Blogging and PR – Top Tips

November 25, 2015 by

Blogging and PR

I was recently asked to speak at one of the National Blogging conferences that was held in Cork.

As a blogger myself ( and a PR account Manager at Fuzion I was asked to speak about PR and Blogging and how they are linked.

I first started out with how bloggers can use PR to grow their own blogs. PR is such a fantastic way to build your reputation, create awareness and create a loyal following.

Top Tips for getting your blog out there through PR

  1. Capture your story by “looking the part” (your branding/layouts etc)
  2. Identify your target market
  3. Never waste a good media opportunity/news story – timely topical posts
  4. Seek out profile pieces in media – pitch your expertise
  5. Be proactive & engage on Social Media – don’t wait for them to find you!
  6. Attend Networking/Blogger events
  7. Mix and interact with other key influencers (including other bloggers)
  8. Guest Blog on other blogs and ask for people to guest blog on yours

I then moved on to the best practices when working with PR Companies.

There are hundreds of bloggers around now and more and more are popping up each day. Many of those who are new to blogging don’t know where to begin, so I explained (having been on both sides of the fence) the best practice for bloggers when engaging or working with PR Companies.

Top Tips for Bloggers working with PR Companies

Create a Media Kit – which should contain:

  • An overview of your blog including your target audience etc.
  • The stats/demographics on your Blog (Be honest!)
  • Blog Achievements
  • Brand Affiliations
  • Social Media usernames
  • Sample Blog Posts/ Adverts
  • Photos, Logos etc.
  • Testimonials
  • Contact Details

Blogger reviews

  • Give honest & timely reviews
  • Promote via social media outlets
  • Disclose all sponsored blog posts

Responding to press releases

  • Ensure relevance to your Blog audience
  • You don’t need to respond to all
  • Don’t be rude, build relationships

I hope this helps and feel free to contact me with any questions at

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion

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

But what if someone says something wrong?

November 5, 2015 by

old way

I was in the middle of a social media training session with the senior team of a client and Mick, who was one of the elder statesmen in the group asked a question.

This brand new world is a scary place for Mick who has been doing his own thing in his own way for a long time and now that day has come. The company believe that they are missing out by not fully embracing technologies that might deliver them business and LinkedIn is the platform they chose for me to run a training session for them.

I’m guessing that Mick and probably some of the other guys have been hoping that this day wouldn’t come but eventually it has arrived and I was the ‘scary monster‘ who was standing up at the top of the room talking about this dreaded LinkedIn, the thing that they feared could possibly render all of their skills, crafted over many years out of date and useless.

His body language, disguised with a little bit of humour screamed “I am choking, please let me out of here!“.

He sat there during the session saying very little.

At the beginning of these sessions I spend a lot of time with the team figuring out what ‘stories‘ they want to tell about their organisation.

We are an experienced team, we have our own R&D department, our technology is ahead of everything else in the marketplace, how the company came about is very compelling, we work with some of the biggest companies, we are successful, we are expanding, there is a genuine 24/7 service and the culture is very strong.”

This is a company you would want to do business with.

We explored how we could communicate some of these things on an ongoing basis with a combination of blog posts, published posts, company and personal status updates on LinkedIn.

I always stress that you must be clear what your objectives are and the messages that you want to communicate. I talk about developing a ‘message board‘ that is built into the organisation social media strategy for the company and this should be shared with all team members to ensure they understand what the content guidelines are.

Out of the blue Mick popped up with a question: “But what if someone says something wrong?“.

I think he had accepted that it was time to face his fear and now he threw out his real fear that in ways has been fuelled by media reports about damage that has been done to organisations by stupid things being posted by people working there.

What could we possibly do to prevent that from happening?

Ironically he made this comment right in the middle of that part of the training where I am setting the content guidelines with the team.

On the phone, chats with team members, meetings with clients, conversations at conferences… we all have the potential to say something stupid or damaging but we are trained and trusted to do our jobs and represent the places we work for properly.

Social media is no different and you do have to trust your teams but you must give them clear guidelines and explain what is expected of them.

