PR's of the week
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PR's of the Week 20/01/23

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Every week we take a look at the stories sent through MediaHQ’s press release distribution tool and post the best covered ones in a weekly blog. For this week, Thinkhouse, Enterprise Ireland,Banking and Payments Federation Ireland and Animal Save Movement made it to the top of our list.

1) Thinkhouse

Title: Dáithí Ó Sé opens his heart and explains why he wants everyone to take just one step for their health this January

Author: Donna Parsons

Email delivery rate: 97%

Time of release: 08:00 on the 16th of January 

Coverage examples: 


Dáithí Ó Sé opens his heart and explains why he wants everyone to take just one step for their health this January

Benecol asks people to consider their heart health, as they share stories from real people as a timely reminder to others to check your cholesterol levels

Today, heart-loving food brand, Benecol®, launches its new cholesterol awareness campaign with brand ambassador Dáithí Ó Sé.  The campaign aims to support heart health by encouraging people to take one step towards better health by having their cholesterol checked. High cholesterol affects 60% of Irish adults* and, untreated can contribute to coronary heart disease. 

Dáithí discovered he had high cholesterol during a routine blood test, since then he has used Benecol to manage his cholesterol levels and be proactive about his heart health. Speaking at the campaign, Dáithí said: “I lost my father who had heart issues and it has made me super proactive about caring for my own health. When I discovered I had high cholesterol I started using Benecol products  to manage it, so I was delighted when the opportunity to work with them came about.”

He continued: “Often we want to ignore things especially if we’re afraid - sometimes feelings about our health can stop us from taking the simple steps needed to do something positive. But with cholesterol, it's very much something that you can take into your own hands and do something about - so there’s no reason to be afraid and there’s no reason to feel shame or guilt if your cholesterol is high, it can happen to anyone. That’s what this campaign is all about. We’ve created a content series that sees me chat to others who like me discovered their cholesterol was high. It’s not something to forget about until old age -  so if you don’t know your number - don’t let fear stop you from finding out. People can take just one step today to manage their heart health. Get checked, talk to a healthcare professional or make a change to your diet”

Lauren, 33 from Wicklow


"Being active is something I've really only started to prioritise these last couple of years. Finding out I had high cholesterol in my mid-twenties meant it's something I've always had at the back of my mind but have only recently started to address. After the diagnosis, I found out there's a history of high cholesterol on both sides of the family with my grandad dying from a heart-related issue in his early 50s. I've been making small changes to my lifestyle that I can manage; walking the dog, swimming in the sea, eating well, and incorporating Benecol products into my diet. The worry isn't niggling at the back of my mind anymore, now I have a plan to deal with it and it's working."

Go to to meet more people like Lauren and find out how to take that one step towards a happy heart.

Laura O’Connell, Brand Manager from Benecol® said: “January is a time when so many of us stop and think about our health. Many of us make positive lifestyle changes and it’s a great opportunity for people to get their cholesterol tested if it's something they haven't done. I know when I got my cholesterol tested recently I was shocked at the worry and fear I felt going into it - and I know it’s something that holds a lot of people back. With this campaign, we’ve met people that discovered their cholesterol was high at different stages of their life and each share how it impacted them and how ultimately they were able to take proactive steps to safeguard their health. Sometimes it just means taking one step to begin on a journey to a happy heart.’

The full range of Benecol® products, spreads, drinks and yogurts, are available in all major Irish retailers (Dunnes, Supervalu, Tesco).


*Based on an indication of cholesterol levels from a 2017 study on 35-67-year-old adults:

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dáithí contact Donna at Thinkhouse at or 086 0405 228

*Plant stanol ester has been shown to lower cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. The beneficial effect has been shown with a daily intake of 1.5-3.0g plant stanols as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. For even more information please visit: 

About Benecol®

Benecol® is the brainchild of Finnish scientist Ingmar Wester, who combined plant stanols with rapeseed oil, creating plant stanol ester. This unique, patented ingredient is used in food to lower cholesterol without compromising on taste. Plant stanol ester remains the basis of the entire Benecol® range today. The range currently consists of yoghurt drinks, yoghurts and spreads, which contain plant stanol ester which fights cholesterol.


