The “Great Lengths” we go to!

July 29, 2015 by

Cathriona's Hair Salon

We are known in Fuzion for always going the ‘extra mile’ for clients and this month we literally did, when I made a trip to Tralee.

One of my clients is award winning hairdresser and hairdresser to the stars (namely Miriam O Callaghan), Cathriona Rohan.

She is the owner of Cathriona’s Hair Salon in both Tralee and Castlegregory and has a very well respected and highly renowned reputation in the south of Ireland. She is known for the ‘Great Lengths’ hair extensions that she does and speaks about it with such passion and knowledge.

Last week I travelled down to Cathriona’s Hair Salon in Tralee to try out the ‘Great Lengths’ Hair extensions, and experience the service offered at Cathriona’s Hair Salon – after all how can I PR something I have never tried?

Cathriona's Hair Salon

It was a great opportunity to try out the product and the service and really get to know the ins and outs of what I was about to pitch to media…a very nice treat for me also :)

Cathriona talked me through the process and what makes Great Lengths different to its competitors on the market and left me in no doubt that they are the best extensions in the world. She really knows her ‘stuff’ and getting the chance to experience her in action gave me a lot more of an understanding of how she goes above and beyond for her clients, something I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

I arrived at the salon in Tralee, which is absolutely beautiful and extremely girly. The attention to detail in the salon couldn’t go unnoticed – the extensive drinks menu, vintage décor and the comfortable foot stools add to an overall relaxing and enjoyable experience, that the pictures simply cannot fully capture.

The girls are so friendly and gave me a cup of tea and a delicious cupcake while I was waiting which was a very nice touch. I was also offered a glass of prosecco which made the experience that little bit more exciting and special.

I was blown away by the hair transformation when Cathriona was finished, it was exactly what I wanted, and Cathriona is superb at what she does.

It made me realise just how important it is to do something like this and really experience the product or service of a client first-hand before trying to persuade others to, or trying to explain the essence of something to the media. I have a much better understanding now of what makes Cathriona and her salons different to her competitors and what puts her at the top when it comes to quality, service and happy customers.

No matter what you do, you should go to ‘great lengths’ to understand your customers.

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR Executive with Fuzion

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

 

Spending ‘time’ habits

July 23, 2015 by

Betty Liu

I read an article today on Linkedin that got me thinking…it was called ‘4 Weird Time Saving Habits of Highly Successful People’ , written by a woman named Betty Liu who is a Bloomberg TV presenter and business journalist. I often read articles on Linkedin and while most are interesting, they rarely stick. But today, this one did.

In the article, Betty talks about saving time and some unusual ways for time saving that her highly successful friends have shared with her throughout the years. Some of the ideas were perfectly logical to me, such as making sure that you reply to all of the previous working day’s emails by noon the following working day, allowing yourself to then turn your attention to the upcoming work and not keep being dragged into things that should have been closed off yesterday.

Tips like this are useful and nice to know but there was one nugget in particular that stuck in my mind – Betty quit taking sugar in her coffee!

Not for health reasons and not because she didn’t like the taste but because of the time it took. ‘Such an odd statement!’ I thought. Or is it?

Betty describes how she repeatedly waited in line at the Starbucks for her coffee each day and after a while, spending a few extra seconds trotting over to the condiments to put two packets of sugar into her coffee and stir, started to seem like a few extra seconds too many.

Betty decided to quit that step and save herself time. After all, a few seconds a day adds up to a minute or two a week, and over months or years, adds up to something substantially bigger.

I don’t know why it stuck out in my mind so much, maybe it’s because my Mum has always told me, ‘You can’t save time, you can only spend it wisely.’

It got me thinking about my own daily habits, even simple things like the few extra minutes I laze around in the morning. Am I wasting precious time that I could be channelling into something more productive elsewhere in my day?

Can I save time in certain areas of my daily routine, that I could spend later that day on something more productive, fulfilling, or even fun?

