Archive for the ‘Car Industry’ Category

100 years of Ford and Engaging Body Language

April 24, 2017

100 Years of Ford in Cork, Ireland

On Friday last I interviewed Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and the Executive Chairman of the company that bears his family name.

He was here in Ireland, along with his terrific wife Lisa and equally terrific sons Will and Nick, two of their four children, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ford establishing a manufacturing plant in Cork.

In the University College Cork auditorium packed with pensioners from the factory, business students, and local dignitaries, we had a “fireside chat” about the future of mobility, technology and leadership.

I’ll write more about what he said on the topic of leadership, for my next week’s column in the Sunday Independent, which will also happen to be close to the 100 day mark for the presidency of Donald Trump, leader of my birth country, the United States. But, meantime, back to the Ford Company leader, if you weren’t in that auditorium to see him speak, you missed something critical: seeing how he delivered.

To me, Bill Ford exemplifies the skill of using body language to enhance a presentation.

Bill Ford at UCC

He didn’t hide behind the lectern when he gave his opening remarks like so many other CEO’s I have interviewed.

He didn’t pace around the stage. He didn’t rock or bob on his feet as he stood. He was poised and confident in the centre of it, angling his body to different parts of the room as he addressed them.

He didn’t read from a fumbling set of papers.

He looked directly out into the audience.

And perhaps most of all — he smiled!

His body language was a critical component of how he so compellingly connected with that audience.

Go online or if you’re here in Ireland, get over to your newsagent and pick up a copy of The Sunday Independent and discover my top three tips how you can become more engaging in that way too.

And, of course, shameless plug, that’s one of the communications skills I train and coach here in my directorship role with Fuzion Communications. So, I’m happy to help you and your organization power-up.

Like the Ford Company says, “The Future is Unwritten.”

And much of how your future gets written is up to you!

Great relationships equal great communications.

Gina London - Fuzion CommunicationsGina

Gina London is a former CNN anchor and international campaign strategist, now Strategic Communications Director with Fuzion Communications. She serves as media commentator, MC and corporate consultant.


Driving Change and clever campaigns

April 29, 2015

audi drivers

Every day we see brands rolling out new campaigns, launching a new initiative, promoting something.

Social media is awash with hashtags and promoted posts and PR photocalls feature in the papers. It is part and parcel of most brand communications and while largely necessary, often not very imaginative.

A lot of the communication can be easily classified as ‘thinking inside the box’ and in fairness, anyone would agree that a brand talking about how great their product is, isn’t exactly ground breaking.

But, every now and again, a brand does something really smartThey come up with a concept that is truly ‘outside the box’ and when they do, it can have a fantastic impact and be pretty powerful.

Audi launched a new campaign and, pardon the pun, it is really about driving change. Using the hashtag #womendrivers Audi, have taken the age-old joke of women’s drivers and flipped it on its head.

From a post on the Audi twitter page, with a car parked up a tree and the hashtag #womendrivers, you follow the link and expect to be directed to some more hilarious meme’s of women who’s driving/parking/reversing/whatever-you’re-having-yourself skills need some serious improvement.

What you find is very different. Its women drivers alright, but not as we know it.

The video does a better job of illustrating the impact of the campaign far better than I can, but for me, this move by Audi is a great example of how you can take a simple concept and harness your ‘brand power’ to make something that is not only smart and witty, but different.

That’s key if you want to stand out.

In a crowded market, being brave in the delivery of your brand messaging is where you will rise or fall. #womendrivers has done a better job of showing me how innovative and forward-thinking Audi are than any amount of expensive advertising or carefully chosen press release wording.

Nicely played Audi. And judging by some of the reaction online, there is a lot of women in Ireland today who are proud to be women drivers!

fuzion pr pic1Emily Hughes

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

Twitter and the New Car!

January 16, 2012
Car Salesman
At least this guy was making an effort!

My meeting had gone well, I was in a really positive frame of mind so I decided I would take the first step towards possibly ordering a new car for the start of 2012.

On the way back from my meeting I popped into a car showroom just to get a feel for the prices of the new cars, the second hand cars and of course what I would manage to get as a trade in for the Santa Fe that had served us well since the beginning of 2007 despite the high mileage.

