Northern Ireland and the Impacts of Brexit, Social Media Marketing, Congress, 
and more from O'Neill and Associates

Dear Friend,

Uncertainty seems to be the only one thing that's certain today. It's a situation that's relatively recent for those of us living in the United States, but it has been a way of life for those in Northern Ireland for over forty years. Now, with the Brexit vote and more recent events, this notion of uncertainty is top-of-mind once again in Ireland.

On June 23, 2016, voters in the United Kingdom went to the polls to cast a historic vote: should the UK leave the European Union? The decision: a leave vote. But the vote did not prescribe the policies of exit and many were left with questions that over a year later still remain unanswered. One such question:  what will happen in Ireland?

The peace in Northern Ireland remains fragile to this day. During the 1970s and 1980s, my father, Speaker of the House Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill Jr. advocated strongly for Irish peace alongside Senator Daniel Moynihan of New York, Governor Hugh Carey of New York and Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts. Together these influential Irish-American, Catholic politicians, dubbed the Four Horsemen, condemned the violence taking place in Ireland and condemned the financial backing of the IRA by U.S. citizens. Thanks to the commitment of these men there was a significant shift toward a peaceful resolution and ultimately a historic ceasefire in 1994. Slowly the border barriers between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland broke down and people began to pass freely.

Today, many fear that peace may be threatened by the impending consequences of Brexit and the recent actions of British Prime Minister Theresa May. While the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein remain the two prominent parties in Northern Ireland, both groups have seen a generational shift which has changed both parties' earlier platforms. Over the last thirty years both parties have become more tempered in their beliefs allowing for a further push towards peace on the island.

With the recent deal between May and the DUP, new tensions are emerging between the two parties. The vote last year to leave the EU and the recent UK snap election that demonstrated the lack of support for Prime Minister May forced an impasse. In an attempt to keep majority support in Parliament, May went to Northern Ireland's DUP and established a "confidence and supply" deal. In it, the DUP pledged to throw its support behind the Conservatives in exchange for €1.1 billion in extra funding. As an active part of Parliament and a significant influencer in Northern Ireland, this did not sit well with Sinn Fein, which had already faced conflict with the DUP having been on opposite sides of the Brexit vote. While plans for the €1.1 billion are not yet public, one can only hope that this significant increase in funding is going toward areas such as education to better prepare citizens for the economic shift that will certainly occur following the EU and UK split.

I am confident that common sense will prevail in Ireland. No one wishes to return to a time of violence, unrest, division, and restrictive borders. While there will likely be constraints on trade and travel between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, it is doubtful that a physical border will be reinstated.

It is essential for those spearheading the EU and UK talks to remain level-headed and reasonable when discussing this sensitive issue. In this time of uncertainty all we can be sure of is Ireland is one island and peace must remain. 

Tom O'Neill
Current Events and Expertise
Grassroots Social Media and Digital Engagement
A Q&A with Shakeir Gregory, Sr. Account Executive Digital and Social Engagement 

Shakeir Gregory discusses how social and digital platforms are used to support clients' initiatives through a Q&A session. He outlines how O'Neill and Associates assesses a client's social media capabilities, key objectives and steps organizations need in their social media strategy, and how they can find success in increasing their social media presence. 

A Look Ahead at What Congress is Addressing This Summer 
By AmyClaire Brusch, Vice President

AmyClaire Brusch looks at three issues before Congress this summer: the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, access to broadband services, and the reauthorization legislation of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Demystifying the Facebook Algorithm: A Guide to Reaching Your Audience 
By Shakeir Gregory, Senior Account Executive Digital and Social Engagement

Shakeir Gregory explores how companies can strengthen their social media marketing in order to compete for space on the Facebook news feeds of targeted audiences. Social media marketing is tricky for companies because platforms like Facebook use an algorithm to provide an individual experience for each of its users. 