Unfortunately those ‘stupid’ mistakes happen when this is not done and when someone inexperienced (typically when someone is “good” on Facebook) and lacking in knowledge about the organisation is given free reign to post for the organisation. It can also happen when an outside agency is appointed to post on behalf of the company without proper briefing and controls.

Mick, you are right but we will make sure this won’t happen here!

p.s. Mick knows his customers and his organisation better than anyone and will fly once he loses his fear.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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



Manners maketh the business woman!

November 3, 2015 by

Thanks you

When did you last send someone a ‘thank you’ card?

I, for one, can’t remember my last time sending one and I’d forgotten what a lovely surprise it is to receive such a card until this morning.

But before I continue, I must confess – I’m a real stickler for manners!

As the world of business and technology develops, some may no longer value manners or feel they should be applied, but I disagree. Business, just like life is essentially a set of relationships – be that between your clients or your colleagues or your employer – manners have never been so important.

While I will always work hard on my clients’ accounts, even the smallest thank you from a client really brightens up my day.

Here at Fuzion, each of our clients has different needs and unique campaigns, and we always do our best to go above and beyond to make sure all of our clients are happy campers. Working in PR is fast paced and lots of fun, but you still get your tired days!

This rainy morning started out as one of those days for me but was swiftly turned around by a ‘thank you’ card in the post from the client whose event I’d worked on last week. This event had been really fun to work on, with lots of interesting speakers and guests, so receiving such a lovely card was a great bonus.

After the Jazz Festival and a busy week here in Cork, this little surprise could not have arrived at a better time. The sender is a real lady, and put lots of work into the event herself, so it meant so much to me that she took time out of her busy schedule to send me a handwritten card.

Already, this was a nice account to work on, but something as small as a ‘thank you’ card is key to building up a great relationship in business. The afterglow of such a thoughtful gesture has a powerful ripple effect and encourages one to take the same approach to others in their workplace.

Manners really maketh the woman!

As the business environment gets more competitive and technology based, there is sometimes an absence of the old fashioned approach to manners. Let’s bring it back!

A mannerly interaction is a win-win situation for everyone and is far more beneficial than the ‘dog eat dog’ attitude that sometimes creeps into the workplace. After all, good manners cost nothing but the rewards can be great as they can make a big difference to a person’s day.

Never miss an opportunity to improve someone’s day and .. now I must to go and buy some ‘thank you’ cards!!

Daisy HIggins, FuzionDaisy Higgins

Daisy Higgins is a PR Account Executive with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The end of the Golden Era of Social Media?

October 15, 2015 by

Jack Dorsey - twitter

Will we look back at this time and talk fondly of the ‘golden era’ of social media….?

I write this as we have just heard that Twitter have announced that they are laying off up to 336 people, 8% of their workforce. When the most beneficial of all the social media platforms has reached this point it makes you wonder.

Like every other business they must make money!

Roll forward just 5 years. Will we be saying..

“It was an innocent time when for free we all opened personal accounts on Facebook, we connected with friends, shared and uploaded our pictures. It was pure, we were able to communicate and voice our opinions without interference.

Businesses jumped in and opened accounts for free and publicised their wares.

It was really enjoyable and effective with all of us being able to see content that we wanted to.

Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook

Unfortunately it all changed when it became big business (like every other business they had to make money!) and now it is just like a huge advertising platform, which no one bothers using any more because we stopped seeing the content that we wanted.

And what about Twitter …We had such fun opening accounts for free and following who we wanted and them in turn following us and interacting as much as we wanted.

Eventually they wanted all of our personal details for advertising purposes and business accounts became different to personal accounts.

Of course the ‘free ride‘ had to finish at some point – we were naive to think it could continue the way it was.

Looking back, considering all of the benefits I enjoyed I think I would have been quite happy to pay a subscription instead of seeing it ruined the way it has been.

It’s a pity it’s gone.

Do you remember when LinkedIn was free and you could connect and post content until the cows came home, all for free!

It’s ironic that it’s half as effective now as it was when it was free!

