Is Monday, 3 January 2011 a bank/public holiday?

UPDATE 6 March 2012: Is Monday 19 March 2012 (the Monday after St Patrick’s Day, 17 March, which falls on a Saturday in 2012) a bank/public holiday?

Where a public holiday falls on a weekend, employees do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day ie Monday off work… You are still entitled to time/money in lieu for the public holiday.”

Retail staff in Ireland will probably find themselves working this St Patrick’s Day as it is the day before Mother’s Day and Saturday is an important retail day anyway. Our advice is to go directly to the Citizen’s Information page to find out what your entitlements are as an employee or obligations as an employer.

They say: Employees who qualify will be entitled to one of the following:

  • A paid day off on the public holiday
  • An additional day of annual leave
  • An additional day’s pay
  • A paid day off within a month of the public holiday

UPDATE 21 DECEMBER 2012: Wondering whether Tuesday, 27 December 2011 or Monday, 2 January 2012 are days off work? In Ireland, as you can read below:

Where a public holiday falls on a weekend, employees do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day ie Monday off work… You are still entitled to time/money in lieu for the public holiday.”

BUT. Although there’s no automatic legal entitlement, most non-retail, non-manufacturing, businesses and organisations are more than likely going to keep those doors firmly shut.


Original article:

As small business owners around Ireland are fixing their Christmas leave, one date in particular is confusing them. Is Monday, 3 January 2011 a bank holiday or a public holiday? In other words, ‘when do we tell our clients we’re reopening after Christmas?’, or ‘what date do we tell staff they’re to return to work?’

Aztec Calendar at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City

Figuring out the Christmas and New Years public holidays can be as difficult as figuring out a calendar from an ancient civilisation. (Photo: Michael McCarthy)

Technically speaking, employers and managers should have the same query about Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 December, 2010. ‘Why?’ you may wonder.

Where a public holiday falls on a weekend, employees do not have any automatic legal entitlement to have the next working day ie Monday off work.

The public holidays in question are Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day (Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 December 2010) and of course New Year’s Day (Saturday, 1 January 2011).

But before you as an employer get into a panic of shortening your own leave, please remember, that although there’s no automatic legal entitlement, most non-retail, non-manufacturing, businesses and organisations are more than likely going to keep those doors firmly shut until Tuesday, 4  January, 2011.

If you’re an employee and have a boss that thinks Saturday and Sunday is enough recovery time from New Year’s Eve, fear not. You are still entitled to time/money in lieu for the public holiday that is Saturday 1, January.

The very informative Citizens Information Board has loads of information on it. Go to this page and do a Ctrl+F for Saturday or scroll towards the bottom of the page.

Why am I going to the bother of putting all this together? I noticed people enquiring about it on various social media streams and many moons ago, I wrote workplace-related articles for an Irish Independent supplement called Jobs & Careers and wrote about the same topic back then. I get it. Do you get it? If you don’t the handiest thing to do is start the New Year with a four-day week. It’ll make the start back to work easier on everyone. If you don’t fancy that, remember you do have to give your staff pay or time in lieu for starting back to work on Monday 3, January.

So have you decided yet? What are you going to do? Open on the Monday or the Tuesday?

Training, events and conferences to spark ideas

Information sparks ideas. Learning sparks ideas.Spark of genius But how do you capture these sparks?

Any time I attend a conference, event, talk, workshop, course I find myself taking both notes on what the speaker is saying and the ideas sparked in my own mind from what they’re discussing.

Currently I’m a participant on the CIME (pronounced chime) project, an EU part-funded project under the Ireland-Wales 2007-2013 Programme (INTERREG 4A).

At the first workshop we were given handouts where we were encouraged to take notes in two separate columns under the headings what I hear and what I think.

Finding appropriate events to attend shouldn’t be too difficult. Apart from getting on your local enterprise board or chamber of commerce email list, you can find out about events by picking up a newspaper on the days that something relevant to your business area is published. For example, The Irish Times on a Friday for business or The Guardian on a Monday for the Media Guardian section. Don’t forget the Irish Internet Association either.

Or it might be by signing up to an email newsletter or ezine that provides such industry news or updates, or maybe you need to ‘Like’ the right Facebook accounts or follow certain accounts on Twitter to be kept in the know.

The next two weeks I think are two of the busiest for events out of the whole year. And I am delighted to see that there are a number of events in the coming weeks that are directed at those in the writing industry.

On Tuesday, 16 November the RDS in Dublin plays host to a day-long conference entitled Content is King, on Friday, 19 November a day-long workshop for advertising copywriters takes place in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

Both of these bring experts from outside of Ireland as well as professionals working here together. And it has to be said a mix of outside influences is vital in staying innovative.

