Author Archive

E-Newsletter : Don’t leave your brand behind

June 17, 2021

I received an email newsletter from a really fantastic brand this week that featured special offers, new products, deal bundles and suggestions for Father’s Day gifts.

Visually it was executed well as I have come to expect from the brand, with superb photography that showcased the quality product range perfectly, clearly placing it the very “premium” category, which it most certainly is in.

However, there was one huge, but very simple thing missing from the e-newsletter.

They left a big part of their brand behind, and in the “click of an email campaign” they managed to relegate who they were to a lower league and they became another commodity retailer.

Even though they have my name there was no personalised “Hi Greg” and there was no attempt anywhere to start the communication with a friendly on brand message, nor any attempt to briefly update me on the recent exciting developments (things relevant to the reader) in their business.

The view might be that people have no time for any of that when they are online and it should be “BOOM” lets get straight down to business, but the crazy thing is that this company is the total opposite of this – they pride themselves on customer service and the relationship with their customers, and in person there is no one better but for some reason on this occasion they left so much of what makes them special outside the door!

The big lesson in this ….don’t leave who you are outside the door just because it is an online e-commerce transaction.

Greg

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service PR and Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork

A Clever way to use a podcast: Nano Nagle Place

April 15, 2021

When it comes to your Digital Marketing, a very clever way of making your organisation or brand stand out could be to start your own “Podcast Show“, effectively creating your own unique Media Channel to reach your target audience.

Podcasts can be a very powerful addition to your digital assets, whereby your audience get to hear from your team, hear about the important issues and how you are unique, all in your own voice. Someone listening to just one episode can be worth so much more than ‘liking’ an image on Instagram or Facebook and will create a much deeper, long lasting connection with you

Internationally, there are about 800,000 podcasts, making up almost 30 million episodes in 100 languages. Just 250,000 of these are “active” using the criteria of published in the last month. The people that subscribe and listen to podcasts tend to be extremely loyal to them and follow a listening routine.

Podcasts are perfect for the commuting, gym going demographic who want to be entertained and educated while they go about their daily tasks but can’t watch their screens and also those who are curious and want to delve into topics in a much deeper and more meaningful way.

The beauty of the podcast format is that it is so flexible and it can be used in so many special ways to do quite different jobs, from listening to an expert talking about their subject matter to even bedtime stories for children!

The podcasts can be featured on your website, included in email campaigns and used as very valuable social media content.

Nano Nagle Place Podcast

In the case of the Nano Nagle Place podcast, we were approached by the very innovative team there and they wanted to tell the very special story of the transformation of the near derelict, but hugely significant South Pres site in Cork city, to the fantastic place that they have today including a Visitor Centre, Gardens, Restaurant, Archives, Meeting Rooms and home to the Ministry, which includes the Lantern Project, the Men’s Group and the Cork Migrant Centre.

In order to tell this very special story we agreed to record a series of interviews with a large cast of very special characters and we created a podcast “Show” and a sequential series of “episodes” , each telling the story of the transformation of the place, but also providing a huge insight into the history, the characters, the personalities, the diversity, the ethos, the vision and the sacredness of Nano Nagle Place, which touches everyone that works and visits there.

In the clever series we hear about:

  • Nano Nagle’s Story
  • Life as a nun in a closed order
  • The love of teaching and the need for creativity
  • Life in inner city Cork
  • The planning and thinking behind the development
  • The challenges with the redevelopment of the old buildings
  • Planning permission, funding challenges and rebuilding
  • The special work of the Presentation Order in Ireland and overseas
  • The passion of everyone involved
  • The retirees who volunteer as tour guides and as coordinators in other activities
  • Transformational and innovative work with migrants
  • Famous Cork DJs bringing joy to migrant children through Hip Hop
  • A vision to take Nano’s work into the future

All of this story is delivered with passion by the cast of Sisters, team members and volunteers from all walks of life, who have all fallen under Nano Nagle’s spell, as you will hear in the podcast series.

We are really proud to have been part of this podcast series, all of which was recorded during Covid in conditions that were not ideal, over Zoom, in rooms with socially distanced guests and open windows, but I hope you agree they have captured the magic of the Nano Nagle story.

We were part of the planning, we created the show graphics, we recorded and edited all episodes and I had the privilege of hosting these wonderful conversations.