As for Instagram ..we had great fun posting fab photos and interacting and now unfortunately its full of adverts and corporates posting commercial pics that make our skin crawl!

As for things like Foursquare, Google+Snapchat, Pinterest and Periscope …. we used them all for about 6 months and then we got bored.

As for social media taking over from newspapers and traditional media – what were we thinking?

Did we really want a world where no one was paying journalists to investigate, where great writers and columnists could not make a living, so they stopped … Crazy!

It did seem like this would happen for a while because we stupidly thought that we could get everything for free – when did that ever make sense?

Inevitably Apple, Microsoft and Google have mopped up everything online and the lesson that there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch‘ has come true.”

I miss those days and wish I could ‘tweet’ again one last time.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Eircom, Eir and when do you re-brand?

September 22, 2015 by

Eircom changing to EirIt seems that with every re-brand there is an avalanche of criticism to immediately follow. In recent times we have seen a lot of online activity with people giving their opinion on the company or associations new logo. I tend to notice that once some time has passed it can be a very different story.

So far this year we have seen some big name re-brands. Some of the more notable ones have been Facebook, Google and just last week Eircom, who not only changed their logo but also their name to Eir. So it got me thinking, why re-brand in the first place?

Firstly, it is important to understand that a brand is a whole lot more than a logo or a “mark” that appears on your stationery or website. It is whole heartedly who you are as a business. It is what you stand for and how good of a service or product you provide.

We can stare at a logo for hours and still not comprehend what it is trying to communicate.

However, when you pair that logo with the company, you make that mental link as to whether it is a good brand or not, one that you would possibly use or walk a mile from and find someone else to do business with. Branding can communicate what your business is about and what it delivers to it’s customers. Implemented in the correct way and supported by great products and services it can establish your business as a leader and build your reputation.

Lets look at Eircom’s reason to re-brand:

The old logo was introduced in 1999 when the old telecom monopoly Telecom Éireann was privatised and renamed. To me it looks its age, I personally never liked it, a big orange circle with some swoosh marks that look like the cat got at it. Then offset against this some writing that is trying to be modern but still retains some Irish heritage, forget it. I’m afraid it just never worked for me. Now I am sure at the time it served its purpose and was bold in its visual presence.

Telecom Eireann Another major factor is that a lot has happened since then, the biggest being that broadband and internet has become an extra limb for us. So much so, that whilst it’s handy to have a landline phone in the house we communicate mostly using our laptops and mobiles. Also in 2013 they started providing a TV subscription.  So what was once predominantly a telephone service provider, has now become a major broadband service and TV provider as well.

Also they are no longer the only duck in the pond, they now have to battle it out with other major players in the market. When you consider all these factors, you can see why a re-brand is necessary.

So how do you know when its time to re-brand?

  1. Do you think your brand looks dated? A good way to tell is by comparing it to the outright market leaders in your industry.
  2. Does your brand work consistently across all touchpoints? Its important to look consistent and have the same visual language everywhere.
  3. Are you expecting market growth? Is your brand still delivering the same products/ services as it did when you first started out? As seen above Eircom has changed massively, hence the new look brand.
  4. Are you still engaging with your target audience? Past methods of engaging with your target market might not be still relevant.
  5. Are you moving into new markets? International growth may require a new brand identity
  6. Is your business about to undergo a merger? This is no easy task and finding the correct brand to reflect this is a key element.

A complete re-brand might not always be necessary, certain elements of  your existing brand might just need some modifications. In the past a brand’s logo was the keystone to everything and had to be simple, work in black and white and work at any scale. The modern brand has to be agile and adaptive to new platforms. Basically in today’s world, brands have to be resilient enough to cope with fast changing markets that can change in months.

Oh yes, one last thing. I do like the new Eir brand and I feel it ticks all the right boxes. I like it because it is forward thinking, I like its fluidity and I love the bold colour scheme that they have used which suggests a vibrant company. This is also reflected in their packaging where they use bright vibrant colours confidently. Finally I can see it being responsive and resilient enough to last for a very long time.

