Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

I am Social Media!

April 19, 2016

Digital Influencers

I am social media

How many of us can actually say this?

Technology expansion and Social Media takeover is a global conversation that is always there to be had. It has vastly taken over person to person conversations but it has also enhanced it, by allowing us to have our face to face conversations in several different ways through Apps and to be honest I really think this is fantastic!

However, these advancements have opened up a whole new careers sector of ‘Digital Influencers’, a new role that is not just about having a job, it’s a lifestyle and a way of expression, doing what you love and sharing it with others.

So what is a ‘Digital Influencer’?

For me it is someone who exists across multiple platforms and through sharing their thoughts, skills, lifestyle, likes, dislikes and discoveries with a dash of personality have carefully nurtured an online following of people, who are genuinely interested in what they have to offer or live to criticise their being!

So how has this simple thought sharing activity grown so much that it is now a sought after career?

Recent findings from the Sermo Digital Influencer Index, shows us that bloggers/influencers have extended their reach and influence by creating a multi-platform presence in a global, female dominated “Industry” – yes it think it has grown so much that it can now be referred to as its own industry!

The research also showed that because of access to these other platforms, blog readership figures are falling and Instagram is leading the way because it is the one platform that allows users to be visually appealing and is a somewhat compact version of Facebook and Twitter with a higher rate of engagement. Another interesting finding was that Digital Influencers were now creating multilingual content to achieve global status and inherit more followers – smart!

Many Digital Influencers have built a solid and lucrative business from doing what they love and showing people who they are.

Much of their business includes brand collaborations, affiliation sales, charging for posts or mentions and making appearances to name a few! This has worked quite well for some of Ireland’s Digital Influencers and Sermo paid recognition to Ireland’s Top 10 with one particular influencer making the Global Top 16, Suzanne Jackson of SoSueMe. (see below for full list)

zanne Jackson - SoSueMe

The PR world is very much aware of the Digital Influencer world and many are now staple contacts in all PR agency press databases.

Here are some of our top Digital Influencers:

  • Suzanne Jackson – So Sue Me
  • Pippa O’Connor – pippa.ie
  • Joanne Larby – The Make Up Fairy
  • Lisa Jordan- Just Jordan
  • James Butler – Jus de James
  • Marissa Carter – Coco Brown
  • Grace Mongey – Faces by Grace
  • Rosie Connelly – Hearts Heels and Handbags

Sermo Digital Influencer Index

Top 10 – Ireland

  • So Sue Me – Suzanne Jackson
  • Pippa – Pippa O’Connor
  • Chloe Boucher
  • Anouska  – Anouska Proetta Brandon
  • Thunder & Threads – Leanne Woodfull

 

  • Erika Fox – Retro Flame
  • My Name is Vogue – Vogue Williams
  • James Patrice – James Butler
  • Penny and Polaroids – Nuala Gorham
  • Ciara Doherty – Ciara Doherty 

and some rising Stars..

  • Lauren Bejaoui
  • The Daily S’elf – Nadia el Ferdaoussi
  • Catherine Poulain

What’s your passion, what are you obsessed about…is it time to start influencing?

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is a valuable part of the Fuzion PR team in our Dublin office.

Bloggers must now declare if they are being paid to promote products or services!

March 24, 2016

transparenct for bloggers

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) revealed in January that they are coming down hard on bloggers who do not disclose if they have been paid to promote a product.

The ASAI code requires “advertisers not to mislead consumers, not to offend them, make sure advertising is truthful and that consumers know when they’re receiving marketing material“.

Effectively if a blogger is taking a payment from any organisation for writing a piece that promotes them they become an advertiser.

This is quite a significant development and in a way it is highlighting the increasing powerful role that bloggers are starting to play in influencing consumers about products and services. In my view bloggers play a special role in the whole communications mix.

They are not a paid journalist and they are not a normal social media poster, they are something in the middle. They are someone who are normally really enthusiastic, passionate and knowledgeable about a topic and as a result when they give a positive review of a product or service this tends to be very significant and influential in particular if that blogger has a big following.

With the advertising code Bloggers are now required to publish the fact that their post has been sponsored or is an advert for a brand at the start of their blog post or video and include the hashtag #ad or #sponsored in any associated social media posts.

Honesty

As a blogger myself (www.thebeautydial.com) I think this is a positive move as readers deserve to know whether or not they are reading a ‘paid for post’ or not. I set up my blog as I love the beauty and fashion world and I love informing my readers of great products, bargains, top trends etc.

