21 Questions with… Suzanne Meade

August 12, 2022 by

Welcome to the third of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Next up is the shark-diving, chocolate lover, Suzanne!

Fuzion Communications Picture: Miki Barlok

  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know.

A few years ago I dived with sharks in South Africa – it was one of the best experiences ever!

  1. What film have you watched more than five times?

 I’ve definitely watched ‘The Holiday’ way more times than I’d like to admit

  1. What work are you most proud of in the past year?

I am very proud of my work with the Local Enterprise Offices – particularly the Look for Local campaign during the pandemic which encouraged the public to support local businesses. 

  1. Dream job?

I’d like to run my own business someday…

  1. Favourite brand? – Why?

I’m a bit of a Zara addict….from their clothes to homeware, it’s probably the brand I shop the most.

  1. Favourite Holiday Destination?

Nice, in the South of France. Just stunning!

  1. Best lesson from your career?

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big impact. We are all human at the end of the day so kind words or a simple thank you email can go a long way…

  1. Eurovision or World Cup?

World Cup

  1. Who is the joker on the team?

Ciarán ‘the comedian’ Ó Raghallaigh….although I’m sure he put this question in himself just for the ego boost lol!

  1. Recommend a podcast.

I love Joanne and Vogue’s ‘My Therapist Ghosted Me”

  1. Reality shows – Love or Hate?

Love ❤

  1. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite?

Princess Diana, David Attenborough and Jennifer Lopez.

Di-nner Party
  1. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do?

The Seychelles, swinging on a hammock on the beach, drinking a Pina Colada. 

  1. Who is your role model?

Michelle Obama – she has such a powerful voice and uses it to great effect to help great causes around the world.

  1. What was your first job?

Waitressing in the cafe of Kilkenny Design Centre in Shanagarry, Cork.

  1. Death Row meal?

I’ll have a chateaubriand with all the trimmings please…

  1. Favourite book?

Is it socially acceptable to admit the Harry Potter series?

  1. Your a grammar nazi oar not?

I guess….it’s part of the day job!

  1. First album you bought or downloaded?

More than likely Boyzone!

  1. Work from home – or office?

From home, for sure 🙂

  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why?

The  ‘Should have gone to Specsavers’ ads spring to mind….always clever and executed really well.

Suzanne Meade is a Senior Account Manager at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

Google wants its AI to take over your marketing

August 3, 2022 by

For anyone who is running any Google Ad campaigns you will probably have seen the big shift in Google behaviour over the last couple of years.

Basically, they are encouraging you the customer, the marketer to get out of the way and let their AI take over!!

We’ll allocate your budget for you..

We’ll choose the copy for your adverts..

We’ll come review what you are doing, make recommendations for change and then to make life easy, we will even implement them automatically!

All of this is “cloaked” in a “your campaign results will improve

This was the message I received today for one client campaign:

Unlock your account’s full potential
Opt in to automatically apply recommendations to help you reach your goals by applying the right recommendations at the right time.

We’re here to help you reach more of your marketing objectives
Our Google Ads team understands the dedication it takes for businesses like yours to succeed. That’s why you can automatically apply recommendations – which makes sure that you’ll never miss an opportunity to reach potential customers by regularly applying tailored recommendations to your account.

They understand the “dedication” it takes for businesses like yours to succeed – really??!!

and…that’s why you can automatically apply recommendations….I love the logic!!!!

Press “yes” at your peril, because before you know it, you won’t know whether you are coming or going, your adverts will be applied randomly and the only certain thing will be the amount you are spending, and certainly not how you are spending it.

Our advice is

  • understand your objectives
  • understand how each of the Google features work
  • carefully apply these, in full knowledge of what you are doing and why
  • stay in total control of your messages and budgets
  • review your results carefully and adjust campaigns accordingly

Along with your SEO work, Google Ads are a brilliant, powerful way to generate excellent leads for your business, but please please stay in control.

We don’t want to hand even more control to Mr. Google!