Betty reminded me today that once time is gone, you can’t get it back and she has inspired me to not only apply this to my personal life, but my working life too.

Maybe sometimes, we all need to look at our spending habits…

fuzion pr pic1Emily Hughes

Emily Hughes is a PR Account Manager in the Fuzion Dublin office

Tell Your Story with Integrity and Soul

July 16, 2015 by

Caitlyn Jenner Arthur Ashe Award

The odd time, in between watching Kevin McCloud and his Grand Designs and the News, I sneak a peek at Keeping up with the Kardashians just to see what ridiculous subject they are talking about.

The way they seem to leave their whole life open to the public I find often crude, staged and so far from any sense of reality I know or would like to know!

The car crash show is about a blended family with Kris Jenner (The Momanager), her adult children from her first marriage, her (now former) husband, Olympian and great American hero Bruce Jenner, with his kids from his second marriage (the kids from his first marriage had the sense not to get involved with the show) and into the mix Kris and Bruce’s own two young daughters, who have grown up with cameras on them 24 seven.

It’s total drivel and I find it so fake – and just when us voyeurs thought it couldn’t get any more off the wall, Bruce, the all American hero,  announced to the world (via TV of course) that from now on he was a she; Bruce was now Caitlyn and proud to come out of the closet!

Any decent publicist worth their salt would have predicted the death of the programme, with people turning away in their droves from this far fetched, totally manufactured story line.

But you know what…..I think the whole family have handled it (OK there were a few fake tears from the former Mrs Jenner – Kris) with great compassion, honesty and openness.  Most celebrities would have hidden away and licked their wounds, far from the public they once courted.  That’s what I expected.

Not the Kardashians and Jenners!

Kim / Caitlyn Jenner tweet

Coming up trumps is Kim Kardashian and Caitlyn’s youngest girls Kylie and Kendall.  Kim, who got the whole Kardashian merry-go-round going with her infamous sex tape is coming across as supportive, understanding and so articulate and honest.  I’m seriously impressed and I never, ever thought I would say that about a Kardashian!

The two  youngest girls, still in their teens and living in such a high beam spotlight, obviously are having more trouble with it, but they are communicating in such a dignified way on TV and on their social media pages and it’s clear that they remain proud of their dad.

And there is a lot to be proud of.  Bruce/Caitlyn is out there telling her story with integrity and soul.  She is putting her hands up to the past failings as a father and a husband and she has sought and is finding redemption through her coming out.  The relief is all over her much surgically manipulated face.

Last night America showed its acceptance by awarding her the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, an award presented annually to individuals, usually high profile sporting personalities, whose contributions to society transcend sports.  The respected reporter Diane Sawyer, the last person to interview Bruce as he announced his transition to Caitlyn was was in the crowd, cheering Caitlyn on; her presence at the Awards spoke volumes, supporting Caitlyn and her actions.

But the big thing for me was the presence of all of Caitlyn’s children, step children and his 88 year old mother, up front and centre supporting her.  Caitlyn will be an example to other people who are thinking of making a difficult transition – and her family I have to say I now kinda respect a little!

Kim Kardashian cheering on Caitlyn Jenner at Arthus Ashe Awards

It just makes me think of the odd client we have, who hesitate about telling their own story – nothing in anyway intrusive like the Kardashians, just their business story.

They really need to jump over the fear hurdle and just go for it. They have nothing to fear if they are honest and communicate with soul and integrity.  As long as this can be demonstrated people will want to connect with them and their businesses.  That is what PR is for –  It helps clients to tell the story of their business and allows them to connect with people.

Don’t shy away from any opportunity that could benefit your business.

Don’t think – what if; I shouldn’t; what would my peers think?  Because if you don’t take up the opportunities to tell your own unique story, you can be sure that your competitors are talking to us or agencies like us (but obviously not as great as us!) without that fear of telling their story.

Be brave, be honest, have soul and command your own airwaves – and if you need some help with that, you know where we are …

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion

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

 

 

A picture paints 1,000 words ..

