Tips on how to secure your first PR job

March 30, 2015 by

PR - Fuzion

Anyone working in PR has been there… that place you find yourself when trying to secure your first job in PR.

Having been with Fuzion since 2007, I have been involved with the hiring process of several interns and team members. Being on the other side of the application and interview process has taught me a lot about what you should and shouldn’t do when looking for your first PR job, so I’ve decided to share a few tips.

Update your CV and cover letter

Make sure your CV is tailored to the job, well written (good grammar, no typos), and most importantly, up to date. Oh, and don’t lie!

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so don’t let yourself down at the first hurdle. Whether you are a graduate or are interested in a career change, we understand that you’re not yet an expert in the field of PR, but we do want to know what you can bring to the table.

Whilst you might not have anything that directly relates to PR, I would suggest that you try to highlight specific achievements and areas you do have experience in, and show how these are transferable to PR. PR is about pitching and this is your first opportunity to pitch yourself to us or any potential employer.

With cover letters, make them cover letters!

As in, send it in the body of your email and not as an attachment. Also, we know if we’re getting a generic cover letter, so specifically tailor it to the job for which you are applying WITH US… there’s nothing worse than getting an application in which you tell us why you would be a valuable asset to the team at “A.N Other Company”.

Of course, we know we’re probably not the only company you’re applying to, but if you expect us to take the time to review your application and respond to you, please have the courtesy to get our name right.

A simple trick here is to check our website beforehand and to personalise your application to the person you think might be doing the recruiting. If you are not sure who that person is then ring in advance and ask.

Check your online presence out before we do!

Google yourself – what do you find online about yourself. Hopefully you should find a Twitter and LinkedIn account, but if you don’t, set them up now! If you can’t be found on Twitter, and especially LinkedIn, it means you’re not taking advantage of these platforms, and they are where you need to be.

Online presence

With Twitter, follow key players and influencers in the media, learn about the industry, and make connections by retweeting posts you find interesting or relevant. A LinkedIn account is pretty important for anyone on the lookout for a job in the industry. Why not ask college professors and former employers to write recommendations for you – let them tell us how good you are! Don’t underestimate the power of social media.

If you fancy yourself as a writer (we love people who can write well) then start your own blog and start writing about your favourite things – make sure you include this in your CV.

Yes, we do check all of this!

Connect, and stay connected

During the interview, we like to get a feel for you, and so often ask about who you follow online, what papers you read, what journalists and news sites are you a fan of. Educate yourself on the industry – we’re not interested if you follow the guys from Geordie Shore, or Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, so try to be relevant!  Tell us why certain blogs or news sites interest you.

We’ve done our homework on you, now do your homework on us

You’ve secured an interview, now familiarise yourself with our company, our clients and campaigns, and have some sort of idea about our company ethos. Tell us why you’re interested in this position, and particularly in Fuzion, and why you think you are a good fit. Don’t get caught off guard, these are obvious things we will look for, so be prepared. Knowing your stuff will not only calm your nerves for the interview, it will also show us that you have initiative, and are enthusiastic and serious about working with us.

Be able to tell us what you could bring to the table, have some ideas of how you would put a PR plan together – as I’ve already said, we know you’re not experienced in the field, but have a think about this in advance. Do you have a dream client? What would you do for them if they were launching a new product or had some important news to share? If you want to work in PR, you’re going to need to be able to do this on a regular basis, so show us you can.

And most importantly be yourself. Trust me, we want to hear your personal story and we want to hear your opinion about things. Be honest and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.

Ok, you didn’t get the job this time, and you ask “Do I need a specific degree to get a job in PR or what do I do next?”

If you have excellent communication skills, then you have some of the basic characteristics for a career in PR. A relevant qualification is not always necessary, but it can be an advantage and provides you with the competitive edge against other applicants—at least on paper.

Persistence

At Fuzion we don’t specifically look for a degree in public relations – our team is made up of experienced PR professionals, ex-journalists and producers, media trainers, social media experts, and graphic designers, as well as individuals with senior management experience.

