Cliodhna Pierce (Marketing Manager)
Cliodhna Pierce was working for a number of years in the banking industry but decided to study marketing, public relations and advertising by night. Having found the course thoroughly enjoyable, Cliodhna took a sabbatical to study full time in the Fitzwilliam Institute. The course focused on event management and included valuable work experience with Innovative Events, one of Ireland largest event management companies.
From her experience in banking Cliodhna was no newcomer to business and management processes. Adding marketing to her belt was simply looking at solving the same challenges from a different perspective. Cliodhna realised certain marketing activities require a creative and innovative approach while others are prescriptive, requiring common sense and know how, to effect big change for organisations regardless of their sector.
There was no available budget for this marketing project but through her volunteering hours Cliodhna was able to coordinate a successful marketing program and fundraising event in just three weeks
Rebecca Sheridan, Development Officer For Casa
Initially Cliodhna volunteered in big festivals such as the St Patrick’s Day Festival and the Festival Of World Cultures. These roles didn’t require specific skills but gave her exposure to large-scale event management, box office operations and working within large volunteer teams.
Cliodhna enthuses “I loved the experience of volunteering alongside every kind of volunteer you could imagine, from set designers to electricians, to musicians and project managers, you name it! The added bonus was free access to events and meeting great people!”
Cliodhna then joined CASA as a volunteer. CASA is a voluntary organisation whose goal is to develop social outlets for people with disabilities. Cliodhna helped them develop ideas, plan and promote a new fundraising initiative. It was the first time CASA had developed or coordinated a nationwide fundraising effort and they needed professional marketing support. With food as a key theme for CASA (CASA runs a restaurant called Ten-fourteen in Clontarf). Cliodhna worked closely with the team to plan and roll out “Dine in for CASA” an easy way for all 20 branches to get involved and raise money together. It was the first event of its kind for the organisation and was a great success.
CASA is a well-established organisation with a twenty-branch network. There was no available budget for this project but through her volunteering hours Cliodhna was able to coordinate a successful marketing program and fundraising event in three weeks. It included:
- A great new innovative idea - “Dine in for CASA”
- The creation and distribution of marketing collateral, fliers and posters
- An effective email marketing campaign maximising CASA’s database. This generated widespread participation in the event throughout the country.
- A highly successful national public relations campaign, celebrity Miriam O’Callaghan got involved and added gravitas and helped gain coverage.
- An online marketing campaign using Facebook was a successful tool in getting members on-board and spreading the work quickly.
- Cliodhna brought organisation and administrative skills plus an extra pair of hands to get the project up and running. As a marketing volunteer. Cliodhna helped staff take on a new and important venture.
Cliodhna promoted the event both internally and externally. A key factor of success was a comprehensive public relation campaign. The campaign attracted lots of media coverage on the airwaves and in the press on both a local and national level. The publicity also created much needed awareness for CASA as a brand and the importance of its services for those in the community living with a disability.
Cliodhna has been invaluable to CASA over the last few months. She is full of great ideas and always willing to go the extra mile to generate. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated marketing volunteer and we are truly lucky to have her on board
Rebecca Sheridan, Development Officer For Casa
The creation of a comprehensive marketing campaign ensured that the newly launched “Dine in for CASA” concept worked a treat. Word spread quickly: there were dinner parties taking place all over Ireland and much needed funds started to come in. The biggest dinner party took place in Cork with 100+ guests.
To support the event Cliodhna also made contact with local schools. Volunteer transition year students took part in a 3-day bag pack in the local big supermarket.
Initially Cliodhna volunteered for one specific project but the relationship has developed, Cliodhna continues to volunteer with the CASA team where she is identifying new opportunities and helping them develop their marketing activities. Cliodha is helping CASA to tap into the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, how to work with business organisations to attract funding, and of course more volunteers with vital skills!
Rebecca Sheridan, Development Officer for Casa says; “Cliodhna has been invaluable to CASA over the last few months. She is full of great ideas and always willing to go the extra mile to generate much needed funds for the organisation. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated marketing volunteer and we are truly lucky to have her on board”.