July 7, 2015 by

Homeless man

How many times have we used the expression that “a picture paints a 1,000 words?

Arthur Brisbane - New York Editor and JournalistArthur Brisbane a high profile journalist and editor in New York is first credited with an expression close to this “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”

This very clever quote appeared in a 1911 newspaper article discussing journalism and publicity.

In our very busy, frantic, no time to stop, no time to read or study anything properly world with multiple media coming at us non-stop does this expression this hold up?

The idea that a picture is a powerful way to convey a message certainly holds up. The idea of using a multiple of 1,000 words is interesting – already I have used 116 words in this piece.

When I read that Arthur Brisbane penned this quotation I wanted to know what he looked like for some reason. He looks like James Stewart in the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ era. He looks like a wise man!

As an editor and a journalist Arthur probably had a very strong instinct about how many words it took to deliver a message and what job an equivalent image would do.

If you consider the likelihood of something grabbing our attention today and you think about the job an image can do and the equivalent article (or articles) to do the same job it makes you think about that multiple.

Is it more than 1,000? Is it 10,000? Is it 100,000.

Of course it all depends on the image and how well this is constructed to deliver the necessary message.

At Fuzion when we issue a press release to the media we will often insist that a strong photo accompanies the release – sometimes the picture will be the thing that will get the big space in the newspaper and sometimes we will get both the picture and the article.

For the reader if the image is strong enough it will convey the message or story that we wanted and it may be the hook that will make the reader stop and actually read the ‘words’.

Does a picture paint 1,000 words?

We guess it does and much more besides ..

The story of the photo (top of the blog post)

A family of a missing man spotted him in a photo taken of homeless men that appeared in a Sunday newspaper. Nicholas Simmons, 20, was in upstate New York on New Year’s Day, but he vanished leaving all his belongings behind, according to Fox News on Jan. 6.

Someone in his family spotted Nick in a picture that showed a group of homeless men. The men hovered around a steam grate trying to get warm on the streets of Washington D.C. recently. The homeless men looked destitute, including Nick, trying to get warm in the frigid temperatures. Nick’s parents called the police, who were able to locate their son.

The photographer who took the picture conveyed more than 1,000 words ..

For your website, brochures, posters, press releases get great photos that tell your story.

Greg Canty 

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

The Art of Photography

June 15, 2015 by

Cork Lee baths

Yesterday during my lunch I was enjoying the sun and taking in the sights and sounds of our beautiful city, Cork.

As I walked past the Irish Examiner office, I couldn’t help but notice a whole array of old photographs displayed in the window.. you know the ones, black and white and of times gone by, a selection of imagery that has been printed in the paper down through the years.

As I stopped and admired the images, one thing that struck me was how all the people in the photographs were completely mesmerised by the camera. One in particular is of a swimming pool and there must be over fifty people in the shot. What is really impressive is how all of these people have stopped what they were doing and are now fixated on the photographer and his camera.

Firstly, a day out at the swimming pool in what looks to be around the late 60’s or early 70’s would have been a massive big deal, and obviously someone taking a photograph is equally amazing.

While a photograph in those days commanded so much authority this is in stark contrast to now when photographs are a regular everyday occurrence, so easily generated with our phones and shared digitally, with a huge percentage of them never even making it to print.

With such a large volume of photographs being taken, a lot of them have lost their beauty and intrigue, which was once so evident in these old photographs.

This ‘loss’ is from both sides; the photographer is not restricted by expensive film, they just want to get the photo as quickly as possible and share it. The people in the image don’t really care as much because they know another one will be taken again shortly.

Our new era is more than ok with me, because it’s a great thing being able to capture and share so many moments so easily and so instantly. Even better it is easy for us to browse through them, like and comment on them and share them even further when we want..fantastic!

However, what does bother me a little bit is when you think of those old photographs they were created by such talented craftsmen. They were so impressive in their appearance, that people really paid attention to them.

