Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Learning from Emma!

March 19, 2018

Storm Emma

This St.Patrick’s weekend, the snow threatened once again and it brought the memories and huge impact of Storm Emma, The Beast from the East and our very own Snowmageddon flooding back.

While there was major disruption, which threw our little country into chaos the stories of communities banding together to look out for, and after each other during the worst of the snow was heartwarming to say the least and gives us a fantastic reason to celebrate our special Irishness!

Thanks to social media we were able to capture some of these gorgeous moments and preserve them forever.

 

 

 

Storm Emma

Across the country, businesses are still counting the cost of Storm Emma. For some, business may have been booming and for many others, their financial forecast may be gloomy.

So why don’t we try and reward that strong community spirit, witnessed by many of us during the storms and let’s focus on supporting local business!

Buying a coffee – why not try a local roast house instead of a chain, looking for bread, maybe think of your newsagent, or better yet, your neighbourhood bakery, looking for a good book, or even the newspaper, why not pop into your local bookshop?

Beast from the East

 

Beast from the East

Local spending is powerful, because it circulates within the local economy, paying wages for example, which are also…..yes, you’ve guessed it…..spent locally.  

So now that the memory of our storm has passed, let’s all do a little bit to keep supporting each other, at home, and in business…

Alison Nulty, Fuzion CommunicationsAlison

Alison Nulty, of Fuzion Communications is a Senior PR Account Manager, Media Trainer and part of the Crisis PR team.

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.”

August 14, 2017

Pippa O'Connor and Brian Ormond at the Opening of The Oyster Bar

Nearly two weeks we had a fantastic night at the highly anticipated launch of the iconic Oyster Tavern, in Cork, just alongside the just as iconic, English Market. The launch welcomed a sea of famous faces and the ‘who’s who’ of the Irish social scene and sports world descended on Patrick Street to toast the new bar.

Stars such as Pippa O’Connor and her husband Brian Ormond and rugby legend,  Peter O’Mahony all donned the red carpet on the night and enjoyed an evening full of surprises as the new Oyster Tavern was finally revealed after a €1.5 million makeover.

However behind every fantastic event is a truck load of hard work, which at the time can be stressful and overwhelming but when it pays off, it is so worth it.

The last two/three weeks in the lead up to the highly successful event there was a huge amount of organisation and to-do lists to be completed and it meant that it was all hands on deck in the lead up to the event and on the night.

I really really enjoyed working on the event with the Oyster Tavern team (what a great team of people) but I couldn’t have done it without the help of my own Fuzion team.

We do event management day in, day out, from large scale high profile events such as the launch of The Oyster Tavern, the launch of One Albert Quay, the launch of Dunnes Stores, Simply Better Cook with Neven range and the launch of Nano Nagle Place to smaller scale ones such as the Summer Food & Craft Fair in Manor West Shopping Centre & Retail Park and the Official Public Dedication of the Kindred Spirits memorial with the Choctaw Nation.

In order for these events to run smoothly there is normally an account manager who takes the lead (which in this case was me) but we do depend heavily on the rest of the team to jump in when necessary and I have to say the team here at Fuzion had my back every step of the way with this launch.

They helped with invites, planning, media, and event management not to mention endless cups of tea, and on the night they came out in force to support the event and support me with any help I needed.

It was a night I felt proud to be part of such a solid and fun team.

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.Phil Jackson

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel

Edel Cox is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion Communications who are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

Take Responsibility and Mind your Bits!

February 20, 2017

Wow! I’d like to address the topic of Cervical Cancer, a topic that should be addressed anytime not just in January!

This blog is prompted by a recent prospect meeting I attended, where I received a Cervical Cancer Awareness brooch representing the ‘Pearl of Wisdom’ with a clever hashtag #ShareTheWisdom.

Due to my social media addiction, I of course published a post across all my social platforms in support of a very relevant campaign for women across the globe. (I’m so popular with my 35 likes!)

Cervical Cancer

Although prompted by the brooch this blog is one of personal experience and a result of my lack of responsibility for my own body, which led to an experience I never want to go through again, mainly because I did not know what to expect.

I visited my doctor because mother nature had gone AWOL and this resulted with me getting an unplanned smear test. The last thing you expect to get are negative results, which only scream the word CANCER in your head.

For an over-thinker like me this was not going to sit in one little place in my mind..Oh no! This was going to spread into every little space that has never ever been filled with, well anything (even the science/maths section).