So don’t be disheartened that you didn’t get this job. Go out there and get some hands on experience – volunteer for a non-profit or charity, PR your local festival, help out at community events, write a blog, do some freelancing;  and don’t give up on your PR dream. Show why you can become an invaluable member of any PR team.

Make sure that we don’t forget you by sending us a nice email and thanking us for considering you in the first place. One of our team got a job with Fuzion on the third attempt – we love persistence, another great trait for a PR person!

The very best of luck with your PR career ..

Alison O'Brien - FuzionAlison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR & Marketing which has offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland

 

Praying Media Mantis

March 24, 2015 by

Praying Mantis

I was trying to figure out what a visitor from Mars would make of the situation.

A long moving tube squashed with human beings, all of whom were striking the same pose,  the only difference being some were on their feet and some were seated.

Seated folk had their necks bent and focussed –  as if praying  – on a small rectangular shape, with wires plugged into their ears. Standing folk echoed the same pose, neck bent, face fully focussed on the same rectangular shape but with one hand.

One could easily assume this was a religious cult and perhaps the leader was giving the morning gospel to all members? Such intense focus and concentration on this small rectangular shape. Passengers could be jostled and pushed but still, they remained intensely silent and incredibly focussed.

Perception is not always reality..

I realised the pose reminded me of a Praying Mantis and yet the folk were regular Luas passengers on their morning commute. As it is early in the working day, brains and minds are clear – yet hungry to absorb, either with eyes or ears. From time to time I understood that passengers were listening to the same channel, as they smiled in time with each other.

Thought for the day..

Morning commuters are edgier and ready to absorb more than at any other time of the day. Think about it and communicate early with your audience – time to prey on your praying media mantis!

Let us go in peace..

Aisling White - FuzionAisling White 

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

 

 

Music for my cremation and 9 other things I learnt last weekend at Offset

March 12, 2015 by

Offset

You may or may not know about Offset, chances are probably not.

It is Ireland’s annual conference for the creative industry. It is a three day event in Dublin’s amazing Bord Gais Theatre where designers, photographers, illustrators and pretty much anyone involved in the creative fields come together to listen to our heroes and anti heroes ‘show and tell‘ for approximately a combined 50 hours, over 2 stages with about 2500 attendees.

This was my 5th time going to Offset, and I’ll tell you a secret, I was giddy like a child at Christmas about it!

So, as I am a fan of lists, I’d like to share some of the things that I learnt last weekend (in no particular order!):

1. Everything that we do has a reason

There were loads of quotes floating about from the speakers, my favourite was a lovely one from Hey Studio, a Spanish design studio; “Design helps illustrate complex content in a friendly manner“.

I thought it was a really nice way of saying a lot of what we do as designers  – we take the complicated, and we create something approachable and digestible for our clients.

Offset 2015

Its not all about pretty pictures and swanky fonts, everything that we do has a reason. Its considered and crafted and deliberately shaped as a solution to a situation.

 2. I hate “Artists” waxing too lyrical ..

Early on one of the days a photographer spoke with passion and conviction about a series of images that he had taken, as both commercial and personal work. He bored the pants off me!

I’d rather that he’d shown us the work with 45 minutes of Metallica playing at nose-bleed inducing volumes than yack on about “his vision and the importance of the timeline in a coherent structure to illustrate the inner struggle of blah blah blah“. And its a shame, because the work was lovely.

Offset 2015

I adore illustrators work, I wish I had their talents and their abilities to think at speed and with insane deadlines (frequently more insane than ours!) and listening to them explain the what and the how about their work was the most genuine and honest communication that I heard all week end. It blew the socks off the BS that others were spouting!

3. Music for my cremation

James Murphy (Ex LCD Sound System & DFA boss) can do no wrong. The man has made 400+ hours of music from tennis data. Click here and listen to this !! .. I want him to DJ at my cremation.

4. Some of us are good at communicating on one medium only

Sometimes the creator of incredible bodies of communicative works are terrible communicators. Ian Anderson of TDR, a studio that I would hold in very very high esteem from the past 20/25 years of incredible design was one of those people. Perhaps he was tired & emotional. Perhaps not.

