Turning Dreaded Interviews into Media Opportunities

April 22, 2014 by

Media Training: Fuzion, Cork Dublin

Working as part of the Fuzion Media Training team is one of the most rewarding, diverse and challenging parts of the job.

It’s even more interesting from the perspective of being a former journalist as I hadn’t much considered just how difficult and nerve wrecking it is to deal with the unpredictability of media from the interviewee’s perspective!

People from all walks of life seek Fuzion’s expertise in this area for many different reasons – be it an upcoming TV appearance on Dragon’s Den, business leaders wanting to work on their elevator pitch for investors, upcoming radio interviews or as part of an organisation’s crisis management strategy.

Regardless of why they require support, one thing is common to all of our Media Training clients, they entrust in us. This is incredibly humbling and comes with a weight of responsibility on our side that we never underestimate.

Our clients lay their cards on the table for us, warts and all, and we’re tasked to honestly analyse and strategically advise on their strengths, weaknesses and the best approach for them to communicate as individuals and/or as an organisation.

Often it’s a tricky position to be in when you have to take the ‘no holds barred’ approach but almost always, the honesty is appreciated by our clients who know that the goal is to lay the groundwork for effective communication.

Demonstrating the unpredictability of a media interview and the importance of staying ‘on message’ is one of the most intense parts of the training.

I temporarily jump back into the role of a journalist to interrogate, nit-pick and manipulate with my own agenda to give the client an idea of worse-case scenario media interviews. This is where the cracks will be apparent in their verbal and visual communication. It’s tough love!

It’s not easy but it’s necessary to sometimes tell clients that they mumble, sound monotone, are too defensive both in their words and their body language, have a nervous tick and/or if the interview had been live, they could have left their organisation open to controversy. appearing in a very poor light or even a possible lawsuit.

No one takes offence, more often, they’re glad of the honesty of how they sound and appear, looking from the outside in.

From there we work with our clients so that they can effectively, calmly and confidently communicate using their core business strategy to set the agenda and achieve clear communication objectives in all media interviews and opportunities. We work with them to establish their core messages to stay on track (e.g. who they are, what they stand for, why people should care or be interested in them, the positive work do they do, how they are pro-actively working to resolve issues etc.)

Once the client establishes these core messages clearly and concisely, they’re on a sound footing. The tables soon turn to when the client is able to set their own agenda and manage the media opportunity to benefit their goals and business.

With some training every media opportunity can be a golden one.

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn Twomey

Aobhinn Twomey is part of the Fuzion Media Training team operating from  our offices in both Cork and Dublin.

 

 

 

 

Good Friday and the Scarcity Principle

April 18, 2014 by

Good Friday - The Scarcity Principle

I’d do anything for a drink in the pub right now..

It’s always the same on Good Friday – once you know all the pubs and off-licences are closed you want nothing more. We can have wine or beer at home, like we do frequently on a Friday evening but on this day you would just want to go to the pub!

As usual in the lead up to Good Friday we heard the publican and the restaurant lobby groups giving out quite rightly about the antiquated law, which has no sale of alcohol permitted in Ireland unless it is in a club or unless you are a guest in a hotel.

The Scarcity Principle

Robert Cialdini, one of the foremost experts on influence, found that people value and desire something more when it is rare or difficult to obtain. He called this the Scarcity Principle. Across numerous experiments, Cialdini and others have found that making something rare (“only 5 left”), time limited (“one day sale”), or unique (“just for you”), increases its perceived attractiveness and value.

He explains that this Scarcity Principle works on the idea of Reactance.

Essentially, it happens because none of us like to be told no, limited in any way, or have our freedom constrained. So, when we think we might miss out, not be chosen, or be denied what we want, we “react”. That reactance makes us try all the harder and want what is denied us all the more.

In some strange way maybe this is a great marketing trick for pubs and restaurants as all of sudden we ‘desire’ a visit!

Maybe pubs and restaurants should embrace the day and take the opportunity to do some minor renovations, repairs, spring cleaning or take some precious time off and get ready for that rush..

