Friday, December 14, 2012

A Vital Voice for Northern Ireland’s Peace Process - Farewell Visit by US Secretary Clinton

Morrow events team had the pleasure of providing event support services to OFMDFM and the Executive Information Services team during the recent visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Northern Ireland.

Secretary Clinton said during the Stormont Castle Press Conference "Peace here has proven remarkably durable, "However it is being tested. The recent attacks are a sad reminder there are still those who would try to destroy it. The promise of peace must be delivered. There has to be an economic return for people here.

"I offer to you, as I stand down from Secretary of State, to continue working with you in developing the peace process as an advocate and cheerleader for the process and to reach out to those who are not feeling part of it."

In a relatively short lead in time – 4 days to be precise, Morrows provided bespoke indoor and outdoor staging units for the world’s media at the Stormont Castle Press Conference and co-ordinated local media accreditation in the run up to the day.

It was such a privilege to be involved in such a significant milestone in the Northern Ireland political calendar.

Peace be with you – PEACE III Programme is on the Morrows agenda

Morrows events and production teams have recently won two separate contracts under the PEACE III programme – Investing in Our Future Good Relations programme for the Southern Partnership and the North West Partnership PEACE III Legacy Celebration project. 
Investing in Our Future Programme is an engagement programme aimed at community groups celebrating good relations activities across the Southern Cluster area which includes Armagh, Banbridge, Newry & Mourne, Craigavon, and Counties Monaghan & Louth.  The programme will deliver 15 regional events and a closing Good Relations conference in September 2013.
The NW Partnership Legacy project aims to consolidate and celebrate the excellent work and projects that have been delivered through the Peace III programme in the Derry/Londonderry, Strabane, Omagh and Donegal areas. The project will consist of an online exhibition with photo galleries, video libraries, project library and vox pops from project participants; additionally a brochure will be developed capturing a flavour of the 26 projects from the programme; and a series of celebration events will take place between May – June 2013. 
Morrows are delighted to have the opportunity to work on these projects and hope that they bring about a long and PEACEful partnership!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Portia earns her PR spurs at Morrow Communications

Back in September we were contacted by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) about the possibility of getting involved in a new Internship Programme that it planned to launch.

After meeting with DEL we signed up and took the opportunity to meet the candidates.  Portia-Ellis Woods joined Morrow Communications in October.  With her eight week placement now complete, we were keen to find out how she had gotten on.

"When I heard about the DEL Internship programme I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.  I completed my application form and waited.  Thankfully I was selected by DEL and was delighted to be placed with Morrow Communications", explains Portia.

"My eight week internship with the company has involved a varied range of activities, tasks and projects. Starting in October I was included in the team from day one and have had the chance to work in every area of the event, production and PR teams."

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PQ_oJy8MCA0/UH_F2OJzJrI/AAAAAAAAACQ/UdRFEgPZu3M/s1600/BB2.jpgPortia took the opportunity to not only develop her public relation skills, but to also get actively involved with the Morrow's Events and AV teams.

In terms of highlights, Portia has a lot to choose from!  "I never thought when I started the programme that I would be talking about meeting the world famous Basil Brush, but that's exactly what happened when I helped to launch the Dale Farm sponsored Panto 'Cinderella'.  It was great to be a part of this, as well as a host of other client photo calls.  I learnt the level of preparation needed before the shoot, organisation at the location and then the process of selecting the best pictures."

Portia also had the chance to work on client projects for companies like Asda, Dale Farm, Flahavan's, NYSE Euronext and Moy Park - which helped her gain an insight to the many different elements the team manage on a daily basis.

"It was great to get introduced to such a wide spectrum of clients and to have the opportunity to get involved in many aspects of account management.  The team really looked after me and took the time to include me and to explain what we were doing and why.  I have learnt so much from them. It has definitely been a very busy eight week period. Arranging photo calls, researching, helping at events, liaising with journalists as well as writing press releases and advertorial copy are just some of the activities that I have undertaken.

"It has been a valuable experience working for such a successful company and a pleasure to work alongside a talented, hardworking team of people. I feel very privileged to have been part of the team at Morrows and will take with me all the skills and attributes I have learnt during my internship."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Dimension helps win new AV contract

An innovative approach to 3D animation, placing staff members within an architect’s impression helped our Design and Production team to fight off stiff competition to secure the contract for a set of informational videos about the new Community Safety College being developed in Desertcreat, near Cookstown.

