Who is your most important customer?

August 15, 2016 by

Cakes - Fuzion

Last week our fantastic and very lovely graphic design intern, Marianne sent everyone in the team this mouthwatering email:

Morning, there are some home-made buns in the reception area should you fancy something sweet. They are cinnamon sugar and amaretto sugar buns (hope no one has nut allergies). Enjoy!

Enjoy?!!

They were absolutely delicious but more than that, this fantastic gesture by her was a brilliant way to make a connection with her fellow teammates on her first week.

This huge gesture blew me away and it got me thinking about customers and customer service.

The most important customers aren’t the crew out there that buy our goods and services, they are the people who work alongside us, day in and day out. Our bosses, our peers, our trainees, our interns – our relationship with these individuals is the most important one of all.

We spend most of our waking hours together and ultimately it is this group who will help to deliver your personal success, who will generate your income, who will make your days more enjoyable, who we need when we have problems and are under pressure.

Most of us can’t do it by ourselves and isn’t it much more fun when we do it together?

The most important customer is the person who works with you – look after them, treasure them.

Well done Marianne and thank you. You get it.

#WinHappy 

Greg Canty 

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

Exercise is good for you and for work!

August 10, 2016 by

Exercise at work

In today’s age our mind is constantly switched on, if it’s not a computer screen we are looking at, more than likely we will be staring at the screen of our mobile phone.

It is non-stop and can be very difficult for people to put their work or their phone aside and to just switch off for a period of time. Not only will it benefit us to switch off personally but it will also benefit us in the work place.

Exercise can be used as a great way to switch off and de-stress.

By setting aside a couple of hours a week to fit in some exercise you can enjoy some really great benefits. You can use that time to step away from your phone or computer screen and clear your mind, while also improving your physical fitness.

Exercise does not have to be a dreaded experience. The main thing is to find an activity you enjoy doing and this will make it a lot easier to stay motivated.

The benefits of exercise both personally & professionally:

  • Increased energy which leads to more focus and productivity
  • Healthier & happier
  • Improved overall personal health. This will result in less sick days as you will be stronger and less likely to become sick
  • Relieving stress, which is a huge benefit of exercising. Work places can often be very stressful so it is very important to relieve that stress before it builds up
  • Increased confidence – regular exercise can often lead to increased confidence as you become fitter and healthier

Simple ways of improving and encouraging exercise in the workplace:

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift!
  • Organise a walk at lunch time – the more people involved the easier it will be to motivate people. Heading out with the team can also be great fun.
  • Use a personal trainer once a week to do a work out; this could include activities such as yoga, Pilates, circuits and much more.
  • Encourage walking to meetings as much as possible.

So dust off those runners, discover what you enjoy and get active!

Saidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a PR Executive with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”

August 9, 2016 by

Make it count - Nike

When researching for inspiration for this blog post, I came across a multitude of generic results such as ‘how to keep your morning coffee warmer than usual’ and ‘how to deal with a quarter/mid life crisis’. However, throughout my travels on the world wide web, I came across an extremely intriguing article about Nike’s newest campaign #MakeItCount.  

Helen Keller, the famous deaf and blind author and political activist once argued that “life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Taking this quote on board when planning their most recent campaign, NIKE decided to put their own spin on her wise words. Last month the renowned sports brand dared colleagues, Casey Neistat and Max Joseph to create a campaign promoting their newest product, the Nike Fuel Brand using the #MakeItCount mantra.

However, with an unexpected change in plan, Neistat and Joseph decided to ‘take the money and run’. Literally.

Instead of commissioning a Hollwoodesque, high-tech visual media advertising campaign, the dynamic duo combined with a pair of runners and a selfie stick, threw caution to the wind and created a video montage of them blowing their budget and #MakingItCount. Throughout the video we see the pair travel the world over the duration of 10 days. From America to Zambia, the two experience encounters that you couldn’t imagine in your wildest dreams.

For fear of sounding like a life coach or uncomfortably inquisitive psychoanalyst, I will stay away from any condemning statements such as, “this campaign really made me sit up and think” and wonder “how am I going to #MakeItCount?

