Author Archive

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Alison Nulty!

February 13, 2018

In this series of blogs we thought it might be a good idea to let you know some of our team a little bit better…that could be scary!

This week it is all about Alison Nulty, our former award winning journalist and broadcaster who joined the Fuzion team last year after a career that included UTV, Kerry Radio, South East Radio and KCLR.

Describe yourself in 5 words

…solid, organised, motivated, enthusiastic, funny

My favourite holiday

…Anywhere in Italy

Venice

My dream car

…The Ultimate Driving Machine

My worst habit

…hitting the snooze button.  I really should just get out of bed as soon as the alarm buzzes!Snooze

My first album

…Kylie Minogue “Enjoy Yourself”  I was a HUGE Kylie fan, and even got a my hair permed just like Kylie.

Kylie Minogue

If you could be invisible for a day what would you do?

…sit in on a Central Criminal Court jury as the 12 members deliberate over the verdict.

The best advice I was given

…Listen half as much as you listen (am still working on it!)

Who would you most like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?

…If I could choose anyone, I’d love to have one last lunch and natter with my Mam, who passed away 12 years ago.

Alison Nulty, Fuzion CommunicationsWhat was your first ever job?

…I think it was knocking on my neighbours’ doors asking if they wanted their cars washed.  

The part of my job I love most

…My clients!

Alison

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

Top Tips for Business Continuity Management in 2018 from Avalution

February 5, 2018

Elaine Tomlin Avalution Consulting

When our client Elaine Tomlin, Managing Consultant from Avalution Consulting, started chatting to us about Business Continuity Management, I assumed that this was something exclusively for large organisations and the more I heard the more I thought it is something for everyone in business to take seriously.

We asked her to explain in plain language what exactly BCM is:    

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is vital in preparing and protecting business operations from disruptions caused by threats stemming from cyber attack and natural disasters, as well as resource unavailability such as building loss, staff absenteeism, and supply chain failure.  

A robust business continuity programme manages the likelihood and impact stemming from disruptive incidents through proactive response and recovery planning, with the objective of reducing operational downtime.

As a global leader in BCM, Avalution Consulting, which provides business continuity, IT disaster recovery, and information security services to profit, not-for-profit, and government organisations of all sizes across all sectors, compiled their top tips for 2018 to ensure organisations protect themselves from major risks.

 

  • Business continuity plan – make sure you have one!

 

Taking the time to develop and invest in business continuity strategies and plans is an opportunity to protect staff, clients, operations, profits and brand. It’s important to understand and identify critical processes, gaps and risks to ensure the organisation can develop effective response and recovery plans to address stakeholder expectations.

 

  • Who does what, when?

 

If your key staff are aware of their responsibilities during a major incident (i.e. if they know what to do, how to do it and when to do it), there is a high likelihood that your organisation will recover your business activities and will help minimise negative impacts in a more timely manner, especially in relation to potential operational, financial and reputational losses and damages. 

 

  • Ensure recovery support staff are fully accountable – own it!

 

Choose those accountable for business continuity performance (recovery support teams) carefully.  Senior staff with strong oversight and knowledge of critical processes, systems and inter-dependencies, will be most effective during a major incident and will ensure staff are fully accountable for their recovery roles. They will require appropriate business continuity and recovery training and their recovery accountabilities should be noted within their personal scorecard / performance objectives.

 

  • How to manage risks…  What risks?

 

Identify what types of threats and risks are likely to impact your business. Explore each threat and risk, aim to understand how each impacts your business, and then consider what controls or preventative measures you may already have in place which can minimise the risk (e.g. a secondary office location, multiple suppliers, etc.). Where there are no controls or preventative measures in place, consider planning to mitigate/reduce, remove or accept these risks. Document all identified risks as part of a risk register, which will help you take control and manage risks effectively. Many identified risks can be addressed through a well thought out business continuity plan.    

 

  • Recovery Strategies – plan for four key business disruptions!

 

You can’t plan or have a recovery strategy for every eventuality, but you can develop strategies and plans for four key disruptions that will cover the outcome stemming from most threats. Ensure you prepare and have a plan to recover from:

  1. denial of access to your building (building damage, Health & Safety, etc.)
  2. denial of staff availability (strike, severe weather, etc.)
  3. denial of technology
  4. denial of supply chain (loss of a dependent supplier)

 

  • Business recovery – It is about more than just technology recovery!

 

The information technology team is not responsible for the recovery of business operations from all causes, they are only responsible technology recovery! While it is essential to have IT disaster recovery strategies and plans this is only part of the story. The business, outside of the IT organisation, should take responsibility and ownership for a wider operational recovery (non-technical). Technical teams support an operational recovery as part of a suite of services they provide to the business. The business needs to plan for multiple potential interruptions to services causes by the unavailability of staff, workplaces, and third parties.

 

  • If you have a business continuity plan – test it!

 

If you don’t test or exercise your business continuity plan, you don’t know if it works. There are always plan gaps and performance issues that have not been considered. Testing and exercising helps to identify the gaps and therefore provide you with an opportunity to identify, address and close these corrective actions over time.  

