Two Cavan public relations executives have been selected to represent Ireland at an international event widely considered a global benchmark for highlighting effective communications.
Trudi McDonald from Bailieborough and Claudia Langford from Mountnugent both work for Wilson Hartnell PR, and will now compete on the international stage at the prestigious Cannes Young Lions Competition, which takes place in the south of France in June.
Trudi (29) is a senior account executive at Wilson Hartnell who has worked with the company since June 2018. The former Bailieborough Community College student holds a Masters in Corporate Communications, Marketing and Public Relations from the University of Leeds Business School. Prior to that she lived in Australia where she worked in renewables.
Claudia (25) from Mountnugent joined Wilson Hartnell six months ago as an intern. The former Loreto College pupil last year graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communication at Dublin City University.
Trudi and Claudia earned their places on Team Ireland at the Cannes Young Lions Competition after pitching their talents against more than 100 other teams made up of film, PR, print, digital, design, media and marketing professionals.
Entrants were given a demanding brief and just 48 hours to deliver a standout creative campaign for the Crumlin Children’s Medical & Research Foundation (CMRF).
Their pitch titled 'The Change is in Your Pocket' centred around the move towards a cashless society, and how digital forms of payments, such as mobile pay is now an easier way to donate to charity.
They anchored their PR hook with a research piece examining the emerging trends of new ways to pay and added to that a Charlie Brooker Bandersnatch-style video ad that provided the viewer with an interactive decision complete with alternative endings should they donate or choose not to.
Claudia admits what they came up with, to say the least, was “ambitious” given that the presentation before a panel of judges had fit on just 10 individual slides.
Trudi and Claudia were shortlisted down to just five final teams in the PR category, and learned they had been selected last week.
So taken were the judging panel and CMRF that Trudi and Claudia have been approached with a view to helping implement some of their ideas for a future ad campaign.
“We're beyond delighted with being selected,” Claudia told The Anglo-Celt. “To be honest it probably won't feel real until we're on the way to Cannes, and maybe only when we're actually there.”
The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names and brightest talents internationally has Claudia excited.
“I cannot explain how much of a great experience it was taking part in this competition. Just to be part of it, to really push what you're capable of achieving in such a short period of time, was amazing. I would definitely recommend anyone else interested in taking part of do it.”
It is the sixth year of the Cannes Young Lions Competition in Ireland, which is open to creative talents under the age of 30 years.
In 2017, Emma Wilson and Kyle Schouw, designers from RichardsDee were awarded a gold medal for Team Ireland in the Design category. It was the first time Ireland has ever taken home gold in the Young Lions Competition.
Last year saw Ireland bring six teams, and the competition provides competitors with an opportunity to represent their respective industries on an international stage.