Even so, following the video I could not shake the pestering notion of the campaign.

With thoughts of running marathons and travelling the world over 10 days, the prospect seemed like a very daunting prospect altogether. However, I soon realised that being an avid participant in life, rather than just an observer is just as important in contributing to the cause.  

Now while I would never condone running off with a monumental production budget and travelling the world to fulfill the inspiring mantra, I am still a firm believer in #MakingItCount each and everyday, whatever I do.

What are you doing?

#MakeItCount

Isabel 

Isabel Oliver is a PR intern in the Fuzion PR Dublin office

Cumulus Clouds and First Women.

August 4, 2016 by

Aer Lingus - Captain Grainne Cronin

I was having a super meeting with a new client last week, you know those round table moments when everyone is on the same page and all getting excited about the strategy and the jobs to be done to bring this to life.

We started discussing “Leaning In” and progressed to the first Aer Lingus female pilot. I recalled a conversation long ago with my Dad, who trained Aer Lingus pilots. Avoiding answering the question about what I had achieved in school that day, I pushed back to Dad and enquired what had he achieved?

He started talking about how he was training the first Aer Lingus female pilot, and that they had been working in the Simulator that day. Months later I saw a shot on the front of the paper (her first flight was in January, 1978) of Captain Grainne Cronin, sitting in the cockpit proudly, after receiving her wings. (the pic above was a retirement pic in 2010 after 33 years as a pilot)

I headed off to chat to Dad; “Was that the same girl that he was in the Simulator with?” “Yes”, he replied “ and what is going to make her so great is that she saw beyond the Cumulus clouds and really worked hard to achieve her goal. Sometimes when you are a woman you have to push yourself even more to grab hold of your dreams”.

Because of Captain Cronin’s dream and hard work breaking the mould, many other women were empowered to follow their dreams, and Aer Lingus now employs more female pilots that the global average of around 10%.

So let us ladies take a moment and celebrate the ‘first women’, those who break new ground and make the rest of us realise that we can go as far as our capabilities allow: Presidential Nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Mary Robinson, Attorney General Maire Whelan and Chief Justice Susan Denham.

Ladies and Gentleman fasten your seat belts we are going through the Cumulus clouds, Have a safe flight!

Aisling White - FuzionAisling White 

Aisling White is an Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design based in our office in Dublin, Ireland

The Power of You – You have the Power!

August 3, 2016 by

Bressie - Cork Chamber , Power of You

I took some time out earlier this summer to go along to Cork Chamber’s 2016 Forum entitled, ‘The Power of You’, which looked at the benefits and importance of well-being in the workplace.

We heard from expert speakers including Mental Health champion & TV Personality, Niall ‘Bressie’ Breslin; World Champion and Olympic athlete, Olive Loughnane; Cork Football Performance Coach and Partner at Gazing Performance Systems, Conor McCarthy; Nutritionist, Lucy Hyland; and executive business coach, Barbara Nugent about the importance of Food, Fitness, and Focus and how making small changes can greatly enhance the professional performance of individuals and teams.

Power of You - Cork Chamber

There were a few things that stuck with me after the morning session, and if I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed out now, which I’m sure many of you feel every so often, I bear these in mind.

They’re worth considering, so take a look and see what you think:

  • Conor discussed how multitasking is myth! The maximum number of things your brain can really focus on is three to four at any one time, so do just that, and stay on task.
  • Olive recommended spending at least 150 minutes on moderate exercise, or 75 minutes on high intensity exercise per week. This may seem like a lot, but when Olive put it in terms of taking this time out of the 144 hours there are in a week, it doesn’t seem like so much, and your excuse is just invalid!
  • Lucy reminded us that we all have the ability to make choices and we all have the ability to choose the things we control. It’s up to you to decide for yourself, so make sure you do.
  • Bressie spoke about how we should approach our brain and mental health in the same way as physical fitness, and understand that training takes years! He shared his five tips for creating a positive mindset and suggested trying them out for ten days;

These were:

  1. Limit/ avoid toxic people and environments
  2. Practice self-compassion – say one thing you’ve done that day that you’re proud of
  3. Gratitude – every morning before you hop out of bed, in your mind say 30 things that you’re thankful for
  4. Mindfulness – have 30 mindful moments each day
  5. Stop judging people!

