As the new year approaches, we’re rewinding to reflect on some of our favourite moments from 2023 – and what a year it has been!
From new appointments and new clients to successful shoots and exciting edits, we’re had an incredible year celebrating our clients and our culture.
Not quite Spotify, more of a List-ify, take a look at ‘Morrows 2023 Wrapped’ – our highlights that made the year feel extra special.
1. We Belong Together
We started off 2023 with a bang, relaunching our enhanced employee experience programme, Belong. Built around helping colleagues feel, empowered, valued, supported, recognised and included, Belong is our way of helping our team members be the best they can be.
An important pillar of our business, Belong has shaped the growth of our team over the past year, from launching new training initiatives to enriched reward and recognition schemes. We were particularly pleased that it was recognised earlier this year when Morrows was named a finalist in the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards.
2. Board Business
Having also announced ambitious growth plans for the business this year, we were pleased to bolster our Board of Directors, appointing two new members from within the Morrows Senior Management Team. Nicola McClean and Clare Daly were named Directors while our own Kieran Donnelly also took up the post of Managing Director during 2023. It’s safe to say we are proud of our talent development programmes and the energy and enthusiasm from our Board and SMT!
3. All the Presidents
2023 was a momentous year for Northern Ireland as it was time to reflect, renew and reimagine the Good Friday Agreement, 25 years on.
At Morrows we were honoured to play a role in supporting some of the significant stakeholder events during this period. Our Events Director Jane Watson was called upon at short notice to help ensure President Biden had a warm (and well lit) welcome to what turned out to be a wet and windy Northern Ireland on Easter Tuesday night.
Our Production team also helped produce a series of videos from young business leaders for the hugely impressive #Agreement25 Conference at Queen’s University Belfast. This was the day that saw former US President Bill Clinton, QUB Chancellor Hillary Clinton and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, to name a few, share their thoughts on the need to reimagine the future under the Good Friday Agreement.
4. AIB – Live from the Limelight!
From housing demand to the cost-of-living crisis, it can be all the more difficult to understand the everchanging property market. In one of this year’s biggest campaigns for longstanding client AIB, we brought together a leading panel of property and industry experts to provide local first-time homebuyers with top tips, insights and guidance as they prepare to buy their first home.
We delivered a fully integrated campaign that included events, venue and speaker management, PR, digital marketing, design, media buying and influencer management. Held in an unrecognisable Limelight and hosted by Q Radio’s Declan Wilson, AIB’s Your Home was a sold-out success!
5. Capturing the Impact of Peacebuilding in Belfast
To showcase the positive impact of the PEACE IV Local Action Plan over the past four years, our Production team spent time with the organisations, groups and people delivering the initiatives as well as those benefiting from this important programme. Filming involved documenting residential trips to the North Coast, circus family fun days, genealogy workshops, history lessons, bridge and sculpture installations, boxing classes with Carl Frampton and Paddy Barnes, days out to Todd’s Leap and tours of Crumlin Road Gaol to name a few!
This resulted in an incredible 18 short films, 65 social media clips, three thematic films as well as an overall film to capture the impact of this fantastic programme.
6. Company Culture Day
Our company culture day is always a highlight of the year, and with special guests and prison breaks, 2023 was no different! We had the pleasure of having the fabulous Susan Hayes Culleton, The Positive Economist and experienced businesswoman, mentor, event host and speaker join us to lead some very important workshops about our company growth plans and ambitions. The famed Morrows competitive streak was tested in abundance at Prison Island where we worked in teams to take on a range of physical, mental and skills challenges across a host of rooms, testing everyone’s abilities and talents to gain points. An action-packed day which delivered some useful insights and ideas, helped bring people together, and which was a lot of fun.
7. Digging deeper into geothermal
It’s fair to say that our specialism in the energy and sustainability sector stood us in good stead this year. As well as wrapping up the important Ballylumford Power2X Hydrogen storage project, we also began work on the GeoEnergy NI project, on behalf of the Department for the Economy.
A significant geothermal demonstrator project, delivered in partnership with TetraTech and other suppliers GeoEnergy NI will explore the potential for sustainable geothermal energy right beneath our feet in two locations in Northern Ireland – one based at CAFRE’s Greenmount site near Antrim and the other in the Stormont Estate in Belfast.