I am however disappointed that in Irish Design Year 2015 this lucrative contract was won by a UK firm – without sounding too parochial surely we have enough talent and creativity in Ireland to have matched this work?

Ultimately how we view this brand will be very much dependent on the companies delivery of it’s products and services and not on the logo, which after all is just a tangible expression of the renamed company.

Ray Keohane - Fuzion Graphic Design, Cork DublinRay 

Ray Keohane is a graphic designer with Fuzion Graphic Design who have offices in Dublin and Cork

Look’s a Panda!

September 16, 2015 by

Panda 1

My daily commute is such an entertaining part of my day.

From 7.15am to 8.30am my feet barely touch the ground except for my walk from the train platform to the 145 bus. If you are a commuter you will probably agree that there are many different types of commuters; those that sleep the whole train journey (I envy these people, once I’m awake that’s it till about 10pm), those that talk the WHOLE train journey or read or like me, those that do their make-up (Yes, I’m one of them judge away please!)

So why is my commute so entertaining and what could I possibly learn from my daily commute?

It is so entertaining because of the fact that I love to people watch. As part of this activity I also like to give people their own back story. These stories are usually about as far fetched as a ‘panda riding a bicycle across O’Connell Bridge on a Tuesday‘!

But nonetheless it keeps the creative juices flowing and in public relations it is very important to have your creative cap on. Clients want to be on trend, involved in the next guerrilla (or panda bear!)movement and in general to be seen. If you can create enough awareness for your clients, and they are aware of this, then you’re doing something right!

Another entertaining part of my commute is the fact that I now realise that our lives are like a TV show.

The Truman Show

I sometimes wonder – were we the ones being watched as we watched Jim Carrey in The Truman Show? There are so many different characters and you see the majority of these people every day, some of whom you speak to and some you don’t.

Is there no ‘comms’ in commute?!

We spend the whole commute hardly engaging with one another. But why? Honestly, I have no idea! Especially considering that communication is one of the factors that helps the world work – in business, education, politics etc. Without communication there can be no instruction or direction and this is part of what we crave in our daily lives.

In Public Relations, it is vital to have a relationship with communication and this is what makes the difference when dealing with clients, media and corporates, going the extra mile to building those relationships.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to look up, take notice and realise that in your everyday life there are lessons to be learned, that can be used in your work life. These lessons can benefit you and show that you’re not afraid to go that extra mile for your clients. Let these differences be what separate’s you from the rest!

One last point, I have just realised that in this blog I have given away enough information to run the danger of attracting a daily commuter stalker!

But I will warn you that my father has a very particular set of skills. Skills that he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for people like you Mr Stalker. If you take me, that will be the end of it. He will not look for me, he will not pursue you.

But if you don’t, he might just look for you, he will find you and he will pay you to take me.

Thanks dad ..

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is a PR Executive with Fuzion in our Dublin offices.

Teamwork – Are we in this together?

September 14, 2015 by

Volunteers in Brooklyn after hurricane

It’s Saturday morning and I totally admit that we are slightly hungover and very tired after a fantastic party the night before in the office to celebrate our Fuzion 15th birthday.

Despite the torrential rain we had a great turnout of friends, clients, media and of course our team. The banter and fun was in full swing and a few of us headed to Brick Lane for a few more drinks and even a boogie or ten! Slices of pizza at Fast Al’s was a must before dragging our tired bodies home in a taxi at 3am ….you are only 15 once after all!

Unfortunately someone had to head to the office so that the audio visual crew and the caterers could collect their respective gear and then face into the big ‘tidy up‘ to transform our space back into an office.

My head was sore and I promise you I was not looking forward to this arduous, painful task but it had to be done and as it was a Saturday it was Deirdre and I who had to do it. Of course we would love help, of course we would love a few extra hands to lessen the load but it is Saturday and the team are off so we wouldn’t ask.

As ‘owners’ isn’t that what you do?

We parked up and dragged our bodies slowly to the office and then something incredible happened.