Realise the Power Of You, and appreciate that you have that power!

Alison O'Brien - FuzionAlison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien is an Account Director with Fuzion PR & Marketing, who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Let’s be Women for Women, not Women versus Women!

August 2, 2016 by

Pregnant woman on the train

Is empowerment simply respecting each other?

I am not usually the one in the crowd flying the flag up high for us females. I’m more of a carry on as is type of gal, but when I need to voice my opinion “you’re going to hear me”!

While this is not my usual type of blog post, I feel that this topic needs to be discussed.

Inspired by the events of my run-of-the mill daily commute, I began to wonder “is empowerment simply respecting each other, or is there more to it?

It was one of those ‘everything is late’ mornings and following my arrival to Heuston train station I came to find the enormous queue for the 145 bus. By the time I finally got on the bus there was only standing (with your face against the wall) space left – tight spots aren’t really a problem for me….I’m 5ft 2.5” and if your vertically challenged like me then you know that half means everything!

As the bus pulled out of Heuston Station, I scanned my surroundings, noticing the sea of commuters poised over their phones, drowning out the rest of the world’s noise with their headphones. While this is not an unusual sight for anyone commuting to work in the morning, what really grabbed my attention was a lady looking fairly snug amongst the human bus blanket, who had a neat little baby bump to match.

She was standing near the wheelchair space. I asked if she would like me to get her a seat but she declined (there wasn’t any so I was going to have to ask someone to get up! I’m nice like that!).

One of my reasons for asking her was because the women sitting on the pull-down chair in the wheelchair space pretended not to notice her while continuously staring at her bump, which did not go unnoticed by other passengers. Plus the fact that three other women were also glaring at her with eyes that screamed and sounded like our own mothers saying “Get up and have some manners – that might be you some day”.

I’m sure I am not the only person that has been in this position before or has had these thoughts. I am not a mother or a mother to be, but I am a daughter and I was raised to care, to be vigilant, to have manners and respect.

This action, or lack thereof, genuinely annoyed me but also left me feeling a little guilty. Was it my place to point out her ignorance or do I just carry on about my business because the woman standing could have asked for the seat herself?

suffragettes

But this poses the question: Why should she have to ask?

Do we not have enough respect for each other in this day and age to just be nice? My mother always says “If you don’t ask, then you don’t get and then you’ll never know the answer!”.

I guess my point is that I tried to change the situation on the bus by empowering myself to point out my frustration, that simply the lady is pregnant and give her your seat!! I thought my actions would empower those around me to offer up their seats but no – the frustrating fact is that in some situations people don’t want to be empowered.

They actually just don’t care – This is also frustrating because it’s the truth of the world we live in today!

There are many valid questions for this and it shone a light on my way of thinking for the first time ever concerning ‘Women v Women’ and the role of supporting each other not just in work, but in everyday life.

So I asked the Google gods and found loads of websites in reference to the topic. After a lot of reading I decided that for me it’s not just about women empowering women, it’s about empowering each other in general and also finding ways of empowering yourself.

Then there’s realising the fact that there is always going to be that person who will never give up her seat – I know shock-horror!

Here are some of the points I came across that I thought might be useful or at least thought provoking:

  • A lot of empowerment is about the ability to read through the lines and spotting opportunities – remembering sometimes someone’s advice is to help, not to set you back. I think this gets easier to recognise as you get older!
  • Be a mentor, not a competitor
  • Promote each other and don’t be afraid to promote yourself
  • Give yourself a break, give each other a break
  • Educate and empower others, who will then empower others and so on
  • Lastly, don’t be the pregnant lady not asking for the seat to sit down and don’t be the lady pretending not to notice the pregnant lady that needs to sit down!

Let’s be Women for Women, not Women v Women

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion PR in our Dublin office.

Hillary – get over your glass ceilings!  

