In elevating a local border review from obscurity to national election issue and international story in less than two months, Tempus earned an Award for Excellence in Public Relations for its significant contributions in shaping and executing the successful ‘Save Roscommon’ campaign. Now bestowed the title ‘Best Public Information Campaign’ in Ireland for 2016, this grass-roots effort became necessity when a small group of concerned ‘Rossies’ formed the Roscommon Boundary Group after learning of Irish government’s intent to redraw a centuries-old county boundary, transferring 30-square kilometers of South Roscommon into County Westmeath.
Such a change would hold devastating economic, social and cultural consequences for those living inside and out of the redistricted area. Roscommon would lose 7,000 residents (over 10% of its population), including its second largest and fastest growing town, Monksland, Moreover, stripped of its industrial center, more than one third of all commercial rates, well in excess of €1 million per year, would be lost forever.
Tempus was hired to help the group achieve its objectives of raising awareness of the issue and providing a unified voice for the people of Roscommon, including the platform and tools in which to communicate their dissatisfaction. As a strategic advisor and entity responsible for content development and media relations, Tempus created a tactical plan that engaged local, national and social media, achieving maximum impact within a compressed 3-month time frame.
The intended result of these objectives would be to overwhelm the public submission window with an outcry of protest against the government’s plan. The Group hoped to generate at least 7,000 public submissions protesting the ‘land-grab’, with some hoping to surpass the 15,000 mark. It took Westmeath County Council almost a month to count the 27,949 submissions lodged to its Mullingar HQ – representative of nearly half the population of Roscommon.
On January 29th, Enda Kenny stated that he did not back the proposal and would not see it through if Taoiseach.
In less than two months Save Roscommon was featured in The Irish Times (6x), RTE Radio (3x Drivetime twice and Morning Ireland), The Independent 3x (Sunday twice), The Irish Sun, The Irish Daily Mirror, The Irish Daily Mail, Hogan Stand, UTV among other national outlets.
There were over 20 Save Roscommon segments on Shannonside Radio and exhaustive coverage in Roscommon and Westmeath papers.
“In rallying a community in the face of extraordinary odds, the Save Roscommon campaign exemplifies the positive force of PR. The campaign not only raised awareness of an issue, it provided a means to take action, unifying thousands of ‘Rossies’ in common purpose to preserve their identity, culture and economic future,” said Angela Madden, Managing Director of Tempus Media.
The Awards for Excellence in Public Relations are granted annually by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) in conjunction with the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in Northern Ireland, respectively. This year’s ceremony took place at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on June 17th.
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