The new college is due for completion in October 2015, for the training of PSNI, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the Northern Ireland Prison Service staff. With work not yet underway at


the site a 3D `architectural flythrough’ of  the college is the only thing available to bring the building to life. Our team came up with a creative treatment which involved filming staff members in front of a Green Screen and then using graphic effects to make them look like they were actually inside the 3D flythrough.

The first edit, featuring the effect, was completed for a conference in Mid-November and won great praise from the clients, with three more edits to go. This is a new style of production and we hope to be able to roll the effect out to more clients in the future.


Ruby Rouge Ball in aid of Lauralynn Children’s Hospice

The Morrow Communications team was out in force to lend our support to a recent charity event in aid of the LauraLynn Children’s Hospice.

The Ruby Rouge Ball in loving memory of baby Victoria Thompson,was held at the Belfast Cabaret Supper Club at the end of November.  The event was a fantastic success, raising over £12,000 for the charity.

Morrow’s Director, Moya Neeson took a hands on approach, helping to organise the event.  She was ably assisted by a number of Morrow's staff including Events Director Jane Watson. The event was a huge success and a fitting tribute- truly a night of mixed emotions.

Morrow's AV wins new health DVD contract

We are delighted to have won an exciting new project with Queen's University and St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester.  We were tasked with producing a health promotion DVD to help raise awareness of Gestational Diabetes.  

Aimed at pregnant women, the DVD will be given to those diagnosed with the Gestational Diabetes and will provide them with information on the condition,


how to best manage it during pregnancy and how to cope with it after birth.

The DVD has been produced in a number of different languages (English, Urdu, Arabic and Somali) in response to communities with the greatest occurrence of the condition.

With work almost completed and pilots planned for January 2013 we are looking forward to getting some true quantitative and qualitative analysis of the impact of our work.  

QUB extend Morrow's AV contract into 2014

The Design and Production team are delighted to have had our contract for the provision of video services to Queen’s University extended until 2014. We have been working with the marketing team at the University since January 2011 and have produced several successful videos and established a fabulous relationship with the team. We are delighted at this endorsement of our hard work and ability to deliver exactly what a client needs!


QUB Slice of Life from Morrow Communications on Vimeo.

Making his Mark in the Design and Production Team

 A fresh new talent has joined the Design and Production team at Morrow Communications. University of Ulster Graduate, Mark Robinson took up the post of Trainee Editor and Graphic Designer in September 2012, and due to hectic timetables has had to hit the ground running.

Mark is the first male addition to the all-female Production team, but is taking it all in his stride- thanks, he says, to his part-time student job in a Bingo Hall!

As a student, Mark’s work won him recognition and a number of awards, including the Creative Skillset Undergraduate Award for his dissertation. He has already brought his impressive editing skills to the productions of a number of our clients including Invest NI, IntertradeIreland and Asda.

Mark’s addition to the team brings a fresh youthful perspective to our work and allows us to keep more of our production work in house- thus offering even better value to our clients.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cool FM’s Jingle Ball Rocked!


Morrow Communications’ client, Cool FM last week filled the Odyssey to the rafters with thousands of screaming pop fans for the first ever Cool FM Jingle Ball Live. Thousands poured into the arena to witness the biggest pop gig Belfast has ever seen - a line-up which included JLS, Matt Cardle, Labrinth, Amelia Lily, Misha B, Ryan O'Shaughnessy, Stooshe, Lawson and Joe McIlderry and Morrow’s own pop svengali, Marty Byrne was backstage taming the press pack in an exclusive media room

The press conference-style backstage media room brought together a host of glamorous showbiz reporters and some slightly less glamorous press photographers for quickfire questions and photos just before the artists took to the stage. The media room ran very smoothly despite some extraordinary wardrobe choices, demands for better refreshments and a dash of diva behaviour (and that was just the journalists).

Morrows were involved with Jingle Ball Live from the beginning, organising media partnerships with local press titles, celeb interview pieces, ticket giveaways, social media and crisis management consultancy as well as management of the backstage press area. With the event being hailed as a huge success, we’re already looking forward to Cool FM’s Jingle Ball Live 2013!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Local schools visit Boys' Model School


Earlier this week we attended the Boys’ Model School as part of its Transition Open Day.