 

  • Crisis/Incident Management – agree on the recovery protocols!

 

Have clear and well understood crisis/incident management protocols. Identify what information and how information about an incident should be managed and communicated both internally and externally. Incident management will require an understanding of who the key stakeholders are, what the timeframes for escalation are, who information should be shared with, how information should flow between teams (such as the board and executive management, the crisis/incident management teams, technology teams, BCM teams, facility teams, human resources teams, marketing and communications teams, customers, and essentially all staff). It is important to have clear documented indicators to support quick escalation, actions and stakeholder engagement. 

 

  • When does a standard or normal interruption to service – become unacceptable (an incident)!

 

Take all interruptions to normal business processing seriously as small incidents have the potential to grow and creep significantly. However, some business processes are more important than others due to their time sensitivity (short-time to impact) and their high potential impact to the long-term viability of the organisation. The impact of not being able to deliver a product/service or complete a critical process could give rise to penalties, regulation issues, client impact, financial losses, and reputational impairment. These factors should be considered within the incident management protocols and escalation paths.

Lots of food for thought for all of us – are you ready?

A big thanks to Elaine and her team for this post.

Greg Canty

Maximising the value of your hidden Intellectual Property assets

January 24, 2018

Antiques roadshow BBC

I will admit to being an avid fan of Antiques Roadshow®, one of the most popular and long running television programmes produced by the BBC.

The format follows antique experts and appraisers as they travel throughout the United Kingdom reviewing and assessing the value of antiques brought in by locals where the show is airing.

The prospective location of the show is advertised well in advance by the BBC; thereby allowing locals in the area to trawl through their attics, lockups and garages to root out those forgotten assets for an assessment of value by one of the Antiques Roadshow® assessors.

I myself find it particularly gratifying when an assessor values an asset for more than the holder originally thought it was worth.

Like long lost and valuable antiques, the hidden value of Intellectual Property often gets overlooked by businesses. Many businesses do not even realise that they have valuable Intellectual Property assets in the first place.

So what precisely is ‘Intellectual Property’?

In a nutshell, Intellectual Property is the sum of all the intangible assets your business owns. It can encompass:

  • Trade Marks – e.g. brands, logos, slogans, advertising jingles
  • Patents – .i.e. technical inventions.
  • Copyright – e.g. written material like website text, manuals, music or artwork.
  • Designs – the aesthetic appearance of any products your business manufacturers.
  • Domain names – the url addresses that drive business to you via email and/or a website.
  • Trade Secrets – confidential information such as a recipe, customer lists or a way of doing something which you would not want revealed to the outside world.

All of the above are collectively known as Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and are fully protectable in law.

In Ireland, Industrial Designs, Patents and Trade Marks can be protected through registration with the Patents Office in Kilkenny.

A registration grants exclusivity in the relevant IPR and makes it much easier to stop unauthorised use by others. In some instances, it may even be possible to protect the goodwill and reputation you have established under business.

Unlike tangible assets of a business, (e.g. plant and machinery), the value of IPRs does not diminish over time.

On the contrary, IPRs can actually add to the overall value of your business. Also, IPRs can be used, not just by your own business, but also by others with your permission as part of an overall monetisation strategy.

IPRs can also be particularly useful for businesses wishing to secure loan or investment capital as the law actually allows for security interests to be registered against patents, trade marks and designs.

As the value of an IPR does not diminish in time, a savvy investor and/or financier will see your IPR as having a relatively low risk profile with a positive return attribute.

Failure to properly identify and exploit your valuable IPR could result in a significant lost opportunity to your business.

More seriously, failure to identify and protect your IPR may actually result in serious financial loss to your business.

So, how can you tell if your business has protectable Intellectual Property and what steps can you take to protect and monetize such rights?

By having an ‘IP Audit’ conducted of your business by an Intellectual Property lawyer, your IPRs can be readily identified and then assessed for the most effective method of protection and monetisation.

Niall Tierney

Niall Tierney is a Legal Brand Consultant to Fuzion Communications and an IP Lawyer located in Dublin, Ireland,  Managing Director of TIERNEY IP, a specialist law firm which assists and advises businesses in clearing, protecting, enforcing and monetising trade marks, designs and other Intellectual Property rights.

How to Achieve your Goals in 2018

January 3, 2018

Design a Life you Love - Ciara Conlon

This year we will feature some guest bloggers on the Fuzion Communications blog, so we are starting with the fantastic and very lovely Ciara Conlon, who as well as being an author, is just brilliant at making people more productive and feeling much more fulfilled in their lives.

She has a gorgeous approach to Productivity Coaching, which we like to describe as ‘Positive Productivity‘ as its focus is about a better life for you.

Ciara refers to this as ‘Designing your life‘ ….very clever!

Over to Ciara..

Over the next few days and weeks most of us will start to think about change, about giving up bad habits and creating new positive habits.

Traditionally at New Year we think about how this year can be different, we are filled with hope, optimism and excitement.

Unfortunately the statistics for New Year Resolution success is poor.

