Archive for the ‘Communications’ 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.

A Sliding Door moment for AIB

July 22, 2022

This week AIB announced 70 of its 170 branches would be turned into cashless outlets. The dogs in the street knew it was going to create havoc and a lot of negative publicity. It did…..

After the announcement, the Central Bank has suggested that AIB reverse their decision, even the Taoiseach on a state visit to Asia has suggested the same, and they have been “invited” to appear in front of the Oireachtas Finance Committee to explain themselves.

Looking at it from a reputation management point of view, AIB – you get 0 out of 10!! Afterwards, a half hearted statement came out from the bank, mentioning their future plans with An Post.

Looking at the AIB Press Office microsite, there is a press release announcing this partnership published Sunday 17th July. Two days before the cashless announcement, coming across as very cynical timing.

And speaking of timing, this morning when it’s wall to wall negative publicity for AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB have announced that they will not be passing on the ECB interest rate hike to its variable and fixed rate customers. 10 out of 10 for timing – basically they are saying “when the competition goes low, we go high”.

Note: The state retains ownership of 71% of AIB!

The Sliding Door Moment…
For me as a loyal AIB customer for over 20 years and as a communications specialist, AIB’s decision this week comes across as so cynical and ill thought out, and certainly with zero consideration of their customers in the areas affected.

I wonder how different it would be if they instead worked more on the partnership with An Post, celebrated it, communicated good news stories on the collaboration and built up “a bank” (pardon the pun) of positive stories, before they made this contentious announcement. This would at least nurture some trust and understanding for the decision, as they would bring customers, staff, politicians and even the Central Bank on the journey with them.

Looking from the outside in, with so much negativity, it looks like AIB did none of this.

The lesson – we all have Sliding Door Moments in our business – if decisions you are making could affect the way your team, your customers, media, stakeholders or the general public think of you, please get sound advice on how to communicate these changes.

Backing Brave?

Deirdre

Deirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion Communications and she heads up Strategic Communications and Crisis Communications at the agency, that operates from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Social Media and the Metrics that are actually important

July 14, 2022

KPI’s, engagement rates, follower numbers… all of these metrics are so important when we work on our client social media reports every month but how important is this information really?

There is so much information out there for us to consume, especially in relation to our own social media statistics, but I always think it’s so important for us to keep track of where our audience actually are.

IPSOS MRBI release a Social Networking Tracker report twice a year after surveying users in Ireland about their social media activity. It’s fascinating to read the most recent report and see these stats on account ownership and daily usage and it can also help inform where to put your marketing spend.

As we can see from the infographic above, Facebook is still the king of social media networks in Ireland. Something I hear quite often is “Facebook is dead, Instagram is the best platform to be on”, etc. Looking at, and understanding these reports shows us that even though Instagram may be catching up with Facebook, it still is quite a relevant platform and cannot be forgotten or ignored. And lest we forget, they’re all under the umbrella of Meta so they’re basically the same thing now… Especially where your advertising budget is concerned!

An important one to look at here, is the increase and decrease of followers on the various platforms. TikTok is the only platform with a significant increase (+6%) while all the others lost followers and Instagram held steady. TikTok continues to grow this year and is definitely one for businesses to consider, if they can create strong, relevant video content. It is not a platform where you can just post an image and hope for the best, so time and energy needs to be spent coming up with creative ideas to engage an audience.

In terms of daily usage, it’s interesting to note that while Instagram (63%), TikTok (58%) and Facebook (55%) are all quite high, so are both Twitter (42%) and Reddit (41%). I think this goes to show that while the visual content can be quite engaging on the other three platforms, Twitter and Reddit still have quite a loyal audience who react to news and written content.

LinkedIn, while reporting numbers behind Facebook and Instagram, actually dominates the B2B space, and if that is the space that you operate in, then it becomes the most important platform for you!

My main takeaway from this, is that when you are considering which platform to be active on, think about who your target audience(s) are and the type of content that you need to produce to connect with them. If video is not your thing, then maybe TikTok is not a good idea, but if you have amazing pictures and great videos and even blogs then you can share those on the likes of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and maybe even Twitter.

At Fuzion when we work with our clients on their social media activity, we spend a lot of time in the beginning getting their social media strategy right: Who are your audiences, what do you want to convey to them, what social media platforms are a priority and what role does each of them have. It is only then that we start to think about content, frequency of posting, the need for budgets to promote posts and simple things like the roles and responsibilities around this.

As part of this work, it always helps to spend some time figuring out who you think your target audiences are and comparing those to the insights available on the various platforms, to see who is actually following and engaging with you. Through your insights you will also be able to see the content that they engage with most and this can help inform your future social posting.