2)Enterprise Ireland 


Author: Declan Lee

Email delivery rate: 99%

Time of release: 06:46 on the 17th of January 

Coverage examples: 


Media Release

17th January 2023





  • 7,870 new jobs created in 2022
  • 10% employment increase on 2021
  • Net employment gain of 3,447
  • 9th year of consecutive jobs growth for LEOs
  • 7,221 companies with 37,863 jobs financially supported by LEOs
  • 84% of new jobs created were outside the Dublin region


Today in Dublin, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, T.D., announced the annual results for the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for 2022, which showed that LEO supported companies created 7,870 new jobs in 2022.  This was the third highest year of job creation by the LEOs since their inception in 2014 and meant a net employment gain of 3,447 for the year in spite of difficult economic conditions related to the cost of living and energy crises.       


The new figures show that the Local Enterprise Offices, located in the local authorities and funded by Enterprise Ireland, now financially support 7,221 client companies in their portfolio and a total of 37,863 jobs.  The LEOs also support thousands of additional companies through a range of programmes and initiatives such as Digital Start, Green for Micro, the Trading Online Voucher and Lean for Micro.  


The results showed a 10% increase in employment in Local Enterprise Office supported companies compared to 2021 and is the 9th consecutive year of jobs growth by the LEOs.   The figures also revealed that 84% of the new jobs created were outside of the Dublin region and there was employment growth in each of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices.  


Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, said; “These results show the significant role the Local Enterprise Offices are playing in not only creating new businesses and jobs but also in sustaining them.  On the back of some of the most difficult years for small businesses we are still seeing growth across the country.  During the pandemic we saw how essential the LEOs were to small businesses and they will be essential as we navigate the ongoing cost of living and energy crises.  


“With 84% of new jobs being created outside of Dublin it reinforces the Government’s strategy to strengthen employment throughout Ireland.  As the remit of the Local Enterprise Offices has now broadened to companies up to 50 employees, even more SMEs will be able to avail of their supports, but also their expertise in growing enterprise in towns and villages across the country.”  


Padraic McElwee, Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; “The Local Enterprise Offices continue to deliver outstanding results across the country.  Working within the Local Authorities and closely with Enterprise Ireland we are helping businesses to not just sustain, but to grow.  While the figures point to supporting over 7,000 companies, that is just our financial interventions.  In many cases our training, mentoring and supports such as Lean, Green and Digital can create just as significant impact on a business and we work with thousands of those companies across the country.  


“Small businesses know that many challenges still lie ahead in 2023 but what we have seen in recent years is the adaptability and resilience of our SMEs.  We will continue to support that going forward, working closely with our partners and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment we will ensure we are providing the best guidance and supports to our new and growing businesses.”     


CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo Clancy, said: “These are very positive employment results from the Local Enterprise Offices.  It demonstrates the close relationship that exists between the LEOs and the companies they support and how they are able to navigate a challenging business environment, such as we witnessed in 2022.  Enterprise Ireland and the LEOs are engaged in an exciting work programme to increase alignment between both organisations so that we can better serve businesses at all stages of growth and development and help them to create prosperity and jobs throughout Ireland.  I look forward to continuing to work on that agenda in 2023.”


Sonya Kavanagh, Chair of the CCMA Business Committee, said; “Local Enterprise Offices play a key strategic role in Local Authority’s efforts, to support and sustain, enterprise and economic development in their areas. The supports and advice LEOs offer make a tangible difference to thousands of businesses nationwide. This, in turn, has a positive impact on economic activity and job creation. It is reassuring to see employment creation continue and to recognise that this growth is happening right across the country.”


Today’s announcement took place at Hatched Analytics in Dublin City, who have been supported by their Local Enterprise Office since they were founded in 2017.   The “alternative data” company has contracts with seven of the top 10 hedge funds in the world and employ 11 people in their office with 6 new roles coming online thanks to LEO funding.  Co-Founder Charmaine Kenny said; “The Local Enterprise Office has been a great growth partner for us as we scaled up and they gave us the confidence to do so.  Their support came at vital stages in our development and ensured we didn’t hit any bottlenecks as we grew.”   


The Local Enterprise Offices located in the local authorities and funded through Enterprise Ireland support thousands of small Irish businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide.  Since their establishment in 2014 they have been for the first stop shop for entrepreneurs and small businesses and providing a range of supports including financial, mentoring, training and sector specific expertise to help guide businesses at any stage of their development.  