What are you doing to create some scarcity in your business?

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Don’t follow precedents when you can set them

April 7, 2014 by

Generic

Did you hear the one about the straight talking solicitor?

When I’m not planning world domination for the best little PR and Creative agency in the land, I write for a living – usually press releases, sometimes begging & cajoling emails to journalists, creative PR plans or reactive statements for potential crisis situations – click click all day long.

Thanks to the challenge of doing something different to make our client stand out in a crowded sector I got to work on something a bit different – something that I would love to do a lot more of – an animation script and concept document.

It was fun and flowed surprisingly easy; the client knew what they wanted to say and even easier they wanted it said as simply as possible – but we wanted to introduce their special personality into it as well.

The best of all was they were willing to spend the necessary time with me to develop the ideas together so that everyone was in agreement with as little back and forth as possible.

Through the project we also got to work with some really great guys in Dog Day Media. A young and vibrant multimedia production company based in the Rubicon centre in Cork who are now making waves internationally.

I can honestly say it was one of the most fun projects I have ever worked on.  All of us around the board room table of a solicitor’s office (which for me is often one of the most intimidating places you could be!) were having fun with everyone contributing to the ideas and the flow of the animation.

The process was pain free, the copy was agreed relatively quickly with our own initial thoughts on what the animation should look like.  Dog Day Media took the script, followed our direction and then put their own creativity and brilliance to it and now through teamwork we have created a simple piece that communicates everything we wanted in a clever and engaging way.

It shows that my client has personality; that they really care about their clients, that they will fight tooth and nail on their behalf and promise at all times to speak plainly and leave no stone unturned to achieve the best results.

This is something we should all promise our clients.

They also say in the animation that they set precedents not follow them.

By doing this animation, they have done just that….. Ernest J. Cantillon Solicitors Well done!

Deirdre Waldron is a Partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

Offset – Creative communities at play

April 4, 2014 by
Wall Graffitti by Maser

Wall Graffiti by Maser in Dublin

It’s sometimes hard to explain to people who aren’t involved in the Creative industries just how much this industry affects the lives of those who work in it.

As a graphic designer, I am beyond lucky in that I am one of those people who does work in the creative space, in an industry that rewards me for playing, for being imaginative, while presenting challenge after challenge in my daily life.

It’s possibly one of the few industries that insists that we, as practitioners, constantly add to it, feed off it and react to it in a ferociously demanding manner, when we are asked repeatedly to create new.

To create informative. To create clever. To create appropriately. To create beautifully. To create intelligently.

It is far from being an easy job, but its rewards are huge.

By rewards, I am not necessarily talking about financial rewards (welcome and all as they may be), but I am talking about the other, less tangible rewards that we get.

The one that I would most like to chat about here here is the sense of community that we as members of this creative collective have, where even though many of us are in direct competition with each other, we share, we collaborate, we inform and we enjoy each others work, and we celebrate it together.

Last month the design & creative industries in Ireland (and our fellow creatives worldwide) celebrated in the finest of fashions, at Offset 2014 , held in the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin, which we in the design department of Fuzion attended.

Offset, for those of you who don’t know, is every designer’s Christmas, 21st birthday and no-homework from the Lord Mayor, all rolled into a three day non-stop conference, where some of the best known superstars (and a few lesser ones) of the creative world come together and share.

They share their wisdom, their passions, their successes and failures. They share the things that make them laugh, that inspire them and that drive them up the walls in despair! Its both exhausting and bum-numbing but its the closest I’ve come to being set on fire (despite actually having been set on fire-creatively of course!).

Why?

Well its taken me almost 500 words to get here (this is why I am rubbish on Twitter!!), so I’m going to illustrate it with some of the genius I have had the privilege and pleasure to witness. Without going through each and every session that I attended, here are some of my highlights:

Neville Brody

Neville Brody managed two hours without mentioning one of the defining publications of my youth, The Face magazine, of which he was the art director from ’81-’86, but illuminated a room with a passion for non-text based typography.