5. Fuzion are starting a band

I need to start a band with the people in Fuzion. It would make our presentations a hell of a lot better and I’d get to curse even more than usual. If you are not of an easily-offended-nature, then click and watch Snask in action. Amazing stuff, brilliant work, they nailed the presentation and I want to go drinking with them.

6. Its good to Ask!

Ask. Ask if you can have a job. Ask if you can do a job. Ask if you can help. What’s the worse that can happen? They say “no“? There’s a very talented woman from Cobh, Co. Cork working in an amazing agency in New York because she asked.

Ask us.. Is there something that we can do for you? You might be surprised.

7. Picking our least favourite option

Clients, including famous/celebrity/creative clients will ALWAYS pick the option that you like the least. Its the law.

8. There are 8000 holes in the London Olympic Torch.

Each of these holes represents one of the 8000 runners in the torch relay. And if you were really quick after the Olympics had finished, you could have snapped one up on eBay for £150,000+. If you hold out though, there’s one up on eBay at the moment for about £4,500, a steal! (well there are 8,000 of them, so it’s not the most exclusive item on eBay).

There are also butane gas lighters that you can get for about a fiver, plus delivery. But they might explode (an example of less than perfect design).

9. Designers not Computers

Matt Willey is an extraordinary magazine designer. Truly, incredible layouts and a gift for making things read well on the page. And he moves things about even more than I do to find the perfect positioning for items.

Offset 2015 We take our time while designing because, contrary to popular belief, its not the computer putting things in the right place, its us – the designers. And on an average A4 page that’s 297 x 210mm or a spread that’s 297 x 420 there’s a hell of a lot of places you can position something.

But I am the designer, not the computer. I take pride in the things I do, and the crafts that I employ. Matt Willey confirmed that the consideration that designers take is both justified and necessary!

10. Kerning is important.

Kerning is the altering of space between two letterforms or characters in typesetting – now you know!

So little of what we as designers comes from nothing. Annie Atkins, the incredibly talented designer behind the graphics from the Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s beautiful movie – showed us so much of her work, explaining where it had come from and the inspiration behind it.

The work took months, largely hand done and repeatedly so for continuity in the movie, and continued past the shoot right into post-production where 3000+ pink Mendl’s boxes had to be digitally retouched, which brings me back to kerning.

Offset

While Atkins’ design was praised universally, the poster was questioned as to why the letter spacing was uneven. Look again at the hotel sign from the image above – the spaces between GRA—ND BUD–APEST  HO–T–EL are all over the place, and she produced a research shot from a north African hotel sign from the 1930’s – Research influencing the design and kerning of course!

Its 13 months until the next event, and I cannot wait.

www.Iloveoffset.com  ..I really do!

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj - FuzionJonathan

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

PR versus Advertising

March 5, 2015 by

PR versus advertising

People often struggle with the question of whether to spend their money on PR or advertising. A fair question for any new business owner to ask, but only if that person doesn’t understand the value of PR.

So what’s the difference between the two?

To put it simply, the saying goes “advertising you pay for, but public relations you pray for“.

Advertising raises awareness of your brand and is you telling the world that your business is great, which of course you would say as you want your business to succeed. Advertising is guaranteed exposure for your brand/business but it’s coming from you, the business, so will the the message by fully trusted by your target audience?

Or does it come with a little bias? ..of course it does!

PR on the other hand is a message coming from the media, the journalists, the celebrities, and the influencers who have no affiliation with your business or brand. When they say your brand or your business is great, it is a much more credible message and therefore worth much more than advertising, three times more in fact (this is the multiplier that the PR industry uses as standard when evaluating PR coverage).

Think of it from the consumer’s point of view, when the reader sees an advert, do they take much notice of it?

Does today’s savvy consumer believe everything the advert says or are they aware that the advert is paid for by the owner and therefore the information carries bias? On the other hand when the reader reads a newspaper article or a review by a journalist, who has no connection with the brand or business, obviously this message is more believable.

PR is a way of spreading favourable opinion through credible, non-biased influencers and through endorsements. This type of publicity carries much more weight and longevity than an advert that may, or may not, grab the attention of the reader for a second or two.

This argument for PR may seem like an either/or scenario with advertising but it is not.