If you’re looking for some help with any of this, please don’t hesitate to give us a quick call or email and we can put you on the right path!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion operating from offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland.

So you want a new logo?

June 22, 2022

You’re beginning a new business or rebranding a program in the education industry. You want to get the most out of your time and money spent on a logo, but you’re not sure where to begin or how to proceed.

Here are a few pointers from our team at Fuzion and how crucial you are to representing your brand:

  1. Strategise

Establish goals and a strategy with your designer and creative team. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, start with a creative brief. A creative brief defines your goals and how you intend to achieve them.

Who do you want to communicate with and what do you want to convey to them? Your creative brief identifies your target audience, establishes measurable goals, and specifies the steps you’ll take to reach them, as well as the resources you’ll employ. This guide will be used by you and your team as you work together to create your new brand identity.

  1. Do your homework

Getting a sense of what’s out there in the market and figuring out where you fit in is a good place to start. It’s critical to understand your “story”, the core values and the organisation culture, who you want to appeal to, and what those people respond to.

Discuss your customers with your designer. What are their customs, habits, needs and interests and how would you define their culture? Your logo must appeal to them, foremost. Also, who are your competitors and what does their brand say about them? Are you familiar with the standard branding conventions in your target market? Should you follow suit or be the business that stands out by not following trends and thinking outside the box?

  1. Communicate your brand’s narrative in a compelling way

Often, first impressions with a new prospective customer are defined and represented by your logo and the other supporting branding . You and the design team will collaborate to ensure that your identity properly communicates your brand story, armed with a solid understanding of your brand. Your new visual identity should reflect your company’s culture and product, service, or idea, what you do and who you are. What you show the world—your logo and any other encounters your customer has with your brand—must create credibility, build relationships, foster loyalty, and drive action in your audience. The designer’s role is to turn your story into a visual symbol that expresses what you’re trying to say. Your assistance is critical in making that translation possible.

  1. The Design Methodology

Creating an image that communicates non-verbally is the goal of logo design. You and our designers will communicate in a way that goes beyond the written word. You want your customer to feel good about themselves and be motivated. This can be accomplished by appealing to a person’s existing visual vocabulary or by challenging them with a new association.

Fluency in this style of communication is crucial when selecting colours, typeface(s), and image material, as well as deciding on shape, form, line, movement, pattern, and texture. Sensitivity to cliché, overuse, market trends, and what is tried and true for your audience are all important considerations. Your designer is aware of this and can assist you in sorting through all of the possibilities.

Collaboration, education, open-mindedness, exploration, and trust will all be part of partnering with our team of experienced designers. The whole project will benefit. Don’t be scared to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Comfort can sometimes lead to something that appears to be an off-the-shelf solution…boring!!

Remember, your business is as interesting and one-of-a-kind as the clients you’re designing for! Few design decisions are made at random, so don’t be hesitant to inquire about the rationale or reasoning behind any aspect of the designer’s work. You’ll get an informed response every time.

Bringing examples of what you like and don’t like, to your designer, is a smart place to start. Often, the designer will provide an overview of the competitors logos as well as other design samples in your field. Being objective might be difficult at times, but keep in mind that you’re designing for your client. Try to keep an open mind if for example you hate green but all research points to it and your designer proposes it. Conversely, if you’re seeing a lot of green and you know your customers prefer a different colour scheme, don’t be afraid to tell us. When it comes to achieving the proper design for a project, everyone needs to be open-minded.

  1. Different types of logo designs

A simple Google search will demonstrate just how many different kinds of logo design approaches are out there. It’s an important question to ask your designer what style they feel will work for you, as certain styles may be more suited to your brand than others—stylistically, historically, and for practical reasons such as cost, timing, and as explained below, usage. Go ahead, have some fun, explore some different types of logos named below and see what resonates.

EXAMPLES: Symbols, The Wordmark, Initials, Seals, Crests, Enclosures, Combination Logos, Certification, Accreditation, and Network Logos.

  1. What is your main use case?

It is critical to consider all of your identity’s applications when designing. These are usually mentioned in your creative brief. Knowing these current and future use cases will aid the designers in making decisions that will ensure optimum legibility, consistency in appearance and impact, and the capacity for the logo to be reproduced accurately across all media. A brand guide can assist you and your team in directing the usage and use of your logo and identity materials in all scenarios, and is one of the components that Fuzion offer as part of a full visual identity package.

Here are a few identity-related use-cases:

Marketing Collateral: stationery, print brochures, posters, point of purchase displays

Online Marketing Materials: website banners, email header, email signature, social media avatars or icons

In-Motion: video, titling, animation, broadcast, 3D, motion graphics, etc.

Apparel: uniforms, name-tags, hats, tee-shirts and accessories

Signage: in-store signs, exterior signs, trade-show displays, vinyl banners, vehicle wraps, decals, badges, flags and more

Premium Items: printing on fabric, plastic, wood, glass, metal items, in single, multiple, or full-colour versions; engraving logo on glass, wood, or stone, etc.

Packaging: printing on paper, label stock, plastic, etc.

Product: durable impressions (printing, moulded, embossed, engraved) on glass, metal, fabric

  1. Make a great impression every time

How can you make your logo operate in a variety of settings? In the vast majority of circumstances, you’ll require multiple versions of your final logo, here are some examples:

• Horizontal and vertical proportioned copies of your brand mark.

• Full-colour, single-colour, grayscale, and black-and-white versions.

• A version without the tagline. If you want to produce different taglines for different market categories, do so now, in the proper style, rather than later.

• For smaller applications, create simpler versions (like a 10mm-wide mark on a credit card, for example)

• Simplified or abbreviated versions for various applications, such as dropping the name and only using the symbol on a product.

  1. How much should it cost?

Your logo is an investment—in your company, in your brand, in your team and in your customer.

As with any investment, how much you spend and where you spend it are critical to getting a good return for your money. Our responsible and experienced design team can structure a quote with line items for any or all of the project phases: strategy, research, preliminary sketches, meetings, revisions, final artwork, file preparation, style guide and more. The prices for each phase are typically based on estimated hours @ an hourly rate. Our estimates allow you to see how the fee is being allocated—for what service, and how much you are investing. Or you may receive a flat fee, with a description of what is included.

Last but not least

Your company and your customers’ relationship to you is symbolised by your logo. A thorough, informed, and thoughtful partnership on building a new identity, as well as competent brand execution and maintenance, can ensure that both you and your customer has a seamless experience with your brand.

Mark

Mark Kenny is part of the graphic design team with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing and PR team with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

Why You Should Pay Attention To The Games Played After The Game.

May 24, 2022

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In the Times, where I worked as a rugby correspondent for a fistful of years, and many other newspapers, the sports department is sometimes known – tongue firmly in cheek – as the ‘toy department’.

The correspondents in politics and news may look down their noses at the folks who fill the back pages, but there was no doubting the importance of the toy department.

For many, the sports pages are a reason to buy a newspaper, and the coverage in that section will be treated by many with more import than the tales of philandering gerrymanderers who populate the early pages.

Arrigo Sacchi, the famous ex-Milan and Italy coach, once said that sport is ‘the most important of the less important things‘, and he wasn’t wrong.

When you think of a crisis in ‘public life’, you’d be forgiven for thinking immediately of a political scandal.

But for the highest crises-to-personality ratio, you’d struggle to look beyond professional sport.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the press conference at Anfield, Liverpool.

How many CEOs (football managers) earning millions are dumped in a number of weeks or months each year? How many CEOs need to front up to media interviews in the double figures each week? How many CEOs are heroes to millions and demons to millions more?

When it’s framed that way, you begin to see that the “toy department” has a coalface that makes it a hell of a place to hone your PR skills!

Next time you’re watching Jurgen Klopp or Jose Mourinho, consider how they speak – often off the cuff – on behalf of themselves, their players and their fans, with a skill that many CEOs would fail to ever attain.

Think of how they send subtle (and not so subtle) messages to their players while they speak, while remaining conscious of what the journalists need in return. Consider how they speak to the fans, while being cautious not to get caught up in something that could create an unwanted headline.

Some managers will intimidate – Giovanni Trappatoni was well versed in whipping out his CV when he wanted you to cower – while some will talk and talk and talk and talk…..to avoid answering your question directly.

Former Ireland rugby head coach Joe Schmidt loved to reel off the entire opposition team lineups to eat into the sparse minutes offered up, while Brian Kerr would wander off on a tangent and it felt like landing a great white to pull him back on track.

Lessons from the “toy department” may not be studied that seriously, but it’s time for that to change.

Alex Ferguson, the legendary ex-Manchester United boss – was tapped by Harvard Business School for his leadership and management skills, so maybe now the rest of us should pay more attention.

The next time Klopp, or Pep, or Cody, or Farrell speak – take notes. Take more notes when they don’t speak!

Ciarán

Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh is a Senior Account Manager, and part of the Media Training Team at Fuzion Communications, with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

Digital Marketing Trends and the things that never change!

March 6, 2022

I sat down with Alma Brosnan (Head of Social Media with Fuzion) recently for an episode of the Win Happy podcast to discuss some of the latest trends with social media and digital marketing and the different things that anyone in business should be looking out for this year.

We had a really great conversation, and whether you are someone operating in a B2B (Business to consumer or community) or a B2B (Business to Business) sector the conversation is well worth a listen.

Click here for the podcast or look for it where you listen to your podcasts or on Spotify.

While things keep on changing and evolving and you always need to be alert to these changes, the one thing that never changes is that vital never ending job you need to do to have a successful business or organisation:

You need to keep on telling your story to your target audiences, wherever they are and whether they are looking or listening it is your job to reach them.

So, absolutely …watch those trends, know and understand where and how to reach your audience today and tomorrow but always:

  • Know your story and what is special about it
  • Know your target audience(s) and how your story resonates with them
  • Make sure that when your audience come looking that you convey that story quickly and accurately
  • Have a plan that proactively tells your story all of the time

And as I say on the Win Happy podcast….Thanks for listening!

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

Our learning: Teamwork – So far and yet so close!

February 7, 2022

A lot has changed over the past number of weeks as we somewhat return to ‘normal’ life and are hopefully waving goodbye to all of the constraints and negatives associated with the pandemic for good.

And while there were so many negatives that consumed our lives over the past nearly two years, we can’t ignore the positives that have changed our lives. We were forced to adapt and change, review our processes and get on with life in a whole different way.

We had to be resilient and innovative, flexible and caring and so much more to navigate our way through this unprecedented journey.

Professionally and personally, teamwork and how we strengthened this has played a huge role in our journey. Working from home has been a game-changer for many reasons (I especially do not miss the endless hours sitting in traffic) and it would not have been so effective without some great teamwork along the way. As a team in Fuzion, I can honestly say that we have never felt so close across all departments and locations, despite not seeing each other in person for months!

Key to this and something I definitely recommend to businesses if feasible, is the introduction of a regular team catch up. For us that happens as a 30-minute, 9am social catch-up every Monday morning with the whole team on Zoom, chatting about weekend events and hearing about what everyone got up to.

Its impact has been extremely beneficial, really bringing the team together as one rather than the separate locations and functions. Our team is spread out across all four corners of the country and there are always plenty of stories to be told and ironically we’ve really gotten to know each other far more than before the pandemic and without even realising it!

For me, it wouldn’t feel right without our team call as it is something that we all really enjoy now as it gets us in the right mood for the week as well as helping to shake off those Monday morning blues. It has allowed us to strengthen our relationships with each other, improving how we communicate and work together and ensures a positive team environment, even during the height of a global pandemic!

With so many benefits, we certainly won’t be waving goodbye to this pandemic learning for a very long time.

Saidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a Senior PR Account Manager with Fuzion Communications: PR, Marketing, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing from offices in Dublin and Cork Design

The diary of a newbie!

November 2, 2021

I am delighted to have joined the Fuzion Communications team three weeks ago.

I have been working as a freelancer for the last two years, and there are many benefits to that… but also a lot of negatives (if you know, you know!).

Last winter, I realised that I missed working as part of a larger team and the bigger projects that tend to come with that.

I wanted to join the right agency for me, a place that truly cares about delivering the best results possible for their clients, and has a fantastic team at the heart of the organisation. Thankfully that is absolutely the case.

In my first week I was keen to be in the office as much as possible while the team was adapting to work towards the hybrid style, everyone was so warm, friendly and straightforward about everything, which is something that I really appreciated. In addition to this they were fantastic in dishing out tips for the best local coffee and where the best lunch spots are…Tir on Baggot Street is my new firm favourite for sandwiches just in case you were wondering. You weren’t? well, sure now you know!

Some of my observations and learnings from the first week are that a good office manager is everything and already I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “Thank God for Olivia!

Everyone joining a new organisation needs to have that person that knows everything and like Olivia is so helpful in sharing her pearls of knowledge with new joiners.

One of my first tasks was to prepare a presentation for a potential new client.

What was amazing about this process was talking through everything with Dee the founder of Fuzion, where she explained with heart the ‘why’ behind each action as opposed to saying “this is just what you do.”

Last Friday was a team day in the gorgeous Montenotte Hotel in Cork, which was a lovely opportunity to meet everyone off-screen, in person over a cup of coffee… who would have thought something so simple is in fact so important to our working lives?

One of the main items on the agenda in Cork was reflecting on the year just passed and future planning for 2022.

One of my key observations was just how engaged everyone on the team was while their colleagues spoke, every idea and wish was noted to see how it could be brought to life down the line. I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed that in action before, it was lovely.

There was a shared sense of respect, and yes, of course, we all have to and want to work hard but there is an onus on everyone to make the best of it, by speaking up and being a part of the brilliant ideas that are at the heart of what makes this organisation tick. I am so excited about what is to come, it’s been a long time since I had that feeling that I was truly in exactly the place I am meant to be.

Sarah

Sarah Murphy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications a Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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