I thought about the dreaded results so much that I ended up being a miserable mess and crying on my dear brother’s shoulder, mainly because my mother would have thought this was the end for me!! We can be quite dramatic sometimes but I’m afraid this is the reality of when you know nothing about cervical cancer.

I was called for a Colposcopy – not only could I not pronounce it but it’s not the fluffiest of words either, so this was quite daunting. I roped one of my closest friends into coming with me and we went up the night before (this of course was Valentine’s Day, so quite inappropriate!).

The next day I went to Holles Street Maternity Hospital where everyone was very helpful and I got all the information I needed. I had a treatment called LLETZ, which removed the abnormal cells on the cervix under local anaesthetic using a very fine, heated wire loop. At this time they also tested for the HPV virus.

Afterwards I felt quiet tired (the effects of the anaesthetic) with a slight discomfort and I won’t go into everything else but a few days rest and hugging myself was in order to get me back on track.

When my results came back they were all clear and I can’t describe the incredible feeling of relief when opening that letter and reading those words. I would be called back in six months for a follow up smear test to check that everything was okay, which thankfully it was – phew and finally the mind rests!

Thanks to my doctor, I was lucky but also I believe as women we know our own bodies and mine was telling me that something was up, just like you know when a tummy ache is coming on. If that little feeling is playing on your mind do not let it lie – GET CHECKED!

Of course I am aware that one of the issues in relation to cervical checks is the age barrier for public health benefit. Young women under 25 years can be affected by cervical cancer but they are not covered via the public system – It can’t be too cheap to get this done and many may not have the cash.

However it is important for us all to be responsible and proactive about our own bits. If you are under 25 and feel something is not right don’t put it off, speak to your doctor and get yourself checked.

Well done to everyone behind the Cervical Check initiative – it is so important that we #ShareTheWisdom

Don’t overthink and let it flood the science/maths section of your brain – Get checked as it could just be one of those life changing decisions.

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion PR in our Dublin office.

For more information visit – http://www.cervicalcheck.ie

The Importance of Caring

December 23, 2016

Kindness - artwork by Genesis

Today has been one of those days that sums up our work as a team and with our clients. It epitomises our job and the value and importance of relationships.

A beautifully parceled box of sweets and reindeer biscuits welcomed us all when we got to the office this morning. The sweets were made with such craft, care and attention by our very talented, and until-now closet baker, Alma Brosnan who joined us earlier this year as a social media intern. They were delicious and really such a lovely Christmas gift that again proved what a lovely bunch of people I’m grateful to call not only colleagues but friends.

This week, we’ve been working with a client to help them manage a very difficult and stressful situation. We’ve listened with empathy while providing decisive advice and efficient actions to help them navigate the stormy seas they find themselves currently in. We’ve been at the other end of the phone at dawn and during the night listening to their updates, fears and concerns, providing assurance and our professional support.

Today brought somewhat of a calm and a lovely phone call from the client to say “thank you” for being there for them. It wasn’t expected or necessary but the sentiment and thought was truly touching especially given how busy and exhausted emotionally and I’m sure physically they are.

A “thank you” costs nothing but it can mean a great deal, which is why we’ve tried to meet as many clients and journalists as we could over the last few weeks to thank them for their support.

Just meeting for lunch or calling them up to wish them a Happy Christmas and to chat about their plans for Christmas with their families is a little way to build and maintain relationships.

The value of connecting with people and caring about them on a personal level can never be underestimated. I believe it makes us better people and helps us to grow personally and professionally.

“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.” – Maya Angelou

Happy Christmas!

(Beautiful artwork by Genesis)

Aoibhinn

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn Twomey is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design  who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

What we do when no one is looking…

October 17, 2016

Cafe Velo - Cork

Rob runs Café Velo, one of the loveliest breakfast and lunch cafes here in Cork, Ireland. When I’m there, it’s as if I’ve walked back in time to when I lived in the 15th arrondissement in Paris.

Pastries are arranged behind the counter glass with artistic flair. The servers are just the right blend of warmth and chatty and the tea is served in delicate china.

I ran into Rob unexpectedly this week downtown – in a rare moment when he was not in his cafe. We stopped and chatted a bit and I casually asked about the single large book I glimpsed in the white shopping bag he was holding. Rob smiled and told me the book was for an elderly customer.

The man, in his eighties, reported in to Velo every morning for his daily scone. Except for this week when he suddenly did not appear. Rob inquired and learned the customer had had a stroke. And was in the hospital.

