• Thursday 7 October 2021
  • ash@coppersquareni.com
  • Titanic Hotel Belfast & Online


During the Pandemic, social media has played a defining role in keeping us all connected. It has also enabled and enhanced communications helping individuals and organisations to stay in touch, be responsive and adapt to change.

Taking place on Thursday 7 October 2021, Social Media Savvy brings together world leading experts, much sought after on the international speaking circuit, to explore the lessons and apply the learning as we continue to navigate our way through the ongoing health crisis.

Donald Steel, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an expert in crisis and reputation management and highly sought-after international speaker will give this year’s key note address from a social media perspective.

The former Chief Communications Adviser for the BBC and associate Fellow of the BBC Academy, is now Vice President of Crisis Communications at Kenyon International Emergency Services. This is such a coup for Social Media Savvy and our attendees.

Other high calibre contributors from across Ireland and the UK; those people who have played significant roles in using social media to inform, educate and entertain the public during challenging times have also joined our line-up.

We are also really pleased to announce confirmation from Helen O’Rahilly; Helen has had a long career in Television in both the UK and Ireland: Channel Executive of BBC One, Creative Director for Factual programmes, Editor of “Watchdog” and also spent a period of time as the first woman to hold the Director of Television role at RTÉ. Just returned to her native Dublin after 30 years in London, she came back to become a carer for her elderly mother and aunt. Rather than gearing down, she used her free time to launch a nationwide Covid lockdown group and write a best-selling book. A prolific Twitter user, she used the platform to launch and promote both her lockdown projects. 

We’ll also be hearing from Serena Terry; founder of Catchy Co and known as ‘Mammy Banter’ on Tik Tok and Instagram. Skilled in Business and Marketing Strategy, Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, this experienced and highly engaging marketing professional will deliver a talk on ‘Reality vs Instagram: How the pandemic turned the tables on air brushed social media.’

David Cochrane is a communications, content and audience strategist with over 17 years’ experience in national and international organisations spanning media and political spheres.

For the past eight years he has worked within The Irish Times on strategies to promote the full range of output and content types on digital and social channels, encouraging reader engagement and interaction.

David is involved in high-level strategy, and hands-on content and audience strategy across a range of premium national and local media brands in Ireland in his current role of Social Strategy Editor with The Irish Times. He has a particular interest in the role of social media content, having completed a Masters in University College Dublin (UCD) focused on the regulation of social media content in Ireland. We are very much looking forward to David’s session entitled: “Content in a Crisis: Lessons in Journalism During A Global Pandemic”

We are delighted to announce that Peter Maxwell, Media Manager at HEINEKEN Ireland, is joining our speaker lineup!With over 15 years’ experience in marketing, having worked for a number of national and multinational companies in the food, drink and FMCG sectors. Based in Dublin, Peter is currently Media Manager of HEINEKEN Ireland working on the promotion of some of the most well known and emerging drinks brands.  A graduate of the University of Ulster, Peter started his marketing career with Variety Foods in Belfast before relocating to Cork and taking up a role with SuperValu. It wasn’t long before Peter’s career accelerated and he was working with Georgia Pacific managing their Lotus Professional brand in Ireland before joining HEINEKEN Ireland in 2012 where, in his current role as Media Manager, he is responsible for developing and implementing targeted digital content across various media platforms. Peter will share a case study example of how the HEINEKEN brand refocused its digital messaging and what we, as marketers, can learn from this. 

Chris Love  is an experienced Chartered public relations expert, providing strategic support, counsel and a range of communications initiatives designed to enhance, manage, and defend reputation. His experience spans SMEs and tech start-ups, through to public sector organisations, pharmaceutical companies, the third sector and global FMCG brands. He has spent the last 20 years working in senior roles creating high performance campaigns for companies including Barclays, Coca-Cola, M&S, Nando’s, Northern Ireland Water and Norbrook
Laboratories. Chris is currently Communications Manager at Nexus, Northern Ireland’s specialist sexual trauma charity and also manages the comms for Northern Ireland’s 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline. He is a consultant to Aware NI and Pretty ‘n’ Pink breast cancer charity. Chris was Chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) NI in 2014; three times consecutive winner of CIPR NI PRide Award for Outstanding Independent Practitioner (2013-2015) and was bestowed Fellowship of the CIPR in 2014. Chris is currently a Boardroom Apprentice for Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

John Thornton – Social Media Manager, Innocent Drinks. John’s been writing silly words and daft tweets for Innocent Drinks for 4 years. He’s also been on the verge of getting fired for 4 years. Conkers, children’s books, black cats, exam results, and speling mistaeks are just a few of things that have gotten him into hot water. On the plus side, his habit of accidentally triggering online hate mobs has been keeping the pitchfork industry in business. No one’s really sure how John’s clung onto his job, but he’ll be doing his best to explain how he digs himself out of the holes he’s dug himself, and why tweeting in the shadow of a P45 is totally worth it. We are looking forward to John’s talk: “One Tweet Away From The Sack”.


The event will be hosted by Ashleigh Watson MCIM, owner of Copper Square and social media consultant.

Attendees will all receive a Social Media Planner & Diary for 2022 and Ashleigh will run a short session on how to plan your social media marketing content in 2022.

Places to attend in person are limited! You can join us LIVE from the comfort of your home or office and don’t worry – there will be a replay for anything you miss