You can hear the first episode of the podcast series here featuring he very special Sr. Mary Dineen who said goodbye to her mum and walked into South Pres as a novitiate on a sunny day in September 1955, a closed order at the time. She tells her fascinating story in huge detail, providing a unique perspective of her life and insights into educating children from inner city, working class Cork.

Click here to hear the episode with Sr. Mary Dineen

This is just a small example of the power of podcasting, a unique way to reach your audiences and tell a story in a special way that is captured for today and for posterity.

Greg 

Greg Canty is the producer of this and other client podcasts and his own, ‘Win Happy’ podcast. We offer a full podcasting production service to clients..

Choose to Challenge – International Women’s Day

March 8, 2021

International Women's Day - Choose to Challenge

On international Women’s Day 2021, there is a particular theme that was calling women to action with a very proactive ask, “Choose to Challenge” which came with an explanation:

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change – So let’s all choose to challenge!

With this “call to action” there were some other specific asks of women as outlined further in the IWD website:

How will you help forge a gender equal world?

  • Celebrate women’s achievement.
  • Raise awareness against bias
  • Take action for equality.

Within Fuzion we encourage a challenging environment for all of the team, which is part of our core values, Bravery.

In every job description that we write, you will see it written and to us it is an important attribute, every bit as important as the basic skill sets required for each role.

We challenge each other, our opinions, our views and our ideas and we will challenge our clients to think differently and not to be afraid to disagree when we believe something is going in a wrong direction – you get that with us!

So, with all of that in mind I asked the team to record an episode of the Win Happy podcast to mark this years International Women’s Day, to discuss the theme and the different elements and to see how they felt about them.

For the record, I did offer to pass the hosting duty to anyone else and in the spirit of Fuzion, everyone, male and female were invited to participate but due to workload issues (and maybe a little shyness!) this episode featured Dee (Deirdre Waldron), Suzanne Meade and Niamh Lawlor who are all part of our Communications team.

The conversation was really interesting and revealing.

The team loved the “bold” call to action and spoke about how women can often be more reluctant than men to challenge.

They spoke about emotional leadership, a huge strength that women can bring to any organisation, Dee’s work and initiatives as President of Network Ireland, the huge role of mothers and friends as influencers, that men should be part of the conversation and not excluded, and thankfully they have not experienced bias in their careers.

However, they did acknowledge that the industry that we operate in might lend itself to that.

It makes for good listening.

Click on the link here or search for Win Happy on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts – we will be there!

For the record, some of the very best people that I work with are women and if I thought for a second that they were not prepared to challenge there would be something very wrong.

Just this morning on our weekly “hello” Monday morning team Zoom call, we had a very robust conversation about an opinion that I shared and they came at me in force!!

….if I told you what it was, I could have a busy day getting nothing done except arguing!

So today, I salute the brilliant women that I work with and the many brilliant women that I deal with on an ongoing basis. In particular, I salute my mum who is just incredible, such a positive driving force – you have no idea!

#ChooseToChallenge 

(you won’t find me wanting!)

Greg Canty 

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

Twitter Advertising?

September 15, 2020

I’ve just received some “useful advice” from Twitter about an ad campaign we kicked off last week for a client as well as some performance data.

Twitter Advertising

 

It kindly suggested that we should be running more variations of the creative and also that we should consider adding video as an option.

All great advice Twitter… thank you.

Now Twitter some advice back at you..

We took an hour and a half to run a simple advert on your social media channel that broke our hearts. It is clunky, inefficient and wasn’t working and for no good reason.

It worked in the end … not because we did anything different, but we kept doing what we were supposed to be doing in the first place and it eventually worked.

Considering the budget we were spending on a mini “test campaign” our time spent on it was definitely not worth it and the very painful experience left two of us very frustrated and vowing… never again!

More creatives, add video.?.. as I said, great advice, but we didn’t have a whole day to run a simple advert!    

If your target audience is on Twitter, think long and hard about alternative ways of reaching them and if you do go ahead give yourself an age to create your campaign.

I had no intention of writing this piece but the helpful advice was a straw too many..

Phew..

Greg Canty - FuzionGreg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Welcome to the Twitter Echo Chamber?

August 12, 2020

 

Pleasantville

BREAKING NEWS: Have Twitter officially gone crazy?

Twitter has just rolled out a new feature that will enable a user to limit who can reply to their tweet!

Have a peep at the bottom left corner of your Tweet window when you are tweeting and you will see a new message:

[Everyone Can Reply]

Click this and you will see two further options..