July 27, 2016 by

Hillary Clinton

OK, it is really great that for the first time there is a female candidate for the US Presidential Election, long overdue and everyone bar middle America is in agreement that she is the best person for the job – probably by default!  

But.. I am so over “glass ceilings”.

Hillary heralded her nomination victory as the “biggest crack in that glass ceiling” with a montage of the previous 44 male US presidents accompanied by the sound and vision of breaking glass.

I groaned when I saw it so my other half said (as he always says!) – “OK write a blog about it”.

Hillary went on to say “Little girls, who stayed up late to watch, I may be the first woman President but one of you is next”.

Can we please get rid of this idea of a glass ceiling now!

Personally I don’t believe in them and I never have. I think there are some professions out there, like politics, that are not conducive to women, especially women who have young families. I think it’s not the glass ceiling we need to break, but we need to re-set the foundations by looking at the rules, social norms, conventions and structures that are in place preventing talented women getting to whatever level they want to get to.

I also believe that as women we have to take some responsibility for this.  

Sheryl Sandberg told a great story in her book – ‘Lean In‘. She was heavily pregnant, running late for a meeting and couldn’t find a parking space near the office, so she had to trek a long distance from the back of the car park to get to her meeting. She barged into the meeting, late, uncomfortable and probably a little cranky and asked why there weren’t any allocated parking slots nearer the office, for pregnant employees.

The answer was no one ever asked for them!

The ‘powers that be’ thought this was a great idea and very soon afterwards this policy was implemented.

If we want to get to the top – be it in our business or in our careers, I believe we, as women, need to ask for what we need or help to facilitate change – we must be proactive in resetting the foundations.

I have been working very closely with Enterprise Ireland (EI) over the past few months in my role as President of Network Ireland.

They recognise the fact that as women we need to be more assertive – but they use a much more positive word: “ambitious”.  

Enterprise Ireland have put programmes in place to encourage female entrepreneurs, as they know that businesses run by women have a better chance of succeeding. Their stats prove that women are hesitant about applying for grants and supports, unless they tick every single box – whereas a male counterpart in general will go for every opportunity and worry about matching the criteria afterwards!  

EI’s strategies around nurturing ambition in female entrepreneurs are working and they have seen the number of females on their programmes jump from 7% in 2011 to 22% in 2015.  

We also have a responsibility to support each other.

Hillary, instead of giving the “little girls at home” a ‘call to action’ she should be looking behind her or in front of her at the podium and saying “your turn is next”. It’s the responsibility of all of us to help others up the ladder or pass the torch.

As Madeleine Albright, another US Secretary of State put it ”There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”.

Let’s hope Hillary will remember Madeleine’s wise words and has less of the breaking glass and more of the actions that really support other women to get as far as they can.  

Actions speak so much louder than words or cool AV effects!

As to Hillary becoming the next President of the USA – I hope she is successful in her campaign, not because she is a woman, or the best possible candidate, but because like most people in Ireland I’m an anything but Trump girl!  But that’s for another blog……

Deirdre 

Deirdre Waldron - Network Ireland PresidentDeirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion

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

Body Shaming – Does the media go too far?

July 18, 2016 by

Body Shaming

Jennifer Aniston made the headlines this week when she blasted the media through a powerful essay on “body shaming” published by the Huffington Post.

In an open letter the former Friends star called out the media for constantly reporting on her figure and pregnancy status. The first line she wrote was “For the record I am not pregnant, what I am is fed up!” a powerful opening line that has made headlines around the world and has made people wake up and ask the question..

Does the media go too far?

A picture of Jennifer Aniston on holiday with her husband Justin Theroux, sporting what can only be described as a small rounded tummy was what prompted the tabloid story in the first place and lead to headlines all over the world which read ‘Finally Jens pregnancy dream comes true’ ‘Aniston Pregnant!’ ‘Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are thrilled to be expecting first child together’ ‘Jennifer Aniston pregnant with miracle baby!