We have delivered a fully integrated PR, advertising, events, design and video campaign to support the project’s ambition to inform the public and stakeholders about Northern Ireland’s geothermal potential as part of the wider decarbonisation challenge. A particular highlight of the year has to be the development and launch of the bespoke and immersive mobile GeoEnergy Discovery Centre!
The centre itself, from the wall graphics and design to video content and exhibit items, is designed to help schools, families, businesses and community groups discover the power of geothermal energy. While it was great to have a successful launch day, we’re only just heating up! Next year, we’ll be supporting the GeoEnergy NI team with a roadshow, taking the GeoEnergy Discovery Centure to a town near you. So watch this space if you want to learn more about the heat beneath your feet.
8. Lucky For Some
13 turned out to be our lucky number as we were recognised by our peers across the UK as ‘PR Consultancy of the Year’ once again at the CIPR Northern Ireland PRide Awards ceremony, dubbed ‘the nation’s annual public relations showpiece’, held at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast on Friday 13th. In total, we picked up 13 awards from 13 shortlisted entries (10 Gold awards and 3 Silver awards).
The cherry on top was winning the much-coveted ‘PR Consultancy of the Year’ title, with the judging panel praising the company stating that we were a “clearly well-run business, with an emphasis on personal development” with “results that speak for themselves.” We’re going to need a bigger trophy cabinet!
9. Wellness Month
Wellness is a year-round focus for us at Morrow Communications, with our Belong employee experience programme helping our team feel empowered, valued, supported, recognised and included.
Across October and November, we took the time to explore Wellness from different perspectives. Through art, mindfulness, laughter, reading, relaxation and movement, we reflected on how we can stay well in the face of the challenges life throws at us. As is the Morrow’s way, we also had plenty of craic along the way, enjoying art classes, Zumba and a Comedy Night at Lavery’s to name a few activities!
10. Art Attack
This year, our creative team has produced lots of lovely creative work for our clients, with everything from branding and annual reports to bespoke illustrations and animations in multiple languages.
A recent highlight has been working with our new client The Arts Council, Ireland. In a short space of time our creative team has worked on a number of exciting campaigns and produced engaging creative work including development of campaign identities, a schools’ campaign, creative policy documents and event materials.
We’ve been privileged to work with many top brands, successful businesses and public sector organisations this year to creatively bring their vision to life. We can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store.
11. Jumping About Jack
Our Creative Services team are known for their expertise in creating Educational Resources and we’ve had the great pleasure of supporting Queen’s University Belfast researchers in the development and delivery of the ‘If I were Jack’ resource series over the last 5 years.
We were pleased to help the programme reach another key milestone in November, with the latest launch of Irish language versions of the resources.
The resource is based around an interactive video drama which our team produced. It tells the story of Jack, a teenager who has just found out that his girlfriend Emma is unexpectedly pregnant. The video encourages reflection and discussion among teenage boys as well as teenage girls. It was co-designed with young people and policy makers and informed by pilot work in faith and non-faith-based schools across the UK and Ireland and has proven successful in helping both adolescent boys and girls avoid an unintended pregnancy.
12. #StuffabusNI with Translink & Partners
We’re proud to finish up the year by supporting Translink and partners to deliver the seventh year of the ‘Stuff a Bus’ charity campaign. Partnering with Homeless Connect FareShare NI, our mission is to gather 25,000 meals to ensure that no one goes hungry this Christmas.
Working with Translink and FareShare, we have installed food collection points in bus and rail stations throughout NI, encouraging members of the public to donate dry food items.
We also worked with media partners U105 and Belfast Live to raise awareness of the campaign and highlight the range of community groups that need our help. We hosted a final collection day outside the Tesco Store at the Abbey Centre with the ambition to Stuff a Bus with food items and distribute the items collected to those most in need.
Online donations can be received up until 5th January at www.stuffabusni.com
At the time of writing, we are pleased to say that we are well on track to smash the fundraising target and we can think of no better way to finish 2023.
On behalf of everyone at Morrow Communications, we wish you a happy Christmas and a healthy and happy new year. We are excited to see what 2024 will bring.