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Latest Update – Kinsale Comeback Campaign

Kinsale Comeback Campaign Strategy Document

Dear Members,

We have been working hard behind the scenes to execute the Kinsale Comeback Campaign and below are the results to date. We have a long road ahead but an exciting one and we have gotten off to a great start. It has been a very successful re-opening for most businesses and this is a result of a fantastic team effort by the entire community and the businesses in the town. The ‘Back Stronger’ campaign and signage assisted in creating a positive can-do approach to the pandemic and this campaign has now been replaced with our ‘Welcome Back’ message as we look to the future.

Kinsale Gives Back Campaign

In late April, we launched a ‘Kinsale Gives Back’ Campaign in collaboration with Westport Chamber of Commerce.  As a thank-you to the heroic frontline workers for all their incredible work and sacrifice during this COVID-19 Pandemic,  we put together a treasure chest of gifts from our members which were given to nominated frontline heroes every week over a 4 week period.  

Huge thanks to everyone who took part this campaign!  It was a massive success and we were delighted with the response and to have the opportunity to give back to some of our incredible frontline heroes!


Safety First Strategy

Safety is one of the key pillars of our campaign based on consumer sentiment surveys by Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland, as well as research by the UN World Tourism Organisation. Safety and wellbeing are the key priorities for consumers as they travel again and so we set out to make Kinsale a leader in this area.

We have undertaken a careful risk reduction strategy for this and are grateful to have on-board the campaign,  former World Health Organisation Executive and Global Pandemic Expert Dr Ian Norton to advise us as we move through these new and uncertain times.

Dr Norton has assisted us in crafting our strategy and approach and has also done a series of interviews and will continue to work with us as the campaign develops to ensure safety is at the forefront of our strategy and messaging.

Our initial interview with Dr Ian Norton is below and also attached are some recent articles on Kinsale with Dr Norton.

View Full Interview with Dr. Ian Norton

Disaster management expert helps with Kinsale recovery

Kinsale dubbed ‘safest town in Ireland’ thanks to guidance from global pandemic expert

Street Pedestrianisation, Outdoor Dining and Free Parking

Following representations made by Kinsale Chamber as part of the ACT initiative and on the advice of Global Pandemic Expert Dr Ian Norton, Kinsale was one of the first towns in Ireland to quickly introduce on-street dining, pedestrianisation and free parking for the summer months.

This has been hugely successful to date and not only has it made businesses viable and sustainable while they get back on their feet, but the knock-on impact on safety is apparent as people are not being forced too close together onto narrow footpaths.  It has spread foot traffic on busy days and peak times onto the pedestrianised streets, creating a safer and more free-flowing environment for people to enjoy.

Kinsale has received a lot of very positive publicity for its forward-thinking approach in this area. To celebrate this initiative we launched ‘Family Fun Sundays‘ to promote the use of the streets for both the local community and visitors to the town in a safe and friendly manner. These have been a huge success.

Kinsale Chamber has worked very closely with Cork County Council over the last number of months and built a very strong relationship with them,  probably the strongest relationship that there has been in the last number of years which is very positive.

The Chamber would like to both thank and acknowledge the cooperation, support and fantastic open-minded approach that the County Council have taken to supporting Kinsale on any initiative proposed.

The working relationship has meant some really quick and effective results for the town and a really positive and refreshing partnership that will work well into the future.

Interview with Ireland’s Top Travel Writer

As part of our campaign, we sought to get the best in the business to partner with us and both advise and assist us with our campaign goals.

We took the approach that to be the best, we wanted to work with the best and as part of that, we were delighted to secure an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Travel writer Pól O’ Conaghaile.

Pól gave us some tips and excellent advice on how to approach our campaign. Check it out below.

View Full Interview Here

PR Activity

We are delighted that Publicist to the stars Lindsey Holmes has taken on the role of the Publicist to the Kinsale Comeback Campaign. Lindsey is one of the most sought after publicists in the country and has represented U2 for many years as well as a host of international stars and high profile campaigns.

Lindsey and her team continue to work hard to maximise exposure for Kinsale and have a lot of PR in the pipeline when the timing is appropriate.

New Kinsale Video

As part of the campaign and in particular, for the new website, we appointed an expert production company called Chapter to create a new video for Kinsale that will be used to promote the town. This is currently in the final stages of production and will be released in the coming weeks.
We also partnered with Cork County Council as part of their new ‘Interactive Tourism Map’ initiative and assisted them with content for the creation of the video below which we think is amazing!