Apparently only 18% of people succeed with their New Year’s Resolutions, but rather than focus on the negative statistic, what can we learn from the 18% of people who do achieve there goals each year?

1. They Understand the Need for Goals

We need goals if we are to achieve anything outside our normal routine, we need goals to inspire and motivate us and give us direction.

Without them our future is not within our own control, we leave our future to fate.

Being aware of what needs to improve, is the only way that you can consciously make improvements.

Life is a journey that we can only strive to make better, daily, little by little.

Asking yourself a few key questions might help you to focus on areas to improve or change:

  • Are you wasting time doing things that don’t need to be done, or perhaps you are trying very hard and not getting the results that you had hoped for?
  • What can you do to make next year better?
  • What do you really want, but struggle to achieve every year?
  • What would you like to change about yourself?

These answers can be the starting point for setting your goals and they will give you a guideline if you don’t know where to start and help you to get clear about what it is you want to change.

2. They set Motivating Goals that they really want

It might seem pretty obvious but so many people are unclear about what they really want to change.

They set the same goals every year, the same goals as everybody else. Their new year goals become the desires of the masses rather than the needs of the one.

Do you really want to start in the gym on the 1st of January or would you like to start planning a new business or becoming more creative?

The reason why people fail is because they halfheartedly set goals for themselves focused on the things that they know they should be doing.

The problem is a lot of goals that people set don’t actually excite them or at least they haven’t found the motivation in these goals to go out and achieve them.

A goal needs to excite and motivate you – while pounding the pavement might never excite you, the idea of a strong healthy body in your skinny jeans might just do the job!

3. They Start Small

If you try to change everything at once you are setting yourself up for failure.

The key to positive change is to change one thing at a time – Master one habit before moving on to the next.

Charles Duhigg, author of the ‘The Power of Habit’ suggests we focus on what he calls keystone habits. In his book he explains the concept of keystone habits, that when focused on they have a positive and empowering effect.

Keystone habits don’t create a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but they can spark “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold“.

If you master the habit of running you can be guaranteed you will naturally start adopting other habits such as drinking more water and eating healthier. When you master the habit of rising early you will find it so much easier to meditate, journal etc.

These keystone habits are the ones to focus on, others include, family dinners, making your bed in the morning, meditation and planning your day.

So if you plan on making a change this year it may be a good idea to focus on one of these life changing ‘keystone habits’.

4. They Believe they can

Are you one of those people who reluctantly takes on a new habit?

Do you say you are going to do it but inside you don’t really believe it?

A lot of people have set themselves up for failure before they have even started – Deep down they don’t believe they can do it.

Your beliefs will generally determine the outcome so don’t waste your time if you don’t really believe it can be done.

So many people set the goal of losing weight every January but they feel so negative about the goal because they have tried so many times before and failed, that they don’t really believe they will do it.

If this is the case for you the first thing you must consider is, are you doing the same things time after time and failing?

Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity; doing the same things and expecting different results – what do you need to do differently this year?

If the goal is something you do really want, and you don’t understand why you can’t make it work, ask a close friend why they think you haven’t yet achieved your goal, and most importantly be willing to listen to the answer!

5. They are resilient

Successful people in general understand that failure is part of life.

They understand that on the road to getting what they want there will be potholes and barriers, but they stay with it.

Success takes determination and persistence.

The key to reaching your goals is to promptly get up each time you fall down. Try to preempt the challenges and plan for them, but if you fail, accept it quickly and move on.

It’s really important that you don’t waste time dwelling on the negative.

Monitor your thoughts and make sure you speak to yourself with encouragement rather than condemnation – Forgive yourself and move on.

It is your life and your responsibility to make it a good one, and with a little bit of focus and effort you can create the life you have always dreamed of.

Why not become the designer of your life in 2018?

Ciara Conlon

Ciara Conlon is a Productivity Coach and Motivational Speaker and respected thought leader working with individuals and organisations transforming behaviours in order to create more productive and happier people and workplaces.

You can find out more at www.ciaraconlon.com or on her Facebook page

Ciara will be running an evening event on January 25th in Wood Quay Venue, in Dublin called “Design a Life you Love”

A special “two for the price of one” offer is available until January 7th.

 

Gina London: How some RESOLVE can go a long way to making this year a great one

January 2, 2018

Janus - Greek God

January is named for the Roman god Janus.

He was the god of doors and gates. The guardian of entrances and exits. Of beginnings and endings. Of time and transitions. Ancient marble sculptures depict him with a double-faced head – one looking back and the other looking forward.

And here we are at the beginning of another January. Another new year. Another new beginning. And with it, another opportunity to make a New Year’s resolution.

The first time I remember ringing in the New Year, I was nine. The week after Christmas my parents had driven with my little brother and sister and me to a self-catering hotel in Florida to escape our Indiana snow. Dad announced that, for the first time, we kids could officially ring in the New Year at midnight.

We were so excited about the prospect of staying up late that we dashed into our little kitchen to gather pots and pans as makeshift drums and assorted spoons as drumsticks. Provisional instruments assembled, we paraded around the place – loudly proclaiming our enthusiasm.

