Five companies join forces
THE formation of MSS Group was announced this week as five companies, all involved in marketing related fields, have come together to offer a unique, single, all-inclusive service for clients.
MSS Group has brought industry experts together, offering marketing and design, PR and event management, digital communications, crisis management, media training, stakeholder engagement, even specialist environmental communications - all under one roof.
Aughrim man Tim Ivers is heading up the Marketing & Design arm of the new venture.
‘Previously our clients were using three or four agencies, each competing for their own slice of the marketing budget. Our clients now brief one agency, getting a stronger, cost effective marketing offering. We advise our clients on the best way to get their company or product message to their target audience. We are agnostic in what type of service we advise, in that we don’t just push marketing, digital, PR or events – we advise our clients on what is the best for their business - not ours,’ he says.
In charge of PR is Kieran O’Byrne from Greystones who specialises in environmental communications and stakeholder engagement.
‘Our directors each have more than 20 years of experience in their fields,’ he says. ‘We work with client companies across diverse business sectors, each of which is offered a service structured to enable them do better business. We focus on strategic, targeted messaging for our clients across brand, marketing, PR and digital communications, aimed firmly at what they want to achieve,’ Mr O’Byrne adds.
MSS Group Directors all have industry experience across global clients and brands as well as SME and Irish indigenous companies. HOTELS and guesthouses in Wicklow and across the country experienced an increase in business during the first six months of the year.
CSO figures show that overseas visitors rose by over 3 per cent, while the domestic market also increased, with 71 per cent of hoteliers saying business levels up until the end of May were up compared to the same period last year.
However, Brian McNamara, Chair of the Wicklow Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, warns that Brexit is already impacting on tourism performance and could continue to have an affect.
He said: ‘visitor numbers are up, which is good news and the growth in domestic tourism is particularly encouraging as it extends beyond the traditional tourism hot spots and its impact on local economies can be felt more widely. However, the latest CSO figures show a continued fall in UK visitors, our biggest market nationally, which illustrates the fragility of the tourism recovery in Wicklow.
‘Many of the consequences of Brexit are largely outside our control, so it is imperative that we mitigate the risks and potential damage where we do have some control over our destiny. Continued growth remains a priority for the sector, which is the country’s largest indigenous employer. It is achievable but it requires specific actions.
‘Ireland’s competitive tourism offering will certainly help and this is underpinned by important measures as the zero rate travel tax and the 9 per cent tourism VAT rate which brings us into line with other countries in Europe.’
Mr McNamara, General Manager of the Glenview Hotel, also believes that it is essential that further investment in product development and marketing continues to take place.
‘Enormous strides have already been made in the development of our products and brands including Ireland’s Ancient East and ‘Dublin – A Breath of Fresh Air’, for example. However, the recovery has not been felt to the same extent throughout the county.
‘The UK market in particular provides the widest spread of visitors across Ireland and the broadest seasonality. Nine out of ten (91 per cent) hoteliers nationally believe more needs to be done in terms of regional marketing in particular. Time and time again, Irish tourism has shown itself to be an excellent investment with every euro spent in destination marketing by the state resulting in €34 being spent by visitors in the country.’
Tim Ivers, Trich Kearns and Kieran O’Byrne, MSS Group.
Brian McNamara, Chair