Aoibhinn, one of the senior members of the team was already there with her young son Noah and she was in full swing with the tidy up. That one set of extra hands, that willingness and that powerful gesture of taking ownership felt like 100 extra hands and it just blew both of us away and we had the job done in no time.

We own the business and we have a great team in Dublin and Cork that work hard with us from Monday to Friday. For 15 years we have worked really hard to build a good team spirit but its moments like this when someone takes ownership and does the unexpected that you feel you have a real team and you are actually in this together.

It felt good ..thank you Aoibhinn

PS – Knowing Aoibhinn she will hate me writing this!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design with offices in Cork and Dublin 



15 years and my Fuzion journey!

September 11, 2015 by

Fuzion PR -2 015

I can’t believe that it’s 15 years since I handed in my notice to my boss (and separately to my ex – but that’s another story!!!) and 15 years since Fuzion was born!!!

I had gotten to the stage at the ripe old age of 34, where I knew that I could have run the business I was working for much better than my boss, and I thought with an attitude like that perhaps I should start my own business.  So I borrowed a laptop until I could afford my own, invested in a logo , some cool business cards and got the word out that Fuzion was open for business!!

At the time I was living in Tralee and later that year I emigrated to Cork!

Deirdre Waldron on the Cork Chamber billboard

I never looked back and am so proud of everything that Fuzion has achieved.  I know that I’m so blessed by all of the friends I have made since then and the talented people I have worked alongside, many of whom have played  a big part in the Fuzion story.  And I am especially blessed for the life Greg and I have made together in Cork, thanks to Fuzion.

Fuzion PR and Marketing

Little did we know when we leased our first office in Cork city that the wheels would very soon fall off the Irish economy and our services were deemed as ‘dispensable’ by many clients who were in fear of the recession. It was a very challenging time, so we rolled up our sleeves, we worked even harder, we dug deep and instead of cutting back we grew our business and opened an office in Dublin! When I look back this was a fantastic achievement considering the harsh environment.

We called it ‘storming the recession‘!

Fuzion Communications Team

So to mark 15 years I thought I’d give 15 things that I have learned about business, that have really helped me along my Fuzion journey:-

  1. Tenacity is the difference between success and failure
  2. Be absolutely sure you have the right people on the bus with you
  3. Treat everyone with respect, even those a**holes who don’t deserve it!
  4. Pick a life partner who thinks you could conquer the world
  5. Admit when you make a mistake, it’s the first step to fixing it
  6. If in doubt, always go with your gut
  7. When hiring, look into someone’s eyes rather than their CV’s
  8. Don’t work with clients where you care more about their business than they do
  9. Business is no place for negative people
  10. Do some pro bono work –  it will come back to you in so many ways
  11. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – there’s lots of it out there
  12. Work every hour that’s needed Monday to Friday, but treasure your days off
  13. Dress every day as if you have a photo call
  14. Confirm everything by email

And most importantly what we are doing today:-

15… Celebrate the milestones and never waste a good story about your business!
Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRHappy Birthday to Fuzion and a huge thank you to every single person who has supported us along the way and been part of our journey!

Dee x

Deirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion

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

The changing face of lobbying in Ireland

September 7, 2015 by

Down Syndrome Ireland

What comes to mind when you think of lobbying?

People’s protests, petitions, media campaigns? Or perhaps you picture scenes of back-slapping behind closed doors between people with power and those with influence?

Whatever your views and opinions are of lobbying and lobbyists, it’s fair to say that the lobbying landscape will become far more transparent with the Regulation of Lobbying Act that comes into effect in this month.

Fuzion is among those who have registered as a lobbyist and as such we will be required to record details of relevant clients that we have engaged in lobbying activity on behalf of, the names of public officials we have contacted, the subject matter and the intended results of communications.

The legislation will require us and all other lobbyists to submit returns three times a year, beginning in January 2016.

Those affected by the new legislation include third-party lobbyists paid to engage with public representatives; companies with 10 or more employees, representative bodies and advocacy groups discussing relevant issues; and anyone lobbying about the development or zoning of land.