Kinsale Rebrand

Over the last number of months, we have been working with Chamber Member Lee Callaghan on a new version of the Kinsale Brand. We are thrilled with the results as we believe it reflects the fun, vibrant and colourful nature of the town that visitors all recall about their visit to Kinsale.

New Website

The new website is the final stages of completion and is due to be launched in the coming month. A huge amount of research has been done into tourism sites all over the world in the preparation and planning of the new site.

A significant body of work has been undertaken including an external review of the site by Razorsocial and a detailed report on content messaging and visual communications media by Core Optimisation, who was appointed by Failte Ireland to assist us in the planning and execution of this new mobile-first site.

We are very excited to launch it and believe it will be a major step forward for us in terms of our online presence. Watch this space for more details. 

Failte Ireland Partnership

Kinsale has developed a very strong partnership and relationship with Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland over the last number of years and worked with them on various successful campaigns in the past. We recently represented Ireland at an international Tourism Event in Madrid and worked with Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland to successfully showcase Kinsale to the Spanish Market.

Failte Ireland has provided support for the development of our new website bringing in the experts companies such as Razorsocial and Core Optimisation to assist us in the planning and development of the new site.

On top of this and as a result of Kinsale Comeback Campaign and the strength of the relationship with Failte Ireland, Kinsale is now one of the feature locations of the current ‘Make a Break For It’ Campaigns aimed at the domestic market. Kinsale is specifically mentioned in the media coverage and will also become one of the few feature locations to get its own campaign in September and October.

As part of this campaign, we were delighted to host one of Ireland’s top influencers and bloggers, Roz Purcell, last weekend in Kinsale. Roz has over 400,000 followers on Instagram and has covered her weekend in Kinsale in detail online.  We expect this to have a very positive impact on future bookings in particular at the target demographic set out in our campaign strategy which is attached below.

Kinsale Comeback Campaign

Cork Tourism Taskforce

Based on the successful announcement and planning of our Kinsale Comeback Campaign, Kinsale was invited to take part in the Cork Tourism Taskforce and have a representative on the task force. This was made up of a group of representatives ranging from Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Failte Ireland, The Port of Cork, Cork Airport, The Irish Hotels Federation, The Restaurant Association, Visit Cork, Retail and other representatives.

The Cork Tourism Taskforce created a range of priorities and actions which were then fed into the National Tourism Taskforce and other government agencies. This was a weekly commitment for 8 weeks and Kinsale played an active role in the development and execution of the plans and actions points of the Taskforce each week during the lockdown.

Digital Campaign

We engaged with market leaders CMS Marketing to deliver a very focused and targeted digital marketing campaign which is where the main body of our Kinsale Comeback Campaign has been focused. CMS are the market leaders in media buying and campaign delivery and manage national campaigns for Paddy Power, Three, Bank of Ireland, An Post, Vodafone, Sky, Visa and a host of top national and intentional brands.

CMS allocated their top campaign experts and resources to deliver a very well executed campaign with 4 key pillars. These included Shopping, Watersports, Food and Golf with an overriding theme of ‘’Get it all in Kinsale’’ as well as exploring Kinsale in a fun and interactive way as families and friends reconnect. It also targets those with familiarity and trust of the Kinsale brand with messages around rediscovering Kinsale.

The campaign was then targeted at very specific geographic regions and demographics as the re-opening phases were introduced, based on the consumer sentiment research which highlighted the demographic most likely to travel and what their tastes and priorities were.  The initial campaign focused on the day trip market and then expanded to the overnight market in the Munster region and then nationally as travel restrictions lifted.

The campaign to date has reached 752k approx for the food video alone, 650k for the waterspouts video, 86k for the Golf video and 340k for the shopping video and this is only after one week of the digital campaign. Please see below links to visuals.

Here is a sample of the digital display advert being used for online media such as the Irish Times and other major news and media sites.

The next phase of the Campaign is to focus on a national radio campaign and also further invest in very targeted digital marketing based on our target demographic heading into the key shoulder season of the year. This is the time when we feel the hardest work will have to be done to compete for business in a very limited target audience as a very large supply base will look to target the same audience in the shoulder and off-season months.

We believe this is where our campaign can ignite and the foundations put in place now will set us up for success in that phase of the campaign where the market will begin to get extremely crowded and competitive as the current family market will not be travelling as much and the weather traditionally will make the audience a more limited one.

Shop In

Drive In

Tuck In

Sail In

Social Media Campaign

During the lockdown, our social media campaign strategy was all about #whenwetravelagain. Carefully planned out content was created to ‘sell’ Kinsale as a prefered destination, highlighting the many things to see and do here so that we remained top of mind for when travel restrictions lifted.