Whilst the advancements in technology is brilliant, it makes everything so easy for everyone and with a couple of tutorials everyone becomes a “photographer” or so you would believe.

This is clearly not the case – as a creative person I tend to observe a lot of things that others just would not and unfortunately I see that our visual intake everyday is completely polluted with photographs and imagery that have just been made by someone with a nice camera or the latest version of photoshop.

During the course of my graphic design work it is staggering to see the difference that a great photo can make – without great photos it can be very difficult to bring something to life properly. With our PR team a great photograph can help to tell a story brilliantly and get a story to “land”.

That is why it is so important in today’s world that if you want a great photograph that you should go to a professional photographer who loves doing what they do and someone who has served their time training to become what their heart desired.

At least then you know that this person will take that stunning well composed photograph even if it is a swimming pool packed full of people!

Ray Keohane

Ray Keohane is a Graphic Designer who works with Fuzion from offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland.

Online Trading Vouchers – Could be worth up to €2,500

June 10, 2015 by

Instead of us going into all of the detail about this scheme have a peep at the quite brilliant infographic that Ray Keohane of our Graphic Design team prepared to explain it easily!

Well done Ray …

Online Trading Voucher Scheme Inforgraphic

 

Ray Keohane is part of the Fuzion Graphic Design team operating from our Dublin and Cork offices in Ireland.

A Newcomer’s guide to the land of PR

June 2, 2015 by

PR Career

Entering the world of PR is a steep learning curve, one where you have to take a deep breath and run with it.

I am the newest member of the Fuzion team and so far I’ve found the PR industry to be swift, sociable and constant. With the economic downturn, the PR game has adapted to the business climate – this landscape is an exciting one to be starting your PR career in.

The stereotypical view of this industry is that it is bustling and overwhelming, but the reality is that the fundamental purpose of PR is based on human interaction and enabling your clients to convey their stories and life’s passions to the world. Really – PR maintains a steady presence in all our lives.

After all, when are we not communicating and engaging with the world around us? Although many aspects of the industry have evolved with the modern age, the foundations of PR’s values and goals have remained true to their roots.

The Secret to Success in the World of PR

Success and progression within the world of PR rely on the ABC formula of success – Ability, Breaks and Courage.

Once you set yourself the goal of beginning your career in PR, your ability will flourish. Interpersonal skills and being in tune with your gut instincts will be of great benefit to you in the PR arena. Also, passion, an astute nature and having the wisdom to take advice from your more experienced colleagues will equip you with the tools you need to become a successful PR professional.

Then when your lucky break comes along, make sure you’re ready to take it!

You can create such opportunities through hard work and by embracing all elements of your new role. The effort you put into your PR skills in your budding career will pay dividends! Hard work ensues courage in your professional ability, so with self belief and a strong skill set you’ll make an outstanding PR professional.

Courage and confidence in your role allows you to communicate the values, strengths and personality of your client to their target audience.

PR’s Rules of Engagement

Having come from the food industry – where hospitality and customer service is key, I’ve always seen businesses as a set of relationships. When these relationships are harmonious and balanced, your business is sure to be humming!

restaurant

Contented employees lead to satisfied customers and it’s from here that your business’ success will soar. In this sense, PR is no different from the business of food and hospitality. The rules of engagement in PR are clear cut and enable you to unlock the potential of both your professional profile and that of your client.

Human connection is still the key to engagement: meeting people, hearing their stories and communicating your story effectively is the ultimate key to success in PR. By properly engaging with your client, you relate to their needs and the key messages that they want communicated to their target audience.

Public Perception

Positive public perception of one’s client is an essential function of the PR professional.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can play a vital role for your image and for engagement with your target audience and is something that as a PR professional will be of great worth.

Lets get social!

In the current PR climate, social media plays a key role and the enhancement of your client’s profile can be more easily quantified in the public sphere through one’s number of followers, likes and retweets.

Media coverage has extended from print, radio and TV to online resources.