The School invited pupils from 18 local primary schools to come along to the special ‘open day’ with the aim of giving the pupils an insight into what school life would be like if they decided to attend the Boys’ Model.

Pupils spent time with school staff and student mentors in each department and were given the opportunity to get to grips with gym equipment, conduct science experiments, create comic strip animations in the Media Centre, and to cook up a storm in the Home Economics Department.

Commenting on the open day Alan Logan, Acting Principal from Boys’ Model School said: “The day was a great success. More than 18 schools from our catchment area attended, and the feedback from the pupils and their teachers was very positive.

“The move to post primary school is an exciting time for children. However, it can equally be a time of uncertainty due to the prospect of meeting new friends, learning new subjects and getting to grips with a more independent lifestyle. The Boys’ Model Transition Days are designed to familiarise primary school pupils with the facilities, routines and culture at the School and reassure them of the fun and rewarding learning experiences they will have if they choose to come to the school.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

There's nothing like a Dame !

As part of our 'Morrows Masterclass' Series we were delighted to welcome Dame Mary Peters to our offices to speak to us about her journey of success. The masterclasses are designed to motivate, inspire, engage and challenge our thinking on how we do business - and Dame Mary certainly achieved that.

Dame Mary, or 'Mary P' to her friends, recounted her fascinating story from her early childhood through to her role in the recent London Olympics and peppered it with interesting insights into her experience of competing, winning, teamwork and personal development.

As Lord Lieutenant of Belfast and the official representative of the Queen, you can see why she makes the perfect Ambassador for Northern Ireland, for sport generally and for wider humanity. Despite her amazing success and profile she remains very humble and grounded and impressively left the room full of infectious positive energy.

Perhaps not surprisingly, her focus and determination to succeed are as strong as ever, now channelling her energy into her charity, the excellent Mary Peters Trust. They are supporting the next generation of sporting stars from Northern Ireland and helping them to achieve excellence in their chosen sport. We have had the pleasure of working with Mary through a number of our clients including Dale Farm and Asda and can vouch for the great work that she and the Trust does. With her help, there is no doubt we will have more local champions to cheer on in the sporting arenas around the world.

Propelling Entrepreneurship Forward

We are delighted to be supporting the promotion of the excellent Invest Northern Ireland Propel programme again, working alongside the delivery agents, Xcell Partners. The programme is now inviting applications for its 2013 intake and is designed for entrepreneurs with business ideas that have the potential to scale up and reach significant export growth. It has already helped over 30 local entrepreneurs to set up and grow successful businesses based on innovative ideas, products and technology.

In launching the call for new applicants, we were delighted to be joined by previous programme participants Janette O’Hagan co-founder and CEO of Okotech, which has developed an innovative, wireless heating control system called heatboss®, and Fergus Wallace, founder of www.mygripzone.com an online interactive golf coaching aid - both excellent examples of the innovation excellence we need to encourage  in Northern Ireland.

To launch the 2013 Propel programme and outline how it can help turn an idea into a globally focused business, Invest NI is running five regional awareness seminars during w/c 10th December in Newry, Omagh, Londonderry, Ballymena and Belfast. For more information on the programme visit www.propelprogramme.com or to register for the events, go to www.investni.com/events

Friday, November 16, 2012

NYSE Euronext Rings our Bell

We’re delighted to announce a new partnership with NYSE Euronext – the global operator of financial markets and a provider of innovative trading technologies. We’ve been following the NYSE Euronext story with keen interest since their arrival to Belfast in 2008, following its purchase of Wombat, and with the financial technology sector booming in NI it's fantastic to now be working with one of the biggest names in the business.
Morrows will deliver an integrated communications strategy for NYSE Euronext including public relations, design and advertising helping the business drives its recruitment and brand profiling needs. Check out www.nyxjobs.co.uk for the latest local developments.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Morrow Events team 'Up their Game' with InterTradeIreland


The events team at Morrows have just completed a series of three cross-border Meet the Buyer events hosted by InterTradeIreland which took place in Athlone, Cookstown and most recently in Kilkenny. Other partners involved in the event were Central Procurement Directorate, National Procurement Service, Enterprise Ireland, Strategic Investment Board and Invest Northern Ireland.
The “Upping Your Game – Meet the Buyer” events programme gives SMEs from across Ireland the opportunity to meet with procurement managers from public sector bodies, North and South and help overcome barriers to winning public sector contracts and inform SMEs of boosting their capability in doing so. The parallel session programme also gave SMEs a chance to boost their tendering knowledge with workshops on ‘Refining Your Pitch’, Procurement Clinic’, and ‘Sourcing Low Value Tenders’ among others.