They also run key initiatives to foster entrepreneurship across the country including Local Enterprise Week, National Women’s Enterprise Day, the Student Enterprise Programme and the National Enterprise Awards.   For more information on the Local Enterprise Offices go to




For further information:

*contact details*

3)Banking and Payments Federation Ireland 

Title: Embargo Friday 20th January - Just 13% of remaining Ulster Bank/KBC current account customers still need to open a new account according to BPFI consumer survey

Author:Fiona Murphy 

Email delivery rate: 99%

Time of release: 10:59 on the 19th of January 2023

Coverage examples: 

*****EMBARGO THURSDAY 00.01HRS 20th JANUARY 2023*****

Just 13% of remaining Ulster Bank/KBC current account customers still need to open a new account according to BPFI consumer survey


  • 68% of remaining customers have either opened a new account or plan to use existing account in another institution, with an additional 17% planning to close their account without replacing it.
  • Customers yet to take action being urged to act now to establish new banking arrangements.

20th January 2023 – New research published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) shows just 13% of remaining Ulster Bank/KBC Bank Ireland customers still need to open a new current account with a financial services provider. The nationally representative research shows that as of December 2022, a further 68% of remaining customers have either opened a new account or plan to use an existing account in another institution, with an additional 17% planning to close their account without replacing it.  


Looking at activity levels on the accounts of existing Ulster Bank/KBC Bank Ireland customers, the survey shows a significant fall in the proportion of customers who were using their current account for certain regular payments between November and December. For example, only 12% of respondents who had a current account with an exiting bank were using that account to receive social welfare income payments in December, down from 24% a month earlier. Similarly, the proportion making mobile phone or home phone/broadband direct debit payments from an exiting bank account fell from about 30% in November to 20% in December.


Commenting on the report Brian Hayes, Chief Executive, BPFI said: “The findings from today’s survey clearly demonstrate the huge amount of progress that has been made by the industry in the migration of hundreds of thousands of customer accounts, with the majority of impacted customers reporting that they have either completed the move to a new provider or that they are well into the process.”


“And while we have now reached a point where just 13%, or one in ten customers, report they still need to open an account, it is important to recognise that there is still a job of work to be done in getting this group of customers across the line. Significant customer outreach to these customers has been underway for some time by the exiting banks and today we are strongly urging all customers who need to open a new account to do so as soon as possible by engaging with a new provider to establish new banking arrangements. There is a wealth of support and information available from both the exiting and remaining banks and financial institutions in addition to BPFI’s site and through the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CPCC) at” 


“As we progress through 2023, BPFI will continue to work closely with our members, regulators and other key stakeholders to support customers in the transition and complete the journey,” Mr Hayes concluded. 


These consumer surveys of nationally representative samples of 1,000 adults were conducted online by Amárach Research in November and December 2022 on behalf of BPFI.

The survey report is available to download here.



Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland, and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 125 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.


4) Animal Save Movement

Title: Edinburgh becomes the first capital city in Europe to endorse the call for a Plant Based Treaty in response to the climate emergency

Author: Nicola Harris

Email delivery rate: 90%

Time of release: 21:06 on the 17th of January

Coverage examples: 

Edinburgh becomes the first capital city in Europe to endorse the call for a Plant Based Treaty in response to the climate emergency.

Edinburgh report states “Meat and dairy consumption must reduce to achieve climate targets” as the council writes to the First Minister inviting Scotland to enter into a Plant Based Treaty

Media Contact(s): 

Available for media interviews:

Nicola Harris: +447597514343,, 


Media Files: 

Council meeting webcast: 

Plant Based Treaty deputation (3 mins 57)

Plant Based Treaty debate and vote (2hrs 19 mins)

Edinburgh, 17 January 2023. The City of Edinburgh Council has endorsed the Plant Based Treaty, becoming the first Scottish city and capital in Europe to join the initiative to tackle food-related emissions from animal agriculture and attributed deforestation, a key driver of the climate emergency. The proposed treaty is backed by 20 municipal governments worldwide, including Los Angeles and Haywards Heath.