As you might expect, this drove my mom crazy. She urged my dad to pretend midnight arrived a few hours early. But he honoured his word to his offspring and we all saw it through to the bitter end. Or beginning.

The next morning, when I woke up, I expected to feel completely different. It was the dawn of the new year. The sun should be shining brighter or something, shouldn’t it?

I remember how surprised I was that I was just the same. I was disappointed.

Then my mom told me I could make a resolution.

An outward pronouncement that something different is going to happen in the new year. Something that I had the power to change.

To this day, I love the prospect of making New Year’s resolutions.

I know, I know..

There are basically two types of people in the world – those who make New Year’s resolutions and those who make fun of the people who do.

We’re creatures of habit, so naturally change is hard.

You can frame your resolve with the word itself: RESOLVE

Reflect:

Before you decide what your New Year’s goal should be, act like one of Janus’s faces and look back. It’s helpful to review your year. Don’t dwell on the negative things, but do reflect upon what you’ve achieved.

I’ll bet each of you have something to be proud of. Maybe you didn’t win ‘Salesperson of the Year‘. But did you enter?

By just how much did you miss the mark? Maybe you didn’t lose 10 kilos, but did you join a gym? How many times did you go? Reflecting will help you adjust your strategy and behaviour to take another move ahead.

Examine:

Why are you preparing to make a resolution? Whatever you decide, it should come from you, not from real or perceived pressure of an employer or loved one. If you personally don’t really want to make a change, then you won’t.

Specify:

‘Losing weight’ is consistently the number one resolution people cite. But that’s so vague.

One of the main reasons people don’t achieve their resolutions, is they’re not narrowly defined. Do you mean one kilo or one stone? You need to write down a specific and realistic goal, so you can measure your success. Imagine how impossible “I’m never eating Cadburys again” sounds.

Instead, get real and try: “I’ll limit myself to three chocolates a week.

Outline:

Now that you’ve defined your goal, list each of the incremental changes you will need to make to support it. For instance, I know I won’t go to the gym unless it’s the first thing of the day. So, I would list ‘set my alarm an hour earlier’ as I outline my steps towards losing those last stubborn five pounds.

Link:

Find someone who will help motivate you or hold you accountable. Or both. Linking up with another person or maybe even a group of people is a big key to resolution success.

Value:

How much do you value yourself?

A lot,” you might quickly answer. But, then why are so many of us already convinced we won’t see our resolutions through?

Many of us are way too hard on ourselves. That’s another reason people don’t keep resolutions.

Just because you ate 10 chocolates this week, doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel on the whole year. Forgive yourself and get back at it. You’re not perfect. None of us are. But if you value yourself and your goal, you must keep going.

Evaluate:

Schedule time on your calendar at regular intervals to take stock of your progress. Don’t wait until the following December. Try every couple of weeks or once a month. Target quarterly milestones to track your progress. Don’t forget.

The Romans believed Janus would forgive them their mistakes and shortcomings over the past year.

You can take today to forgive others as well as yourself. The Romans also asked Janus to bless them and help them with their goals for the new year. While Janus may not be the one helping you, it’s also time for you to make some serious plans.

January is upon us – Like Janus, let us contemplate our past achievements while anticipating success in our future efforts.

Happy New Year. Put your resolve into action!

Gina London - Fuzion CommunicationsGina London is a former CNN anchor and international campaign strategist who is now a Strategic Communications director with Fuzion Communications. She serves as media commentator, emcee and corporate consultant. @TheGinaLondon

The Fuzion Christmas Gift Guide 2017

December 15, 2017

The festive season is certainly in full swing in the Fuzion offices as well as with our clients, who have some amazing gift ideas to be enjoyed this Christmas. You are bound to find something for the whole family to enjoy as well as the foodie, explorer and shopping addict in your life.

There’s also some information on fun, quirky nights out to help ring in the New Year, as well as the opportunity to give back by supporting the Mercy hospital Foundation Christmas Appeal.

Mercy Hospital Foundation – Christmas Appeal

This Christmas the Mercy Hospital Foundation is fundraising for a 3D Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) System at The Mercy University Hospital, which can be used in kidney, liver, prostate, esophageal, and stomach cancers. Importantly, it can also be used in cases of bowel cancer, of which Cork has the highest rate in the entire country.

Mercy Foundation

By 2020, 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime and by supporting the Mercy Hospital Foundation this Christmas, you can help make this difficult journey easier.

The new state-of- the-art 3D MIS System, which will be purchased through funds raised by The Mercy Christmas Appeal, will enable medical teams at The Mercy to carry out even more keyhole surgeries in Cork, and this means that patients will not need to be afraid of major scarring and recovery time will be sped up.

By donating just €50 this Christmas, you are not only helping to save lives in the Mercy Hospital, but you are investing in the future of cancer care in Cork.

To make a donation or for more information on The Mercy Christmas Appeal call (021) 4274076 or visit www.mercyfundraising.ie

James Whelan Butchers

James Whelan Butchers is a fifth generation family-owned and run butcher business and producing high quality products is part of their DNA.