Though it can be difficult to find the time or the money, getting out and about to events is worthwhile no matter what business you are in or what level you are at in an organisation. Stay alert and awake while the event is taking place, take notes, review them at some stage, get chatting to people, you never know inspiration you will get from a day out of your business, a day away from the desk.

Other events to watch out for in Ireland in coming weeks include:

Anything else worth mentioning, please add a comment!

Questions about the internet and having a web presence

What’s the most stupidest question you’ve heard (or been too afraid to ask) about websites or internet marketing?
Why we want to know is because we’re going to start a new series of articles on the blog soon based on these questions.
We’ll explain a topic in each article which will be based on interviews with people in the internet industry in Ireland. So fire over some questions! Comment here or email us or comment on Facebook:

What does the word ‘style’ mean to you?

What’s betting that when you think of the word style you think of the world of fashion, glossy magazines, cat walks, people’s appearance and clothes?

well arent we just fancy

Is your organisation fancy enough to have a style guide?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but to many people that’s what style is. Style means something different to many people who work with words. From marketing departments to book publishing to the world of journalism, style is about the style of writing that’s adhered to.

Tone, voice, fonts, you may ask. Not really, no. Professionals involved in the world of writing often work with ‘in-house’ style guides. These vary from a few pages to heavy tomes – but the one thing they all have in common is that they tell people what versions of words and phrases to stick to in written communications.

Anyone who has completed a thesis or even a large written report for a college or university will be familiar with certain rules they have to abide by in referencing sources.

It’s all about making a document easier for the reader to get through.

Want to see some adherence to style in action? Pick two newspapers that aren’t published by the same newspaper group and find a story that appears in each. Scan through the text, you’re likely to see differences in how they refer to currencies and numbers, or the titles they give people referred to in the articles, for example. This is a fine example of how different organisations choose one way of writing something and stick with it.

If you have a number of people in your business working on written communications – which can be as varied as emails to clients, to Facebook or Twitter updates, marketing materials or updating your website content or blog – it might be a good idea to start developing your own style guide.

You can start it simply, by adding your preferences to a Word document that everybody can add to. Do you say you’re in Dublin, Co Dublin, Co. Dublin, county Dublin, County Dublin, Greater Dublin, the greater Dublin area or Dublin city? Or, as they say in Home  Away, the Australian soap, are you in ‘the city’? The City (capital c) usually refers to a financial district of London.

If you want some guidance, there’s loads of resources out there to get you started.

For some tongue-in-cheek style guide samples take a look at Fake AP Stylebook on Twitter or on Facebook.

Some real style guides you can check out are:

What are the versions of words you find hard to decide between for your communications?

PR from the journalist’s perspective

Quite often, as a journalist, I get asked about PR. Sometimes people like to know just the basics of getting PR, who to send a press release to, how to structure a press release and so on.

Obviously, having worked as a journalist and having been sent tonnes of press releases from PR companies and individuals over the years, I’m pretty familiar with the structure of a press release.

Today I was asked by a stranger for some feedback on a press release. Instead of looking over it in a Good Samaritan kind of way and providing feedback, I decided to write up some pointers. I wasn’t being mean with my time, it took time to come up with the tips I sent to the individual in question. I hope they are of some help, and if they’re not, that’s exactly why I would recommend businesses work with a professional PR outfit to get their message out.

[Irish spinner and spinning wheel. County Galway, Ireland] (LOC)

You can spin your own press release at home

PR Tips

  • does your press release include something new i.e does it contain newsworthy information?
  • do you have a catchy headline?
  • are the most important details in the first paragraph?
  • do you have who, what, when, where, why, how covered off?
  • so you have some interesting, useful quotes in the press release?
  • have you mentioned the USP of the product/service?
  • have you kept it to one page of a word document?
  • have you included a mobile phone number so radio stations can contact you easily?
  • have you considered doing up a different release for local media – have a look at how a local paper will cover something differently to specialist areas such as music or technology
  • have a look at to have a look at other press releases, try and seek out ones written by professionals to get a feel for how your release rates in comparison.
  • when sending a release don’t carbon copy (CC) journalists on the one email with their email addresses visible, it’s best to Bcc or send individual mails
  • ensure you’re sending the press release to the right person – you can pick up the phone and check with the relevant publication beforehand
  • journalists really don’t like getting a raft of phone calls ‘did you receive my press release’ or ‘will you be running with this story?’
    • it is quite likely they will have received your press release and they may not honestly know till closer to publication if their editor will run with it.

The above tips are absolute basics and in no way replace the expertise of professional PR people. As with everything, you can DIY it but in many cases that doesn’t mean having the same finish as having a professional in to do the job.

If you’re looking for professional PR help have a look at the PRII website or the PRCA listing of consultants or drop me an email and I can recommend some PR consultants.

What are your tips for getting PR coverage?