3 March 2022
By Mary Berminhgm
Networking Event looked at PR for business
Network Ireland Cork’s March 2nd event at Cork International Hotel provided advice and tips for businesses and individuals on how best to use public relations to get the media’s attention and generate their own publicity.
The keynote speaker for the event, ‘Making PR work for You’ was Judy Hopkins, Partner and Owner at Hopkins Communications.
Judy provided insights into public relations and promoting your business, while the new Head of Enterprise from Cork City’s Local Enterprise Office Dr Niall O’Keeffe outlined opportunities for solopreneurs, SMEs and employees through the Local Enterprise Office and the services and supports that they provide.
Both guests were chosen ahead of Network Cork gearing up to launch their annual Cork Businesswoman of the Year awards and the event also aims to help those considering submissions to the awards. The event kicked off at 7.30pm and will be MC’d by Network Cork Vice President Ingrid Seim, Avenues Consultancy and Coaching.
Twenty years ago, Judy Hopkins started out in the PR, Events, Digital Media and Marketing industry working in in-house retail, tourism and technology marketing roles, followed by international marketing agency positions and then on to the family business, Irish integrated marketing communications agency, Hopkins Communications.
Twelve years ago, she introduced Hopkins Communications’ online and digital media offering, and expanded the PR and events offering, while working across all of their other services such as advertising, promotions and experiential marketing, graphic design and more.
Celebrating thirty-two years in business Hopkins Communications works clients including start-ups, to SMEs, to large multinationals. Drawing on her extensive industry experience, Judy will give top tips and advice on preparing your business for PR campaigns and the key areas to focus on to ensure maximum exposure through media coverage.
Providing training and support to businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the pandemic was a vital element of Cork City LEO’s operations and Dr. Niall O’Keeffe is clear that this remains a key priority in 2022.
Dr O’ Keeffe, who was appointed to the role in January, brings a wealth of experience with over 12 years as CEO across a range of sectors, including four years as the Chief Executive for Economic Development on the island of St Helena. Niall has developed award winning organisations and led significant change management programmes resulting in enhanced strategic development, operational performance and service provision. With a Doctorate in Business Administration (Business Economics) and an MBA from University College Cork, Niall continues to seek out best practice in organisational development.
The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) supports enterprise, entrepreneurship and job creation by providing a suite of services designed to assist the Micro and Small Businesses to start, grow and develop.
Dr. O’Keeffe told us; “Businesses still require support, guidance and mentoring in expansion and development, particularly of late when it comes to digitisation. We’ve also had an increase in the number of people contacting us recently who are reviewing their career decisions and wish to explore self-employment, setting up their own business and the career control that comes with that.”
At the event, Dr. O’Keeffe spoke about the range of services that Cork City LEO provides, which can be divided into two distinct areas; support for start-ups and development of SME’s in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sector, in addition to training and mentoring which is available to all and offers the opportunity to develop new professional skills.
“Cork City LEO offers a broad range of supports to the public – from the start your own business training and making your business more environmentally sustainable to advice on LinkedIn profile development and on maximising social media platforms such as Tik Tok for business – we are essentially trying to meet businesses and entrepreneurs where they are on their journey.” he added.
President of Network Ireland Cork branch Maria Desmond said; “PR is a topic we feature on an annual basis as our members like to get the latest advice from experts in the field. We’re really looking forward to hearing Judy and Network has an extra connection with Hopkins Communications with Judy’s mother being one of our first Branch Presidents. This event is sure to inspire people to realise the value of putting themselves forward to enter our annual awards and to value the exposure publicity would bring for them and their careers or businesses. Network Cork has always enjoyed a great relationship with Cork City’s Local Enterprise Office and we look forward to hearing from the new man at its helm.”