Client Spotlight
Abiomed Heart Recovery Patients Visited Capitol Hill to Advocate for Life Saving Cardiovascular Technology

On June 8th, medical device manufacturer Abiomed worked with the O'Neill and Associates' federal relations team to host a patient advocacy event in Washington, DC. Nineteen Abiomed patients from around the country, now Heart Recovery Advocates, convened on Capitol Hill to help raise awareness of the burgeoning field of heart recovery. 
These nineteen patients who benefitted from treatment with Abiomed's Impella heart pumps shared their stories of survival with their representatives in Congress. These patient advocates explained how Impella has helped their lives, as well as the importance of supporting the field of heart recovery. Each patient advocate represented living proof that progress is being made in treating heart failure and coronary artery disease. 
Read More
Record Breaking Numbers at the 2017 Boston Pride Parade and Festival

The 47th annual Pride Parade and Festival, which took place June 2 to 11, included a record breaking number of groups and individuals marching in the parade. This year's historic parade consisted of over 25,000 marchers from 331 contingents with over 500,000 spectators. An estimated 100,000 individuals attended the Pride Festival at City Hall plaza. 

New this year, Boston Pride created a solidarity category to encourage small nonprofits to join the parade with a discounted fee. The Solidarity Groups made up about 22 percent of the total groups participating in the parade, with nonprofit organizations making up almost 70 percent of the parade.

Below find statistics of the coverage that the Pride Parade and Festival received.  
AUVSI New England's Robotica2017 Summit

AUVSI New England's Robotica2017 summit brought together unmanned and robotic systems companies to showcase their capabilities and technologies to a broad audience of end-users and developers. The event featured industry talks, workshops, and live demonstrations.

( Image on left taken at Robotica2017 summit)
Today at OA
Brook O'Meara-Sayen Joins Public Relations Team

O'Neill and Associates welcomes Brook O'Meara-Sayen as an account coordinator within our communications practice focusing on digital and social media campaigns. Brook provides critical day-to-day client support making sure that our clients' digital and social media needs are being met. 
Previously, Brook gained experience by interning at WGBH - World Channel, Coldwell Banker and Culture Magazine. He graduated from Emerson College with a bachelor of science degree in journalism.
Phil Wettengel Joins Government Relations Team

We at O'Neill and Associates are delighted to welcome Phil Wettengel as an account coordinator for our government relations team with developing policy communications and advising clients on local and state legislative practices. 
Prior to joining us, Phil gained experience with the American Beverage Association and United Way of Central Massachusetts in Worcester, MA. He graduated from Plymouth State University with a bachelor of science in public management.
Lilly Kasuba Joins Operations Team

We are delighted to welcome Lilly Kasuba as the executive assistant to our CEO, Thomas P. O'Neill. Lilly is an alumna of O'Neill and Associates' internship program, where she wrote press releases, crafted blog posts and other social media posts for clients, and developed media lists.
Prior to joining us, Lilly gained experience as an inside sales representative for Lookout Mobile Security. Lilly graduated from Boston College with a bachelor of Arts in economics and French. 
The Family Pantry of Cape Cod Celebrates 6th Annual Benefit

(The Founders' Award honorees Albert & Marion Gausz their family members Joel Berrnett & Berry Trummel, Pantry President Susan Adsit, Gala hosts Shelly & Tom O'Neill, President's Award honoree TJX Corporation represented by Paul Jordan and Pantry Executive Director Christine Menard)
On Sunday, June 11th, the Family Pantry of Cape Cod held the 6th annual gala at the Wychmere Beach Club in Harwich Port, MA. The gala was chaired by Tom & Shelly O'Neill, David Metzler, Kip & Stephanie O'Neill, Demetrios & Sarah Dasco, Matt & Erin Kelley and Paul & Mary Jo Barett. The event honored longtime supporters Albert & Marion Gausz and TJX Corporation, represented by Paul Jordan. 
This year was a record breaking event that raised a total of $225,675 between sponsorships, tickets and donations. This year's total would not have been possible without the support of generous sponsors whose kind contributions and dedication allows the Family Pantry to serve the Cape Cod community.
The Family Pantry of Cape Cod is the largest food pantry on Cape Cod and the proceeds from this year's gala will allow the Pantry to serve anyone in need with no restrictions, geographic or otherwise. The Pantry provided services to over 9,200 people with the help of over 550 volunteers in 2016.
Upcoming Events
For more information on events please contact O'Neill and Associates 617-646-1000
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