In 1960, James Whelan Butchers first opened their doors in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary and since then they have expanded five times to locations in Dunnes Stores and Avoca in Dublin.

This year for Christmas James Whelan Butchers has two very special gift ideas for the foodie in your life – Beef Bonds and Butchery Demonstration Evenings.

Beef Bonds – A Gift – Not Just For Christmas

Christmas is a time of giving, but sometimes the perfect gift can be hard to find. This year, award winning artisan producer James Whelan Butchers has something a little different, “Beef Bonds” – an innovative approach to Corporate gifting or for the food lover in your family or circle of friends.

Beef Bonds from James Whelan Buthers

The Beef Bonds are priced at €100 each for an Angus and Hereford bond, or the more exclusive Wagyu bond priced at €150 each. The Bonds generally mature within 14 to 22 weeks (but shorter-term bonds are available on request), so you can look forward to a meat packed surprised in Spring 2018!

On maturity of the Beef Bond the below variety box will be delivered to the bondholder, anywhere in Ireland or the UK.

The bondholder will receive:
– 5lbs Selection of Roasts Joints
– 3lbs of a Selection of Steaks Cuts
– 3lbs of a Selection of Braise/Slow Cook Cuts
– 2lbs of a Selection of Steak Mince & Steak Burgers

To order your ‘Beef Bonds’ in time for Christmas, or to find out more about James Whelan Butchers please visit www.jameswhelanbutchers.com/info/beef-bonds/

Butchery Demonstration Evenings

The James Whelan Butchers, Butchery Demonstration Evenings are the perfect gift this Christmas. Learn from two of their Master Butchers as they demonstrate knife skills, pork and beef butchery and how to debone a chicken, while you sit back and enjoy the experience with a glass of wine, some James Whelan sausage rolls as well as tastings of our slow roasted pulled pork.

Nutchery demonstrations at James Whelan Butchers

Not only will you leave with a newfound appreciation of the magic of meat but each participant will take home a gift bag including “The Irish Beef Book” and the pork joint that you stuffed and rolled on the night.

The demonstrations will take place in our James Whelan Butchers branch in the Avoca Food Market, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 and Monday, February 26th, 2018, from 6.15pm – 9.00pm

To order a Butchery Demonstration Gift Voucher in time for Christmas, or to find out more about James Whelan Butchers please visit www.jameswhelanbutchers.com/info/butchery-demonstrations/

Dunnes Stores – Simply Better

Dunnes Stores Simply Better Collection was established in 2013. Since then the brand has received over 300 food awards, the most awards for any Irish food brand. It is a cross category collection, spanning all major food categories plus confectionery, coffee, flowers and occasion-specific products.

The collection promises to offer the customer proper food made in the right way – simple, recognisable and done exceptionally well.

As part of the Simply Better Christmas Collection they are offering a gift of pure luxury with exclusive Simply Better Christmas Hampers.

Simply Better Dunnes Stores Hampers

Presented in a beautiful willow basket, the four hampers ranging from €50 – €100, carry a wealth of opulent delights and thrilling tastes, from hand crafted puddings to award winning handmade preserves and chutneys and decadent treats all selected and packed carefully.

To order a hamper in time for Christmas or to find out more about the Dunnes Stores Simply Better Collection, please visit Dunnes Stores, Simply Better Hampers 

Flynn Hotels

Flynn Hotels is a family owned hotel group with four exceptional properties, the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny; Imperial Hotel, Cork; Old Ground Hotel, Ennis; and The Park Hotel, Dungarvan.

Combining superb service, beautifully appointed rooms, fine dining and excellent facilities. Whether you are looking for a city break, family getaway or romantic weekend in Ireland, Flynn Hotels is the perfect choice.

This Christmas Flynn Hotels has some terrific gift voucher ideas, and let’s be honest who wouldn’t want the chance to slip away for a few nights in the New Year to wine, dine and relax!

Flynn Hotels Christmas Gift Vouchers

Spend €250 or more on a gift voucher for any of the Flynn Hotels, including The Imperial Hotel, Cork; Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny; The Park Hotel, Dungarvan; and The Old Ground Hotel, Ennis; and get a gift of a free night’s stay at any Flynn Hotel for yourself, or for the lucky recipient – the choice is yours.

Flynn Hotels

Gift vouchers are available online at www.flynnhotels.com or directly from any of the four hotels.

“Three is the Magic Number” package from Flynn Hotels

This Christmas, treat a loved one to a luxurious stay at any of the Flynn Hotels including The Imperial Hotel, Cork; Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny; The Park Hotel, Dungarvan; and The Old Ground Hotel, Ennis. Purchase two nights with a full Irish breakfast each morning and dinner on one evening, and you’ll get a third night absolutely free.

Flynn Hotel Group - Old Ground ,Ennis

To book this package online at www.flynnhotels.com or contact any of the hotels directly.

Oyster Tavern, Cork

The Oyster Tavern, which dates back to the 1700s, was part of the €50m redevelopment of The Capitol Building, which reopened last summer. The 18th Century bar underwent a €1.5m makeover after it was taken over by well-known publican and restaurateur Alan Clancy, who also owns 37 Dawson Street, House and The Oak in Dublin.