Advertising can always play an important part of your marketing mix – it is very unlikely that the media will write about you every week so for frequency of coverage advertising is necessary. When PR complements advertising it adds more value to it because your brands or service are now seen as being more credible and trusted by your target audience.

Edel Cox - FuzionPR can build credibility and trust and it is a lot more cost effective compared to advertising, so the next time you are splitting your budget spend between advertising and PR get that balance right!

Edel Cox is a PR Consultant with Fuzion

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

 

 

Valentines Day and meeting expectations!

February 14, 2015 by

Romance

As she stepped out of the car she left me with the little bombshell “I hope you have something special organised for Valentine’s Day” ..Dee was half joking of course! (?)

All of a sudden this isn’t about a demonstration of your love, it’s an expectation, a bar, below which you will perish if you fail to do the right things and achieve that minimum standard!

I started thinking..I am on an absolute hiding to nothing here.

All I can do is either disappoint (try to avoid!) or successfully manage to satisfy this ‘expectation’. What can I possibly do to surprise her and make her feel as special as I feel about her on this day ..something beyond “he did what was required“?

To make matters worse I have been so busy with work that I haven’t had two minutes to scratch, think about what I might do and then have the time to actually organise whatever I come up with!!

Isn’t this what it is like with the service we provide our clients? They quite rightfully have a minimum expectation and your first job is making sure that you at least match that – anything less and they are disappointed.

But just like Dee you want to leave them surprised and feeling special and this means doing something that they are not expecting, something that they will really appreciate and show them how much you really care. This is the ‘sweet spot’ where you get to show them that you are quite different than all the other potential ‘lovers’ out there.

Just like Valentines Day it’s a challenge but if you want them to know how special they are you’ve got to dig deep..

Happy Valentines Day x

(My efforts ..I wrote a poem for her card, I bought a single rose, I brought her breakfast, we’ll walk on a beach and after that I will cook dinner …have I done enough?)

Greg Canty 

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

Personal Branding and your Modern Coat of Arms

February 3, 2015 by

personal branding

There is a lot of talk these days about the importance of your ‘personal brand‘; how you always need to be aware of it, how you should project it and how you should protect it.

It is talked about in marketing circles as if it is a new thing and that it is borrowed from the world of products and companies, which all have their own branding that we can easily relate to.

The comparison to products, services and companies can be a little disturbing at first – surely we are human beings and not products (many may disagree!)? After all we have feelings, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, passions, we want to be appreciated and valued and we definitely don’t want to be treated as commodities.

If we forget about the comparison to products and companies it gets easier and we can start to appreciate what our personal brand really means. Our personal brand is our story, it is what we represent, it is what we believe in, it is what motivates us, it is who we are. If you deal with me this is what you get.

The challenge is to properly project our story so that others get what we are all about.

In ancient times the personal brand for our family was captured in our family crest or our coat of arms.

A coat of arms is described as a unique heraldic (a visual way of signifying rank) design on a shield or surcoat. A surcoat, and subsequently a coat of arms was used by medieval knights to cover, protect, and identify the wearer. The coat of arms symbolises the heraldic achievement which consists of a shield with a crest and motto.

These coats of arms came into general use by feudal lords and knights in battle in the 12th Century. By the 13th Century their use had spread beyond the battlefield to become a kind of flag or logo for families in the higher social classes of Europe, inherited from one generation to the next.

Your coat of arms or crest was effectively a way of telling a story about your family and what they represent.

Canty family crestIn the case of the ‘Canty’ crest:

  • the core blue colour in the shield represents Loyalty and Truth (good traits I’m sure you will agree!)
  • the use of yellow represents Generosity (the drinks are on me ..very true)
  • the Chevron (the upsidedown ‘V‘) denotes Protection. Apparently this is often granted as a reward to one who has achieved some Notable Enterprise (woohoo!)
  • the crescents signify one who has been ‘Enlightened and Honoured by his Sovereign’ (hmm..what did we do to deserve this?)

While this captures and projects a ‘story’ and a set of values and beliefs for my family in many ways it also sets a standard and creates an expectation about our behaviour – something that we all need to live up to.

Ironically the use of the coats of arms evolved over time and started to be used by commercial companies, which are effectively the origins of the modern logo.

