Laois Chamber CEO Caroline Hofman caught up with Laois Chamber member, Sally McEllistrim of Get it Across PR and Communications.
Tell us a bit about Get It Across PR and Communications and the services you offer?
‘Get It Across PR and Communications’ is a full-service PR Agency, specialising in all media communications.
I work with small and medium sized businesses all the way up to very large multi-million-euro companies, to hone and perfect the message they want to communicate to their target audiences. In a nutshell, I help businesses to tell their ‘story’ in the media. Every business has a story. PR is a very specialised and highly effective method of getting that story across through ‘earned media’.
I write all my clients’ press releases and media alerts, conduct all correspondence with media, I organise press open days and visits, handle all company launches or brand launches, basically everything they need for a successful high-profile campaign. I come up with the ‘hooks’ and ‘angles’ that I feel journalists may be interested in.
I worked as a news journalist myself for over 12 years and so I do have a really good handle on what the media wants and needs.
Writing and assimilating information is a massive part of my job in PR, so I have the best of both worlds!
I absolutely love my work and really take great pride in my clients.
I am their number one advocate. My work is so varied as I have a great mix of clients. Good sustained and professional PR takes a lot of work, and there are absolutely no guarantees that businesses will land coverage.
For instance, I never promise clients coverage, it is not in the gift of any professional PR to do so. However, much research shows that sharing compelling stories and content with a targeted audience is proven to increase engagement.
People will remember a good article, a profile feature or an interview; it may have resonated with them for several different reasons and that is the beauty of PR. Connecting with people on an emotional level is really important as it turns customers into advocates.
Now, more than ever PR is crucial in these changed and challenging times.
It is the ultimate third-party endorsement and hence it is so valuable. Advertising is saying you’re good, PR is somebody else saying you’re good.
It increases visibility, credibility and ultimately profitability. It keeps businesses to the fore of customers and Journalists minds. People buy from people. PR helps to personalise a business and a brand. It is one of the most cost-effective methods of getting businesses’ messages across.
When was Get It Across PR and Communications established, and how have you expanded and grown since your establishment?
I have worked in PR for a long time now, I’ve worked across a lot of industries as well as national and international charities and have a good track record for delivering clients goals.
I set up Get It Across PR and Communications in the Autumn of 2018 as I was fed up of commuting to Dublin and knew I had the skills to make it work, and I have to say it has truly surpassed my expectations.
From the outset I was absolutely blessed with excellent clients. I work hard and as the old adage goes, the harder I work the luckier I get.
Again, my client list is broad and includes the likes of Manguard Plus for example. I have had lots of work with Laois companies and organisations including Laois Chamber, Laois Hubs Collective, Laois Local Enterprise Office, One Stop Fulfilment and Solas Eco Garden Centre.
I handled all PR leading up to the relaunch of Laois Chamber for example and subsequent inaugural Laois Jobs Fair. I organised all interviews on RTE and Newstalk for instance and ensured the rejuvenated Chamber was exposed to the widest possible audience. Its membership grew hugely and over 2,000 people attended the jobs fair.
When RTE’s ‘Nationwide’ screened their visit to the amazing Solas Eco Garden Centre in Portarlington, Co-Owner David Maher said it was a dream come true for them and it showed exactly how they wanted their centre to be portrayed.
Nationwide is a superb platform for clients, it has such wide appeal, and it is always a win when they do decide to cover one of my clients.
I also represent clients in the medical field including Céile Medical Clinic, the Midland’s first dedicated Menopause Clinic, where Dr Deirdre Forde sees patients from all over the country, and Speech Therapist Kate Beckett, who has established Ireland’s first online speech and language therapy service.
That’s just a little vignette of my work ; So, as I say a very diverse client base who keep me very busy!
Can you highlight some recent key achievements/news at Get It Across PR and Communications?
I see my achievements through the highly successful campaigns I run on my clients’ behalf. Clients come back to me for ongoing work and projects and refer me to others. That’s the ultimate achievement.
Any other news or expansion plans you can share with us?
I will be delivering an exciting new training to small and medium small businesses. More on this anon. Keep an eye on my Facebook page, ‘Get It Across PR and Communications’ for updates.
Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time with Get It Across PR and Communications?
Well, retaining my client base is paramount to me. This is building all the time and augers very well indeed for the next few years!
I’m extremely happy with my agency, it’s got a really good reputation, clients are really happy with my work and that is key.
I’ll end on a quote – “Advertising is what you pay for, PR is what you pray for.”
- Congratulations to Laois Chamber Corporate Member, Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise, who have been awarded a 2022 certificate as a Great Place To Work.
- Laois Chamber member People First Credit Union are holding an Information Evening on Thursday, 31st March at 7.30pm in the Midlands Park Hotel as they seek volunteers for various committees. See details here.
- Ballykilcavan brews up a fundraising Ukraine beer: War in Ukraine: Vigil in Portlaoise, local school does their part and Laois brewery goes for an Anti-Imperial Stout – Laois Today
- Congratulations to Laois Chamber Corporate Member, the Heritage Hotel, shortlisted for the Irish Tatler Wellness & Spa Awards in the Best Signature Treatment category.
COMMERCIAL VACANCY SCHEME: The Commercial Vacancy Incentive Scheme was officially launched recently. This is a collaborative initiative between Laois County Council, Local Enterprise Office Laois, and Laois Chamber.
This scheme offers business owners who are interested in leasing or renting vacant premises a potential package of up to eleven different grants, supports and incentives. Portlaoise has been designated the pilot town for this scheme, before it is rolled out to other towns across the county.
CLIMATE TOOLKIT: The Climate Toolkit from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has been launched, with advice on how you can help you run your business more efficiently, saving you money.
DIGITALISATION VOUCHER: Are you a manufacturing or internationally traded service company with 10+ employees wishing to transform your business digitally?
The Enterprise Ireland Digitalisation Voucher offers up to €9000 in funding and access to expert digital consultancy and more.
What’s coming up?
Laois Jobs Fair
The Laois Jobs Fair is returning on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 in the Midlands Park Hotel Portlaoise, from 12pm to 8pm.
Whether you are a graduate, looking for a new role or a change of career, register to attend for FREE and find out more about the exhibitors and jobs on offer by visiting laoisjobsfair.ie.
With over 30 exhibitors and 100s of jobs on offer, there is something for everyone.
Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board, Carlow IT, TUS Shannon and National Learning Network will also be exhibiting on the day – The ideal opportunity to meet with these education providers and find out more about further education, upskilling and training opportunities.
Food Academy Programme
Local Enterprise Ofice Laois invite Laois food and drink producers to join the successful Food Academy programme. Receive training in food safety, marketing, finance, sustainability & business development. Closing date is the 8th April. Visit here for full information.
Leading Remote Teams
Leading Remote Teams training course in partnership with Grow Remote Ireland, IDA Ireland, and SOLAS.
This course equips managers to effectively lead their remote teams. Find out more here.
People are Key – The Art of Recruitment and Retention
Online Webinar with Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet, “People are Key – The Art of Recruitment and Retention” on Tuesday, 5th April from 10.00am – 11.30am.
Guest speaker on the day is Paul Healy, CEO Skillnet Ireland. This is open to Laois businesses and is free to attend. Register here.