The two storey bar and restaurant caters for all tastes, the downstairs bar lends itself towards a more chilled and laid back customer, while the upstairs bar enjoys a party atmosphere with a DJ, cocktails, and dance areas.

Ring in the New Year, 1920s style at The Oyster Tavern!

Cork city will welcome its very own speakeasy bar, for one night only, as The Oyster Tavern takes a step back in time to the 1920’s this New Year’s Eve! Guests will be treated to Prosecco and oysters upon arrival, as well as a delicious selection of canapes throughout the night, specially created by The Oyster Tavern’s Head Chef Kate Lawlor.

Oyster Bar - New Years Eve

Bar staff dressed to reflect the Prohibition era theme. will serve up a selection of curated cocktails, along with a full bar of firm favourites. To ensure the ‘20s theme carries guests into the brand new year, music will be provided by the Tom Millett Band, with a DJ playing ‘til late upstairs.

Tickets cost €25pp, and to book your ticket for the party of the year and to ring in the New Year in style at The Oyster Tavern call the events line on 021 7355677.

Manor West Shopping Centre and Retail Park, Kerry

Manor West Shopping Centre and Retail Park has everything you need this Christmas! With a wide range of fantastic stores you are sure to find the perfect Christmas present & for the person who has everything why not gift them with a Manor West Multicentre Gift Card.

Manor West

Manor West will also have manned car parking areas over the festive period as well as extra parking opened daily behind Debenhams during peak traffic times.

All the parking as always is free of charge. Santa will also be in the centre every Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm right up to December 23rd!

For more information check out www.manorwest.ie or visit their Facebook page.

Christmas starts with Manor West – the best shopping in Kerry!

30 Seconds and Junior 30 Seconds

Everyone loves a great board game on Christmas day and 30 Seconds is the quick thinking fast talking description game that is perfect for any group or family, big or small.

It’s simple to play and is easily enjoyed by all age groups – it really is the game for everyone!

30 Seconds The game is straightforward; players must describe & give hints to their teammates so that they can correctly guess as many of the five names on the card as they can – without using any ‘sounds like’ or rhyming tactics. All this of course has to be done in 30 Seconds!

30 Seconds is fiercely entertaining and can be played by anyone anywhere – just keep the noise down!

While 30 Seconds is suitable for teenagers, college students and adults of all ages, Junior 30 Seconds is good for primary school children, and their families and teachers.

The RRP is €29.99 and it is available in toy stores nationwide.

Cosmo Restaurant – Liffey Valley

Gift the experience of sizzle at Cosmo Restaurant at Liffey Valley – an exciting dining experience that promises to bring it’s customers on a trip around the world as they experience a variety of cuisines, flavours and cultures.

Cosmo Restaurant - Liffey Valey

With a festive Christmas menu currently available at one set price starting from €10.99 (prices for Lunch and Dinner vary), diners can also expect to be taken on a gastronomic journey where they will discover authentic flavours and cultures with a choice of over 150 dishes from around the world.

Cosmo has a “cook fresh, eat fresh” philosophy with live cooking stations, including Teppanyaki which will provide a theatre of tastes, aromas and sounds, this will be most definitely a dining experience unlike any other.

COSMO Dublin is open seven days a week (closed Christmas Day) and customers can expect to enjoy unlimited courses for one set price, (prices for Lunch and Dinner vary). COSMO Dublin, is the perfect venue for families, groups of friends or colleagues.

For more information or to make a booking, please visit www.cosmo-restaurants.ie

Town and Country Hampers

Established in 1991, Town and Country Hampers is one of Ireland’s leading hamper companies. Sourcing only the finest and genuine Irish products, Town and Country Hampers has earned a Guaranteed Irish Award, acknowledging their support for small independent Irish producers. With a fantastic selection of gourmet gift hampers, you are sure to find the perfect one no matter what the occasion.

Town and Country Hampers

A new addition to Town and Country Hampers is the Gluten Free Hamper (€36.00). The Gluten Free hamper maintains Town and Country Hampers tradition of providing award winning Irish Artisan foods whilst also providing Coeliac sufferers with a gluten free hamper option. Beautifully presented in an elegant wicker basket, contents include Cornelius Lemony Lemonade, Pandora Bell Real Fruit Jellies, Denise’s Delicious Macaroon Gluten Free Cake slice & Chocolate Brownie, Utterly Nutty Florentines Crispy Bites, Veronica’s Baked Organic Crisps & Maher’s Rich Roast Coffee.

To find out more visit www.townandcountryhampers.com

I really hope this gift guide has helped you with some last minute gift decisions.

From us all in Fuzion, we hope you have a magical Christmas and Happy New Year!

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

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

 

Tackling that age-old question in our modern marketplace

November 27, 2017

Old and young

When it comes to age, I’m a firm proponent of “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.

Recently a journalist who was interviewing me asked me my age. I get it.

I used to be a newspaper reporter and I know it’s traditional to write, “So-and-so, age blah-blah, did fill-in-the-blank.” But I also know it’s not a hard and fast rule.