Telling your story today

Today we don’t carry around a shield (just a business card..) and we don’t wear a suit of armour so communicating our story can be a little bit more challenging!

The face to face personal experience has always been the most important part of our story. How we look, how we dress, how we speak, how we behave and what we do are powerful ways of telling this story. Those who interact with us get to experience our ‘personal brand‘ up close and hopefully they will carry with them a positive version of our story.

For those at a distance our modern day coat of arms is our blog, our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media accounts. This is where we get a chance to show our photo, detail who we are, what we have learnt, what we have done, what we believe in and then bring all of this to life through our regular conversations and interactions.

In Ireland alone there are 1.4 million LinkedIn users. The most common activity of these users is looking at other people’s profiles. I wonder why..

How is your coat of arms looking? 

Greg Canty 

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

The Pencil is mightier than the Sword: Je Suis Charlie

January 15, 2015 by

Chalie Hebdo

The New Year has started with a strange turn of events, where moral and pseudo-religious outrage has turned into a horrific and tragic attack on not only the press, but free thinking and the right to believe differently.

Wednesday the 7th January saw an attack on the offices of the publishers of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine that has a track record of poking fun at authority, politics and religions. Much has been written by people far more eloquent than I am in regards to the rights and wrongs, the justifications and unjustifiable following the attack (and subsequent incidents in France).

My position on the writers, cartoonists and editorial team is simple, I believe that they were right to challenge, to fuel debate and to publish what they did. My stance on the attacks is that they are wrong.

Je Suis Charlie

What I would like to do, is draw attention to the manner in which the world reacted to the attack, in a collection of defiant and beautiful powerful messages. As someone who works in a creative industry, one where people differ frequently, where passion and commitment cross paths with opinions and counter opinions, I saw a unified movement, where once again, the adage that the pen is mightier than the sword was proved correct.

The powerful imagery that has emerged has been incredible, moving, supportive and full of emotion and empathy once again capturing our attention about these issues visually.

Reaction to the initial attack quickly moved from an informative/news based set to messages of support, loss, horror and disgust, and the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie began to emerge. Within three days it had been used over 5 million times, peaking at approximately 6,500 times a minute. But in my opinion, the most poetic and the strongest reaction happened by artists and cartoonists, the very people who the attempt to silence was aimed at.

Their dignity and solidarity was incredible, and it made the power of their message stronger through its absolute rejection of intimidation. The acts of violence are a stark contrast to the peaceful counter demonstrations, but I would argue that they are a more powerful and (hopefully) successful act, using nothing more than ink and paper to deliver a wholly defiant two fingers in retaliation.

Some of the images below are the ones that I feel best show the levels of emotion and defiance. It’s just a shame that such work has to be created in the first place.

Thank you for reading ..

#JeSuisCharlie

Je Suis CharlieJe Suis Charlie

Je Suis CharlieJe Suis CharlieJe Suis CharlieJe Suis CharlieJe Suis CharlieJe Suis Charlie

Jonathan

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

Cork – Let’s Shake it up!

January 5, 2015 by

 

Good to Great

2014 was a good year.  There were definite signs of recovery, which our own business could see first-hand through our offices in Cork and in Dublin.  We were finding that people and businesses may not have had more money to spend, but there was an air of optimism and that there was a willingness to invest once more, in their businesses, in their homes and on themselves.

In Cork there were a number of indicators that have helped generate this air of positivity.  Work began on One Albert Quay, by John Cleary Developments and BAM Construction, which is initially creating 300 construction jobs and once the construction phase is completed will accommodate up to 1,800 new workers in the city centre. This is one of the largest projects of its type in the whole of Ireland at the moment.

We saw award-winning Cork entrepreneurs such as Dan and Linda Kiely of VoxPro, growing from strength to strength and announcing that by 2016 they plan to employ 4,000 highly skilled people in Cork.

The Cork Convention Bureau continued to punch above its weight, attracting international conferences to Cork in 2014 to the value of over €9 million.

Work continued on the Cork Marketing Strategy – or Cork INC as people have started to call it, where all of the major stakeholders, led by Cork City and County Councils are looking at more joined up thinking in promoting Cork to Foreign Direct Investors.

