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POSTED 10.12.2019

Leading the way in social enterprise

When Sligo LEADER and the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) wanted to get the message out about the many positive impacts that social enterprises have on Irish society, they turned to StoryLab.

With the 2019 National Social Enterprise Forum and Expo being held in Sligo last month, the race was on to tell people about the event and craft some brilliant stories about social enterprises.

Social Enterprises range from community shops and cafés that are filling the gap left in our towns by the departure of shops, Post Offices and Garda stations. They also include youth activities for teenagers, furniture upcycling workshops and hyper-local tourism or heritage initiatives that can generate jobs.

StoryLab designed a highly-impactful traditional and social media campaign for LEADER,  involving a multi-media mix of video, photography, stories and ramped up national PR activity to raise awareness of the Expo.

StoryLab worked to ensure that people across the country would know that LEADER and the ILDN are among the groups to turn to when seeking help for social enterprise projects.

A social media campaign to drive awareness of the Expo began a month before the event with speaker announcements and key messages appearing on social channels. Media activity focused on compelling and inspiring human stories including a focus on the work of Ballymote Day Care Centre, Connemara Therapeutic Riding in Clifton and Billy’s Tea Rooms In Co Kilkenny.

A video promo in which LEADER executives concisely explained the purpose of the Expo was shown to the 200+ attendees at Sligo Folk Park on the morning of the event.

The results were certainly impressive: long-form feature articles about social enterprises and the expo appeared before the event in The Sunday Times, the Irish Independent and Sligo Champion with expert inputs from LEADER and ILDN team members.

Follow up coverage of the expo landed in the Leitrim Observer, Sligo Weekender, Sligo Champion and Ocean FM.  The social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter had a strong organic impact, reaching over 43,000.

Sligo LEADER Social Enterprise officer Aidan Tighe said: “It was wonderful to see just how many representatives from the social enterprise sector travel to Sligo for the 2019 Expo. The media coverage was instrumental in driving awareness.”