There are plenty of stories these days that don’t include a person’s age. Therefore, I politely said to the reporter, “I prefer not to give the number as it’s not germane to the story.

She accepted that and the story was printed no problem.

Likewise, if you’re in the jobs market and are of a certain age, you may find yourself struggling to overcome other people’s preconceived notions around your particular number.

Unless you’re a 102-year-old who swam the English Channel or a 12-year-old who graduated from university, age shouldn’t be the leading factor.

1 Stop referencing your age

At an event, a very lovely female participant came up to me and complimented my shoes. Then she lamented,”When I was your age, I could wear heels. But it’s been forever.

Another time, I heard a man say to colleagues at a project meeting, “Give that task to Peter. I’m too old.

How often do you reference your age? How often do you draw unnecessary attention to the distance between your age and that of your audience?

At first glance this might seem aimed at older folks. But the same goes for younger folks too. The whole, “Oh, I wasn’t even born back then” crowd.

It’s fine to talk about age with your best friend, but if you want to stay vigorous or be taken seriously in the workplace, then cease your own ageism. You might be your worst enemy.

Interviewers aren’t allowed to ask you your age. So, don’t out yourself.

Sure, put your universities and degrees on your CV. Just don’t put the dates.

2 Mine your contacts

A reader from western Ireland wrote to me saying he’s a 64-year-old former sales professional frustrated because he hasn’t found work in four years.

He’s convinced his age is part of the reason his CVs are not getting traction. He says he’s sent out more than 200 of them over the years but landed nothing.

But he also tells me that in four years he has probably only reached out to ‘two or three’ of his former contacts. So, I am working with him to strengthen his strategy.

Think about the wide-range of people you have met over the years. Talk to them. Ask them for people you can call. Cold resumes don’t result in jobs nearly as much as warm referrals do.

3 Mix it up

In addition to tapping into your friends and contacts from throughout your career, you can also network with people younger than you. Is there a business incubator you can join? Is there a project they’re working on that could benefit from your experience?

You might want to think less about a full-time job and more about piecing together consulting work.

4 Power up your profile

You don’t have to have a zillion followers, but, you should immediately set up a LinkedIn profile and a Twitter account. We can chat Facebook and Instagram and whatever else later. For now, let’s focus on these two.

First, I recommend Canva.com to create a polished header for your social media accounts. Then you should spend some time crafting words about you and your experience that are strong, punchy and engaging.

Also be sure to Google professionals you admire to see what they’re doing.

Don’t completely plagiarise, but do borrow ideas, formatting and/or a few keywords from others. Don’t be afraid to be creative. You can always adjust your copy.

But if you write the same old, same old, you’ll sound the same as everyone else and, well, “old”.

In short, if you’re not online, you’re not relevant.

5 Shape up

If you’re not eating right and exercising regularly, do not blame your age alone for gaining weight. Your physical health is connected to your mental health.

This is a scientific fact and it’s also the perception of many potential employers.

The more fit you are physically, the more you will be perceived as someone who is fit for the job.

The same goes for your wardrobe and grooming. Wear something sharp and current. And for heaven’s sake, if you have hair growing out of your ears, get rid of it!

We can be put in a box once our number becomes the lead of our story.

Like, “She looks great for 45….” Or “He appears much younger than 50….

Whose opinions are these? Why can’t it just be, “You’re doing great“, period? It can.

A 65-year-old client of mine, who is right on top of each of my suggestions, told me this week that a friend of his remarked, “I have never seen you have so much energy!

That’s a great report. And it can be yours too. Your experience combined with applying these strategies actively will make it so.

Is your age holding back your career?

Gina London - Fuzion CommunicationsGina London

From presentations, to one-on-one scenarios, from spoken to written if you have a question about communications that you would like me to deal with in my column in the Sunday Independent please send me an email at gina@fuzion.ie .

Gina London is a former CNN anchor and international campaign strategist who is now a Strategic Communications director with Fuzion Communications. She serves as media commentator, emcee and corporate consultant. @TheGinaLondon

A New Way To Call To Action

November 20, 2017

A call to action is an instruction to your audience that is designed to provoke a response – ‘visit our website’, ‘follow us on Facebook’ etc.

But do you need to call your audience into action?

I came across this advert from Flavahans as I waited at the bus stop recently.

It is simple with a small bit of humour, but have you noticed anything missing? There is no website, no social media reference and no ‘buy now’, not even a hashtag!

There is a product, a tagline and minimal information.

I can imagine the meeting that occurred when the designer or marketer presented this to their managers.

Where’s the website?

You have to tell them to follow something, how will they know what to do?

We need to tell them everything about the product” – but do you?

I think it is brilliant!!

We already know every company has a digital presence and if we want to find them we will type their name in the search bar.

So why take up space?

Why tell people what to do?

People hate being told what to do – so let them make up their own minds.

This is a brave move, and one that goes against the grain – but it makes so much sense.

We live in a digital world, we know how to find information but I do not know about your product.

Tell me what I need to know, not what I already know.