This is how Twitter has explained how this feature will work:

Here’s how it works.

Before you Tweet, choose who can reply with three options:

1) everyone (standard Twitter, and the default setting),

2) only people you follow,

or

3) only people you mention.

Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out for people who can’t reply.

People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, share, and like these Tweets.

This is a really interesting (very weird) development for the platform that can often generate lots of discussion, arguments and often abuse.

Effectively I can now tweet that “Greg is the greatest!” and I can do it is a way that no one can argue with me!!

 

The Rationale

I’m guessing Twitter want this because of the fear that many people have when using the platform because of the aggressive nature of many people using it unchecked, led by some very hateful horrible people such as the wonderful Donald Trump.

In truth they are petrified of expressing themselves on it, and maybe for good reason as reporting abuse doesn’t seem to stop anyone.

Twitter noted that users in their test pool have said “that they feel more comfortable tweeting, and more protected from spam and abuse, which has led to them tweeting longer, more in-depth thoughts, particularly on sensitive subjects

People who face abuse find these settings helpful – those who have submitted abuse reports are 3x more likely to use these settings.

The deeper rationale is most likely a commercial one – more active users will lead to more relevance and a better ability to market it to advertisers.

The Plus 

As mentioned already, it may encourage some people to tweet more, knowing that discussion feedback (good or bad) will be limited to their narrow chosen audience.

It might enable other users to start using the platform for certain posts more like Facebook whereby only friends can see their posts.

It could also be useful for organisations (public bodies) who want to push out updates and other information without getting a deluge of responses (good or bad).

Beyond that I am not seeing any other advantages.

The Minus

This will be a huge frustration for users of the platform, when they can see a tweet and want to interact with it and they cannot because of the setting – the openness of Twitter was part of the magic (even with some of the abusive users).

I think in many cases that might result in you unfollowing the account – I do recall at a social media training once a student saying “I only want people to hear what I say” – good luck with that perspective!!

This is my point, my opinion, my view but I only want a very select bunch to see it” …ah come on, this is surely creating a very warped world on Twitter for that person and for the collective.

Do we really need a very false, extra cosy “echo chamber” loaded with biased opinions and unchecked fake news with soft cushions everywhere, or would it be much better if instead of this strange solution to aggressive, abusive behaviour on the platform, that there was a more robust reporting system that did penalise serial abusers? (bye bye Donald!)?

Note: spotting the “Greg is the greatest” tweet I can easily undermine the soft cushions by tweeting something like:

Did you see what that idiot @GregCantyFuzion just said about himself in his self congratulating protected tweet, what a Wally!!”

Twitter is a place that gives us all an equal voice – unfortunately like so many other areas of society we often can’t control our worst urges, we can be nasty, we can be hateful, we can be abusive, we can be racist and we can be downright horrible!

The Echo Chamber isn’t the solution…what do you think?

(the image used at the top of this post was from the fantastic movie ‘Pleasantville’

 

The LinkedIn “headbutt”

August 11, 2020

LinkedIn Tips

It starts with the “connection request” from someone on LinkedIn – after a quick glance over the person’s profile I make a decision whether I will accept or not.

As I keep saying to people in our social media training courses these are not wedding proposals, so my own approach is to give the person the benefit of doubt, thank them for connecting and hopefully they will be another person in your ever extending network that you have had a positive interaction with.

Of course, some people will connect with you with the objective of selling us something – I have no issue with that really as in truth most of us want to make good connections, which hopefully could lead to more awareness and even a good business lead at some point.

I always say to people that in a world of social media there should be no need for “cold calling” and instead think of it as a place for “warm calling“.

Connect with someone relevant, try to have some positive interactions with them, build up some rapport and when and if the time is right gently introduce your services to them.

However, with many that idea just floats high above their heads and instead of taking the “warm calling” approach you get what I call the “headbutt“.

Boom…you didn’t see it coming, right into the forehead and you are left dazed – and you want to do business with me??

I connected with this guy just the other day (XXX is where his name was) and this is what I immediately got back, complete with getting my name wrong:

 Hi Grey

I’m XXX.

My client can bridge funds for your New or Ongoing Business. Do let me know when you receive this message for further procedures.

I am available. Thank you for your anticipated response.

Regards,

XXX

On what planet am I going to do business with this person?

Social media is brilliant for making valuable connections for you and your business – Use it to “warm call” and not to “headbutt”!

Greg

Greg Canty heads up the Digital Marketing team at Fuzion Communications and as part of our suite of digital services we offer social media training and social media consultancy, both face to face and online

 

 

HR – When the chips are down what kind of employer are you?

April 26, 2020

HR in a crisis

We all know the story .. on the 12th March, the country was effectively shut down except for essential services.

It was a time when each and every single employer in the country had to figure out really quickly what they needed to do to protect the business during this uncertain shut down period – how long would it go on for, how many bills do I have, how much money do I have in the kitty, how much do I need to survive?

All huge questions and with no simple answers and no playbook to refer to.

What we did next reflects who we are, who the business is, our values, our ethos.

A week later, I checked in on a good friend of mine who worked as a baker in a coffee shop (part of a  small but well known chain) around the corner from our office, just to make sure that he was OK.

What he shared with me was a tale of two very different HR philosophies and two very different approaches to their employees.

On exactly the same day he was given notice by his employer and his partner who manages a creche was also told that her place of business was closing because of the “lock-down”.

However, there was a huge difference between both.

In his case he was “left go”, unceremoniously with no guidance towards where he should go to for supports and no word as to what his status would be when this “pause” was over. Effectively it was a P45.

In her case, she was also left go temporarily, but with absolute clarity that her role would still be there when things returned to normal, she was guided towards the supports she needed and the employer set up a WhatsApp group so that the team could stay in touch during the lock-down.

While both of these scenarios were identical, they couldn’t be any further apart.

I have sadly heard of so many cases where loyal employees were just cast away on the 12th March, with virtually no concern as to how they would put food on their tables next week.

Your team are your business, and how you treat them will absolutely determine how successful your business will be and how deep your team will dig for you when needed.

When the lights come back on, I know of a great guy and all of his colleagues who will be looking for a new opportunity, and I know of a great gal and all of her colleagues who be delighted to get back to work and will dig deep for their employer when the chips are down.

What type of employer are you?

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Supports are available for your Business

April 15, 2020

What a hard to believe, crazy time that we are all knee deep in!

For some it is incredibly busy, coping with fulfilling unprecedented demand in difficult circumstances, for some it is somewhat damaging and messy and for others this “pause” is devastating and real solutions are needed for immediate survival and to plan for a much needed return to some type of normal.

The Local Enterprise Office network has implemented a suite of support services to assist businesses at this time.

We would urge you to look carefully at these valuable supports, not only to assist you right now, but also to make your business stronger going into the future.

There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, all offering these additional supports:

A support we have found to be hugely beneficial for businesses throughout the years is the Trading Online Voucher Scheme

A second voucher is now available for businesses that have previously availed of this support over the years. Having a strong online presence has never been more important, so whether it’s improving your website and online shop to creating an app, we strongly advise you to check this out.

The Trading Online Voucher can also be used to support the below:

  • Website Creation
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Media for Business
  • Search Engine Optimisation

To find more about the online trading voucher and the eligibility criteria visit www.localenterprise.ie and contact your local office.

If we can assist you to put a practical plan together in any of these areas give us a call and we will do everything we can to help.

As well as the Trading Online Voucher, there is a range of different supports available to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

An overview of all supports available:

Trading Online Voucher Scheme
Second voucher available

 

Can you do more business online?

The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets.

There is up to €2,500 available through the Local Enterprise Offices, with co-funding of 10% from the business. Funding can be used towards adding payment facilities or booking systems to your website or developing new apps for your customers.

The voucher can also be used towards subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions, to help companies quickly establish a retailing presence online.

 

Business Continuity Vouchers 
Apply for €2,500 in consultancy

The new Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people.

The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs (at no cost to the company) and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the business challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

If we can be of assistance, please contact us and we will talk through the challenges you are facing.

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

 

COVID-19
Business Loans  

First 6 months are interest & repayment free
New low rate of 4.5% through the Local Enterprise Offices

The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses.

It’s designed for micro-enterprises that are a) having difficulty accessing Bank finance and b) impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.

To view loan features click here.

 

Lean for Micro
Become a Leaner business

LEAN for Micro is available to LEO clients to help build resilience within small companies.

Under this programme, clients can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert (a qualified practitioner), who will work with the company to introduce lean principles, undertake a specific cost savings project and assist the company in benchmarking its performance. LEAN for Micro can also be used to help implement new remote working and physical distancing guidelines.

 

Mentoring Advice and guidance
Now free of charge 

Grants for new and established businesses

 
Under the Local Enterprise Office Mentor Programme, clients work with an experienced mentor to identify solutions to areas of exposure within their business. With advice and guidance from their mentor, clients develop strategies that are more robust, which address issues and maximise potential opportunities when the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.
 

Training and Webinars 
Upskill and network remotely,
for free

Local Enterprise Offices have moved training programmes, workshops and networking meet-ups online, covering areas such as cash management in a crisis, leading your business through COVID-19 and advice for employers impacted by the crisis.

Training programmes are free of charge and places can be booked online, through your Local Enterprise Office.

 

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

For existing companies and potential start-ups that meet eligibility criteria (such as employing 10 or fewer people with the potential for growth and job creation), Local Enterprise Offices can also offer financial supports to help manage current market challenges:

  • Business Priming Grants
  • Business Expansion Grants
  • Feasibility Study Grants
  • Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters Grant

To view the full details on the supports available to your business and the criteria visit: www.localenterprise.ie/Response.

Depending on how the situation evolves, criteria may change so please refer to the above website for updates.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can offer you advice during these difficult timesand try to stay positive and seriously think about using these supports, for today and a much better tomorrow….it will come!

Best wishes from all at Fuzion.

Greg

(086) 8311156 greg@fuzion.ie  

Greg Canty is the Managing Partner of Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing, Dublin and Cork offices

The Power of Communications in a Crisis – Updates from professionals across Europe

April 2, 2020

Fuzion Communications are members of a pan-European network, the Crisis Communications Network Europe, which is made up of independent Communications agencies who offer a significant Crisis PR service in each different country.

The rationale for this network is to have a strong group of like minded, connected agencies that can handle Crisis PR situations for clients when these crises extend beyond national borders.

When it comes to a crisis that extends beyond borders there is no better example than the COVID-19 crisis that has affected everyone.

On the Win Happy podcast, I invited a senior person from each agency in the network to discuss the crisis and in particular:

  • The status of the crisis in each country
  • How government have reacted
  • How good the communications have been
  • The media role in these communications
  • The reaction of the general public

It is clear listening to the really interesting discussion, that we can see the huge difference that strong communications can make in a crisis and and it can literally help to save lives.

Trusted, responsible government, leading by example, powerful gestures, quick action, honest briefings, strong and accurate media reporting and the public response are all key factors that determine the success of the communications and the fate of so many in each country.

The members that featured on the podcast were from Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, England, Netherlands, Austria and Belgium.

You can listen to the show by clicking here.

Enjoy the show..

Greg

Greg Canty is a Managing Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer a full Crisis PR service from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

 

LinkedIn – Group Hug!! (Are you joining groups?)

April 1, 2020

LinkedIn Groups - Social Media Training

From my experience most LinkedIn users are not using the very useful ‘Groups‘ facility on the platform.

For your industry or your business community there is more than likely a group set up with like minded individuals who have already joined.

These could provide you with the opportunity to interact with like minded people, discuss topical issues, solve problems, demonstrate your expertise, get information or these could easily help you to identify useful connections for your business or organisation.

If you do a search right now…Dublin Chamber, Cork Chamber. UCD Alumni, Marketing professionals, Hospitality professionals in Ireland – you are likely to find a group that matches your search.

Groups will have a filter process for members depending on how they have been created – you will need to request to join or be invited to join by an existing member and an administrator somewhere will decide whether to let you in or not.

If it is a group for a membership organisation it is very likely that they will not grant you access unless you are a member.

When you create a group you have a number of options including:

  • Name and description
  • Industry types (up to 3)
  • Stated rules for the group (how members should use and behave within the group)
  • Whether the group is visible or not: you could for example make it a “closed” group for your organisation so it won’t appear on searches
  • If you allow existing members to invite others to join
  • Approval setting for posts within the group.

New Feature: Messaging

The functionality is always changing so how you can use them is always changing. For example LinkedIn have just now given members within groups the ability to send a message to other members, without being connected to them (and without having the paid version of the platform).

These messages will come into you just like a normal message on LinkedIn.

So…look for a group today that could work for you and your business, click that ‘Join’ button and off you go!

Or…maybe you could be the one to create that group?

What are you waiting for?!!

Greg

Greg Canty heads up the Digital Marketing team at Fuzion Communications and as part of our suite of digital services we offer social media training and social media consultancy, both face to face and online

 

 

 


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