21 May 2015

Fuzion Communications has been shortlisted for the prestigious Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) Awards 2015 for its work with Down Syndrome Ireland on one of the most critical and significant public awareness campaigns that gripped Ireland in 2014 - to represent, and be the voice of, thousands of children with Down syndrome who were in danger of losing their discretionary medical cards.

The medical cards issue was an extremely contentious and sensitive one which dominated headlines across local, national and international media which ran over a number of months. Leading PR agency, Fuzion Communications, launched a lobbying campaign which highlighted the issue of how 50% of people with Down syndrome had either had their discretionary medical cards revoked, or were in danger of losing them, due to cutbacks.

The main objective of the campaign was to raise awareness and fight against the retraction of discretionary medical cards. Down Syndrome Ireland critically wanted to highlight that as many as 1,000 children were at risk of losing their discretionary medical cards. Ultimately the goal of the public awareness and lobbying campaign was for the reinstatement of the discretionary medical cards for those with Down syndrome.

Deirdre Waldron, Partner in Fuzion Communications stated “We are thrilled to be once again shortlisted for a national PRII Award, especially for our work with Down Syndrome Ireland. We are honoured and proud to have worked closely with the charity for 6 years, over which time we have built up a deep level of understanding and appreciation of the challenges and complexities faced by those with Down syndrome and their families. It was such an important campaign to work on and we were thrilled that with the outcome. The Fuzion team, in both our Cork and Dublin offices, put a huge amount of effort into the campaign and so it’s great to see that hard work recognised through a very successful campaign, and now being shortlisted for a PRII Award.”

Pat Clarke, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) said “The PR campaign planned and activated by Fuzion was hugely significant in the success of our campaign on the medical cards issue. The unrelenting lobbying and media coverage and exposure on all levels including digital and high-profile media was entirely influential in the Government’s U-turn on the matter. We are extremely grateful and appreciative of the support and strategy that Fuzion provided DSI particularly in those very intense and important months.”

The Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) Awards 2015 will be held on June 26th in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, where all winners will be announced.