THE Southern Star picked up the award for Best Local Advertisement at the Local Ireland National Lottery Media Awards, which were presented at a gala dinner in Athlone.
The Star won the award for the concept, design and targeting of an advert for Kerr’s Bookshop in Clonakilty.
‘We were thrilled to win this award and I think it illustrates how The Southern Star team has evolved in recent years to deliver a rounded marketing service for local businesses,’ said managing director Sean Mahon, on receiving the award, which was presented on the night to advertising executive Anne Kelleher.
‘Our marketing service involves targeting the right customers, developing advertising plans across press and digital and designing great results-driven adverts,’ said Mr Mahon. ‘With Kerr’s we wanted to help them differentiate themselves from the competition, and so we decided to target parents who might be feeling worried and guilty that their kids were spending too much time on phones and tablets, and not enough time reading. The creative idea was to emotionally remind all parents of their own childhoods and the pleasure they derived from reading.’
Trish Kerr said she was delighted that The Southern Star had won the award for her advert. ‘We are thrilled for the Southern Star, especially as we have benefited on the ground so much because of these eye-catching ads. We’ve been advertising with the paper for over two years now using this campaign idea, and our sales are up for both children’s books and also adult books, as mum and dad tend to buy something for themselves when they come into the store. Marketing and advertising is a key part of running a local business in order to keep reminding customers and potential customers that you are here.’
Other winners on the night included The Limerick Leader for News Story of the Year and the Best Community (Get Involved) category. The Leinster Leader’s Rory Delaney won Sports Story of the Year while Aileen Hahessy from the Clonmel Nationalist was the winner of the News Series of the Year award.
Meanwhile, The Connacht Tribune took the overall award in three categories: Best Use of Photography; Best Designed Newspaper and Best Digital Content.
The Lifetime Achievement was awarded (posthumously) to Neill O’Neill (36), former managing editor of the Mayo News, who died tragically in October 2017. Neill had a love of journalism, a sense of drive and sheer infectious enthusiasm to spearhead his newspaper to two European Newspaper Design Awards.
This was award was greeted with a standing ovation and was accepted on behalf of the family by Neill’s sister, Aoife Burke.
The awards, open to all 43 member Local Ireland titles and their staff, including journalists, photographers and advertising executives, attracted over 400 hundred entries and were presented by Frank Mulrennan, president Local Ireland and chief executive of Celtic Media Group and Dermot Griffin, National Lottery chief executive.
The energetic and popular MC for the evening was Marty Morrissey from RTÉ.
Mr Griffin said the National Lottery was honoured to be sponsoring the Local Media Awards for the very first time.
‘Local newspapers provide a very important service in their communities and deserve to be supported. Even though they are facing many challenges, they are still a very important part of the media landscape in Ireland, delivering valued and trusted journalism on a weekly basis. The very high quality of entries in this year’s Awards bears testament to this,’ he said.
He added: ‘Both the National Lottery and local newspapers are part and parcel of the fabric of Irish life, rooted in every village, parish and town in the country.
Just like the great weekly tradition of buying a local newspaper, there is a much-loved routine around going to the local shop to buy a Lotto or EuroMillions ticket.’
The judging panel comprised chairman Prof Kevin Rafter, DCU; Michael Foley, DIT; Malachy Clerkin, Irish Times; Valerie Cox, broadcaster; Frank Miller, photographer, (formerly Irish Times); Andrew Sinclair, OMD advertising and Anthony Quigley, director, Digital Institute.