What am I on about?  Have a peep …

Neville Brody - CirclesIt may look like a bunch of circles, but it’s part of a new thinking on communication (with a message close to the hearts of all designers).

It is code, it is form, it is system. His approach towards design was almost more concerned with the beauty and delivery of a message, where the aesthetic becomes the message.

He also had strong words for the state of design education – something that, as a lecturer in design, resonated deeply with me, especially when talking about the needs of  Technical v’s Thought-Based education, a notion that most practitioners will attest with.

Paul McBride & Brian Nolan

Paul McBride and Brian Nolan of Dublin studio Detail gave a wonderful insight into how their studio runs, showing us some beautiful work from the Science Gallery, and a rather disturbing lasting image of Mr Tayto. Its on my twitter feed (@jlm_cork) but I am warning you, you’ll never eat crisps again without feeling a little uneasy.

Jon Burgerman

Jon Burgerman was undoubtedly my highlight, with an entertaining talk full of his unique approach to his art and design work, ranging from Nokia to Nike. It was his doodle based work that first caught my eye some years ago.

Jon Burgerman Burgerdoodles

His latest project is creating a nice movement of discussion about the acceptable levels of violence that we are exposed to daily. A very clever way of showing the power of design for a more political message.

Jon Burgerman poster

Maser

Finally, Maser, a Dublin born graffiti artist came and blew everyone away with a presentation full of surprises and this video presented with poet Malcolm London showed us that writing on walls is not simply writing on walls.

Maser’s lack of pretentiousness and incredible sense of achievement (esp working for the Simon Community and the Umbrella foundation in Nepal) was refreshing and so positive that you couldn’t  possibly leave the room without feeling moved. His “Don’t Be Afraid” wall graffiti was featured at the start of this blog.

So what did we takeaway from this conference?

The common thread running across all of the disciplines was “play“.

This was not an instruction to ignore our jobs, but one that reminds us of how lucky we are to be creative designers, and that we have got here by never putting the colouring pencils away and that our challenges are the things that keep up alive as designers.

You know something? …I love my job.

Jonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads our creative Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland 

Website use and Promotion 2014 Survey

March 28, 2014 by

Domain Registry

We are conducting  a survey about the use of websites, SEO and the promotion of websites using other tools including Google Adwords and social media activity.

We would be very grateful if you could take just two minutes (we promise!)  to complete the survey by clicking on the link below.

There is a €10 voucher off the price of new  .ie web domains for every survey completed.

Web usage survey

Thanks a million!

 

Destination Branding and the special “DNA” of Corkonians

March 24, 2014 by

Cork region

We’ve been privileged to have been working on a really interesting marketing project in conjunction with Colliers International, Placematters and Location Connections for the Cork region, which was commissioned by some of the key stakeholders.

Destination branding is something all cities and regions must now consider as they must market themselves in a clear, concise and consistent way to all target audiences they wish to attract. How a region markets itself must be believable and true so that the actual experience matches the reality.

As part of this marketing process you must first understand what the offering is, decide what parts of this offering are attractive to relevant target audiences and then package this offering in a clear brand description for the region.

All the subsequent marketing of the region should be consistent by all stakeholders so that maximum return on investment is achieved and that target audiences develop a clear understanding of the unique offer from that destination.

As part of the research work we conducted about the Cork region we discovered that many people are attracted to the size of Cork, “it’s not too big and not too small“, they love how quickly you can get from the city to the country, they love the nearby  coastline  and they also love the friendliness, humour and warmth of the people.

Even the Huffington Post identified Cork as an “overlooked city in Europe that must be visited in your lifetime!

It is easy to understand the physical attributes of the region but the people dimension is one that is more difficult to pinpoint.

The Queen visits Cork, Friendly City

Is it really true that Cork is a friendly city just as the Lonely Planet Guide declared in it’s Top 10 List of cities to visit? The guide praises the city saying ‘Cork is at the top of its game right now: sophisticated, vibrant and diverse, while still retaining its friendliness, relaxed charm and quick-fire wit.

How can you explain this friendliness?