Social media makes communication instant and constant and mean your PR profile should be ever present on these online platforms.

What has changed in this newly formed PR arena is the form of writing most valued in your PR role. While quality of writing is very important, brevity is also vital, reflecting the swift pace of communication in today’s Ireland. Capturing the passion, sentiment and sincerity of a key message in 140 characters on Twitter is a skill worth perfecting for every PR professional.

My whirlwind continues and as I learn more I will keep you updated!

Thanks for reading..

Diasy HigginsDaisy Higgins

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

 

Stop and listen to the birds!

May 19, 2015 by

Wood PIgeons

It was just one of those weekend days that I stopped and actually listened – I keep trying to remember that I have two ears and one mouth, so I am trying to spend more time focusing on the ‘two‘ rather than ‘one‘.

My Mum still lives in our wonderful family home with a magical garden,  and there is still that smell in the garden that I recall as a child – it smells of hope and being grateful for lovely happy days.

Arthur Ransome - Pigeon PostI remember thinking I hope heaven has a garden like this (I was probably 6) – as I looked up from reading Arthur Ransome’s “Pigeon Post” under the trees.

So there I was a few weeks ago and I stopped –  and heard what sounded like the same wood pigeons, on the same branches, on the same beech trees  – having the same conversations.

Whoo hoooo whooo hoooo ho ho” the four long throaty tweets followed by two shorter tweets. Then cousin pigeon replies with exactly the same four long throaty tweets followed by two shorter tweets. It was exactly the same noises the wood pigeons made years ago, and again I had the same feelings of hope and being grateful.

The pigeons have no clue about their tweeting and how their conversations made me feel.

Things have changed a lot since “Pigeon Post” but the tweets on the branch made me smile, and made me feel better on a day that hadn’t started so great.

Sometimes it’s good to just stop and listen..

Aisling White 

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

Announcing Networking hub for Entrepreneurs – NOTwork!

May 19, 2015 by

DKANE 18/05/2015 REPRO FREE. Ernest Cantillon, Director at BTS Recruitment, Eabha OÕLeary Fitzpatrick, BTS Hospitality, Edel Cox, Fuzion Communications, Gillian Keating, Chair Cork City Centre Forum, Raymond Alcom, Exceedence, M‡ire Ni Cr—in’n, Manager Gateway UCC Business Incubation Centre, Alice D'Arcy, STEAM Education at the launch of NOTwork, a new social hub for young entrepreneurs. The first event which is being hosted by Ernest Cantillon in Sugar Cube from 6pm to 7:30pm on Thursday 28th May, will be free of charge and will offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to come and mix with like-minded local and international entrepreneurs, all at various stages in their businesses. ItÕs the brainchild of Gillian Keating, Chairperson of the Cork City Centre Forum.  ÒThere is a growing momentum to show just how much is going on in the city centre, from recent high profile commercial and retail developments, to businesses connecting more with festivals and events and I just thought that with so many young entrepreneurs working and living in the city centre, it would be a good idea to bring them together in a strictly social arena to enjoy each otherÕs company and the buzz of activity on the South Mall. Pic Darragh Kane.

A new social hub for young entrepreneurs is launching on the South Mall, called NOTwork.  The first event which is being hosted by Ernest Cantillon in Sugar Cube from 6pm to 7:30pm on Thursday 28th May, will be free of charge and will offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to come and mix with like-minded local and international entrepreneurs, all at various stages in their businesses.

It’s the brainchild of Gillian Keating, Chairperson of the Cork City Centre Forum.  “There is a growing momentum to show just how much is going on in the city centre, from recent high profile commercial and retail developments, to businesses connecting more with festivals and events and I just thought that with so many young entrepreneurs working and living in the city centre, it would be a good idea to bring them together in a strictly social arena to enjoy each other’s company and the buzz of activity on the South Mall.

Gillian added “For the first session we are going to bring some well-known entrepreneurs to the event, who are really excited about having the opportunity to just hang out and chat to the people, we will have some music, a few board games and cards, table tennis going on, no real agenda just a chill out space which encourages rather than forces connections, chat and a bit of craic.”

