Programmes and Campaigns

The Programmes and Campaigns team leads on behaviour change and social marketing campaigns for the HSE. We also provide strategic communications services and advice on smaller-scale communications projects annually.

We use evidence and research insights to create campaigns that help people to navigate health services and improve their health and wellbeing.

Behaviour change and social marketing campaigns

Our award-winning and effective work is done hand-in-hand with HSE programmes and covers a wide range of topics and service areas.

Using research as a basis, we work with our contracted agencies to create engaging content, and plan advertising that helps us to engage with our target audiences effectively.

Our large-scale campaigns include: – alcohol health information and advice
B4uDecide – relationship and sexual wellbeing advice for 14 to17 year olds
BowelScreen –bowel cancer screening service for people aged 59 to 69
BreastCheck – breast screening for women aged 50 to 69
CervicalCheck –HPV cervical screening for women aged 25 to 65
COVID-19 –protective measures, symptoms and treatment of COVID-19
COVID-19 vaccine – information and appointments for your COVID-19 vaccine
Dementia: Understand together – information and supports for people living with, or caring for someone with dementia
Diabetic RetinaScreen – retinopathy screening service for people with diabetes
Flu vaccine – flu vaccine information and pharmacy finder
Man2Man – sexual health information for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men
Mental Health - information on common mental health difficulties and support available
My Options –support for an unplanned pregnancy
MyChild – pregnancy, baby and toddler health
QUIT – quit smoking service and supports
Sexual Wellbeing – promotes positive sexual health and wellbeing
START – partnership with safefood to encourage a healthier lifestyle for children

Creative development

We use research insights to develop advertising campaigns when there is a clear need for a campaign.

This involves identifying the communications need, researching the issue, and developing a brief. We then work with external agencies to test creative ideas and develop successful ideas into assets including TV and radio advertisements, Out of Home advertisings like billboards, bus shelters and digital advertising screens, digital and social media advertisements and direct mail.

Media planning and buying

We work with our media agency to plan media buying strategies for HSE messages that reach their target audiences. This involves finding the best ways to reach people based on their media consumption habits, at the best time and for the best value.

This also involves tracking performance and adapting plans when needed.

Market research and insights

We carry out research to identify and understand health challenges and how best to address them. Conducting research among our target audiences provides insights into their needs, which helps to inform our decisions on how to effectively communicate and engage with them.

We use quantitative and qualitative research to ensure we deliver evidence-based campaigns and to evaluate campaign performance.

Market research principles

Our projects and campaigns are rooted in health evidence and much of our work is based on bespoke research and insights from people living in Ireland.

Our research aims to maximise benefits for individuals and society and minimise risk and harm.
1. Where possible, we use research insights from real people to inform our messaging and campaigns.
2. We use a range of methodologies and tools to engage and understand the needs of specific target audiences.
3. We aim to ensure our research is conducted with respect and is inclusive.
4. We aim to ensure our population-based research is representative of everyone in society.
5. We carry out research at each stage of campaign development to inform and continuously improve how we communicate our message and reach people.

Community Panel

The HSE Community Panel has approx. 100 people on a qualitative, representative, interactive panel. The panel is a cross section of the population (18-69 year olds) who are provided with regular tasks on a range of HSE topics, programmes and developing campaigns.

We also establish additional panels to provide insights for specific audiences when needed. At present, we have a panel of healthcare workers that we engage with.Tasks carried out by the panels include surveys and polls, diaries and journals, blogging, ideation & co-creation, and discussions.

Read more about the Pulse Community.

If you are interested in engaging the Pulse Community to inform a communications programme or campaign please contact

Communications project support

We can provide advice and support on a number of small-scale projects. Requests for advice and support from the national communications teams can be made here

Please see below guidelines and templates to support you with communications materials.

Recent awards and achievements

 Bronze and Silver Effie Awards, COVID-19 campaigns 2021
 Paper accepted for 2022 World Social Marketing Conference
 2021 special TAMI award for Best Collaboration
 2021 MII shortlist, Marketing Team of the Year
 2021 PML Poster Impact award

Sharing our expertise

We facilitate the Take 5 series working with colleagues across the Communications Network. This is an informal way for staff to learn from their colleagues and it helps put a spotlight on cross-divisional team work. Each Take 5 outlines a project or staff experience in a particular area and highlights five key insights and/or learnings that can be taken.

If you would like to participate in a Take 5 by discussing a project you have played a role in, or if you have any questions about the series, please contact

Our team

The Programmes and Campaigns main office is located at Communications Division, HSE, 10/11 Cornmarket, Dublin, D08 X8C6.

Please note that the team are hybrid working between home and the office so email is the best way to get in touch. You can send queries to the the Programmes and Campaigns team by email to . Individual contact details are given below.

Aghna Harte, Head of Programmes and Campaigns  
Róísín Guiry, Campaigns Director  
Rachel Wright, Campaigns Director  
Cairin Conway, Campaigns Manager COVID-19 vaccine, injury units
Darina Carr, Campaigns Manager QUIT
Sonya Sheils, Campaigns Manager Screening, HPV vaccine
Lynda Murphy, Campaigns Executive Publications Administration
Muireann Kirby, Campaigns Manager Sexual Health & Wellbeing
Orlaith Potter, Programmes and Campaigns Officer MyChild
Áine Hutcherson, Campaigns Manager Dementia: Understand Together, MyOptions
Denise Vereker, Campaigns Manager Mental Health, Branding
Ciara Browne, Programmes and Campaigns Officer COVID-19 vaccine, flu vaccine, SunSmart
Karen Griffin, Campaigns Executive Traffic manager, admin support
Sorcha Nic Mhathúna, Communications Manager MyChild
Fiona Foley, Senior Project Manager Dementia: Understand Together in Communities 
Thomas Brady, Campaign Manager  Stroke
Martina Martinez, Campaign Manager Organ Donation