Building a New Digital Marketing Agency in Ireland in 2014

Top 12 Highlights of Digital Training Institute’s First Year in Business


It’s time to take a look back at our first full year in business and what a busy one it’s been. You’ve embraced us on the digital marketing stage and engaged with us in a number of disciplines including training, speaking, digital strategy, social media concierge, mentoring and monthly digital and Online PR support.  Here’s our top 12 highlights of the year which tell the story of how we began laying the foundations of our Digital Marketing Agency and Training Hub.

The Launch & Beyond

Following our official launch on 15th November 2013 we hit the market telling our story and engaging new customers with our friendly and approachable personality and our can-do attitude. We like to think that we demystify digital marketing for our customers and we bring them along their digital marketing journey by educating them along the way.

Digital Leader Badge

12. is Launched

In January we launched an eCommerce website for newly established cycle hire company based in North Donegal. The site was part of an overall digital marketing strategy developed and implemented by our team.  Established by social enterprise company An Craoibhin, Grassroutes generates over 90% of its business from website enquiries and bookings. So the next time you take a trip to my home county, why not check them out and hire a hybrid or electric bike and take in some of the magnificent sights the county has to offer along the Wild Atlantic Way. Electric Bike Hire Donegal

11. Jill O’Toole Joins the Team

We welcomed University of Limerick student Jill O’Toole to the team in January for a six month internship as part of her English and New Media Studies Degree. Jill was our Junior Digital Marketing Executive and was an active blogger, community manager and worked on our client portfolio. She was a great addition to our team and after she left us she moved to Sweden for a short stint to continue her studies. Follow Jill’s new blog which we designed for her as a going away present.

Jillian O'Toole and Joanne Sweeney Burke of Digital Training Institute

Jillian with Joanne

10. OMG, We Are OMiG Finalists

In April we found out we made it to the final of the inaugural Online Marketing in Galway Awards which we were thrilled about. We were shortlisted in the Online Marketing Leadership Award category, a category aimed at finding the best-integrated online marketing campaign or strategy.

Digital Training Institute OMiG Finalist 2014

9. JSB Trends on Twitter in Ireland during #bizpartyinspires

On 30th April I spoke at the #bizpartyinspires conference in the Green Isle Hotel in Dublin and to my surprise and delight I trended on Twitter (for a while) as the audience engaged online during my address. Thank you to Samantha Kelly, the Tweeting Goddess and the founder of #irishbizparty for inviting me. I also got to meet Sam this year, which was one of my highlights.

8. Djameela our Senior Digital Media Executive Visits us on her Honeymoon

Djameela has been part of Digital Training Institute since day one but has been working with me in Media Box since 2009. Having spent two years in Ireland she returned to her native Capetown in South Africa but continues to work with us.  We were very excited this year when she visited us in Galway while on her honeymoon across Europe. This was definitely one of the highlights of my year.

Djameela Dollie Daniels and Joanne Sweeney Burke

JSB & Djameela reunited

7. Border Lives Launched in Stormont

Border Lives, a new storytelling project, capturing local people’s life and experiences through six short films along the border region between 1969 and 1998, was launched at Stormont, Belfast and we were delighted to be involved and share our social media strategy findings.

Border Lives Launch in Stormont

Border Lives Launch in Stormont

Border Lives Social Media

Digital Training Institute’s results of our social media campaign for Border Lives

6. #DigitalClare is Born

In June we won a tender to deliver digital marketing and social media training to 125 people in business and from the community and voluntary sector in Co. Clare. Working alongside Clare Local Development Company we devised five specific courses and rolled them out over a four month period. It was during this phase that the seed of #DigitalClare was born and we are delighted to say that it will become a formal network to be launched on 28th January 2015 at an event in Ennis.

Digital Training Institute delivers training to CLDC

Digital Training Institute delivers training for CLDC


5. JSB Graduates with Honours

I finally finished by two year Masters Degree in Digital Marketing and graduated with Honours in November from the Digital Marketing Institute. It was a long road but well worth the effort and formalising my knowledge and experience garnered in my businesses over the past six years.  I chose a unique research topic which I am continuing to research – more on that below.

JSB's Research Masters Thesis

JSB’s Research Masters Thesis

4. The Web Summit

I attended the 2014 Web Summit in Dublin for what was a remarkable three days of digital mastery and social media excellence. I thoroughly enjoyed it and made some great contacts, one which we are already working with in my other company Webiket (due to be launched in the first quarter of 2015).

Joanne Sweeney Burke at the Web Summit

JSB at the Web Summit

The Web Summit 2014

The Web Summit 2014

3. City Vet Looks Online for 2015

We are working alongside the Mid West’s favourite pet vet – Donal Ryan and his team to create a brand new eCommerce website with a complementary social media strategy. Towards the end of 2014 we tested the market with our Healthy Puppy Happy Puppy campaign with over 200 entries for our €50 voucher. So stay tuned to to see their revamped digital profile in 2015.

CityVet Voucher


2. We Help Smile Revolution Smile Online

Smile Revolution joined our client portfolio in 2014 and as the year ended we asked their customers to share their #smiles2014 with us. We got some fantastic responses and some very special ones too as illustrated below. We look forward to creating more smiles with the team of 20 specialist Orthodontists across Ireland next year.

Smile Revolution #smiles2014

Screenshot 2014-12-27 19.24.26


1. The Book

And then there was the book. Yes, I am publishing a trade publication looking at how police forces use social media in the course of their work. It’s a subject I’ve huge interest in and I look forward to sharing news of its progress with you on this blog. For now here’s a sneak preview of my front cover and my complementary website both of which will be launched in early 2015.

JSB Book Sneak Preview

JSB Book Sneak Preview

We’ve certainly enjoyed the past year and we look forward to more highs and highlights in 2015 and we hope you will be part of our story. If you want to launch, expand or investigate your digital marketing strategy then don’t hesitate to contact us. We also deliver training in a range of subjects, and particularly enjoy writing bespoke courses. So just ask.



About Joanne Sweeney-Burke

Joanne has extensive communications experience and her career includes broadcast and print journalism, an experienced PR practitioner and lecturer, marketing executive and CEO in various business roles. She is also a Digital Marketing professional with an acute interest in Online Reputation which she describes as “a new phenomenon by which employers, educators and peers create an opinion on us.” She is interested in social media and law enforcement and social media and teens and has written extensively on these matters. She will publish her first book in January 2015. She is the Managing Director of Digital Training Institute and co-founder of edtech startup Webiket.

Connect with Joanne on LinkedIn

Follow her Tweets @TweetsbyJSB

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