If you need us to help you, you know where we are…

Greg

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications and he heads up the digital department, providing web optimisation and Google Ads services to clients.

21 Questions with… Michelle Harrison

July 29, 2022 by

Welcome to the second of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Next up is the mysterious mind of Kardashian fan Michelle Harrison!

Fuzion Communications Picture: Miki Barlo

  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know
    I tell the team everything so there’s nothing I can think of they don’t know ha! 
  1. What film have you watched more than five times? 
    Home Alone – but who hasn’t! 
  1. What work are you most proud of in the past year? 
    Working on the IACP Joe Caslin Mural and their 40th Anniversary conference! 
  1. Dream job? 
    Owning my own vintage clothing shop/chain of shops 
  1. Favourite brand? – Why? 
    Apple because they made the iPhone 
  1. Favourite Holiday Destination? 
    Portugal 
  1. Best lesson from your career? 
    Always have a paper trail to cover yourself – but also don’t take things so seriously – we’re not saving lives, have fun and enjoy it! 
  1. Eurovision or World Cup? 
    Neither! 
  1. Who is the joker on the team? 
    Ciarán lol! 
  1. Recommend a podcast
     Doireann Garrihy – The Laughs of Your Life 
  1. Reality shows – Love or Hate? 
    I only watch one reality show and that’s The Kardashians! 
  1. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite? 
    My grandad, Lewis Capaldi (Comedy and Music in one), Princess Di (Fashion Icon and I’ll also get all the goss on what really went down with the royal family) 
  1. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do?
    Chicago – running my own vintage clothing shop! 
  2. Who is your role model? 
    Kris Jenner – badass momager! 
  1. What was your first job? 
    Waitress in my local pub 
  1. Death Row meal? 
    I feel I wouldn’t be very hungry if I was on death row – but if I had to choose maybe prawns for a starter, coddle with loads of fresh bread and butter for main, and a Cheesecake Factory cheesecake for dessert along with a mega pint of wine!
  1. Favourite book? 
    The Power of Now
  1. Your a grammar nazi oar not? 
    Not – I probably should be for my job tho, eek! 
  1. First album you bought or downloaded? 
    The first tape I ever bought was Britney Spears’ ‘Hit me baby one more time’! Can’t remember the first album!
  1. Work from home – or office? 
    From home!
  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why? 
    “Maybe she’s born with it …maybe it’s Maybelline” or “Should have gone to Specsavers” 

Michelle Harrison is a senior account executive at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

21 Questions with… Greg Canty!

July 22, 2022 by

Welcome to the first of our Fuzion Friday series, where we put 21 devilishly difficult questions to a team member, giving you an insight that Freud would be proud of.

Leading the way is Partner and Liverpool nut Greg!

  1. Tell us something about you that nobody else in the team might know.

I managed local bands for a few years, many moons ago

  1. What film have you watched more than five times?

Planes, Trains and Automobiles – a genius movie by John Hughes

  1. What work are you most proud of in the past year?

I did a series of podcasts for the Heritage Council, which were all quite different 

  1. Dream job?

Doing any job as part of Jurgen Klopp’s team

  1. Favourite brand? – Why?

Liverpool FC – I think football teams are the ultimate brand that we all have a deep connection to. You might change your partner, but you never change your team!

  1. Favourite Holiday Destination?

That has to be Siena in Tuscany in Italy for the Palio. It’s a beautiful city that oozes history and character as well as having great food and wine of course.

  1. Best lesson from your career?

Stay positive – when things are tough, roll those sleeves up, and get stuck in 

  1. Eurovision or World Cup?

World Cup!

  1. Who is the joker on the team?

That could be me !

  1. Recommend a podcast.

I think Hidden Brain is very clever.

  1. Reality shows – Love or Hate?

How about ‘detest’?

  1. Dinner party with 3 people – dead or alive – who do you invite?

Jurgen Klopp, Robert Plant and Ken Robinson

  1. If you could be anywhere in the world – where would you be & what would you do?

I would have a little music store/café in Siena.

