Elevating an Entrepreneur’s Profile for Award Nominations

Case Description

The seven-month campaign generated over 5,000 shares on social media, 32.6 million reach across online, print and broadcast. Our client went on to win the Industry EY Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as the Irish Tatler Business Woman of the Year, a winner of the Galway Person of the Year and the Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Award Winner by WXN.


Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS) is the largest privately-owned contract laboratory in Ireland and supplies microbiological and analytical testing, and fully trained analysts on contract to clients in the food, environmental, medical device and pharmaceutical industries. CLS was set up by Founder and CEO, Evelyn O’Toole in 1994 in the West of Ireland and today it employs over 180 staff across two facilities in Galway.


Cullen Communications began working with the CEO and Founder of CLS on her journey as a finalist of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017. She went on to win the Industry EY Entrepreneur of the Year category – the first female to do so since the awards started in 1997! 

Evelyn had a great story to tell, and we provided her with guidance in developing and streamlining her journey as a scientist and entrepreneur to tell and share with media and the wider community. It was about telling her story and highlighting Evelyn as the incredible role model she is, detailing how she set up CLS at the age of 25 and the growth of the company to the current day. For this we focused on four core media angles: Evelyn’s story; the STEM industry in Ireland; female entrepreneurs; business in rural Ireland.


The CLS agency team worked with Evelyn to fine tune her story and key messages with agency services comprising of: media preparation, content creation, speaking engagement and management including presentation development and design, content creation, copywriting support for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Ireland activity including speech writing, social media support and media relations.

We worked with the EOY team on media opportunities managing the preparation for Evelyn as she began the journey of raising her profile. Local media in Galway were very keen to share her successes in addition to national media.  Cullen Communications also identified newsworthy stories within the CLS brand working with members of the senior team to raise the profile of the CLS brand future, expanding media reach in support of Evelyn’s profile campaign. This involved highlighting their expertise across the environment, medical device, pharmaceutical industries including a focus on their analysts on contract division.

As the awards ceremony neared the excitement mounted and Evelyn was profiled on national broadcast and print outlets – preparations were in place with the agency working on winning press release drafts and scripting of acceptance speeches that were ready to go if success was achieved. On the night nerves were frayed as the winner of each category was announced. Evelyn came out triumphant in the Industry category. Naturally there was elation for everyone who was there to support Evelyn on the night for winning this monumental accolade from EY who organise the fantastic EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme.

Following the win the press release was finalised and photography was issued to relevant media outlets including local media, it was also shared on the CLS website and across their social media platforms. Evelyn continued with media engagement in the days that followed the awards. Cullen Communications monitored outlets for coverage to collated a coverage report post event.

Final Result

Evelyn’s entrepreneur story generated huge interest across all media platforms and the campaign media coverage surpassed a reach of 32.6 million with 38 articles and over 5,000 social media shares.

Since winning the Industry EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017, Evelyn has gone on to win additional accolades including the Irish Tatler Business Woman of the Year 2017, a winner in the Galway Person of the Year Awards, and the WXN Ireland’s Most Powerful Women: Top 25 Award Winner 2018. She is a judge on the EY Entrepreneur of the Year since 2018, has been appointed to the Irish Medtech board and is on the support centre committee for Cancer Care West.

CLS continues to grow and expand its business and Cullen Communications continues to support Evelyn with ongoing public engagements and media opportunities. Including activity on core communication projects across their departments as well as various marketing and PR activity.

Articles mentioned

Reach through PR coverage

Social media shares

More cases like this