At each phase of re-opening, we communicated messages on behalf of members to instil confidence and reassurance for visitors that we were taking all possible precautions to ensure their safety while at the same time, keeping content light and positive. This is an ongoing campaign and we would encourage all members to engage with our dedicated Marketing Consultant to promote your business and showcase all that Kinsale has to offer.

We have seen a significant increase in ‘followers’ on our social media accounts and also an increase in engagement from our online community which is very positive. This all helps to grow brand awareness and a dedicated online following which are ultimately our customer base.

Please contact Lorraine Walsh ([email protected]) with any content or if you require support in this area.

Community Spirit

Local Artist and chamber member Philip Gray created an original oil painting of Kinsale harbour titled “Community Spirit”. The inspiration for this came from the incredible display and overwhelming level of community support which was evident throughout the period of lockdown.  From this original, 95 exclusive limited edition prints were created & sold. 

Philip presented a cheque for €10,000 to the Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Business that will go to supporting the Kinsale Comeback Campaign. There are now only a few editions left available online as the response has been phenomenal.

On behalf of the Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Business, we would like to sincerely thank Philip for his generous contribution.

Full Story Here

Campaign Sponsors

We would like the thank the following businesses that have come on board as main sponsors to the campaign each sponsoring between 2,500 and 6,150 each. We would not be able to deliver this campaign without this sponsorship and need to continue to raise funds to move to phase 2 of the campaign in the coming weeks.


The Blue Haven Collection

Kinsale Good Food Circle

Supervalu Kinsale

Philip Gray Studio

Kinari Boutique

Pallas/Christy Wines and Spirits

Kinsale Chamber 

If anyone is interested in coming on-board as a main sponsor please contact [email protected]. All contributions are greatly received and all go 100% to the campaign. 
The Kinsale Comeback Campaign has been an incredible journey. From a situation of adversity for Kinsale and our members to the ‘shoulder to the wheel’ approach taken by the town, it has created a huge amount of national publicity and positivity which we believe will not only stand to the town this year but also for the years to come.
The goal of the campaign is firstly to get the town back on track effectively and efficiently but also set Kinsale up for success for the next 3 to 5 years and we believe that this campaign will do that. The campaign has shown the ‘Rising Tide’ approach the town is famous for over the years and the spirit and ethos of working together for the greater good of the town and a very selfless positive approach to getting everyone back on their feet and returning stronger, together as a community. 

Upcoming Publications

Kinsale has hosted a number of journalists over the past few weeks. Please see the details below.  Thank you to Actons Hotel, The Trident Hotel, Ballinacurra House, The Old Bank House and The Blue Haven for hosting the above journalists free of charge and for all the service providers who gave up their time and resources to host the above journalists for the benefit of the town.

Irish Daily Mail – Lisa Brady was recently hosted and her article is due in coming weeks

Irish Times – Conor Pope was hosted by Kinsale and the date of publication is to be confirmed.

Sunday World – Eddie Rowley was hosted and an article is expected on Sunday 8th August

Sunday Independent – Barry Egan is being hosted by Kinsale this week and his write-up is expected on 8th August publication

Kinsale in the News – Print

Tourist friendly Kinsale planning Comeback after COVID-19

Kinsale Comeback Campaign A Roadmap to Recovery

Kinsale’s comeback from Covid-19: Cork town turns attention to recovery with response plan for business and tourism

Disaster management expert helps with Kinsale recovery

Kinsale dubbed ‘safest town in Ireland’ thanks to guidance from global pandemic expert

Kinsale seeks reboot with ‘bold decisions’

Kinsale rolls out trial pedestrianisation of two streets to support local businesses

Kinsale aims to be streets ahead after pandemic

Ireland’s Gourmet Capital to trial “Al Fresco” Street Dining to allow for COVID19 distancing

Kinsale Presses Ahead with Pedestrianisation Plan

Al Fresco dining in Kinsale

HEAVEN BY THE HARBOUR On our first Covid-era staycation, we’re soaking up the Bustle of Kinsale

Kinsale in the News – Radio


RTE RADIO 1: Interview with Dr. Ian Norton with Sarah McInerney

RED FM: Kinsale Is Leading The Way In Launching A Comeback Campaign

RED FM: The Culinary And Tourist Town Of Kinsale Is Embracing A New Campaign

RED FM: Coverage of Pedestrianisation and Outdoor Dining Plans

Kinsale in the News – TV

Virgin Media News: Ambitious on-street dining plan part of Kinsale’s COVID-19 comeback campaign

Notes of Gratitude From the Community

Note 1

Note 2


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