I would never recommend or promote anything I don’t truly believe in or that I wouldn’t use myself regardless of whether it was paid for or not and I think this is the position of most bloggers out there. When it comes to bloggers, we have your own reputation to uphold and in my opinion it’s a huge mistake to promote something just because you get paid for it.

These rules have been in the UK for a while now and have flushed out bloggers who are just doing it for the money. Like with all other media, readers/viewers should be made aware if they are reading/watching an advertisement or not. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with bloggers being paid to promote products, in fact I think it’s a good thing as many of us bloggers invest a lot of time and money into our work but I do think it should be something that is transparent when this happens.

An exception to the rule is when a blogger can receive a sample of a product for review and this is not seen as an advert in anyway as no money has exchanged hands. This is totally fair as making bloggers aware of new products through sampling is in no way a sponsored post or advert but it is simply asking a blogger to give an honest review of the product and the brand would have no say over what the blogger will say in the review.

These new rules have just come into effect in Ireland this month, March 2016 and in my opinion it is a move in the right direction for bloggers, their readers and ultimately the brands.

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion

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

 

Blogging and PR – Top Tips

November 25, 2015

Blogging and PR

I was recently asked to speak at one of the National Blogging conferences that was held in Cork.

As a blogger myself (www.thebeautydial.com) and a PR account Manager at Fuzion I was asked to speak about PR and Blogging and how they are linked.

I first started out with how bloggers can use PR to grow their own blogs. PR is such a fantastic way to build your reputation, create awareness and create a loyal following.

Top Tips for getting your blog out there through PR

  1. Capture your story by “looking the part” (your branding/layouts etc)
  2. Identify your target market
  3. Never waste a good media opportunity/news story – timely topical posts
  4. Seek out profile pieces in media – pitch your expertise
  5. Be proactive & engage on Social Media – don’t wait for them to find you!
  6. Attend Networking/Blogger events
  7. Mix and interact with other key influencers (including other bloggers)
  8. Guest Blog on other blogs and ask for people to guest blog on yours

I then moved on to the best practices when working with PR Companies.

There are hundreds of bloggers around now and more and more are popping up each day. Many of those who are new to blogging don’t know where to begin, so I explained (having been on both sides of the fence) the best practice for bloggers when engaging or working with PR Companies.

Top Tips for Bloggers working with PR Companies

Create a Media Kit – which should contain:

  • An overview of your blog including your target audience etc.
  • The stats/demographics on your Blog (Be honest!)
  • Blog Achievements
  • Brand Affiliations
  • Social Media usernames
  • Sample Blog Posts/ Adverts
  • Photos, Logos etc.
  • Testimonials
  • Contact Details

Blogger reviews

  • Give honest & timely reviews
  • Promote via social media outlets
  • Disclose all sponsored blog posts

Responding to press releases

  • Ensure relevance to your Blog audience
  • You don’t need to respond to all
  • Don’t be rude, build relationships

I hope this helps and feel free to contact me with any questions at edelc@fuzion.ie.

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion

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

Is the old dog learning new tricks?

November 3, 2014

Teaching an old Dog new tricks

Recently a girl on work experience asked me about how I got into PR, what I studied, and how I’ve seen things change in the industry.

It reminded of one particular class in college in 2006 with John Gallagher, our Course Director for the MA in PR at DIT. John was chatting to us about these things called ‘blogs’ – not one of us, out of a class of 40, knew what a blog was, and it was only when one of my ‘brave’ class mates piped up and asked the question, that we were enlightened!

This got me thinking, and I doubt John has been asked that question since… things have changed so quickly in the 8 years I’ve been involved in the PR industry with the advent of social media and advancing technology.

When I joined Fuzion in 2007, Facebook was just rearing its head, Twitter had barely been heard of in Ireland – and as for Pinterest and Instagram, well they were more commonly known as ‘Post-Its’ and ‘Polaroids’! Now me, I’m ‘old-school’ when it comes to PR, I love to pick up a newspaper or magazine, and see a physical press clipping for my clients, but I can’t deny that social media and technology have certainly been a big help in my job, particularly when it comes to event planning and management.

In the ‘olden days’ hours would be spent drawing up invitation lists, and gathering people’s postal addresses, and stuffing envelopes with snazzy invites that so much time had been taken designing and printing. While now, I simply walk down the office to the guys in our design department, brief them on what I want the invitation to look like, and voila…. A file arrives in my inbox that I can simply upload to a system like Mailchimp along with my database of invitees and their email addresses (very little need for postal addresses anymore), I click send, and off it goes into cyber space, arriving in inboxes of everyone I want to reach within mere moments… simples!