As part of this project, the research showed us that Cork is seen as a special place to do business. Not only is it economically viable with an intelligent and motivated workforce on our doorstep thanks to our terrific education institutions, but it is also seen by everyone as a great place to live. When it comes to ‘life success’ which is a combination of career and quality of life, Cork beats most other locations globally, hands down.

When we were working on this project it was fantastic to hear so many people playing back to us what we already knew!

Cork also led the charge in the tourism sector with visitor numbers up and the hospitality sector reporting a busy high season. Visitors flocked to attractions such as the English Market, Blarney Castle and Fota Wildlife Park as well as the wilds of East and West Cork.  A lot of visitors know what a special place Cork is!

All of this has made 2014 a good year for people living in Cork. However we can’t just stop at this and we need to be on the front foot and really shake things up and make things happen for ourselves.

As anyone who knows Fuzion and in particular my partner Greg Canty, will know that we are big fans of Jim Collins, the American business consultant and author.  Jim’s most famous theory is how “good is the enemy of great”.  He believes that good organisations can unwittingly slip into a mind-set of  good is good enough and that this complacency can prevent the organisation becoming great.

My wish for Cork in 2015 is that we don’t slip into this mind-set.  Cork is perfectly set to take full advantage of the upturn in the economy which now seems to not just be rhetoric, but fact – instead of thinking “good”, let’s plan for “great”.

As a really nice pre-Christmas boost, IBEC announced that economic growth in Ireland is expected to hit nearly 6% in 2014 – the strongest rate in Europe, with continued strong growth predicted in 2015. If Ireland can be the star of Europe why not work together to make Cork the star of Ireland.

Cork stakeholders have a responsibility to make sure that we take full advantage of these positive figures and that this time next year; we are all saying that 2015 was a great year for Cork, that we did not get complacent with “good”, but worked towards being “great”.

I have many things on my wish list for 2015.

Cork Convention CentreOne wish is that finally we get going on the much-needed Convention Centre.  There have been enough delays on this for a variety of reasons – many of which I can’t fathom – but Cork needs it urgently if we are to be seen as a “great” player in this arena.

Something desperately needs to be done with our amazing city centre. We are passing way too many empty retail units on Patrick Street and even more empty offices on the South Mall and neighbouring streets. I hope that 2015 is the year we see some tangible initiatives to really fill these empty spaces with a creative mix of uses. With some creativity, positive incentives and initiatives and by working together we can get these streets buzzing once again.

Cork Airport is haemorrhaging flights and this flow needs to be stopped in 2015. I think we all know the answer to this one and my hope for Cork Airport in 2015 is that it gets more autonomy from Dublin and becomes an independent airport. Shannon Airport is thriving to the detriment of Cork Airport and this needs to be addressed urgently. Not only do we want access to fantastic destinations for business and pleasure, we also want to see this traffic reciprocated with more overseas visitors able to discover our fantastic city and surrounds through direct access through our state of the art airport.

We have two very proactive and powerful new CEO’s in Ann Doherty for Cork City Council and Tim Lucey for the Cork County Council who need to continue to show us leadership and steer Cork together towards a great year in 2015.  They both have vast experience in heading up major organisations and now they need to lead us through positive change and progression.

I would ask that they would be confident and brave and a lot more than just safe pairs of hands. Our local politicians and all other stakeholders must support them in this regard and even allow them to take some risks as they push forward.

A colleague of Fuzion’s in our work on the Cork Marketing Strategy over the past year and a half, Malcolm Allan of Place Matters, puts it brilliantly when he says “if you continue doing the same thing, you will get the same results”.  Malcolm is one of the leading global figures in Place Marketing and sees great potential for Cork, but we need to bear his words in mind in 2015.

Let’s make 2015 the year that we really changed things in Cork, taking full advantage of the economic improvements and that we all played our part to make things happen. So much has been invested in plans, consultants, research etc. so let’s make 2015 the year that Cork took major steps to take its rightful place among the leading city regions in Europe and beyond.

My last wish is that all of us genuinely work together and apply a ‘rising tide’ mentality so that overall Cork benefits and not specific interest groups.