“I got the idea from talking to a few people who feel the same as me; that if we put on activities, people will come; and where better than in the heart of our business district, the South Mall.  When I approached people like Greg and Deirdre from Fuzion and Ernest from Electric they immediately came on board as all are strong advocates of promoting just how great a place the South Mall is to work and to play.  Myriam Cronin, Manager of the GATEWAY UCC’s Business Incubation programme also has been very proactive in her support as has Ronan Murphy from Smarttech who is also Chairman of it@Cork, Jerry O’Brien of Radisens Technology and Pat Phelan of Trustev who have already agreed to come along on the night and connect with other Cork entrepreneurs.”

Entry to NOTwork is free of charge, but as space is limited people are being asked to pre-register for the first event on Thursday 28th May.  Just follow @NOTworkHub on twitter and facebook for further information and to book online go to https://notworkhub.eventbrite.ie

Five things my mum taught me about business and life!

May 11, 2015 by
My mum at 18, modelling with style her dad's cap, glasses & walking stick!!

My mum at 18

I was feeling a little lonely last week as it was the 5th anniversary of my mum passing.  My mum, Joan Waldron was the first female entrepreneur I came in contact with and the older I get the more I appreciate her work ethic, her tenacity and her passion for business.  

Here is what she taught me, that has helped me become a better business person:-

Lesson No 1: Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Around 1969 my mum and dad moved to Tralee after their business went bust in Mallow.  Mum would have been In her late 30’s with five kids under the age of 13, with no job and no real prospects, apart from the most tenacious approach to business I have ever come across.

Dad wasn’t working and they were both still licking their wounds from the failure of their business, but she knew she couldn’t wallow for long, knowing she had seven hungry mouths to feed.  In the town on Castle Street she spotted a grotty, near closed down chip shop.

Even though she had no money, she knocked on the door of the house nextdoor to see what the story was about the place, found out that they were the owners and on the spot made a sweetheart of a deal to take over the business – including negotiating for a ton of potatoes thrown in on the deal for good measure!!!

With absolutely no funds, wearing her only “good” suit she visited the bank manager (a family friend) who gave her a small collateral free business loan.  (Ah, the good old days of banking!!!)

Dad had thought she had lost the plot by opening a chip shop and I think he thought by discouraging her, she would come up with a plan B.  She didn’t.  She just rolled up the sleeves, negotiating with tradesmen and suppliers to make the place respectable,

The opening day, came, dad still refused to entertain the notion, so she went off and she opened on her own.  Within half an hour, dad same in, said nothing, just rolled up his sleeves, went behind the counter and started serving up the chips!!!  And he remained by her side in the various businesses that they had until he passed away in 1991.

Mum and dad would always say they never made more money than they did in that little chip shop!  Mum spotted an opportunity, it was really tough going, but it made her stronger and even brought herself and dad closer.

Lesson No 2: The value of networking

Mum and dad thrived in Tralee, moving from the little chip shop to “The Central Grill” one of the first restaurants in Tralee in the early 1970’s on a prime corner location in the centre of town and in 1984 bought a little hotel in Fenit, which had an excellent restaurant and bar trade.

Mum and dad didn’t do much advertising, had never heard of PR, but were brilliant at promoting their business through networking with the local business community and people.

My mum joined the local Bridge Club; after a few years she became President of the local Soroptimist Club and networked to an inch of her life!  She encouraged my dad to join the local Rotary club and he went on to be local President of that organisation the same year she was President of the Soroptimists.

I swear Frank Underwood would have been very proud of her – in a positive way!!!.

She organised meetings on our premises, held bridge parties, where members could sample the food and get into the habit of considering our restaurant for any family or business events.  The Central Grill and later on the Lighthouse in Fenit became one of the leading places for family occasions and a lot of that was down to my mum’s ethos of networking and using her personal contacts to bring in more business.