But that’s not all, I can analyse exactly who’s opened the invite, how many times they’ve viewed it, if they’ve clicked hyperlinks to bring them to social media pages for the event; the list goes on. If I really want a particular person at the event, but they haven’t opened the invite for some reason, at least I know, and I can make sure to get in touch with them.

As well as sending invitations by email, I also have the opportunity to share details of the event on the various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Never has it been so easy to communicate with target audiences. To ensure I’m reaching them, I can allocate a small advertising spend targeting a certain demographic if necessary; as well as interacting with them and sharing updates and news about the upcoming event.

Managing a guest list is so easy now. I either receive RSVPs directly into my inbox and manage the guest list from there, or I can set up a registration page using an online ticketing service like Eventbrite, where all registrations are tracked and I know how many tickets are remaining for example. This saves hours of phone calls, making this sort of event preparation and management so time efficient for us and cost efficient for our clients.

As I already said, I’m ‘old-school’ so I won’t dismiss the more ‘traditional’ methods, and will certainly make that call or post that letter if required; and I’ll almost always recommend that we issue a press release with a great PR photo to help promote an event.

For me, it’s a combination of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ that go a long way to making a great event come together.

Alison O’Brien

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

The Mechanic’s Car and Using Your Voice!

August 29, 2013

The Mechanic's Car

It’s my own fault.  I threw down the gauntlet to our Fuzion team to put our keyboards where our mouths are and get blogging!  And I volunteered to be the first one on our new rota that Ann-Marie is going to manage!

We have seen it work so well for our business, attracting attention to Fuzion and what we believe in and the activity definitely makes us stand out from the crowd.  Seth Godin and his Cow would be glowing with purple pride I like to think!!

Everyone knows we talk about social media a lot at Fuzion and that we truly believe in the value of these new tools to promote our businesses – as well as that we can back it up with solid numbers on our various social media pages; we have regular and varied activity and we have one of the most prolific social media bloggers in the country working with us @gregcantyfuzion.

Unlike some of our competitors, the fact that we can back it up has won us solid business, it has helped us thrive and attract great clients and great people working with us.

Most of us in the team though, bar Greg (and poor @JLM_cork – who has about a million tweets and not really a corresponding number of followers – sorry JLM we’ll have to remedy that!!) don’t do enough with the tools that are right at our finger tips.  I think it’s a case of the mechanics car – last one to get fixed.

The Mechanics Car!

Hands up I am the worst offender.  I have 1,391 followers on twitter and for the life of me I honestly don’t know why they follow me, as I don’t connect with them as often as I should.  I honestly believe that most follow me because Greg mentions me on tweets so much that his followers think that I must have something interesting to say!  (I don’t but I’m working on it!!!)

Don’t get me started on LinkedIn – I have a million invites waiting to accept – so many I think Greg would divorce me if he realised just how neglectful I was of the platform!!!   And in my shame I think this is about my 4th blog (although my 3rd was on the global Lean-In blog that was reprinted in regional and national papers and I got a radio interview out of it!!)

I’m trying to engage more with the various platforms as I know it wins us business, new contacts and even some good friends – and I want more of all of these!!!

I want to engage more, I need to write more blogs, manage our on-line reputation and not leave it up to @gregcantyfuzion and @JLM_cork to fly the Fuzion flag.

I think one of the things that puts me off a little is that I’m not as brave as @gregcantyfuzion and I think sometimes with social media you need to be.  He really puts it out there.  He is honest, open and shows very much what we as a business stand for – and in his own personal blog what he stands for (and sometimes won’t stand for!!).  I am being honest myself when I say that I couldn’t be that honest!!!

Use Your Voice

The odd time Greg’s blogs and tweets get a negative reaction from some people.  But if he is going to be that prolific – sometimes he is going to have people disagreeing with him.  Greg welcomes that – he never writes something that he hasn’t researched and is prepared to back up his opinions and enjoys creating debate around something that he has a strong opinion about.

He also gets himself in to trouble the odd time, but he is happy to fight the fight, as he never writes something just for the sake of it and relishes the debate/battle.

Of course I am proud of him, but some of the blogs I wouldn’t publish – but you know what.. unless I flag the Fuzion flag more on-line, Greg’s is the only Fuzion voice that will be heard.  So I shouldn’t really complain!!

Greg Canty Fuzion

tweet @gregcantyfuzion if this reminds you of anyone!!!

Person to Person

We keep on saying to our clients – “Your clients don’t want to deal with brands they want to deal with people”. Social media gives us a really unique opportunity to engage with our clients person to person.  So we should all be using it more!  And that’s not just for business owners – the whole team should take ownership and use every opportunity they can to use their voice to promote the business that they work for – everyone can be a winner.

