National Adult Literacy Agency

The National Adult Literacy Agency

Taking the first step to get the help you need


NALA, The National Adult Literacy Agency works to improve literacy and numeracy levels amongst the adult Irish population. Research show that one in six (550,000) Irish adults find reading and understanding everyday texts difficult. The Reputations Agency wanted to communicate that NALA provides individuals with the necessary tools to achieve their personal, social, career and employment aspirations. The aim was to create a movement around Literacy using the annual conference as the launch date.

We were tasked with promoting a public information campaign – Take The First Step – which called on those who have difficulty reading, writing, maths or technology to contact NALA to get the help they need. 

Key to the campaign was highlighting that the opportunity was free, open to all, with participants able to choose what, where and when they want to learn. 


As part of the integrated public information and awareness campaign, The Reputations Agency rolled out a national media relations campaign to elicit higher engagement levels in the month-long national campaign – Take The First Step which was planned for September around the NALA annual conference and International Literacy Week. 

Telling the real-life stories of those who have overcome literacy and numeracy issues is very impactful and has a domino effect in motivating others to seek help.  We leveraged the media to tell these stories of how different life can be when you fully participate in society without numeracy, literacy, or functional literacy difficulties together with the help of well-known and recognisable ambassadors.

The campaign featured four students sharing their positive stories about returning to education. We also enlisted the help of best-selling writer and recognisable ambassador Emilie Pine, author of Notes to Self. Our ambassador and students spoke to the media about their own unique experiences with literacy and how important that is in a person’s life. They also participated in a launch shoot on the day of the NALA annual conference.


Telling real-life stories worked to de-stigmatise adult learning.  With the campaign reaching over 2 million with Ireland AM, Today FM, Newstalk, The Irish Times and The Irish Examiner among the programmes and titles covering the story.

In addition, The Reputations Agency secured RTÉ as a media partner for the campaign for a year.  RTÉ is the number one media company in Ireland across all platforms. 95% of adults living in Ireland interact with an RTÉ service every week. RTÉ agreed to provide creative production services and marketing inventory through its many channels to increase national profile and awareness and to drive participation. Working with NALA, RTÉ designed a comprehensive marketing campaign punctuated around NALA’s own key dates and messages.

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