Do Corkonians really have this special “friendly” gene in their unique DNA?

In our research in Cork we conducted questionnaires with many foreigners working in the Cork region and they consistently told us how they had no intention of staying initially but this is now home and they would not be leaving. Cork is great fun and the people are very “friendly“.

As much as this proud Corkman would like to think people from Cork do not have a special gene, no more so than people from any other part of Ireland.

If it’s not a special gene then why do we behave in such a manner?

  • In Cork you can enjoy a good career with small SME’s or with large multinationals without the big commute.
  • You and your children can receive a great education right on your doorstep
  • You can enjoy a vibrant and friendly city where strangers still chat to each other that is easy to access
  • It’s a relatively safe place to live, visit or go to college
  • You can be in the country or walking on a beach within half an hour
  • You can enjoy a lively, entertaining, art loving, multicultural place where independents can still thrive
  • The food and entertainment offering is diverse and top class
  • You are connected to the world and major city hubs via an airport that is 10 minutes from the city centre.
  • On the very practical side of things Cork is a significantly cheaper place to live than Dublin and a more economical place to do business.

While the career opportunities aren’t as great as in Dublin or London, an internet world makes this less of a problem and the overall sense of well-being from an exceptionally better life balance makes the Cork region a very clever place for people to choose to live their lives.

So why are people from Cork friendlier, warmer and wittier?

Maybe this ideal sized region with an abundance of natural attributes just makes us happier?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Colliers International offer Destination Consulting services

Placematters are Destination Branding experts

Location Connections are an International FDI  site selection consultancy

PR – Advice in a Crisis

March 21, 2014 by

BP - Crisis

We take out insurance policies to protect ourselves if anything goes wrong – being ready to deal with a potential crisis in your organisation might be just as important.

Every organisation needs to be aware of its vulnerabilities and have a plan in place to deal with a crisis situation.  With the advance of social media, where and how a crisis develops is ever more complex and the speed factor can make it more challenging than ever before.

No organisation can afford to hide in a crisis as it has the potential to damage relationships with clients and stakeholders, wreak havoc on an organisation’s reputation, seriously effect revenue and in the worst cases result in closure.

Planning in Advance

We work with our clients in advance of any potential crisis, planning such things as:-

  • Reactive Statements
  • Preparing spokespeople to deal with the media: Media Training
  • Monitoring traditional and online media
  • Devising an action plan that will be put into place should the potential crisis become a reality
  • Developing an Internal Communications Strategy to include communications to relevant stakeholders
  • Crisis Social Media Strategy

Crisis PR - Fuzion PR We have worked on a number of high-profile national and international crises and we have also worked on other situations where the crisis didn’t materialise due to strategic planning, internal communications and careful management.

Sometimes you do need some luck on your side but you find if you do the right things you end up being lucky!

PR Advice

If there is a potential crisis in your organisation here is some practical advice:

  • Involve your PR company as quickly as possible – let them deal with the media, you have a crisis to sort out!
  • Be frank and open with the PR company –  trust them.
  • Should a crisis involve potential litigation, involve a legal expert to ensure that any PR messages/statements will not compromise any possible legal proceedings.
  • Always keep the lines of communication open between you and your PR agency – if something new arises the agency should be one of the first to know in order to anticipate media queries.
  • Ensure that all members of the organisation are aware of any public statements and are briefed as to the contents, so that that the message is uniform at all times.
  • Where possible a staff FAQ document should be distributed to equip the team on how to handle any enquiries from the general public; this will also help with Internal Comms and staff morale
  • At no point should any member of the organisation issue the words, “no comment”- it speaks volumes on what you may or may not be trying to hide!!
  • Always refer any press queries back to your PR company who can act as your “gatekeeper” and allow them to manage communications with press.
  • Agree a nominated spokesperson who will be quoted in all statements, and is in effect ‘the human face’ behind the crisis. As much as possible this needs to be the MD or CEO of the company.
  • The PR company should be ‘on call’ at all times during the initial crisis stage.
  • Immediately establish a news monitoring service to catch all stories relating to the incident
  • Monitor on-line mentions, comments, opinions and with your PR company agree a strategy around social media engagement during a crisis.

