Alice MD elected Chairperson of the PRCA

We are very proud to share the news that our Founder and Managing Director, Martina Quinn, has been announced as the new Chairperson of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).

Martina joined the PRCA Board in 2020. In her first role as Chairperson today, Martina gave the following speech at the PRCA AGM:

"I know quite a few people in this room, but I'm conscious I don't know all of you. So I just want to start by telling you a little bit about myself.

To begin with the personal stuff: I'm from Tipperary originally, but I've been in Dublin now for longer than I lived in Tipp. As someone who grew up on a farm and is very proud of my country roots, I still find myself wondering sometimes how that happened! I now live in Harold's Cross with my husband, Raj, and our baby son, Ravi. And I also have a 10-year-old step-daughter, Cuisle.

I set up Alice in 2015. At Alice, our purpose is to deliver change that makes Ireland and the world a better place. So a lot of the work we do is with non-profits, charities, public-sector organisations, arts and culture groups, and membership associations.

We're an independent agency with an office in Belfast as well as here in Dublin. And we've a team of almost 20 now.

Alice joined the PRCA in 2018. Over the past few years, I've found our membership to be really beneficial. The main reason for that is all of you - the other members. As somebody starting a business on my own, for the first time and at a relatively young age, I found it great to be able to come to PRCA events and meet other business-owners and senior agency staff - many of whom had far more experience than me. I was always pleasantly surprised by how much people were willing to share and reassured by the fact that, no matter what the differences were in terms of our size or our focuses of work, lots of us are facing common challenges. And, in particular since joining the Board a few years ago, I've received great support and encouragement from the other Board members - and I really value that.

Now to pay proper tribute to the outgoing Board: Siobhán has done an excellent job as Treasurer and been a great colleague, and I'm very sorry that her term of office is now up. I'm delighted that Gill, Lorna and Justin are up for election again. And it's a really positive sign that there has been lots of new interest in joining the Board this year - it's great to see Kathryn, Claire, Brian and Susie all nominated. I'm also delighted we'll have Owen with us for another while on the Board.

I've seen first-hand what a committed Chair Owen has been, and I'm very honoured to follow in his footsteps. He has started the PRCA on an exciting journey - as he spoke about earlier himself, under his leadership, we've been reviewing how the Association operates and what value it offers members - so that we can get it as well-resourced and effective as possible. With the help of the new Board, I'm aiming to continue that work.

I am ambitious for the PRCA. I would like to see us running really high-quality, responsive events. I would like all PR agencies to be chomping at the bit to join us. And I'd like all clients to be fully aware that membership is a quality mark and something they should seek out in their PR service-providers.

We are currently facing many challenges - both as an industry and at a more macro level. Like almost all other sectors, PR is being impacted by economic uncertainty, political instability, the rise of the far right, and the unrelenting pace of technological change.

But, during challenging times, PR professionals have an important role to play. We can help our clients communicate the supports that exist for vulnerable groups, we can combat disinformation and misinformation, and we can develop campaigns that result in lasting positive change. I truly believe we can be a force for good - at a time when good forces are sorely needed.

As PRCA Chair, I look forward to working with agencies across Ireland to show the value and power of PR. My priorities will include:

  • Demonstrating how PR contributes to positive societal change;
  • Increasing diversity in the profession; and
  • Nurturing the next generation of communications professionals.

I'd like to finish by thanking Martina Byrne and all the team at 84 Merrion Square.

And I'd also just like to appeal to you all - whether your agency is involved on the Board or not - to please keep in touch with us Board members throughout the year. I'll hopefully be in contact with most of you directly during my term, but do let us know what events you'd like to see; what your thoughts are on the best structure for the Association in the future; and what value you feel the PRCA can and should be delivering for you."

A huge congratulations to Martina on her appointment from everyone in Team Alice! Martina Quinn PRCA