I first spent some time looking at the “premium collection” parked outside, the collection of two and three year old cars all in great condition. Hmmm … not bad at all!

I then dared to venture into the showroom to look at the new models and I must admit feeling excited about the thought of being able to drive one of these beauties at the start of 2012. I was waiting for the approach from the salesman to start a possible conversation that could have resulted in a sale – a few of them were busy at their desks, a few walked past me with folders and a few were chatting to other possible customers.

I looked, I waited, I looked again and I must admit after a while that I was feeling a little deflated as car salesman after car salesman seemed to decide that I was an unworthy customer – did I look broke, did I look like a “tyre kicker”, did I look like another casual browser who was just going to waste their time? In any event I ended up leaving after about 20 minutes having spoken to no one.

Those who know me quite well will not be surprised that how I was feeling at that moment was shared on Twitter … “I must look like I am broke, the car salesmen didn’t come near me” I tweeted.

Jaguar XF
I know …. isn’t it a beauty!

About 10 minutes later I received a call from a friend of mine who is in the motor trade who had spotted my tweet – he was initially concerned that this could have been his car showroom and that there was some issue with his customer service. I assured him that it wasn’t and that if my route back from my meeting passed his place I would have definitely have called in. Needless to say the conversation came around to me possibly being in the market for a new car..

I collected it beauty on the 5th January, it’s a beauty..

Who said twitter was a waste of time for business ..?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

High Five When You See a ’10!

April 19, 2010

Isn’t it fabulous to see the amount of ’10 Registration Cars on the roads since the start of the year.

Last year people, even those with the necessary funds were wary about buying a new car due to the “what would people think” syndrome – we need the positive activity to set the wheels in motion for our economy!

So, the car sales are up 31% in the first quarter – if you think about it this is probably with about 2/3 of the garages that were there last year and the good chance is that the existing garages are well down in staff numbers – time to start recruiting I wonder? Maybe a little bit premature? Whichever way you look at it – it leads to a higher tax take for the government and an industry starting to move again and some funds are back in circulation. All of those garages and car salesmen have money to spend elsewhere.

From what I can gather those sales are probably less than they should be – a few car salesmen I have spoken to have been telling me that accessing cars is a difficulty due to pessimistic predictions when they were placing advance orders – you will be lucky to get a new 5 Series BMW before next September!

And what else does all that mean? – well, that is a lot of positively motivated individuals driving around in their new cars – a new car is a great feeling – well done! It does put the rest of us in the mind for a new car – it’s a positive target to have for all of us. I want to buy a new car in 2010 – that’s a goal for you.. try to make it happen.

The “confidence wheel” is simple and this is what will get our country moving again, not any superb government policy – in my view their attempts to positively mobilise Ireland have just not happened. On the jobs creation front there has been zero strategy – the government have even slashed budgets in “job creation” departments, I’m deadly serious – if anyone has the time to check budget allocations, check out if budgets in government departments with the agenda of helping new business have been increased? – I promise you they have been cut in the same way as everything else, strategy – I don’t think so!

Ok, so there is positivity creeping through and that is coming from “us”, from pure positive attitude.

Performance will follow “positive attitude” – despite the odds, so keep it going.

While we are on the “positive” agenda and this is so critical for recovery I can finally report that the house across from us has been sold!

The sale seemed to be almost completed and then fall through a few times in the last 9 months. The same banks that would have handed out a mortgage at double the price have eventually approved a loan to our new neighbour (and they have picked up a fabulous bargain at the bottom of the market) at half the price. Something wrong somewhere!

Sherry Fitzgerald - Sold!
The Big “Sold”

The amusing thing is the sign put up by, Sherry Fitzgerald the auctioneers – in the same way that I am saying to celebrate the ’10, the auctioneers are celebrating the ‘sale’ with giant ‘SOLD’ text across their signs.

Well done to whoever is completing purchases out – high 5 when you see a  ’10 and celebrate those ‘Sold‘ and lease agreed signs – things are looking up, celebrate the positivity that is all of us ..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications, Marketing & PR

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