Our last big piece of advice is to always try to communicate the positive things about the organisation even during the crisis. Do this while the media are interested in your story – it’s too late after!

I sincerely hope you never find you or your organisation in a crisis situation but if you do I hope you find this advice useful.

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron

Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland offer a full Crisis PR Service. Deirdre Waldron, (Partner) heads up the Crisis PR team, which includes former journalists, media training and social media expertise.

It all works out in the end!

March 5, 2014 by

Fright !

Last week we had a very successful event, the unveiling of the plans for Nano Nagle Place, at South Pres on Douglas Street – an event that we at Fuzion and an initiative that the people of Cork can be proud of.

Even though everything went well on the day and was a great success there was months of preparation and organisation that went into the event and as a result, a number of sleepless nights on my end!

I’m a worrier by nature so organising the Nano Nagle Place event, was something that had me on my toes for the last few weeks.

With so much interest from the Presentation Sisters worldwide, the people of Cork, the media, local businesses, relevant organisations and the general public and so much to organise including invites, heating, lighting, speakers, recording, signage, photographers, media there was a lot of boxes that needed to be ticked for such an important and high profile event.

Luckily for me we worked closely with Michael O’Sullivan the CEO of South Presentation Centre Ltd and I had the Fuzion team on hand to jump in at any time and on the day we had all hands on deck.

I have organised many many events over the years but with each event comes new challenges, new faces, new ideas and new expectations and so for me each one is like my first.  This can be both a good thing when the adrenaline kicks in and makes sure I don’t miss a beat and a bad thing as the nerves always seem to kick in.

Mary KennedyThe event was expertly MC’d by RTE’s Mary Kennedy, (who was as lovely in person as she comes across on TV) with the South Presentation old school hall filled with hundreds of people all eager to hear about the plans for Nano Nagle Place.

The next time my nerves kick in and have me awake at night I’ll do my best to remember ….It always works out in the end 

Edel Cox is a PR Executive withFuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

Neil Prendeville – Game Changer for who?

February 22, 2014 by

Neil Prendeville - 96FM, Redfm

When your main rival steals your prize asset it will no doubt be a Game Changer – for who depends on yourself.

This week we saw Cork’s Red FM, the second most popular radio station in the city make a bold, brave move by securing the services of popular and often controversial DJ Neil Prendeville from their local dominant rival, 96FM.

Neil is extremely popular because he is a brave DJ who isn’t afraid to take on issues and give his opinion. Many love him, many will tell you they hate him but most importantly for Red FM, many many listen to him. In terms of radio shows it is by far the most popular outside of  some shows on the national radio stations.

This was a huge move as Neil Prendeville, who has been with the station for 25 years has a large and loyal following, 116,000 listeners according to the latest JNLR figures.

While the move is an obvious game changer I wonder is it a game winner?

The listener profile of RedFM is much younger than it’s local rival and this move will certainly bring an audience that are not a natural fit for the current profile of the station.

Stevie G - Red FM Stephen GraingerUnfortunately this move meant that some great and very popular DJs in RedFM lost their contracts including the Cork music legend Stephen Grainger or Stevie G as he is known. Stevie G would have had a good following but unfortunately for him, nothing to match the pulling power of Neil’s show.

While the change will bring new listeners who will “move the dial”?- will it work overall for the station?

It is understood that Neil will operate his usual morning time slot, which will attract his loyal listeners but where will the younger RedFM listeners go to? I can’t really see them staying with the station as Neil’s show is quite different.

Ironically the success of this game changer depends on how 96FM react – will they try to find a like for like replacement, who I doubt will be able to compete with Neil or should they grab the opportunity to do something new, challenging and totally different and inject fresh energy to morning radio in Cork?

When a competitor grabs your prize asset it’s up to you to make sure the change works in your favour and not the other way around.

96FM, it’s up to you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,214 other followers

%d bloggers like this: