Is the age of influencers coming to an end?

May 7, 2018 by

 

We’ve always loved seeing what celebrities get up to and in this digital age we can see every aspect of their lives through Snapchat and Instagram.

These days “regular” people can become celebrities by building up huge followings on social media channels and having a niche area that they specialise in from beauty to travel and most vague of all “lifestyle”.

We watch their stories every day and most importantly of all we believe everything they say. They influence us!

A certain brand of soft drink is declared the best – It’s sold out straight away.

This nightclub is where all the celebs go – Good luck trying to get in for the next month!

Companies are always told that user generated content is the best type of promotion as it is deemed to be genuine and an authentic view declared by impartial people.

People are cynical now so they don’t necessarily believe advertisements and especially not what the companies tell them directly.

There’s nothing better than the perfect girl next door “type” recommending your product and even better if she’s doing it off her own back!

Brands quickly realised this, which has led to the deliberate romancing of social media influencers, which has been a very effective tactic for the brands that know how to play the game.

However now everybody wants in.

Everyone wants access to that social media influencer that can help boost their products, services or message but in the “rush” very few are doing their due diligence on the influencers they are targeting.

Inevitably this has resulted in anonymous social media accounts like @bullshitcallerouter and @bloggersunveiled who are determined to call out these not so genuine accounts.

 

So far, these accounts have revealed the influencers that buy followers, don’t use the #ad code and more seriously the ones that are flouting the road safety rules but were part of a road safety campaign.

The people that follow those influencers are obviously disappointed with their behaviour but it all comes back to the companies who have chosen them.

By not doing the research on the influencers that they have chosen to work with, have they inadvertently harmed their brands?

A recent example comes from the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

The @bloggersunveiled account has been sharing images from the last couple of weeks of influencers that have worked with the RSA on their campaign last year but are not following the basic rules of the road as demonstrated clearly by images they shared on social media.

Over the weekend the RSA announced that two of the influencers they worked with last year on their “Killer Look” campaign will return their fees.

They have dealt with this well by stepping out in front of this and are working on protecting their brand and the message they are trying to send to the public.

The sentence from their statement that stood out to me the most was this:

There’ll be a lot more rigour around and due diligence done around influencers if they are being used in future,” the spokesperson said. “This medium is maturing.

Is it time for us all to be more diligent in who we choose to represent our brands?

Should companies have guidelines and codes of conduct for campaigns with influencers going forward?

It’s definitely time for us to be more aware and alert about those we choose to follow.

With the growth of fake news, fake followers and now, insincere influencers do we need to take everything with a pinch of salt?

Alma Brosnan - Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Check out the full article by Journal.ie on the topic

 

 

We need to talk about…abortion

April 25, 2018 by

lets talk about it

The Belfast rape trial inspired a national conversation. The debate evolved from the trial to the verdict to how sex education is taught in our schools.

Almost everyone had a view.

Not everyone agreed with each other, but at least – or at least in my opinion, the majority of people listened to each other with a modicum of respect.

In one month, the Irish electorate will go to the polls to vote in arguably one of the most divisive referenda has ever held.

While the conversation in print, on air, and online is in full flow, I wonder is that same conversation happening among our friends and families? And if it isn’t, why isn’t it?

There are many, on both sides of the argument, completely convinced body and soul, that they are 100% right in their views. But are we in danger of underestimating the amount of people that remain undecided and uncertain and afraid to have a conversation about their uncertainty for fear they’ll alienate…or be alienated?

On May 25th you have an opportunity to shape the outcome of this referendum.

If you’ve already decided how you’ll vote, be gentle with your views and opinions as not everyone will share your point of view, but that doesn’t mean their opinions hold less weight than yours.

Listen with grace and empathy, even if the opposing view is unpalatable, and completely foreign to you – no one ever won hearts and minds by shouting the other side down.


Between now and May 25th, you have a chance to be part of a national conversation – and by voting, you’ll play an active part in the outcome.

On May 26th, we’ll know the outcome of this referendum, and our nation as we know it will be a changed one…for better or for worse.

Be part of that change.

Alison Nulty, Fuzion CommunicationsAlison

Alison Nulty, of Fuzion Communications is a Senior PR Account Manager, Media Trainer and part of the Crisis PR team.

What should Bank of Ireland do with their sponsorship of the Ulster Rugby team?

April 12, 2018 by

Ulster Rugby

Today, Bank of Ireland issued a statement to the media concerning their sponsorship of Ulster Rugby.

They have said that it is ‘highly concerned‘ and is reviewing its partnership with the province following the Belfast rape trial.

In their statement the bank confirmed that it has conveyed concerns to Ulster CEO Shane Logan following the high-profile trial.

As a sponsor of Ulster Rugby, Bank of Ireland is highly concerned regarding the serious behaviour and conduct issues which have emerged as a result of the recent high profile trial,” read a Bank of Ireland statement.

The Bank has formally conveyed these concerns to the CEO of Ulster Rugby.

It is of paramount importance to Bank of Ireland that our sponsorship activity aligns with and supports our core values, and reflects positively on Bank of Ireland through association.

We understand that an internal review is underway. We expect this review to be robust, to fully address the issues raised, and that decisions will be taken – and policies and protocols be put in place – that fully address the issues that have arisen.

“Given that a review is underway, we won’t comment further on this issue at this time.

What do you think of what Bank of Ireland have done here?

Let’s look at what they have said first..

They are highly concerned regarding the serious behaviour and conduct issues..

At least this shows their position about what emerged during the court case – in truth, while “highly concerned” is strong language it is probably not going far enough considering what did emerge during the trial.

During the trial the court heard about a series of WhatsApp messages in which Mr Olding said “we are all top shaggers”

Mr Jackson wrote: “There was a lot of spit roasting last night.”

Olding told the WhatsApp group: “It was like a merry-go-round at a carnival.”

The Bank has formally conveyed these concerns to the CEO of Ulster Rugby..

They are letting us know in advance of any decision by Ulster Rugby their position with this issue.

It is of paramount importance to Bank of Ireland that our sponsorship activity aligns with and supports our core values..

The reason any brand sponsors anything is to associate with the brand values and gain something positive from this – the bank are saying clearly here that what has happened here does not align with the core values.

The sponsorship is of huge importance to the sport and if it was pulled, without doubt this would have an impact on many.

Given that a review is underway, we won’t comment further on this issue at this time..

By acknowledging the review by Ulster Rugby (they mention the robust process) they are sort of saying “lets wait and see and we’ll decide what to do next“.

OK…

Let’s be clear – the statement issued to the media was written for the public’s benefit – they want us, their target audience to know that they have core values, that they aren’t happy with what happened and how this may impact on them and that they have conveyed this to Ulster Rugby.

While the statement from them has come a little bit too late (they could be accused of reacting now because of the public backlash) it is clever to a point as it gives them advance “wiggle room” around any decision coming from Ulster Rugby.

If Ulster Rugby go light on the two rugby players Bank of Ireland can kill their sponsorship (potentially damaging to the sport) and they are off the hook. They would possibly have to consider the possible backlash of avid sporting fans.

If Ulster Rugby go heavy and fire the players then the bank have already made their position clear in advance and can count this as a “core values” win.

Our advice..

Their blatant disrespect for a young woman, as demonstrated through their deplorable messaging to each other,  cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.

People, young and old look up to their sports-stars and they must be held to very high standards.  We expect that of our heroes.

If Bank Of Ireland are really concerned about their brand (for legal reasons they may have to go easy) they should state categorically and with no uncertainty that they will pull their sponsorship if these players are allowed to play for the team again.

These men demonstrated without question the most horrible behaviour and disrespect to women and this should be called out plain and simple, for all our sake.

Bank of Ireland must really think of their brand and not wait in the wings to see what action Ulster Rugby will take.

Be brave Bank of Ireland..

Greg Canty 

 

Why are Podcasts booming?

April 2, 2018 by

Podcasting

Podcasts are in demand, they are becoming increasing popular and for good reason..

According to research last year nearly 400,000 Irish adults listen to a podcast once a week with 128,000 listening once a day.

While podcasts have been around for a while the “boom” in part is due to Smartphones, which have made accessing these really easy and in 2014 Apple introduced a specific podcast APP on all their devices.

The audience in King” , which is the real driving force as they are carefully curating their own content – Podcasts are to Radio, the same as Netflix is to TV!

Podcasts are outperforming their competition because they are relevant and they are succeeding in connecting with their audiences in a very different way.

It’s simple, you can hear your chosen show (podcast) whenever you want.

Podcasts have few, if any commercials and only consist of the material that you are interested in. The variety is huge and growing by the day – literally, there is something for everyone from Love Stories, to American politics, to Eamon Dunphy to Blindboy to the Irish Famine. The list goes on and on.

Podcasts are extremely personal.

Many go beyond the “15” minute segments of an interesting interview that you would expect on a radio show and as a result you have an opportunity to really get to know the presenter, the guest and the subject matter.

They can be a much more intimate way of getting information and it is also a nice change from peering at a screen, perfect for those busy commuters who want to make the most of every valuable minute!

Podcasts are convenient and easy to consume.

Once you subscribe to a podcast “show”, new podcasts are automatically downloaded or available to stream to your device as soon as they are available.

You can listen to them at your convenience.

When you are getting ready for a journey you can queue up your podcasts to create your own entertainment and learning, to pass that time a little quicker!

Listeners are now deciding what they want to hear and when.

On one hand, this means you are competing for their listening time but on the other hand, this means that if they are subscribing to your podcasts, you have an opportunity to really build a strong connection with your audience.

Podcasts can also make extra valuable content to deliver as part of your social media strategy.

If you have a big social media following podcasts might be a way to introduce some new and very interesting content, which will immediately differentiate you from your competition.

Your podcast subscribers could be the core of your community and over time they could become your best ambassadors or even clients.

The best way to understand the potential for podcasts is to tune in and discover the huge variety that is available – you can access them via the podcast APP on Apple devices, on iTunes, Soundcloud or on Spotify or directly via the podcast host.

Why not check out our Fuzion Win Happy Podcast , which is hosted by our very own Greg Canty!

http://fuzionwinhappy.libsyn.com

Fuzion Win Happy podcast thumbnail

Happy listening..

Ciara O’Sullivan

Ciara is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications

Cracking the “Social Media” Training Code

April 2, 2018 by

Social Media e-learning

Incredibly we have been running social media courses since May 2010!

This was the new thing, the new way to reach your customers and promote you and your business and it was free to use!!

I do think a big part of the reason it exploded at the time was because we were immersed in an awful recession and most people had virtually no funds to do anything, let alone promote their business.

So the simple advice was, grab the relevant platforms (at the time it was Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and use them to tell your story and engage with your target audience.

In the earliest training that we delivered, it was all about the functionality – step by step we would show all the participants how to do everything on each of the platforms.

As time went on we changed the emphasis on “why” first and then “how“.

This approach was designed to get people engaged with the simple idea that, if you knew what you could achieve with social media and you understood the special role it could play in your communications mix, then you were more likely to dive in and apply the learnings.

I think this approach worked much better but there was still a problem, and I put this down to what I call the “teeth brushing” aspect of social media.

When you leave the half day or full day social media course (or any training for that matter) it is up to you and you alone to implement the learnings and make room in your life for a new habit, a social media habit.

To be effective for you, it should be just like teeth brushing, you just do it automatically as part of your routine.

To this day, I still believe that using social media effectively can be one of the most powerful ways of promoting you and your business as well as a brilliant way to make valuable connections.

So why are people not grabbing the opportunity?

The big challenge for me is getting those who take my courses to squeeze all of the potential from the social media platforms, and for the training to go beyond the initial sessions and integrate into their daily routines.

To crack the “training code” we have invested in an e-learning platform, which has enabled us to create unique follow-on programmes that consist of a series of short, practical exercises on each of the social media platforms.

These exercises are delivered to the trainees over a period of time to ensure that they can really learn, through daily implementation away from the classroom and in their own work environment.

If you want to make sure that you and your team, really, really learn let us know!

Check out our Social Media Training services by clicking here.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, who offer Social Media Consultancy and Training  from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Is social media taking over our lives?

March 26, 2018 by

social media wedding

In a recent survey carried out by renowned bridal store, Kadee Bride, it revealed that 72% of brides-to-be feel pressure to lose weight ahead of their big day, while 10% also admitted to asking their bridesmaids to do the same!

The shocking statistic emerges in an era where social media plays a huge role in wedding planning, seeing it influence brides who want to look their best on their wedding day, not only for their guests, but also for their online presence.

Speaking to the two owners of Kadee Bride, Dee and Katt Shine, who have been in the industry for over twenty years they advised that this statistic doesn’t surprise them and how many brides compare themselves to other brides and other bridal parties who they see online on daily basis.

Speaking about the survey findings, co-owner of Kadee Bride, Dee Shine said “This stat comes as no shock to me as the majority of our brides at their first fitting will discuss what their dress will look like in a few months’ time when they’ve lost weight, with most telling us they plan to drop at least a dress size before the big day. We have noticed this trend creeping in over the years”.

Posting wedding photos on social media has now become the norm with photos going up on social media platforms within minutes of being taken, which has resulted in a new trend of brides and grooms either mentioning it at their ceremonies or printing it on their invites or booklets to:

please refrain from posting any images to social media’,

a request that would have once been a common courtesy, but instead nowadays has to be requested.

It begs the question, is social media taking over our lives and instead of a wedding being solely about the bride and groom and the guests they have chosen to share their day with, it is now shared with millions around the world within seconds.

I have used weddings as an example however it’s not only weddings where this comes into play, when you think about it we use social media for everything these days.

  • News Updates – Twitter and Facebook
  • Communication with friends – WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Viber
  • Interior design – Pinterest and Instagram
  • Wedding planning – Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest
  • Food reviews/recommendations – Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram
  • Travel Suggestions – Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest
  • Sports Results – Twitter
  • Missing People – Twitter and Facebook
  • Traffic Updates – Twitter

Social media has well and truly taken over nearly every aspect of our lives…

Is this a good or a bad thing? Let the debate begin! 

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel

Edel Cox is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications who are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

 

Learning from Emma!

March 19, 2018 by

Storm Emma

This St.Patrick’s weekend, the snow threatened once again and it brought the memories and huge impact of Storm Emma, The Beast from the East and our very own Snowmageddon flooding back.

While there was major disruption, which threw our little country into chaos the stories of communities banding together to look out for, and after each other during the worst of the snow was heartwarming to say the least and gives us a fantastic reason to celebrate our special Irishness!

Thanks to social media we were able to capture some of these gorgeous moments and preserve them forever.

 

 

 

Storm Emma

Across the country, businesses are still counting the cost of Storm Emma. For some, business may have been booming and for many others, their financial forecast may be gloomy.

So why don’t we try and reward that strong community spirit, witnessed by many of us during the storms and let’s focus on supporting local business!

Buying a coffee – why not try a local roast house instead of a chain, looking for bread, maybe think of your newsagent, or better yet, your neighbourhood bakery, looking for a good book, or even the newspaper, why not pop into your local bookshop?

Beast from the East

 

Beast from the East

Local spending is powerful, because it circulates within the local economy, paying wages for example, which are also…..yes, you’ve guessed it…..spent locally.  

So now that the memory of our storm has passed, let’s all do a little bit to keep supporting each other, at home, and in business…

Alison Nulty, Fuzion CommunicationsAlison

Alison Nulty, of Fuzion Communications is a Senior PR Account Manager, Media Trainer and part of the Crisis PR team.

Ireland 2040? More like George Orwell’s (Ireland) 1984

March 19, 2018 by

George Orwell, 1984

Over the last few weeks, the Government has taken some heavy criticism for its newly founded Strategic Communications Unit’s attempts at communicating the ‘Ireland’s 2040’ plan to the masses.

Following the launch of the National Planning Framework and the National Development Plan in February, the Government embarked on an extensive PR campaign that had a large focus on advertisements in the form of paid-for newspaper articles and cinema advertising, amongst others.

Reports that came out after these were submitted to local newspapers suggested that many of the advertisements that were placed promoted Government politicians, non-office holders and, in at least one case, a current councillor.

This however isn’t the crux of the issue.

If subsequent reports are to be believed, and local papers were instructed by the “powers that be” to make government advertorials look more like independent stories, this – as one sitting TD eloquently put it – is “akin to something from the Third Reich, Goebbels territory.”

As a communications professional, I can fully understand the valuable role a comprehensive communications plan and activities can play for the government to convey its messages, especially one as complicated as this.

However, communications is one thing, but state-led propaganda is entirely different.

Patrick Jones - Fuzion CommunicationsPatrick

Patrick Jones is an Account Manager in Dublin with Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR & Graphic Design 

Consumer Branding and JK Rowling

March 7, 2018 by

Britney Spears

As I sit at home on a snow day working like many others across the country, which is all made possible by the glorious Google Drive, I started wondering about what my next blog should be about – something riveting, meaningful and life-changing?

But instead I decided to write about the fact that I was obviously unaware of two things that other people seem to have already known, and I’m going to use those things to talk about what we do for our clients.

For instance, did you know that:

1 – Britney Spears has subliminal messaging in her lyrics – GENIUS!

2 – JK Rowling is actually Robert Galbraith?

Well I didn’t, and the fact that I didn’t know is probably the mind-blowing part.

Also, if you are not watching the TV series BBC’s Strike (which is based on the books) you need to.

Knowing the Britney fact has now altered part of my youth and I wish I could go back to that time to see what this would have meant to me then and if it would have made a difference?!

Britney was and still is so influential, but I’m sure it would have made for an epic OMG conversation between friends!

The second mind-blowing fact is one that I feel is a reflection of what so many of us would like to do – trying something new and not being held to a certain level of expectation, which is the whole reason JK Rowling chose to write a series of crime novels under a fictitious name.

She wanted to begin a new writing career in a new genre and to release her crime novels to a neutral audience, free of expectation or hype.

Consumers can see examples of this on a daily basis with “Umbrella Brands”.

This is where a big brand buys another brand or launches a similar product under a different brand name, some of which fall into the affordable price range.

This happens so often in the beauty industry and it is why there are so many “dupes” of different products or cheaper alternatives.

L’Oréal do this very well with a portfolio of international brands such as NYX, Maybelline, Essie and Garnier to name a few – Full list here: www.loreal.com/brand

An Irish brand that has done this very well is Bellamianta, the brain child of Linda Stinson and Lisa McDermott. Last year we saw these two amazing business minds launch Iconic Bronze, a more affordable tanning product, less than three years after the launch of Bellamianta.

 

With the help of their Irish brand ambassadors, Jade and Laura Mullett, this tan became so sought after than it made its way onto the shelves of Primark.

In communications we encourage our clients to think outside the box and try new things.

Whether that is how we launch a new product or campaign, the way we plan on revealing new company branding or working with a brand ambassador for the first time, or it could even be with a social media strategy and how to reach new audiences.

At Fuzion, when we meet a client for the first time it is important that we get to know them and have a clear understanding of what they do and what their objectives are.

From here, as a team, we put our heads together using the many years of experience we have to generate concepts and formulate a strategic plan that will work to the client’s benefit, delivering consistent and cohesive messaging that will help them get noticed and make an impact in a crowded market.

Our creative design team is also on hand to develop outstanding, eye catching and conversation starting designs that will leave the target audience remembering your brand.

Maybe we can help you to be like Britney or JK?!

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency who have offices in Dublin and Cork.

 

Some Twitter changes to curtail spam tweets and “Tweetdecking”

March 7, 2018 by

TweetdeckingIn a move to prevent the growth of spam and fake news, Twitter are making changes to their Tweetdeck platform.

To be clear: Twitter prohibits any attempt to use automation for the purposes of posting or disseminating spam, and such behaviour may result in enforcement actionYoel Roth, manager of trust and safety at Twitter, wrote in a blog post.

Note – this is ironic as Tweetdeck is their own application that facilitates this behaviour!!

For those of you who are scratching your heads now asking what is Tweetdeck and how it helps spread fake news/spam let me break it down for you:

Tweetdeck is a platform mainly used by digital professionals to monitor and post from Twitter accounts. For those of us who work in social media management, it’s a very useful tool where we can monitor what’s going on with all of our clients and post from their accounts, including the ability to schedule posts into the future.

However, in the last couple of years a new practice has emerged known as “tweetdecking” whereby users are tweeting content across many accounts added to their Tweetdeck in exchange for payment.

Have you ever noticed several famous accounts tweet the exact same thing at the same time? That’s tweetdecking!

Basically, what these accounts are doing is using multiple accounts to cause their tweets to go viral.

It can be something simple like a company trying to spread their offers, a celebrity trying to go viral or something more sinister when it’s someone creating fake news and spreading it.

If you see a tweet that has a huge number of likes and retweets and it’s appeared in your feed more than a couple of times, are you more likely to believe it?

With these new changes Tweetdeck users will no longer be able to bulk tweet, retweet, like or follow using several accounts at the same time.

These changes will also affect third party applications such as Hootsuite where you can do similar actions.

So, in a way it’s good news as it prevents users being able to spam others with fake news and nonsense tweets….

However, for those of us that use Tweetdeck and have those times where it’s relevant to post or retweet from two accounts, we’ll just have to do it separately and take an extra five minutes (we don’t have!!) switching between accounts.

Check out our latest Fuzion Win Happy Podcast where Greg Canty and Alma Brosnan discuss these changes and also the features of Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that may be useful to heavy social media users:

“Tweetdecking and other social media developments”

Fuzion Win Happy Podcast - Social Media Series

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 


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