  1. Who is your role model?

Jurgen Klopp and my dad

  1. What was your first job?

I had my own newspaper round

  1. Death Row meal?

Spaghetti Bolognese 

  1. Favourite book?

Good to Great by Jim Collins

  1. Your a grammar nazi oar not?

Not really

  1. First album you bought or downloaded?

Boomtown Rats’ debut album. I caught it in a small store in Dungarvan while staying with my uncle and aunt.

  1. Work from home – or office?

This social creature discovered he likes working from home!

  1. Most memorable ad slogans – why?

Ronseal – “It does what it says on the tin”!

Greg Canty is partner at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

A Sliding Door moment for AIB

July 22, 2022 by

This week AIB announced 70 of its 170 branches would be turned into cashless outlets. The dogs in the street knew it was going to create havoc and a lot of negative publicity. It did…..

After the announcement, the Central Bank has suggested that AIB reverse their decision, even the Taoiseach on a state visit to Asia has suggested the same, and they have been “invited” to appear in front of the Oireachtas Finance Committee to explain themselves.

Looking at it from a reputation management point of view, AIB – you get 0 out of 10!! Afterwards, a half hearted statement came out from the bank, mentioning their future plans with An Post.

Looking at the AIB Press Office microsite, there is a press release announcing this partnership published Sunday 17th July. Two days before the cashless announcement, coming across as very cynical timing.

And speaking of timing, this morning when it’s wall to wall negative publicity for AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB have announced that they will not be passing on the ECB interest rate hike to its variable and fixed rate customers. 10 out of 10 for timing – basically they are saying “when the competition goes low, we go high”.

Note: The state retains ownership of 71% of AIB!

The Sliding Door Moment…
For me as a loyal AIB customer for over 20 years and as a communications specialist, AIB’s decision this week comes across as so cynical and ill thought out, and certainly with zero consideration of their customers in the areas affected.

I wonder how different it would be if they instead worked more on the partnership with An Post, celebrated it, communicated good news stories on the collaboration and built up “a bank” (pardon the pun) of positive stories, before they made this contentious announcement. This would at least nurture some trust and understanding for the decision, as they would bring customers, staff, politicians and even the Central Bank on the journey with them.

Looking from the outside in, with so much negativity, it looks like AIB did none of this.

The lesson – we all have Sliding Door Moments in our business – if decisions you are making could affect the way your team, your customers, media, stakeholders or the general public think of you, please get sound advice on how to communicate these changes.

Backing Brave?

Deirdre

Deirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion Communications and she heads up Strategic Communications and Crisis Communications at the agency, that operates from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Social Media and the Metrics that are actually important

July 14, 2022 by

KPI’s, engagement rates, follower numbers… all of these metrics are so important when we work on our client social media reports every month but how important is this information really?

There is so much information out there for us to consume, especially in relation to our own social media statistics, but I always think it’s so important for us to keep track of where our audience actually are.

IPSOS MRBI release a Social Networking Tracker report twice a year after surveying users in Ireland about their social media activity. It’s fascinating to read the most recent report and see these stats on account ownership and daily usage and it can also help inform where to put your marketing spend.

As we can see from the infographic above, Facebook is still the king of social media networks in Ireland. Something I hear quite often is “Facebook is dead, Instagram is the best platform to be on”, etc. Looking at, and understanding these reports shows us that even though Instagram may be catching up with Facebook, it still is quite a relevant platform and cannot be forgotten or ignored. And lest we forget, they’re all under the umbrella of Meta so they’re basically the same thing now… Especially where your advertising budget is concerned!

An important one to look at here, is the increase and decrease of followers on the various platforms. TikTok is the only platform with a significant increase (+6%) while all the others lost followers and Instagram held steady. TikTok continues to grow this year and is definitely one for businesses to consider, if they can create strong, relevant video content. It is not a platform where you can just post an image and hope for the best, so time and energy needs to be spent coming up with creative ideas to engage an audience.

In terms of daily usage, it’s interesting to note that while Instagram (63%), TikTok (58%) and Facebook (55%) are all quite high, so are both Twitter (42%) and Reddit (41%). I think this goes to show that while the visual content can be quite engaging on the other three platforms, Twitter and Reddit still have quite a loyal audience who react to news and written content.

LinkedIn, while reporting numbers behind Facebook and Instagram, actually dominates the B2B space, and if that is the space that you operate in, then it becomes the most important platform for you!

My main takeaway from this, is that when you are considering which platform to be active on, think about who your target audience(s) are and the type of content that you need to produce to connect with them. If video is not your thing, then maybe TikTok is not a good idea, but if you have amazing pictures and great videos and even blogs then you can share those on the likes of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe even Twitter.

At Fuzion when we work with our clients on their social media activity, we spend a lot of time in the beginning getting their social media strategy right: Who are your audiences, what do you want to convey to them, what social media platforms are a priority and what role does each of them have. It is only then that we start to think about content, frequency of posting, the need for budgets to promote posts and simple things like the roles and responsibilities around this.

As part of this work, it always helps to spend some time figuring out who you think your target audiences are and comparing those to the insights available on the various platforms, to see who is actually following and engaging with you. Through your insights you will also be able to see the content that they engage with most and this can help inform your future social posting.

If you’re looking for some help with any of this, please don’t hesitate to give us a quick call or email and we can put you on the right path!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion operating from offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland.

So you want a new logo?

June 22, 2022 by

You’re beginning a new business or rebranding a program in the education industry. You want to get the most out of your time and money spent on a logo, but you’re not sure where to begin or how to proceed.

Here are a few pointers from our team at Fuzion and how crucial you are to representing your brand:

  1. Strategise

Establish goals and a strategy with your designer and creative team. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, start with a creative brief. A creative brief defines your goals and how you intend to achieve them.

Who do you want to communicate with and what do you want to convey to them? Your creative brief identifies your target audience, establishes measurable goals, and specifies the steps you’ll take to reach them, as well as the resources you’ll employ. This guide will be used by you and your team as you work together to create your new brand identity.

  1. Do your homework

Getting a sense of what’s out there in the market and figuring out where you fit in is a good place to start. It’s critical to understand your “story”, the core values and the organisation culture, who you want to appeal to, and what those people respond to.

Discuss your customers with your designer. What are their customs, habits, needs and interests and how would you define their culture? Your logo must appeal to them, foremost. Also, who are your competitors and what does their brand say about them? Are you familiar with the standard branding conventions in your target market? Should you follow suit or be the business that stands out by not following trends and thinking outside the box?

  1. Communicate your brand’s narrative in a compelling way

Often, first impressions with a new prospective customer are defined and represented by your logo and the other supporting branding . You and the design team will collaborate to ensure that your identity properly communicates your brand story, armed with a solid understanding of your brand. Your new visual identity should reflect your company’s culture and product, service, or idea, what you do and who you are. What you show the world—your logo and any other encounters your customer has with your brand—must create credibility, build relationships, foster loyalty, and drive action in your audience. The designer’s role is to turn your story into a visual symbol that expresses what you’re trying to say. Your assistance is critical in making that translation possible.

  1. The Design Methodology

Creating an image that communicates non-verbally is the goal of logo design. You and our designers will communicate in a way that goes beyond the written word. You want your customer to feel good about themselves and be motivated. This can be accomplished by appealing to a person’s existing visual vocabulary or by challenging them with a new association.

Fluency in this style of communication is crucial when selecting colours, typeface(s), and image material, as well as deciding on shape, form, line, movement, pattern, and texture. Sensitivity to cliché, overuse, market trends, and what is tried and true for your audience are all important considerations. Your designer is aware of this and can assist you in sorting through all of the possibilities.

Collaboration, education, open-mindedness, exploration, and trust will all be part of partnering with our team of experienced designers. The whole project will benefit. Don’t be scared to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Comfort can sometimes lead to something that appears to be an off-the-shelf solution…boring!!

Remember, your business is as interesting and one-of-a-kind as the clients you’re designing for! Few design decisions are made at random, so don’t be hesitant to inquire about the rationale or reasoning behind any aspect of the designer’s work. You’ll get an informed response every time.

Bringing examples of what you like and don’t like, to your designer, is a smart place to start. Often, the designer will provide an overview of the competitors logos as well as other design samples in your field. Being objective might be difficult at times, but keep in mind that you’re designing for your client. Try to keep an open mind if for example you hate green but all research points to it and your designer proposes it. Conversely, if you’re seeing a lot of green and you know your customers prefer a different colour scheme, don’t be afraid to tell us. When it comes to achieving the proper design for a project, everyone needs to be open-minded.

  1. Different types of logo designs

A simple Google search will demonstrate just how many different kinds of logo design approaches are out there. It’s an important question to ask your designer what style they feel will work for you, as certain styles may be more suited to your brand than others—stylistically, historically, and for practical reasons such as cost, timing, and as explained below, usage. Go ahead, have some fun, explore some different types of logos named below and see what resonates.

EXAMPLES: Symbols, The Wordmark, Initials, Seals, Crests, Enclosures, Combination Logos, Certification, Accreditation, and Network Logos.

  1. What is your main use case?

It is critical to consider all of your identity’s applications when designing. These are usually mentioned in your creative brief. Knowing these current and future use cases will aid the designers in making decisions that will ensure optimum legibility, consistency in appearance and impact, and the capacity for the logo to be reproduced accurately across all media. A brand guide can assist you and your team in directing the usage and use of your logo and identity materials in all scenarios, and is one of the components that Fuzion offer as part of a full visual identity package.

Here are a few identity-related use-cases:

Marketing Collateral: stationery, print brochures, posters, point of purchase displays

Online Marketing Materials: website banners, email header, email signature, social media avatars or icons

In-Motion: video, titling, animation, broadcast, 3D, motion graphics, etc.

Apparel: uniforms, name-tags, hats, tee-shirts and accessories

Signage: in-store signs, exterior signs, trade-show displays, vinyl banners, vehicle wraps, decals, badges, flags and more

Premium Items: printing on fabric, plastic, wood, glass, metal items, in single, multiple, or full-colour versions; engraving logo on glass, wood, or stone, etc.

Packaging: printing on paper, label stock, plastic, etc.

Product: durable impressions (printing, moulded, embossed, engraved) on glass, metal, fabric

  1. Make a great impression every time

How can you make your logo operate in a variety of settings? In the vast majority of circumstances, you’ll require multiple versions of your final logo, here are some examples:

• Horizontal and vertical proportioned copies of your brand mark.

• Full-colour, single-colour, grayscale, and black-and-white versions.

• A version without the tagline. If you want to produce different taglines for different market categories, do so now, in the proper style, rather than later.

• For smaller applications, create simpler versions (like a 10mm-wide mark on a credit card, for example)

• Simplified or abbreviated versions for various applications, such as dropping the name and only using the symbol on a product.

  1. How much should it cost?

Your logo is an investment—in your company, in your brand, in your team and in your customer.

As with any investment, how much you spend and where you spend it are critical to getting a good return for your money. Our responsible and experienced design team can structure a quote with line items for any or all of the project phases: strategy, research, preliminary sketches, meetings, revisions, final artwork, file preparation, style guide and more. The prices for each phase are typically based on estimated hours @ an hourly rate. Our estimates allow you to see how the fee is being allocated—for what service, and how much you are investing. Or you may receive a flat fee, with a description of what is included.

Last but not least

Your company and your customers’ relationship to you is symbolised by your logo. A thorough, informed, and thoughtful partnership on building a new identity, as well as competent brand execution and maintenance, can ensure that both you and your customer has a seamless experience with your brand.

Mark

Mark Kenny is part of the graphic design team with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR team with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

LIV vs. PGA: How the Issue of Sportswashing Has Thrown the World of Golf into Disarray

June 16, 2022 by

The creation of the LIV Golf Invitational Series has sparked huge controversary and casts real
doubt over the future of golf.