Jennifer Aniston

Picture source – Daily Mail

Jennifer Aniston is known for maintaining a dignified silence when it comes to rumours about herself, she is a very private person and very rarely responds to rumours or the media in general, however this time she has had enough and has decided to call out the media for body shaming women by claiming she is pregnant when she says herself she simply had a burger for lunch:

“I resent being made to feel “less than” because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: “pregnant” or “fat.”

The way I am portrayed by the media is simply a reflection of how we see and portray women in general, measured against some warped standard of beauty?

Is she pregnant? Is she eating too much? Has she let herself go? Is her marriage on the rocks because the camera detects some physical imperfection”

Since the publication of Aniston’s essay, females around the world have applauded her and backed her in every way, however on the flip side of this, a debate has since erupted as to whether Aniston has the right to privacy when she puts herself out there as a ‘celebrity’.

This is an ongoing debate where people argue that celebrities crave attention and put themselves out there in order to get press and publicity yet when they get any negative press they pull back and cry out that’s it’s an invasion of their privacy.

Fame stars

So where is the line? When does the media go too far?

This is a hard question to answer and each case is extremely different as you have celebrities like Jennifer Aniston who does not put herself out there for publicity, in fact does everything in her power to keep her personal life private and paid millions for security to make sure her recent wedding photos remained private, versus the fame hungry reality TV stars who are doing all they can to get in front of the camera and get publicity in any way they can.

So when should the media pull back?

Where is the line the media should not cross?

It’s a question you feel won’t ever be answered and will be debated for years to come, however I take my hat off to Jennifer Aniston for raising the issue especially when it comes to body shaming, as it seems these days’ women in the media are either too fat or too thin and simply can’t win!

Where do you stand on the issue?

Edel

Edel Cox is a Senior Account Manager with Fuzion

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

Without some “wow” it just won’t work!

July 12, 2016 by

Products with nothing specialI arrived there in torrential rain and entered a premises that lacked personality, that lacked anything. No pictures, no branding, no product displays…nothing.

There was a display on the wall with Certificates of Incorporation and some certs confirming a legal change from one company name to another.

I was politely ushered into a room and three people joined the meeting.

The new product was produced and placed centre stage on the board room table. The bland, quite generic packaging was the first thing I noticed.

Where was the product made, what’s special about it, what has the journey been, what is the wow, what is the  “story“?

I probed, I dug deep and I asked this crew why they developed this product, why it was in front of me on the table and why they brought it to market?

I was hoping to discover a unique (I hate that word) insight, I was hoping to hear some personal story, I wanted something that would help us to bring this “thing” to life in a genuine and authentic way that would connect with their target audience.

What I got was very profound – “it’s just a product that we think we can make money from

This won’t work…

Greg Canty 

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

Power Social Media – Digital Influencer Programme

June 21, 2016 by

Power You - Advanced Social Media ProgrammeAfter years and years of delivering social media courses for business I have realised that most of these are just scratching the surface and for the seriously ambitious individual, something much more is needed.

For this reason I have developed a “Power You” programme, which is geared specifically towards ambitious individuals who want to realise their full potential by building a powerful, digital brand for themselves.

Power You” is for those who want to become Digital Influencer’s in their field of expertise.

In today’s fast-paced world where subject matter experts seemingly emerge overnight via social media, it’s critical that everyone leverages their own point of distinction.

Be so good that they can’t ignore you – Steve Martin

Be so good they can't ignore you - Steve Martin

With my programme, as well as learning extensive social media skills you will learn how to build a powerful network and be recognised as an Influencer by your peers and target audience.

Peer to peer interaction (this is not a classroom!) with a small group of like minded individuals is a strong dimension of the “Power You” programme, which will help you to establish and build your own powerful brand online and make you stand out as a thought-leader.

On this programme you will capitalise your personal awareness, highlight your knowledge, passion, values and expertise, and accelerate your career and business success.

This extensive programme will run over three months, will include 10 group evening training sessions, peer to peer reviews as well as one to one sessions.

The first “Power You” programme is commencing in Dublin on the 14th July and will be limited to a small group.

For full details click here and download the “Power You” brochure.

Thank you for reading!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

If you need more information about the programme please feel free to contact me:
Email: greg@fuzion.ie
Phone: (086) 8311156

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