Well played, Flavahans

Paul Wade - Fuzion Graphic DesignPaul Wade

Paul Wade is part of the Graphic Design team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Millennials -The Good, The Bad, and The Selfies

November 8, 2017

Millennials are a generation of lazy, entitled, fame obsessed, technology worshiping, narcissists.

Sound about right?

Baby Boomers out there, think we (yes, I am one of “the” M crew) have been handed life and its obstacles on a silver platter, meaning we have grown up with a sense of entitlement, brought up to believe that we deserve the best (even when we don’t) and crave praise and attention, all of the time!

Subsequently, it is not difficult to see why we are stereotyped as lazy, entitled and selfish.

But to you, the Baby Boomers reading this, shocked at the expectations and entitlements of my generation, you may also be shocked to learn, we are not all that different after all.

Now as we fast forward ten, fifteen years, Millennials have the same high expectations in the workplace. But what is so wrong with having confidence in yourself and your work?

It is not that we, as Millennials, have created a revolution in workplace and life expectations, but rather evolved to this world of abundance. We have not developed new personality traits from Baby Boomers when they were our age. Most teenagers and young adults, from any era compared to their parents, are selfish, can be lazy, and at the very least narcissistic, now and again.

Baby Boomers say we are consumed by social media. We check our phones, at minimum, once every hour. But how many times a day do you check your email? Now I can hear you say in that voice at the back of your head “But emails are far more important that social media”. Are they?

I believe we are evolving to the point now that they are both equally as important (especially in the world of PR).

And just think what if the world of technology had evolved a generation earlier? Is it possible that Baby Boomers would have been just as social media obsessed as us? We didn’t choose this life, but rather it was selected for us by Apple, Samsung, and Facebook, and we simply evolved and adapted.

So what can we bring to the world of PR?

We know Millennials don’t see technology and social media as a chore but rather part of their everyday routine being switched on and connected, close to 24 hours a day.

We are a troop of networkers, ready to shout and scream to get our message across. We want to work hard, make a difference for our clients and reap the results, even if that does mean sharing it on Insta Stories, Facebook posts, Snap Stories, Tweets, and the list goes on.

As a generation, we don’t have high levels of respect for authority. But because we don’t respect authority we don’t resent it, and therefore we feel as if we can approach and create relationships with our leaders.

We are a generation of dreamers, meaning we are optimistic, thinkers, and life hackers.

We inspire and find new ways to deal with on-going issues. We believe that we can in fact “change the world” and want to bring your business to the next level. We stand up and combat the stereotypes by continuing to show up to work with enthusiasm and ambition.Actions speak louder than words after all!

Let’s not forget that Baby Boomers, you too were a problematic generation, and you turned out alright.

Didn’t you?

Blaithín

Blaithín Gallagher is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Future!

November 6, 2017

The Future Conference

I spent this weekend at The Future Conference in Dublin, with about 2000 of my peers, and a few of my heroes.

Like most design conferences, it was set on a range of stages, each with a difference agenda and mechanic, ranging from Q&A style platforms, individual presentations, staged interviews and a pop-up artist’s studio.

And like many design and creative conferences, there was a stellar line up (more about this in a bit) crammed into a packed schedule. Unlike any conference that I’ve been to, this one had an agenda, where the speakers were to talk about “The Future”, and what it meant to them, to our industry and our work, which largely meant that rather than the standard portfolio review, we got to have deeper insights into where things are going in the design world. 

Usually I come away from these events with a sense of both love and hate – a love for the work I’ve seen and a hate for my own work, but with a resolve to do more, work harder and be a better designer, and The Future was no different – but this time, as I watched the speakers talk about our collective futures, I found myself looking back and examining why I had chosen design as a career in the first place. 

Future Conference 2017

The Why?

There are various routes into design – many of us start out with either a flair for art, or an unhealthy obsession with pens, pencils and paper.

Mine was no different, I remember one particular art set I got in 1978 and the hours obsessing over colouring in, and I remember spending hours drawing band logos on my school bags. And looking back on it, it was really quite clear that there was only one industry that I was going to end up in!

And (long story short!) this has brought me full circle to thinking that I am so unbelievably fortunate to be part of this creative industry, one that keeps me awake at night trying to figure out solutions to projects, one that gets me talking about crazy sounding intangibles about why we chose fonts and colours, one that makes me passionate about other people’s businesses, sometimes in an almost obsessive manner, but one that rewards me, because as one speaker said “When I do my job well, my clients can do theirs better”.  

The Future was brilliantly illuminated with speakers such as international superstars Sagmeister (of Sagmeister & Walsh), Paula Scher (as seen on Netflix’s Abstract series, a must see!) and Steve Espo, and the incredible homegrown talent such as Brian and Paul from Detail, designers and educators Lara Hanlon, Bob Grey and David Smith who collectively showed us that design is a huge range of things: it is a partnership, solution building, a shared collective experience. It is informative, it can be beautiful, and it is a vehicle for ideas, profit, emotions and humanity.  

If you want me to tell more about some of the things I saw, or if you want to know how I can apply my learnings to your project, just get in touch.

The future is very, very bright!

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj - FuzionJonathan

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


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