This new golf tour is financed by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. You may recognise the Saudi PIF, as it was also in the news late last year after its purchase of Premier League club, Newcastle United.

The LIV Golf tour, along with the purchase of Newcastle United, has sparked much public debate because it is seen as an attempt at sportswashing by the Saudi Arabian regime and its Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

Sportswashing is a relatively new concept, but the term itself derives from the more familiar ‘greenwashing’. The process of an organisation spending more time and money on marketing itself as environmentally friendly than on actually minimizing its environmental impact.

Sportswashing is just as deceitful as greenwashing. Sportswashing is the practice of an individual, group, corporation, or government using sports to improve their reputation, by either hosting a sporting event, the purchase or sponsorship of a sports team, or direct participation in the sport itself. For world leaders, the practice of sportswashing is a strategy of reputation management. It is being increasingly adopted by countries with historically poor records when it comes to human rights.

In the case of the LIV Golf Series, it is Saudi Arabia and its leadership that has come under intense media pressure within the sports world. Saudi Arabia is a particularly repressive regime, with an appalling human rights record. For those living in Saudi Arabia, ‘freedom of expression, association, and belief’ are not seen as basic human rights.

People who defy the rules of the Saudi regime, can suffer dire consequences as a result. The Saudi Crown Prince, Bin Salman, has been accused of committing several high-profile crimes including the killing of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018.

Given the distance in belief systems from the Saudi regime and those of us in the West, it is surprising that so many prominent and successful golfers have agreed deals to participate in the inaugural LIV Golf Series. Some of the players that have committed to participate so far, include the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Bryson De Chambeau and Ireland’s own Graeme McDowell. All of those mentioned above are previous Major winners.

On the back of their participation in the Saudi PIF funded LIV Golf Series, all LIV players have been suspended from participating in PGA Tour events.

When questioned on their participation in this new tournament the LIV rebel golfers have rubbished claims that they hold any responsibility for allowing the Saudi regime to use the sport of golf in their own sportswashing game. Graeme McDowell argued at a LIV press conference that “as golfers if we tried to cure geopolitical situations in every country in the world, we played golf in, we wouldn’t play a lot of golf.” This remark, in turn, could be seen as a dig at golf’s traditional PGA Tour. Another Irish golfer, Rory McIlroy, has hit out at the LIV Golf Series on numerous occasions over the last few months and has backed the PGA Tour’s decision to suspend those participating in LIV events from the PGA. “I certainly don’t envy them, but I’ve always felt this is the best place to play golf, and I still believe that”, McIlroy said speaking to the media after winning the 2022 Canadian Open.

The establishment of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, along with the participation of some of golf’s most decorated and celebrated players has shaken the world of golf over the last week. Those players subsequent suspensions from the PGA Tour have led to speculation that they could be banned from playing in future Major tournaments and even, the Ryder Cup. Any ban from participating in golf’s four Majors and the Ryder Cup could signal the death of golf as we know it.

The ever-increasing debate around sportswashing will continue to fracture long-standing relationships in golf and across the world of sport, as this important societal issue continues to come to the forefront of not just sport, but business, civil and political society.

The issue of sportswashing will begin to show the true characters of our favourite sports stars, clubs, and competitions. The more instances of this kind, the more our loyalties will be tested as sports fans.

Is everything and everyone for sale, including our reputations?

Dylan

Dylan Morley is a Junior Account Executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

Why You Should Pay Attention To The Games Played After The Game.

May 24, 2022 by

.

In the Times, where I worked as a rugby correspondent for a fistful of years, and many other newspapers, the sports department is sometimes known – tongue firmly in cheek – as the ‘toy department’.

The correspondents in politics and news may look down their noses at the folks who fill the back pages, but there was no doubting the importance of the toy department.

For many, the sports pages are a reason to buy a newspaper, and the coverage in that section will be treated by many with more import than the tales of philandering gerrymanderers who populate the early pages.

