Sligo Who Knew - IIA WinGreat news for a campaign Bvisible worked on during the summer for Sligo Tourism. At last Friday’s Irish Internet Associations (IIA) Dot IE Net Visionary awards in Dublin the campaign scooped the prize for Digital Marketing Brilliance beating off some stiff competition.


Attending on the night were Denise Rushe of Starling Digital, who drove the social strategy and activity for the ‘Sligo-Who Knew?’ campaign and Bernice of Bvisible, who looked after the PR including online PR.


The IIA Digital Marketing Brillance award serves to recognise organisations that execute the most comprehensive digital marketing campaign for a specific event, promotion, branding or awareness campaign. The winner has to provide evidence of excellence across social media, SEO, online PR and online advertising. The winner was decided by the panel of 15 industry expert judges.


‘Sligo – Who Knew?’ was conceived and executed by a group of marketing and PR professionals, all with a connection to Sligo and many volunteering their services for free.


The campaign set out to attract visitors to the region over the summer and called on locals and visitors to Sligo to share their insider knowledge, hidden gems and unique discoveries about the county through social media, using the ‘#SligoWhoKnew’ hashtag.


It launched in June and quickly gained momentum with 10,000 posts tagged by the end of August across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It was also the first in Ireland to make use of hashtags on Facebook, a feature announced in June.


To provide a single source of information for anyone wishing to learn more about Sligo and its many attractions the content was featured on a digital  board for the campaign –


Beyond a heavy emphasis on social media the ‘Sligo – Who Knew?’ digital campaign involved online advertising and online PR with features secured in numerous media and travel websites and blogs.


‘Sligo – Who Knew?’ was the brainchild of copywriter Johnny Ferguson who passed away this year but was passionate about what Sligo had to offer. In conceiving the campaign he said: “By attaching this gently humorous, contemporary expression (which comes from the New York Jewish comedy vernacular) to the idea of adventures around Sligo, we imbue a trip in an around as something surprising, adventurous and fresh. Sligo is a constant surprise but Who Knew? You didn’t. Until now.”


Speaking of the award Denise Rushe of Starling Digital, who drove the social element of ‘Sligo-Who Knew?’ said: “This really is such a great achievement for all involved. We knew we had something special when this campaign was first conceived by Johnny but never imagined it would go as far as achieving this accolade from industry. It goes to show what can be done with a great idea that is executed with passion. And who better to convey this passion than Sligo locals and visitors who tirelessly championed this great county throughout the summer and, I expect, will continue to so well into the future.”


Rolled out with a budget of €176k the campaign was coordinated by a joint public and private sector voluntary collaborative network – Team Sligo – and funded by contributions raised from the private sector and the SLIGO LEADER programme.


The campaign beat four other nominees to win the award in its category on Friday night: Electric Ireland, We Are Brand Social, and




-      July 12th: Local eaterie, Shell’s café, gets into Guardian newspaper’s ‘10 of the best beach cafes’ as voted by readers


-      August 16th: Musician and Singer Liam Gallagher of Oasis pays Sligo a visit in August


-      September 17th: Lonely Planet included surfing spot Mullaghmore, Sligo in its new book, 1000 Ultimate Adventures which lists top tens for adventurers.