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ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the body for professional accountants.

Internationally it has 154,000 members and 432,000 students with 20,000 students and members throughout the island of Ireland.   Its globally transferable qualifications are recognised as providing core accountancy skills, which help to build successful careers in finance.

Whilst there was awareness of ACCA amongst the accountancy profession, it had been operating under the radar in Northern Ireland (NI) and there was little understanding or appreciation of the global influence of the professional body.  ACCA wanted to raise its profile in NI by communicating its expertise, knowledge and the opportunities it could provide the corporate community in Northern Ireland.

To re–position ACCA, create cut through and deliver core messaging with corporate audiences APR developed and agreed the following communication objectives with ACCA.

The strategy was based around a consistent and targeted campaign and implemented activity that allowed ACCA to exploit the opportunity for experts to articulate issues, opportunities, threats and opinion to, as well as on behalf of, the broad business family. The campaign involved a range of tactics including:

Positioning of spokespeople

Utilised GB stories

Co–opted Tax Column

Corporate Profiling

Driving Out Stories

Maximising existing ACCA events


The intensive media relations campaign significantly increased the profile of ACCA and resulted in 85 pieces of media coverage and strong positive commentary via social media channels including:



  • Media now approaches ACCA across its three targeted strands of expertise
  • Positioned ACCA as economic expert across various issues impacting upon finances
  • Positioned ACCA with key stakeholders in the business arena i.e. Brian McGuire ACCA Ulster Network stated “All the hard work by the Aiken  professionals is really starting to show; I represented ACCA at a select private dinner at Parliament Building with ArleneFoster MLA in the company of IoD NI Chairman, CBI NI Chairman, Ulster ICAI vice chairman, Federation of Small Business NI Chairman, Stephen Kingon and Mark Ennis. I can’t ever recollect ACCA getting the opportunity to contribute locally at this level before.”


  • To provide a platform for Northern Ireland students to enter their ideas into a competition that has the potential to change their lives
  • To raise awareness of the opportunities that careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can bring
  • To highlight BT’s investment in fostering home–grown talent in Northern Ireland
  • To encourage the public to experience one of the world’s leading school science and technology events and recognise the talented youth from NI

Research and Planning

In the context of the ongoing debate about theatre’s relevance beyond the middle–classes our challenge was to engage with audiences who have previously felt intimidated by theatre while not losing ground with core theatre audiences.

Our insights, which included the knowledge that involving credible third parties increases consumer trust and our understanding that amongst the general populace here Northern Ireland humour is regarded to be ‘unique’, inspired our creative campaign.