Now I just need to knuckle down and get my voice heard out there more and I hope that this encourages more people out there who are lurking, reading the blogs, to get their fingers to keyboards and get blogging, tweeting and for god sake start accepting all those LinkedIn connections.

You can start by commenting on this blog if you like it – or comment even if you don’t – I swear all comments are welcome – and that’s the truth – honestly 😉 xx

Deirdre Waldron is a partner of Fuzion

Snap into it!

May 24, 2013
Bueller

Anyone, anyone, anyone?

Snap out of it” I had to tell myself.

I do a lot of social media training and consultancy both directly for  clients and as part of organised courses for the Enterprise Boards and the Digital Marketing Institute.

I use a suite of materials to deliver this training including some very detailed notes that cover the whole area including blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and some of the other emerging platforms and trends in social media.

In the last few weeks I have found myself delivering a huge volume of training and on this particular day I found myself delivering a module to a client group in the morning and a similar programme in the evening to a group of SME’s as part of training for one of the Enterprise Boards.

Facing into delivering the same material on literally the same day and feeling really tired my motivation level had dropped.

I started to question myself as I drove to the hotel:

Was I getting bored with my own material?  

Would I be able to deliver a good session?

I was wallowing ..

Hold on (big conversation with self!)…you have been crafting your training materials for a few years, you have continuously improved the programme, you not only understand the material intimately but you know how to deliver it in a way that keeps the group engaged and learning – Besides you know you are passionate about this whole area.

This group of SME’s have signed up for the programme, they have given up their evenings to learn about something that could make a big difference for their business and you know you can show them how, in a really practical way.

After giving myself a few virtual slaps in the face and a big kick up the bum I managed to change my gears and open that door – “who wants to tell world about how great their business is?

We had a great session ..in fact it was the best reaction to a session that I had in the last few weeks and after it I was buzzing.

What you get from any group at a meeting or a presentation is often down to what you bring in the door with you ..your frame of mind, your attitude, your belief, your energy and your enthusiasm.

Snap into it ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin offer social media training and consultancy in Ireland

13 Tips about Blogging and making some noise!

August 23, 2012

Blogging Tips by Greg Canty, Fuzion PR

Blogging is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and get your message out there and I find more and more we are encouraging our clients to jump in and let the world hear what they have to say ….make some noise!

Once your blog post is written it makes great raw material to feed your social media activity or even to pitch to the media if it is in relation to some issue that is quite topical. Interested readers (hopefully some of these are potential customers) can subscribe to your blog and will then get automatic updates whenever you post something new.

This all sounds fabulous and it really is once you are up and running but the tough part is starting!

Often I find a client will put a week’s thought, deliberation and work into a single blog post and the monumental effort will ensure that it will be their first and last – writing isn’t easy, it is a skill that needs to be practised the same as anything else and I guess it comes easier to some than to others.

What I can promise is that once you are up and running it will get easier and easier, but you have to allow yourself  a learning curve and you will soon discover a style that you are comfortable with.

Get it right and not only will you enjoy it, but it will help to bring you and your business visibility, which should help to bring you business.

Blooging Tips by Greg Canty, Fuzion PR

I have put together a few tips about blogging that might help you along the way!

  1. Keep the blog post as short as possible (just enough to make your point)
  2. Try to write in the “first person” if possible
  3. Avoid using technical/industry jargon (unless it is for a very technical audience)
  4. Keep it topical (where possible try making your point using some issue that is current)
  5. If the blog post is taking more than half an hour to write then you are probably thinking about it too much!
  6. Always try to include a relevant visual – people love pictures!
  7. Blog as frequently as possible (at least once a week is a good target)
  8. Mix your topics and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through
  9. Keep a note book (your smart phone might help) to jot down ideas for blog posts – they will come to you at the strangest of times, believe me!
  10. Optimise your keywords – if you want your blog post to be found try to work the important keywords (the ones that a typical user might use if they were searching on the topic) into the blog heading, the first paragraph and your keyword tags. Make sure you categorise and tag your blog post once it is done.
  11. Include hyperlinks (simply the web addresses of other relevant content) – links to your website, links to the writers LinkedIn Account, links to other resources on the web.
  12. Blogging is just the start – make sure you push it out through your social media channels to get value for all of your hard work
  13. Unlucky for some but not for you – Go on …..www.wordpress.com , what are you waiting for?

Looking forward to reading what you have to say

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork


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