Above or Below the Parapet? - Communication and Social Media Considerations

09 June 2022



Each year the Forum focusses to the broad area of communications, given its importance for any modern organisation in terms of, for example, raising the organisation’s profile, managing reputation issues, supporting the delivery of services, or addressing matters of urgent importance including crisis situations. How an organisation communicates is not solely a matter for the head of communications or the communications unit, but also for those charged with key governance roles, such as the Chief Executive, the senior team, the Chairperson and the Board. Organisations need to be agile and effective in communicating, which requires planning, resourcing and appropriate messaging. Added to this, organisations are expected to use and exploit the opportunities that come with evolving social media and communication platforms, but this can also present a risk if not done well.

With the help of three experienced experts and practitioners, this event will consider:

Our speaker line-up will be:


Feargal Purcell

Feargal is Managing Director, Strategic Advisory at Edelman, and draws on extensive political and communications experience and a strong network of relationships in providing clients with strategic counsel on Government relations, reputation management, crisis management, policy development and media positioning. Clients include Primark, Airbnb, KBC, Unilever, Littlewoods, and the Irish Banking Culture Board amongst others.

Prior to joining Edelman, Feargal was Government Press Secretary between 2011 and 2017, acting as principal communications advisor and strategic counsel to Taoiseach Enda Kenny (2011-2017) and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (2017).

Before entering politics, Feargal served as an officer in the Defence Forces for 18 years in a variety of leadership roles, including on United Nations Missions overseas in Lebanon and Bosnia and as a lecturer in the Military College before becoming spokesman for the Defence Forces until leaving to enter politics in 2008.

Laurie Mannix

Laurie is co-founder and director of MKC Communications, a leading strategic advisory company in PR and Public Affairs.  She is one of Ireland’s most experienced PR practitioners and is recognised for her crisis management work.  She was strategic advisor to Scouting Ireland during the Review into Historic Sexual Abuse in that organisation and has provided reputation management advice to companies following cyber-attacks, data breaches, industrial accidents, environmental accidents and redundancy programmes.   

Ray McMonagle

Ray is Manager of the Communications Unit at Dublin Fire Brigade, a position he has held since 2020. The Communications Unit deals with internal communications and external public relations and fire prevention communications in the State’s largest and only integrated Fire and Emergency Medical Service. 

Ray co-established a social media presence for Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) in 2014, and since that time DFB has won a number of social media awards, including most recently in 2022 for its Facebook and Twitter accounts and its Social Media Strategy. 

Ray has been a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Dublin Fire Brigade for 18 years, and has a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations and Digital Marketing.