Lobbying has been a feature of our business and political landscape for centuries. However, the highly publicised corruption revelations and investigations give context and merit to the new regulations, which aims to give lobbying a robust ethical framework.

But it’s not just business leaders that use and value lobbying as an important tool to influencing decision makers.

Interestingly and perhaps it’s that time of year (pre Budget) but we’ve noticed increasing numbers of clients across various sectors – public and private, coming to us looking for support in relation to lobbying so the new legislation is certainly one we are keeping abreast of.

We also have a number of charities on our books and most, if not all, engage in lobbying at some level. Down Syndrome Ireland is a prime example of how lobbying can achieve significant changes.

We worked with them last year on one of the most critical and significant public awareness campaigns that gripped Ireland where we were tasked with being the voice of thousands of children with Down syndrome who were in danger of losing their discretionary medical cards.

The crucial mix of an unrelenting and determined media campaign and political lobbying gave the issue the attention it deserved.

With a clear strategy, many man hours (despite a modest budget) and sheer determination we were relieved to successfully secure a Government U-Turn on the issue months later.

It’s a lobbying campaign we are immensely proud of and we were also honoured to have won this year’s PRII award for Excellence in Lobbying for our work on that campaign.

Napoleon Bonaparte is quoted to have said: “ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent,” which is very true.

One should never underestimate the potential of people power – if you believe, then use your voice.

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn Twomey

Aoibhinn Twomey is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR & Marketing who lobbies on behalf of our clients from our offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland

What’s your dream job?

September 5, 2015 by

Tour de Munster 2015

With the Leaving Cert results having been released in the past couple of weeks, and the CAO panic setting in, I got thinking of when I was at that stage. Even though you’re only 17 or 18 years old, you’re asked to decide on your career path.. which begs the question- what is your dream job?

The recurring theme in most people’s answers to this will be that their job must have meaning and one that will give you the lovely feeling of making a positive impact on the world around you. I know that in my case, my dream job conveys the values I hold dear in my personal life, while also highlighting my strongest skills. By following my passions, I fell into the perfect career path- to all students, I’d definitely recommend taking this approach!

Having worked in the food industry for so long, and coming from a big family, I’ve always loved the aspect of human interaction at work, and PR delivers that in abundance!

The job satisfaction in PR and Marketing is great, problem solving and engaging with an array of people every day. The swift pace and constant engagement with others is what I loved most about working in the food industry, and I’ve found the same buzz from PR. Seeing success from a PR campaign that you have been a significant part of, or when an event runs perfectly, is a brilliant feeling, one that you just can’t beat.

Not only this, but PR allows you to work with causes and initiatives that you really value. At the start of August, the Tour de Munster took place, with the final, steep leg taking place on Patrick’s Hill. Over 100 amateur cyclists cycled approximately 600 km in just four days, with all funds going directly to the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), with the Tour having raised almost €1.5 million in the past six years for the charity.

Tour de Munster 2015

Sean Kelly pictured at the end of the 2015 Tour de Munster cycle on Patrick’s Hill, Cork.

I was already familiar with the Tour de Munster, as my dad and sister had taken part in the charity cycle over the past couple of years. This year I was especially proud to be working on this campaign as my dad celebrated his 60th birthday while on the Tour. Seeing the months of hard work and training that the cyclists put into the Tour makes you all the more determined to have a really successful campaign. Believing in the message behind the campaign you’ve created is the key to success. We at Fuzion also get to see how well the funds are used by DSI’s Munster branches. Working on a PR campaign for the Tour de Munster is such enjoyable work, and gives me real job satisfaction.

When I was applying for University courses back in my Leaving Cert days, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I did know what I enjoyed and what I was good at, so I followed these passions and studied English and Politics in UCC. Experience and time have led me to PR and to my ideal job. The CAO points frenzy seem to me to be so stressful and unnecessary for students.

Do what you enjoy, work hard and everything will fall into place!

Daisy HIggins, Fuzion Daisy Higgins

Daisy Higgins is a PR Account Executive with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 14,436 other followers

%d bloggers like this: