Archive for the ‘Celebrity Endorsement’ Category

The Love Island Effect – Fast Fame & Fast Fashion

September 22, 2022

It’s been one month since we last ran to the couch at 9pm to hear, for the last time this summer, “Previously… on Love Island”. 

For eight weeks of summer, Love Island almost has a chokehold over the nation. Those out for a Sunday drink calling it a night at 8.30pm, those holidaying abroad praying that their wifi is strong enough for Virgin Media player.

An average of 204,000 viewers tuned in across Ireland each night to see how the contestants were getting on, and who they were getting with. For those eight weeks, the reality TV show basically took over our social lives and had us hooked to our screens.

Each season, while romances, friendships and tensions build inside the villa, we watch the contestants’ social media followings build on the outside, particularly on Instagram. The rise to fame is fast, as fast fashion brands scramble to secure their newest brand ambassadors, fighting for the ‘best’ with their top competitors. 

Take Molly-Mae Hague – the most successful contestant ever on the show. Molly-Mae was slowly breaking her way into the world of influencer marketing before ever appearing on or being associated with Love Island, regularly posting on Instagram and sharing to her YouTube channel. She entered the Spanish villa with approximately 170,000 followers. Coming not in first, but in second place on series 5 of the show, there were countless fast fashion brands lining up left, right and centre to sign her up.

She was the first UK influencer that Starbucks had ever paid to post content for them. She exited the villa, to sign a deal with fast-fashion retailer, PrettyLittleThing (PLT), as a brand ambassador. Fast forward three years, she is now their Creative Director – she now has a whopping 6.4 Million Instagram followers, making her the most successful Love Island contestant to date. 

Fast forward to this year. Gemma Owen, daughter of famous English football player, Michael Owen – remember that goal in the 1998 World Cup? Well, Gemma has now almost surpassed her fathers fame, at least with this generation. Gemma entered the villa with 79.5k followers and has now hit the 2 Million mark. Following in the footsteps of Molly-Mae, she has just last week signed an ambassador deal with PrettyLittleThing. 

Ekin-Su, the queen of this summer’s Love Island who did a 180 on the show and won the nations hearts, has quickly jumped to a whopping 3 Million followers, proving she is most deserving of that title. She has signed (supposedly) the biggest deal in Love Island history, with fast-fashion brand, Oh Polly, worth £1 Million. 

It has to be questioned whether Love Island has become the gate-way to fashion deals, as opposed to a path to ‘finding love’? 

Molly-Mae has previously admitted on her YouTube channel that she went on Love Island as a career move and did not think she’d find love, only to meet Tommy (queue the “awwww”). But was this a one-off?

Can Ekin-Su and Gemma maintain their Love Island romances? Deep down, do they really care once they have their brand deals? It is early days for them but time will tell – if love fails, they have fame and fast-fashion…

And as for brands, they all love a good influencer!

Mary

Mary O’Mahony is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Marketing and Graphic Design agency operating from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Influencer Marketing, a clever campaign tactic

September 21, 2022

Love them or hate them, influencers prove time and time again that they can be of huge benefit to businesses of all types. From global brands, national titles, charities, community organisations and local small businesses.

Influencer marketing is a tactic that we use frequently at Fuzion. The results we get for clients are very strong, and can range from improving brand awareness, reaching very specific audiences, driving traffic to a website and increasing sales.

This relatively new form of marketing can be an extremely cost effective way to reach target audiences. For example, we support a lot of our clients with product drops to a targeted list of influencers whose content and following are in line with the brand in question. The cost incurred to the business is the design and content of the packs and courier charges, while the return on investment is significantly high with influencers typically showing their audience(followers) the gift they have received and tagging the brands account in their posts.

A recent example of a successful product drop for Fuzion was our work with Hi-Spirits brand, Southern Comfort and their festival themed pack, which was packed full of all the essentials for any festival and included a sampling of their new ready to drink flavoured cans, a branded mini speaker and portable charger and this came packaged in a very handy, attractive cooler bag. We are sure that there was lots of envy at Electric Picnic this year against those lucky few who had these goodies!

This campaign was hugely effective in raising awareness about Southern Comfort’s new product to its target audience, while at the same time creating excitement about the brand.

It is important to note that engaging with the right influencers is just one of the tactics that we would use as part of a marketing and PR campaign for clients, carefully combined and coordinated with other tactics, all designed to work together to reach their target audiences, and as we say at Fuzion, to #WinHappy!

Heather

Heather Lordan is part of the marketing and PR team of Fuzion Communications who work from offices in Dublin and Cork.

LIV vs. PGA: How the Issue of Sportswashing Has Thrown the World of Golf into Disarray

June 16, 2022

The creation of the LIV Golf Invitational Series has sparked huge controversary and casts real
doubt over the future of golf.

This new golf tour is financed by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. You may recognise the Saudi PIF, as it was also in the news late last year after its purchase of Premier League club, Newcastle United.

The LIV Golf tour, along with the purchase of Newcastle United, has sparked much public debate because it is seen as an attempt at sportswashing by the Saudi Arabian regime and its Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

Sportswashing is a relatively new concept, but the term itself derives from the more familiar ‘greenwashing’. The process of an organisation spending more time and money on marketing itself as environmentally friendly than on actually minimizing its environmental impact.

Sportswashing is just as deceitful as greenwashing. Sportswashing is the practice of an individual, group, corporation, or government using sports to improve their reputation, by either hosting a sporting event, the purchase or sponsorship of a sports team, or direct participation in the sport itself. For world leaders, the practice of sportswashing is a strategy of reputation management. It is being increasingly adopted by countries with historically poor records when it comes to human rights.

In the case of the LIV Golf Series, it is Saudi Arabia and its leadership that has come under intense media pressure within the sports world. Saudi Arabia is a particularly repressive regime, with an appalling human rights record. For those living in Saudi Arabia, ‘freedom of expression, association, and belief’ are not seen as basic human rights.

People who defy the rules of the Saudi regime, can suffer dire consequences as a result. The Saudi Crown Prince, Bin Salman, has been accused of committing several high-profile crimes including the killing of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in 2018.

Given the distance in belief systems from the Saudi regime and those of us in the West, it is surprising that so many prominent and successful golfers have agreed deals to participate in the inaugural LIV Golf Series. Some of the players that have committed to participate so far, include the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Bryson De Chambeau and Ireland’s own Graeme McDowell. All of those mentioned above are previous Major winners.

On the back of their participation in the Saudi PIF funded LIV Golf Series, all LIV players have been suspended from participating in PGA Tour events.

When questioned on their participation in this new tournament the LIV rebel golfers have rubbished claims that they hold any responsibility for allowing the Saudi regime to use the sport of golf in their own sportswashing game. Graeme McDowell argued at a LIV press conference that “as golfers if we tried to cure geopolitical situations in every country in the world, we played golf in, we wouldn’t play a lot of golf.” This remark, in turn, could be seen as a dig at golf’s traditional PGA Tour. Another Irish golfer, Rory McIlroy, has hit out at the LIV Golf Series on numerous occasions over the last few months and has backed the PGA Tour’s decision to suspend those participating in LIV events from the PGA. “I certainly don’t envy them, but I’ve always felt this is the best place to play golf, and I still believe that”, McIlroy said speaking to the media after winning the 2022 Canadian Open.

The establishment of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, along with the participation of some of golf’s most decorated and celebrated players has shaken the world of golf over the last week. Those players subsequent suspensions from the PGA Tour have led to speculation that they could be banned from playing in future Major tournaments and even, the Ryder Cup. Any ban from participating in golf’s four Majors and the Ryder Cup could signal the death of golf as we know it.

The ever-increasing debate around sportswashing will continue to fracture long-standing relationships in golf and across the world of sport, as this important societal issue continues to come to the forefront of not just sport, but business, civil and political society.

The issue of sportswashing will begin to show the true characters of our favourite sports stars, clubs, and competitions. The more instances of this kind, the more our loyalties will be tested as sports fans.

Is everything and everyone for sale, including our reputations?

Dylan

Dylan Morley is a Junior Account Executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

While it’s not guaranteed, it is possible

April 8, 2021

At Fuzion we strategically think about our approach to media opportunities and look for the best possible way to tell our clients’ story. While we cannot always guarantee national blanket media coverage with every story, that doesn’t always stop us from trying…

CRY Ireland has such a powerful story and Fuzion has been working with them for almost six years to help tell this in the best way possible while increasing awareness of the charity and the amazing work that they do. This time last year, Fuzion had the idea to reach out to the “top dog” of Irish Media, The Late Late Show to see if there was any interest. (Ambitious we know!)

Almost a year later, The Late Late Show dedicated Friday’s show on the 12th of March to raising awareness of sudden cardiac death. As we worked more with the producers of The Late Late Show, the more they bought into the story of CRY and quickly realised how valuable the work that they do is. The show featured CRY Ambassador and Downton Abbey star, Allen Leech, Model and jewellery designer Emily MacKeogh and Founder of CRY, Marie Greene with each telling their experience of losing someone to Sudden Cardiac Death and their link to the charity.

With CRY’s major fundraising events being cancelled due to the pandemic, not only was the charity’s revenue adversely affected but so were the families of CRY. Many families that have lost someone to sudden cardiac death were left in isolation without the support of friends and family. Often, communities used regional fundraisers for CRY as an opportunity to come together in support of losing someone in their community. Many now left to grieve alone.

Over the last year CRY have been working vigorously to improve their family support services including the development of an all-island helpline. It was estimated that it would cost €150,000 for CRY to continue providing their cardiac screening and bereavement services for free over the next three years.

From the Late Late Show segment and the media coverage that came with it, CRY managed to reach their goal and more, raising over €155,000, while also reaching many homes who weren’t aware of the charity, but had lost someone to sudden cardiac death.

When the idea came about to pitch into the Late Late Show, we could have never imagined the amount of support CRY would receive and we are delighted to be a part of the footwork that helped achieve this. No idea is too big and we always try to reach for the stars with our clients.

While it’s not guaranteed, it is possible!

Note: A huge thanks to the fantastic team at The Late Late Show for taking the time to listen to us, for understanding how important the work of CRY is and for working so hard to deliver this message to viewers of the show – you have made an incredible difference to so many people that are supported by CRY.

Niamh 

Niamh Lawlor is an Account Executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork.

2020 – Time to get Experiential !

January 16, 2020

Ardsallagh Cheese

When it comes to trends in Marketing to look out for in 2020 and beyond I think it will be all about ‘Experiential’ getting closer to the customer allowing them to touch and feel the products and services and to meet the people behind them.

We see ourselves that the noisy, over crowded, algorithm choked social media space, which not so long ago provided a fantastic opportunity to “get close” to customers is proving very challenging without substantial advertising budgets.

The social media “influencers” in the main who had a short moment in the sun, over cooked the magic by quickly switching from being genuinely passionate about their sectors to being “show me the money” merchants.

The cynical and very savvy consumer is seeing through all of this “BS” and is slowing returning to more trusted and reliable traditional media, which is really interesting as they are craving something authentic, something that does not leave them cold.

An interesting medium that we see doing well is podcasts, which if executed carefully is a very special way for your customer to get to know you better while they are commuting or in the gym.

I was judging the podcast category again this year for the Digital Marketing Awards and I could see some really great examples of companies using the medium to great effect.

I noticed with interest last November, Amazon the leaders in online retail, promoting their ‘Black Friday‘ sale with full page adverts in the national newspapers, billboards around the city and even customer events.

For the third year running in London they had a free four day “pop-up” event, ‘The Home of Black Friday‘ whereby customers were treated to all sorts of entertainment and demonstrations as well as being able to ‘touch and feel’ some of the special Black Friday deals.

As well as checking out the huge range of epic deals on offer throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday, visitors to the Home of Black Friday had the chance to try out the latest must-have products from beauty to tech and preview the latest screenings from Prime Video.

They ticked the boxes on all of the customer demographics with complimentary workshops and experiences including, DJs, Rappers, yoga, cocktail masterclasses, beauty makeovers and Christmas workshops.

It turns out that clicking on images of items on our screens isn’t the “be-all and end-all” after all!

We witnessed it ourselves before Christmas with the weekend events that we ran for Dunnes Stores in some of their leading stores in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick, whereby customers could meet the food producers, taste the food, meet the designers and see the fashion on models and watch some demonstrations by experts.

Dunnes Stores

I am now buying the Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade Goat Cheese and Himalayan Salt Aged Beef on a regular basis after chatting with the cheese maker and the butcher from James Whelan Butchers, I’m wearing SPF skin cream protection for the first time after meeting Darren Kennedy and I am wearing a cashmere jumper from Paul Costelloe!

I also, as well as having more belief in the wine selection at Dunnes Stores, I have some new favourite wine brands after listening to the wine buyer talking about his favourite wines and the vineyards they come from.

In truth, no advert or social media posts would have had the same habit changing effect on me and there is a lot of money in our habits!

So for 2020 and beyond, I can see us all working really hard to create those new opportunities to get closer to the customer through real life experiences.

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

PR Stunt – “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

September 2, 2019

Dove campaign

The company Dove is legendary when it comes to creating world renowned publicity stunts and one of my favourites has to be the short film they created in 2013 titled, “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

Throughout the short film , Dove investigates further into female self-loathing and hatred. It is safe to say that women in this modern era lack a great deal of self-esteem.

This self-hatred stems from the likes of social media, beauty magazines and gorgeous celebrity models. Women are forced to compare themselves to an image that is most arguably face-tuned and photo-shopped.

Dove believe that women undervalue their true selves and that women are “their own worst critics”. However, in order to battle this phenomenon of self-critique, Dove invited a number of women to describe their face to a sketch artist.

The comments made by these women in the video are extremely disheartening.

One of the most shocking remarks was from a woman who immediately stated that she had a “fat, rounded face” when asked what was her most prominent feature. This proves that most women immediately focus on the negative aspects of themselves and see it as their most prominent feature instead of a positive aspect, such as their eyes or smile.

Dove campaign

Thankfully the video includes a surprising turn of events in which each woman had to chat with a stranger after describing their appearance.

After a long chat, this new acquaintance was asked to describe the face of the women they were just talking to.

Finally, the film concludes with each woman examining two pictures of themselves, one drawn with the details they had given and the other with the details given by the stranger. What is completely unbelievable is that the two images are strikingly different.

The image described by the stranger is clearly more flattering and complimentary of the woman. This image is also a lot more similar to the women’s actual appearance. The images described by the women themselves seem to be more depressed, older and fatter than the other picture.

Dove campaign

This short film is revolutionary in my opinion as it reminds women that what we see every day in the media is not real and most importantly extremely unattainable.

I find myself looking at bloggers and celebrities on Instagram and comparing myself to them and discovering faults in my own appearance. However according to Dove I must realise that I am more beautiful than I think.

I hope every woman watches this film and gains a sense of confidence and comfort in their own skin. I also believe that the media has a moral obligation to promote real beauty and beauty diversity rather than an unrealistic photo-shopped image.

This in turn could demolish this common self-hatred among women.

Eimear

Eimear McKenna wrote this blog post when she was on a week’s work experience with Fuzion Communications, a PR, Marketing, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing Agency in Ireland with offices in Dublin and Cork

About Eimear (in her own words!)

I am 19 and currently studying English, History and Classics in UCD. This course has unleashed a true desire within me to write and elaborate stories. I am also a fully qualified associate teacher in Speech and Drama.

As a Drama teacher I meet many people every day and organise events such as the Feis and musicals/plays. It is a combination of these interests that has created an aspiration of mine to fulfill a career in PR. As a teenager I also love to follow many different influencers and fashion bloggers on Instagram, which has also added to my interest in PR as I would hopefully be working with these influencers every day

Show Me The Money!!!!!

July 31, 2019

Show me the money

My poor colleagues (you know who you are!) over the last few days have had to put up with me and a gripe I have re certain Social Media Influencers.

Working in communications, I know that Social Media Influencers can be such an important part of the marketing mix and such an effective way to reach target audiences. We work with celebrities and influencers constantly and achieve great results working in partnership with them and they deserve to be rewarded for the work they do for clients – it’s their livelihood!

But for me, a professional in this industry a long time, I think sometimes with certain influencers, when there is budget involved, it often comes across as inauthentic and mercenary.

An typical example – say we have a client organising a sports day – we pick an influencer that we know has a keen interest in this particular sport; pay them a four figure sum to participate in the event – and then we are told that their limit to social media engagement is “One static Instagram Post”!!

So basically they are saying, even though it is something that would be of interest to them, they won’t (really) engage digitally with the event, or the client or the people attending the event, who could be followers or potential followers. 

I think by not connecting authentically and being so rigid, in the long term it will cost these influencers in revenue, clients and followers.

It reminds me of the days back before social media.

We were working with an amazing Danish female fashion brand, who had really beautiful collections, totally current fashion, which were available nationwide. The brand provided us with high quality fashion and product images every season and budget to spend on advertising and PR. We got amazing PR coverage for the brand as the images as well as the price points were really attractive.

We had a five figure sum to spend with one of the high end fashion magazines, but for many seasons the title never took any fashion or product shots or editorial from us for the brand – but the title was more than happy to publish the full page adverts our client were paying for.

I spoke with the editor to see if there was anything she could do, to be told that the brand didn’t suit their editorial content, so I advised my client to pull the advertising!

Basically, the editor was telling me that my client’s brand was not of interest to their readers, and obviously we were fools spending the advertising budget there as well.  

Of course that was before the economic crash and the age of digital – when print titles perhaps could afford to act like this.

For me this Social Media Influencer is saying the same thing as the magazine did.

By only agreeing to do “One Static Instagram Post”, they are saying that my client’s event is not really relevant to them or their followers. 

I don’t expect or want them to bombard their followers with lots of posts and updates about the event, but it would be nice to think that they would want to tell their followers that they were going to attend , perhaps on their Instagram Story, share a live update while they are there and then post some nice photos of the special day out, meeting their followers and new people at something that is relevant to them.

If it’s just “One Static Instagram Post” then forget it!

They are saying to me clearly that they really are there just to collect the money, not to engage digitally with the brand or the people attending on the day.  

I’m at this too long now to compromise. 

I really want to work with authentic people and brands and that includes the third party suppliers and influencers we introduce and recommend to our clients.  We always go the extra mile for our clients and we expect the people that we recommend to do likewise.

So, in this case I advised our client not to go with this influencer and instead to work with Influencers who have already connected with the brand organically, who have shown that they are connected and willing to really be part of a very special day. 

My client’s four figure cheque will be addressed to one of them if I have anything to do with it……

Deirdre Waldron, Fuzion Communications, PR ConsultantDeirdre 

Deirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

What is the cost of being “influenced”?

July 30, 2019

influencers in PR- Fuzion Communications

I unlocked my phone, and my finger (without thinking) automatically clicked onto the Instagram app.

The first thing I saw was a stunningly beautiful girl in a bikini with an amazing figure, on a picturesque beach in some dreamy location, holding a bottle of sunscreen.

How random? Well actually, it’s not. The brand of sunscreen that this beautiful influencer is holding, paid her (quite a lot of money) to post a picture of herself with their product.

We like to think that we are clever and that we don’t buy into what these influencers are selling, but we do.

We love to follow them and we do seem to value their opinion. We know that these people are paid to promote products but once they say that they “love” them, we try to resist their “influence”, but more often than not, we will purchase the latest product off the back of our favourite influencer’s recommendation.

It is a guilty pleasure of mine that I love to follow some fabulous, Irish influencers.

However, when I scroll through their Instagram feed for some outfit inspiration for an upcoming event, I can’t help but notice the #AD #SP #AF at the end of a large number of their posts.

Okay, yes, they are acknowledging that their post is an AD or Sponsored but not everybody is aware of what these hashtags mean.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) have enforced rules, which influencers MUST comply with when posting content which has been paid for by another brand/ company.

For a long time, influencers have been getting away with posting content and hiding the fact that they have been paid for it. With the rise of online influencing, the ASAI has been keeping a much closer eye on these posts and making sure that the “paid for” content is clearly marked and not misleading to the influencer’s followers.

It is quite clear that ITV’s, Love Island has been the most watched and talked about TV show of 2019, with over 3.4 million viewers per night, and the show takes over Twitter’s Trending and Moments sections every night.

Many of the contestants social media following has jumped from just a couple of hundreds or thousands to nearly hitting the million mark in just under eight weeks. So it is without a doubt that the Love Island contestants are set for “influencer-dom” and are guaranteed multiple sponsorship deals the moment they get out of the villa.

The ASA in the UK has partnered up with ITV to supply the contestants with a workshop and a “social media advertising” survival kit for when they leave the villa. This is to ensure that the contestants comply with all of the advertising rules and clearly mark that their posts are sponsored or an Ad.

It is quite difficult now to work with influencers and negotiate their job without having to go through their agents.

Many people wonder if it is worth paying Instagram/ Social Media Influencers such large amounts of money for one static post on their feed and three frames on their story (30 seconds)?

However, in my opinion, yes it is worth it (product dependant obviously) as long as this person is genuine about the product they are endorsing and is not there ‘just’ for the money.

Influencer’s are still able to “influence” their followers to purchase the product that they are paid to promote even with or without the #AD at the end of the post!

Abigail Shaw - Fuzion CommunicationsAbigail 

Abigail Shaw is a PR Executive with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Should your celeb ambassadors stay at home?

July 7, 2019

Should your celeb ambassadors stay at home?

That sentence might seem like a contradiction, coming from someone who works in public relations.

Raising awareness for worthy causes is part of my job when working with charities. Utilising the high profile and credibility of a celebrity is a good way to do that, right?

The answer is yes, sometimes.

Reputation is the foundation of the work I do. I know only too well how easy it is to damage a reputation and how difficult it is to build that reputation back up. I also know how easy it is for labels to be attached to the collective public mind and how difficult it is to change minds once an idea takes hold.

That is why everything I do in my role as a communications professional has to be strategic. It is my job to boost, but more importantly, to protect a reputation.

Comic Relief recently announced that it will stop sending celebrities abroad after BBC presenter Stacey Dooley posted a picture on Instagram with a young Ugandan child, along with the caption “;OB.SESSSSSSSSSSED” and a picture of a broken heart.

The post sparked outrage and Dooley was accused of ‘white saviour complex’.

Stacey Dooley Comic Relief post

But what was wrong with the image?

To begin with, it appears self-serving, the perception being that Stacey is using a child to push a charitable image of herself. In turn, this adds to the idea that countries such as Uganda are poverty-stricken lands that need to be ‘saved’.

Stacey’s refusal to apologise and her remarks that she “couldn’t care less what people think,” didn’t help to diffuse the situation that Comic Relief found itself in.

I have worked in several humanitarian organisations. I have sent a number of celebrities abroad to major crises such as Ebola and Syria. It makes sense, doesn’t it? The crises that are ongoing globally need to be highlighted.

Human suffering is occurring at a scale never before seen, yet organisations are finding it more and more difficult to get their message out there. Who better to help raise awareness than a celebrity?

Stacey is giving up her time and showing compassion in a difficult situation. Isn’t that a good use of her fame?

It is a complicated issue.

Yes, these crises need to be highlighted and reported on, but it must be done in a strategic and informed way.

Stacey Dooley appeared to be uninformed on what constitutes inappropriate behaviour. She lacked the strategic knowledge of the damage her fame could do and the powerful potential of broadcasting an inappropriate message to her huge following on Instagram.

Brand ambassadors who are under-prepared and unprepared can do untold damage to more than just the organisations they represent. The well-meaning work of Bob Geldof and Live Aid is a classic example.

Bob Geldof did put Ethiopia on the map in Europe and the U.S., but for the wrong reasons.

Today, the country’s reputation is one that is synonymous with the “flies on the eyes”, the “swollen bellies” and dry dead earth and it is holding Ethiopia back.

This kind of imagery has been used by the press to tell the story of African countries for nearly 35 years and it has led to the stereotyping of an entire continent as poverty-stricken, disease filled and desperate. This has a social and economic knock on effect.

Three years ago I travelled to Ethiopia to report on the effect of climate change. My colleague explained to me how, even now, his country is still defined by a famine that happened 33 years ago. He told me about how visitors come to Addis Ababa expecting to find a broken, grieving and barren country, and how they are shocked when they see motorways and skyscrapers.

There is no doubt that poverty is still a devastating problem in sub-Saharan Africa, but the image and reputation of the region has been irreparably shaped since 1984. Changing that stereotype and reputation is going to take a lot of work.

It is very difficult to move the public enough to donate to a charity.

I personally have heard arguments from countless members of the Irish public saying they won’t donate to the Syrian Crisis because they have seen many refugees with mobile phones who don’t appear to be “that poor”.

The temptation for a communications professional in that sector then is to only show the sympathy-grabbing, tear-jerking “fly-in-the-eyes“imagery. Shocking imagery is not balanced coverage of the continent’s more successful side.

Dooley using a photo opportunity with a child in Uganda and using them for likes or a photo op is not only insensitive, it continues the narrative of this stereotype. It is suggesting we need to “save them”, and we don’t.

The Mission Statement of most Humanitarian and development organisations is to inevitably go out of business, that the country will no longer need the organisation, to empower the people for whom they work, and to safeguard their rights and well-being post crisis and create a thriving economy that is sustainable.

Unfortunately images such as the image Stacey Dooley posted, does not empower anyone. It continues to empower a reputation so many Sub Saharan Countries have been working tirelessly to counteract.

It doesn’t matter if the action was well-intentioned, it is the impact that matters. 

Ciara Jordan - Fuzion CommunicationsCiara Jordan

Ciara Jordan is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency who provide Marketing, PR and Graphic Design Services from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

 

The Power of ‘Cancel-Culture’

May 22, 2019

Tati

‘Cancel-culture’ is a social media movement that ultimately ‘cancels’ a person, boycotting both the individual and their brand.

This term has been thrown around a lot in the online world and most recently can be seen in the online beauty community.

When someone is “cancelled” you can expect to see them being virtually excommunicated by their followers and subscribers, as well as by other social media influencers.

The recent feud between James Charles and Tati Westbrook, professional YouTubers, influencers and entrepreneurs, tore the internet in two and had an unimaginable impact on social media.

Tati Westbrook announced the recent betrayal of her so-called best friend, James Charles, being the final straw in their tumultuous relationship by publicly shaming him on both Twitter and YouTube.

Along with bashing James’ character, Tati made serious accusations against him, one of which was accusing him of being a predator. This fuelled a fire that engulfed social media platforms and attracted the attention of millions.

James Charles was deemed ‘cancelled’ by onlookers, losing millions of followers, until he finally addressed all of the allegations made against him. He responded with two videos to clear his name, he had ‘receipts’ and screenshots of conversations contradicting almost everything that had been thrown at him.

His video is currently trending at number one on YouTube and has over 36 million views. While James’ followers started to replenish, it was now Tati who was labelled ‘cancelled’ and whose follower count was and continues to dwindle.

Jeffree Star, another beauty YouTuber, influencer and entrepreneur, jumped on the bandwagon of attacking James Charles and has, along with Tati, been ‘cancelled’.

James Charles

However, Tati, Jeffree and James have since tweeted that they have settled the dispute behind closed doors and announced that they will not be commenting any further on the matter to the public again, mentioning hopes of their relationships one day recovering.

Some people question whether or not it was all a publicity stunt to boost their fame but it is to be left up in the air with viewers questions unanswered.

All that is clear is that within days the internet saw the bumpy rise and fall of these internet stars, the potential making and breaking of careers through the simple, yet fatal, term..

..’cancelled’.

Emer Healy, Fuzion CommunicationsEmer

Emer Healy is an Account Executive with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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