Back then it’s the same as it is now – people like to deal with people and the best way to close a deal is the same and its to engage with a client or prospect on a one to one basis.  My mum taught me that.

Lesson No 3: Make sure they leave with a smile on their face

Growing up in the hospitality sector gives you great abilities around reading people – the good tippers, the stingy people who would order hot water and bring their own tea bag (seriously!), the couple who were on a first date or in the middle of a fight; the people who you could tell even by the way they walked in the door whether they were going to be nice or difficult.

We could also always tell a bluffer, where people would try anything to get out of paying for a meal. Mum taught us how important it was to listen to our customers complaints and handle them all with courtesy and if at all possible make sure they left feeling that their grievance was heard and dealt with.

She would say, if they have a good experience they will tell two or three people but if they went out feeling negative (even when at times we knew they were in the wrong), they would tell 100 people!  She always had the ethos, that the customer was always right – even when she knew they were in the wrong!!!

Photo 9

Mum and Dad by the Trevi Fountain in Rome

Lesson No 4: Work hard but play hard!

My mum always loved to throw a great party and she loved her holidays with my dad – the good times balanced the times when it was heads down, working at top gear.  They both were two of the hardest workers I have ever known – I think the only one that could beat them is my husband Greg!

During high season they worked seven days a week, from 8am until after 9pm, but then they made sure to treat themselves to really nice holidays in far flung places.  They also had nice weekend breaks together, were great customers in other restaurants in town and just loved having people over for parties and dinners.

Mum very much taught me that if it is all about work, it’s not success.

That if you work hard, it’s important to spend some of that hard earned money creating lasting happy memories and treating yourself to nice things. Mum had lots of happy memories of herself and dad in Rome, travelling along the Amalfi Coast, having a glass of wine in St Mark’s Square in Venice, visiting Russia when very few Europeans were going there.

I must get my love of Italy from her – you can’t keep me away from the place!

No matter what business was like during the turmoil of the last few years I always made sure Greg and I had some downtime together, with some sun on our faces for a week or two.  There are always a million reasons why we shouldn’t take the break from our busy business – but we have gathered an amazing Fuzion family around us who watch our back and our business when we are away and we come back with a renewed sense of vigour for our business, with fresh ideas and energy.

Mum with one of her greatest friends - and bridge buddy - Monica Kelly

Mum with one of her greatest friends – and bridge buddy – Monica Kelly

Lesson No 5: Mind your friends, they will become family

Mum had some strong friendships going back decades to when she first came to Tralee including, Maureen Deane, Monica Kelly, Phyllis O’Sullivan and Noreen O’Sullivan.  Her friends loved her and our restaurant on Castle Street was the meeting point for all her buddies.

Even though she was very busy she always made time for her friends and they always knew they could count on her for a chat, a piece of advice or just an ear to listen.

We would come home from school and there she would be in the middle of them, at table one in the right hand corner of our restaurant, hatching some plan or just shooting the breeze.  We would roll our eyes up to heaven and disappear to our home upstairs, knowing that we wouldn’t get any attention from her until her friends had left.

She loved bridge and loved her weekly bridge club.  I remember once asking her not to go to the club and stay home with us as I probably had a bad day at school or something.  She explained to me that she had committed to go; that she would be letting her friend down who she was paired with for bridge that night.

She told me that it was so important to cherish and respect your friends; that they provided  support and balance to her life and that when the chips are down and when all us kids had left the nest, they would still be around.

It was so true; her five kids very soon got on with our own lives, but she still had her friends, her bridge and her Soroptimist club and later the Probus club.  And those same friends formed her guard of honour at her funeral.  She was so right, they were there for her, right up to the very end!

I always remember what my mum said and really cherish my friends. The older I get the closer I get to my friends and know that I will have most of them in my life forever. We don’t live in each other’s pockets, but they know I’m there for them if they need anything as they are for me – they are my family every bit as much as my siblings are.

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion

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


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