 30 community councils across West Lothian. One of its key aims is to strengthen the identity of community councils in the area. The Association, like member community councils, is run by volunteers and grant-funded by West Lothian Council.

* The PR Store is a PR and communications business, based in Bo’ness, West Lothian. Find out more at http://www.theprstore.net

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

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

public relations

PR Store boss now ‘accredited practitioner’

The Accredited Practitioner logoTHE boss of The PR Store is now an Accredited Practioner with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Adrian Mahoney gained the honour after successfully completing three years’ continuous professional development through the CIPR’s Developing Excellence programme.

He is now able to use the CIPR Accredited Practitioner logo on stationery and his business card.

James Petre, the CIPR’s Head of Qualifications, told him: “Accredited Practitioner status reflects the fact that you take your professionalism seriously and that you have kept your skills and knowledge up-to-date in the fast and moving and competitive PR industry.”

Adrian founded The PR Store in 1999. Based in Bo’ness, West Lothian, he works with clients such as Scottish Enterprise and NHS Lothian.

business support, public relations

Adrian is new Institute vice-chair in Scotland

THE boss of The PR Store has taken up a key role in a top industry body.

Adrian Mahoney (36), from Bo’ness, West Lothian, is the new vice chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in Scotland. He was elected at the Scottish AGM in Glasgow on Tuesday (September 20).

Adrian has worked in the public relations industry for eight years and runs his own consultancy, The PR Store. Previously he worked as the chief reporter of Scotland’s biggest-selling local weekly newspaper, The Falkirk Herald.

He said: “The Chartered Institute of Public Relations is the largest professional body of its type in Europe – and I’m looking forward to playing an active role in its future development in Scotland.”

The new chair of the CIPR in Scotland is Jenifer Stirton, the director of communications at NHS Lothian. She said: “Adrian brings a wide range of skills to the CIPR committee and I’m delighted to welcome him as the new vice chair in Scotland.”

The Chartered Institute has more than 8,000 members across the UK (700 in Scotland) involved in all aspects of the public relations industry. It supports the training and development of members through a comprehensive portfolio of events, training seminars and workshops.

The organisation also runs PRide Awards’ ceremonies to honour the very best public relations campaigns around Britain. Falkirk and West Lothian Councils, NHS Lothian, and Adrian’s firm, The PR Store, are among the local finalists in the 2005 Scottish awards, to be announced in Glasgow on October 20.

community, promotions, public relations, public sector, social media

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

community, promotions, public relations, social media

Callum becomes community councils’ poster child

LITTLE Callum Reid has become a pin-up – at the tender age of two.

The toddler from Adambrae, Livingston, is currently starring in a new poster and leaflet campaign to promote community councils in West Lothian, Scotland. His baby face can be seen in shops, libraries and supermarkets across the district.

“We really wanted to use a real child from West Lothian, as we work to improve our areas for future generations,” said John Clarkson of West Lothian Association of Community Councils. “Callum seemed like the perfect choice.

“We also thought a youngster would be more attractive to young families – as they’re the kind of people we want to attract to community councils.”

The publicity blitz has been linked to the launch of a new website for community councils – http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

Said Mr Clarkson: “We hope the campaign and website will make us more accessible and accountable to people in West Lothian. It will certainly make Callum a more familiar face!”

Community councils in Scotland are run by volunteers. They work to promote residents’ views to local authorities and other public bodies.

Anyone interested in finding out more should visit the website or email: info@yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

Callum meanwhile was quite unfazed by his starring role. He agreed the poster was “good” – before heading back to parents Carol and Graeme, and baby sister Anna.
Issued on behalf of West Lothian Association of Community Councils by The PR Store
http://www.yourcommunitycouncil.co.uk

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Please contact Adrian Mahoney at The PR Store
on 01506 823714 or 07967 150560
or email: adrianm@blueyonder.co.uk

awards, public relations

Adrian takes PRide in awards honour

THE PR Store was last night (Thursday) named as one of the finalists in the PRide Scotland awards – the public relations’ industry “Oscars”, organised by the Institute of Public Relations (IPR).

Managing Consultant Adrian Mahoney was a runner-up in the Small Team/Sole Practitioner category. The overall title was won by a consultant in Edinburgh.

The judges said: “A strong commitment to the IPR, a breadth of experience and effective campaigns make Adrian a strong contender for this award. The judges felt that Adrian clearly demonstrated a professional attitude to business.”

Adrian highlighted his work for Scottish Enterprise, West Lothian Council, engineering firm Clark Eriksson and others in his submission.

He said he was pleased to make the finals of the competition, particularly as it was the first time he had entered a public relations competition since launching The PR Store in 1999.

The shortlists for the contest were drawn up by a regional team outside Scotland and then a final judging panel in London.

The Institute of Public Relations has over 7,500 members, involved in all aspects of the public relations industry.

It is the largest professional body of its type in Europe, with rigorous qualifications for membership (based on educational qualifications and/or multi-disciplinary experience) ensuring that standards are high and maintained.

Adrian Mahoney – and all The PR Store’s Associates – are full members of the Instutute.

For more information on the IPR, log onto the website at http://www.ipr.org.uk.

public relations, small business, training

Save money on creativity training

WANT to brush up your creativity? Why not sign up for a creativity course?

The PR Store has secured discounts on a sessions being run by Institute of Public Relations fellow Andy Green – one of the UK’s gurus on PR creativity. The workshop is being in Edinburgh next week – so book your place now.

The event is a two hour “super-training session”, next Monday, May 24. It runs from 1 p.m. at the Dance Base in the city’s Grassmarket.

It will help delegates get more out of their brainstorming, generate outstanding ideas, save time, reduce anxiety and achieve results. Every delegate will also receive a creativity toolkit containing:

  • a full training manual;
  • ‘creativity guru’ T-shirt;
  • free post-course consultancy;
  • a range of creativity tools; and
  • mints, courtesy of the tour sponsor.

Adrian Mahoney of The PR Store said: “Andy Green is a world-leading expert on creativity. He works with blue chip organisations from San Francisco to Shanghai transforming their creative abilities – to achieve more with less.

“Andy is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Relations and has won numerous professional awards for his work.”

You can book a discounted place at the workshop for one person at the cost of £75 plus VAT. Discounts for two or more people are also available.

Places are limited, so if you want to take advantage of this offer, email: spark@creativityatwork.co.uk– or call 0845 450 3210 – and quote “The PR Store Offer”.

promotions, public relations

New year, new brochure

THE PR STORE has kicked off 2004 by publishing a new brochure. The publication, which includes clients testimonials, highlights the range of services offered by the agency.

The publication follows on from an online client survey, completed last month. Adrian Mahoney, the Store’s managing consultant, said: “I’m pleased to say that most of those who responded said our services were ‘outstanding’ or ‘very good’.”

He added: “That said, there is always room for improvement. So brainstorming the way forward will be my task for the New Year.”

Mr Mahoney said the new brochure aimed to complement the agency’s revamped website, launched last summer.

Sally McPherson of Scottish Enterprise – a PR Store client – is one of the clients quoted in the new brochure.

She said: “Adrian Mahoney [of The PR Store] provides Scottish Enterprise with an excellent web copywriting service. His ability to engage with our internal customers, his advanced writing skills and his wide experience of subject matter all make him a real asset to our organisation. I would not hesitate to recommend his services.”