Morrow events team – Jane, Karen and Nicola worked together in co-ordinating stands for over 50 Buyers and managing over 1200 delegates in total over the series! Kilkenny was the most successful event so far with over 450 supplier companies attending on the day, which made the 3 ½ hour drive worth it!

Check out the Meet The Buyer highlights video below which Morrows AV team produced from the Cookstown event in September and watch this space for more Meet the Buyer events in 2013!
 

Boys' Model are 'Rocking All Over the World'

Secret rockers in Morrows relived their misspent youth recently in the presence of rock legend and former drummer of Status Quo, Jeff Rich who shared the secrets of his success during a music masterclass with students from Boys’ Model School, Belfast. We have just started working with the North Belfast School to help it effectively communicate its successes,  state of the art facilities and community engagements to key stakeholders and media. 
The world-famous musician treated pupils to a creative tutorial offering a first-hand insight into the opportunities and challenges of the music industry. On the day, students discovered the history of drumming and listened to Jeff’s path of success, from playing in bands at school to recording with chart-topping artists including Def Leppard and Status Quo. After an exclusive performance from Jeff, Boys’ Model students got the chance to put their skills to the test by performing a mass percussion piece with the drummer.   You can see Jeff in action in the UTV news piece below.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beware of 'Twibel' Law

One of the many potential fall outs from the now infamous Newsnight broadcast on 2nd November may have major implications for users of Twitter. We now know that the broadcast carried mistaken claims by a former care home resident that he had been sexually abused by a prominent Conservative politician.

Following the broadcast, there was much speculation as to who that politician was. Some of this discussion was via Twitter, with a large number of individuals linking Lord McAlpine to the Newsnight report – which in turn caused his name to appear as a "trending topic" on Twitter alongside that of Newsnight itself.

Following clarification that this was mistaken identity, recent media reports suggest that Lord McAlpine may now be considering suing some of those for libel and if he proceeds it may represent a significant landmark in the development of what has been coined ‘Twibel’ Law.

In recent months and following some high profile cases there has been increasing clarity around the legal position of Twitter posts which everyone would do well to be mindful off. When you post content online, be it Twitter, Facebook, Blogs or even on the many comment sections of online news pages, you are responsible for that content. In effect when you post online, the law suggests you are acting as a publisher and those publications are subject to the same laws as other publishers, such as newspapers. Importantly, retweet’s also amount to a further publication and makes the retweeter responsible. In case you’re wondering ignorance of the law is not a reasonable defence.

In addition, the individual who originally tweeted the defamatory tweet is also likely to be held responsible for any retweets, as in publishing it in the first instance they may reasonably expect others to retweet it. Neither is it a defence for retweeters to say they were simply repeating a statement made by someone else even if they do so verbatim. Just because something is already circulating out there does not make fair game and the more retweets received the more damage it can do and hence the greater and more costly the libel action it may then trigger. As the law currently stands, libel is actionable without proof of damage and so, on the face of it, you can even get sued if you tweet something defamatory and don’t have any Twitter followers. That sad fact may just lessen the perceived damage done.

If Lord McAlpine does sue (and let’s face it, unlike many others he may well have the wherewithal and necessary support to do so), this high profile case will join the increasing number facing the courts.

In England’s first libel case involving Twitter in March of this year, New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns was awarded £90,000 in damages after he was wrongly accused of match-fixing by Lalit Modi, the former chairman of the Indian Premier League. Modi was also ordered to pay Mr Cairns' £400,000 legal costs ! Lawyer and defamation expert Niri Shan, said at the time: "'This case demonstrates that posts on Twitter are taken as seriously, in the eyes of the law, as comments printed in mainstream press. Whilst people may feel less cautious about tweeting- the level of risk they are taking, and protection of those being referred to, remains the same.”

It would seem that with total costs amounting to over £1 Million in that case, we should all be a little more careful with the next ‘140 characters or less’ message we tweet or retweet– at the full 140 characters that equates to £7,142.85+ per character – ouch !