Green Councillor Steve Burgess, first introduced the Plant Based Treaty to a Full Council Meeting in March 2022, where councillors unanimously voted to create an impact assessment on the implications of endorsing the Plant Based Treaty. Burgess said: “Edinburgh council itself now also has a fantastic opportunity to encourage far more plant-based eating and I look forward to the forthcoming council report on how we can do that. By declaring our endorsement, we are acknowledging that food systems are a main driver of the climate emergency and that a shift towards plant-based diets can go a huge way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Plant-rich diets are also a ‘win-win-win’ for society: they have a lower environmental impact, significant health benefits, and reduce animal welfare impacts.”


Following the publication of the impact assessment report on Friday, 13th January 2023, it was presented at the Policy and Sustainability Committee on Tuesday, 17th January.


The report acknowledges “diets high in plant protein and low in meat and dairy make for lower greenhouse gas emissions, and that consequently, shifting consumption towards plant-based diets has a major mitigation potential,” and states, “Overall, the science is clear, meat and dairy consumption must reduce to achieve climate targets.”


The report shows food and diet account for 23% of Edinburgh’s consumption-based footprint with 12% of these emissions from the consumption of meat. The report states, “a shift to plant-based diets would therefore significantly reduce the city’s consumption-based emissions.” The report's findings have been echoed loudly elsewhere, too.  A 2019 report from the C40 network cited food as the biggest source of urban consumption-based emissions and noted that a move to a plant-based diet offers, by far, the biggest opportunity for emissions savings in cities.


The Green Group tabled a number of amendments to the report during the committee meeting including:

  1. Endorsement of the Plant Based Treaty
  2. Requesting that the Council Leader writes to the First Minister and relevant Cabinet Secretary / Ministers outlining that the Council has endorsed the Treaty, and encouraging the Scottish Government to do so too
  3. Requesting an action plan and timescale for implementing possible changes to Council activities following the endorsement of the treaty 

The amendment passed with 12 votes to 5 with support from the Greens, Labour and Scottish National Party.


Burgess said, “Green councillors very much welcome the decision by Edinburgh council to endorse the Plant Based Treaty as we proposed. Edinburgh council’s leader will now be writing to the First Minister of Scotland to encourage the Scottish Government to also express support for a Plant Based Treaty to be negotiated at a global level.”


Nicola Harris, communications director at Plant Based Treaty said, “Edinburgh has lived up to its reputation as a global climate leader by acknowledging the critical need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the food system to achieve our climate targets. Promoting plant-based food across Edinburgh will help residents make informed choices that are better for the planet, personal health and animal protection.” 

Climate campaigners are calling on other towns and cities to follow Edinburgh’s lead and help create a national council-led movement calling for a shift towards healthier, more sustainable plant-based diets. 

Harris said, “Everyone can join the movement by asking their local councillors to support the Plant Based Treaty and put forward a motion for their town, city or county to endorse. By developing plant-based food strategies to address consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions we can make great inroads in delivering the emissions cuts needed this decade to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown.”

More than 240 councillors from almost 60 towns and cities in the UK have individually signed the Plant Based Treaty from parties including Conservatives, Green Party, Labour, and Liberal Democrats. 

20MPs from the UK Parliament signed Early Day Motion 434, including the Scottish National Party’s Dr Lisa Cameron, Chris Stephens and David Linden. The motion welcomes the Plant Based Treaty and calls for the UK to be a “world leader in recognising the negative impact of industrial animal agriculture on climate change and commit to developing a global strategy to transition towards more sustainable plant-based food systems.”


The Plant Based Treaty is modelled on the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty which Edinburgh endorsed in March 2022 and inspired by treaties that have addressed the threats of ozone layer depletion and nuclear weapons. Since its launch in August 2021, the initiative has received support from 70,000 individual endorsers, 5 Nobel laureates, IPCC scientists, more than 1000 NGOs and community groups and 1000 businesses, including Ecotricity, Linda McCartney Foods, Oceanic Preservation Society, Environmental Alliance Project, VIVA!, BOSH!, Animal Rebellion, and chapters of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and Extinction Rebellion.

The Plant Based Treaty has secured high-profile endorsements from celebrities, including Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, who issued a written statement calling for politicians to support the Plant-Based Treaty. They said: “We believe in justice for animals, the environment and people. That’s why we support the Plant Based Treaty and urge individuals and governments to sign it."

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