Let’s make sure we all have a great year, because Cork and all Corkonians born and bred and those like myself who are lucky enough to be adopted by Cork and to call it home, deserve it.

Lets shake it up!

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron is a Partner of Fuzion

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

This post first appeared as an Opinion Piece in the Evening Echo 2-1-15

We had a great 2015 because..

January 5, 2015 by

Cool Runnings

For the last few years we have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

We have found it to be really useful and one that has made a big difference.

Making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year we find ourselves at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

Benjamin Zander - The Art of PossibilityA few years ago we were inspired by a book about goal setting in a different way called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (unbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

This year instead of doing it individually (definitely do this as well) why not as a team take on the task for your business or organisation.

Imagine the last working day of the year just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you exchange office presents and head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you have a chat about the fantastic achievements during the year.

Here goes ..

Take a flipchart and simply write your achievements in advance for the last working day of the year to come..

Wednesday, 23rd December, 2015

We had a great year because ….

Be as specific as you can including business and developmental goals and when the team are done get everyone to Sign it!

Once you have done this take some time out with your team and work out the detailed planning and action plans that support your 2015 wish list and then track progress during the year.

…grab just 30 minutes with your team this week before things fully kick off again and do it!

Happy 2015 from the Fuzion Crew!!

(the pic at the top of the post is from the fantastic movie, Cool Runnings the last featuring the comic genius John Candy about the Jamaican bobsleigh team making their debut at the 1988 winter Olympics in Canada)

Written by Greg Canty

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

Marketing or Great Storytelling?

December 22, 2014 by

Storytellers

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon perfectly summarised branding when he declared “your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room

So..branding isn’t about logos or tag lines? …it is actually what people say about you.

In that case our job as marketeers is to simply help our clients tell the story of their business, organisation, products and services effectively so that when people talk about these things they say exactly what we want them to say.

In effect we need to be great storytellers, creating memorable content that connects with our target audience in a way that they will remember positively.

Telling memorable stories takes great copy, imagery, logos, tag lines, ideas, PR campaigns, events, sponsorships, initiatives and social media activity.

When we talk to clients about the Fuzion process we try to forget about the industry jargon and instead we talk about stories:

Capture your story

It is vital that your story, the essence of the organisation is captured properly – this is an important and necessary first step. It is damaging to promote your business if this part is not right.

Whenever and wherever anyone comes across your products, services, website, promotional material, vehicles, premises and even the individuals in your team your story must be told in a way that properly reflects what you want.

Finding your story

If I look for the products or services that you offer with the help of Mr Google it is vital that you are found easily and prominently. This is the low hanging fruit!

When we build websites for our clients we make sure the platforms they are built on facilitate good search engine performance and that we include the right ‘copy’ (the keywords customers use when they search for your products or services) so they are found prominently by potential customers.

Telling your story

Every business must promote itself so that people know it exists. This is your advertising, PR campaigns, direct marketing, email marketing, events and sponsorships all designed to tell your target audience that you exist and what you do.

This must be done carefully and consistently so that the right story is always told.

Conversations about your story

We often hear that 80% of business comes from referrals or ‘word of mouth‘.

Surprisingly only a portion of these referrals will be from actual customers. Often these referrals will simply come from people who have ‘heard about you‘ somewhere along the way.

Social media when correctly used is a fantastic way to generate these referrals and get the right word of mouth going through online ‘conversations‘ and interactions.

It is also a great way to communicate the personality and beliefs of the organisation in a way that is often impossible through other communications.

Protecting your story

The last part of the process is only ever called into action when something goes wrong. We help organisations when incidents occur that have the potential of ruining the good ‘story‘ of an organisation.

The larger well prepared organisations will have predicted possible negative scenarios and will have a ‘crisis drill‘ in place to deal with these should they occur. Often you just cannot predict every possible scenario and when the wheels do fall off unexpectedly we will get the call to help when it is really needed.

What’s your story?

Every individual, business and organisation has a story to tell and this ‘story’ process works best when it is carefully executed as part of an integrated plan.

Marketing?…nah, just like the guys around the camp fire we are just storytellers!

Greg Canty 

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


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