Arrigo Sacchi, the famous ex-Milan and Italy coach, once said that sport is ‘the most important of the less important things‘, and he wasn’t wrong.

When you think of a crisis in ‘public life’, you’d be forgiven for thinking immediately of a political scandal.

But for the highest crises-to-personality ratio, you’d struggle to look beyond professional sport.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the press conference at Anfield, Liverpool.

How many CEOs (football managers) earning millions are dumped in a number of weeks or months each year? How many CEOs need to front up to media interviews in the double figures each week? How many CEOs are heroes to millions and demons to millions more?

When it’s framed that way, you begin to see that the “toy department” has a coalface that makes it a hell of a place to hone your PR skills!

Next time you’re watching Jurgen Klopp or Jose Mourinho, consider how they speak – often off the cuff – on behalf of themselves, their players and their fans, with a skill that many CEOs would fail to ever attain.

Think of how they send subtle (and not so subtle) messages to their players while they speak, while remaining conscious of what the journalists need in return. Consider how they speak to the fans, while being cautious not to get caught up in something that could create an unwanted headline.

Some managers will intimidate – Giovanni Trappatoni was well versed in whipping out his CV when he wanted you to cower – while some will talk and talk and talk and talk…..to avoid answering your question directly.

Former Ireland rugby head coach Joe Schmidt loved to reel off the entire opposition team lineups to eat into the sparse minutes offered up, while Brian Kerr would wander off on a tangent and it felt like landing a great white to pull him back on track.

Lessons from the “toy department” may not be studied that seriously, but it’s time for that to change.

Alex Ferguson, the legendary ex-Manchester United boss – was tapped by Harvard Business School for his leadership and management skills, so maybe now the rest of us should pay more attention.

The next time Klopp, or Pep, or Cody, or Farrell speak – take notes. Take more notes when they don’t speak!

Ciarán

Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh is a Senior Account Manager, and part of the Media Training Team at Fuzion Communications, with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

The Importance of Visual Assets in Effective Public Relations

May 11, 2022 by

A recent photocall by our wonderful Account Executive, Heather Lordan for Southern Comfort

As one of my favourite saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to conveying an impactful PR campaign

Photocalls and visual assets are essential in PR to accompany a pitch for an article, case study, or press release. Strong imagery immediately amplifies the content, catching the reader’s eye straight away, and prompting their curiosity. 

Strong visual content can propel both the story and brand in a fun and effective way. My favourite part of building any campaign is brainstorming photocall ideas with the team and watching the story come to life from there.

Here are my top three reasons why I believe a striking photocall image is a worthwhile addition to any PR campaign:

Visual Storytelling 

A strong image will strengthen your campaign and engage the consumer in your brand story.

A flat image with a person holding up a branded sign offers nothing to the journalist or the reader. I always like to think outside the box here, exploring the use of dramatic colours, unusual props, and picturesque locations.

A photograph sets expectations about the tone and subject but It shouldn’t give away the whole story. The image should engage the curiosity, prompt the question and the caption and press release should offer the answer.  

Shareability

Social media is a great way to increase the reach of PR campaigns and create a conversation with your target audience.

Images are processed in the brain’s long-term memory, while words are processed in the short-term memory. If the image is captivating, people will be more likely to share which encourages their followers to find out more about the story.

I always encourage brands to share assets internally as it brings the team on the journey too.

A recent photocall by our creative Account Manager, Michelle Harrison for IACP

Increased Brand Awareness

Images make an immediate connection with your audience because they are less taxing on your attention.

If you have a great image to go with your story you will recieve more media coverage and as media coverage grows your brand will garner much more attention.

Quality media coverage not only secures share of voice for your brand but also establishes expertise and credibility – a priority in the world of Public Relations.

So, next time you have a great story that is worthy of media attention spend time and attention with your team and your press photographer to capture those special images, because they are probably worth more than 1,000 words!

Stephanie Stafford 

Stephanie is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland. Stephanie is known for her innovative approach to PR as well as her diverse range of agency and in-house communications experience. 


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