The man has no family to speak of. So Rob went out of his way on his own time to buy a book he thought the man would enjoy during his recovery. Now Rob was off to the hospital to pay the man a visit.

I was touched by the story and asked if I could write about it. Rob looked at me a bit embarrassed, but said, “Sure, go for it.”

So here it is!

I want to contrast a man like Rob with another man.

Rob was simply doing a kind thing. Without, in our day of Social Media marketing, even posting about it. Doing a kind thing when no one, he thought, was looking.

Donald Trump and his lewd comments

Compare that with that now notorious video, of a certain person running for US president objectifying women when the women weren’t present. Then he steps out of the van and “politely greets” one of the same women he had just talked so horribly about.

What we do when we think no one is looking says a lot about our true character, doesn’t it?

Not all men are the same. Rob’s act when he thought no one was looking was kind. And it was more than caring for a regular paying customer, it was caring of a fellow human being on this planet.

The more we can strive to get past race, religion and gender, and consider that we’re all just people together on this planet, perhaps we can all be a little kinder too.

Thank you, Rob, for a lesson all of us can learn from.

Gina London - Fuzion PRGina London

Gina London, a former Emmy award winning CNN anchor is a Strategic Communications specialist with Fuzion

Who is your most important customer?

August 15, 2016

Cakes - Fuzion

Last week our fantastic and very lovely graphic design intern, Marianne sent everyone in the team this mouthwatering email:

Morning, there are some home-made buns in the reception area should you fancy something sweet. They are cinnamon sugar and amaretto sugar buns (hope no one has nut allergies). Enjoy!

Enjoy?!!

They were absolutely delicious but more than that, this fantastic gesture by her was a brilliant way to make a connection with her fellow teammates on her first week.

This huge gesture blew me away and it got me thinking about customers and customer service.

The most important customers aren’t the crew out there that buy our goods and services, they are the people who work alongside us, day in and day out. Our bosses, our peers, our trainees, our interns – our relationship with these individuals is the most important one of all.

We spend most of our waking hours together and ultimately it is this group who will help to deliver your personal success, who will generate your income, who will make your days more enjoyable, who we need when we have problems and are under pressure.

Most of us can’t do it by ourselves and isn’t it much more fun when we do it together?

The most important customer is the person who works with you – look after them, treasure them.

Well done Marianne and thank you. You get it.

#WinHappy 

Greg Canty 

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

Exercise is good for you and for work!

August 10, 2016

Exercise at work

In today’s age our mind is constantly switched on, if it’s not a computer screen we are looking at, more than likely we will be staring at the screen of our mobile phone.

It is non-stop and can be very difficult for people to put their work or their phone aside and to just switch off for a period of time. Not only will it benefit us to switch off personally but it will also benefit us in the work place.

Exercise can be used as a great way to switch off and de-stress.

By setting aside a couple of hours a week to fit in some exercise you can enjoy some really great benefits. You can use that time to step away from your phone or computer screen and clear your mind, while also improving your physical fitness.

Exercise does not have to be a dreaded experience. The main thing is to find an activity you enjoy doing and this will make it a lot easier to stay motivated.

The benefits of exercise both personally & professionally:

  • Increased energy which leads to more focus and productivity
  • Healthier & happier
  • Improved overall personal health. This will result in less sick days as you will be stronger and less likely to become sick
  • Relieving stress, which is a huge benefit of exercising. Work places can often be very stressful so it is very important to relieve that stress before it builds up
  • Increased confidence – regular exercise can often lead to increased confidence as you become fitter and healthier

Simple ways of improving and encouraging exercise in the workplace:

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift!
  • Organise a walk at lunch time – the more people involved the easier it will be to motivate people. Heading out with the team can also be great fun.
  • Use a personal trainer once a week to do a work out; this could include activities such as yoga, Pilates, circuits and much more.
  • Encourage walking to meetings as much as possible.

So dust off those runners, discover what you enjoy and get active!

Saidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a PR Executive with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design

A Woman’s Place is in the House, Leinster House

February 25, 2016
aine in the house

Áine Collins TD, Letting everyone know where a woman’s place should be!

I am so proud of my friend and my TD Áine Collins.  

She is one of the most honest, tenacious, intelligent and loyal people that I know – which are all great traits for a politician and for a friend.

I have seen first hand how much she cares for the community and bearing in mind her background as an accountant, entrepreneur and farmer’s daughter, how she has fought hard for the SME and farming sector and for safeguarding our rural communities and smaller towns that are just as relevant to the future of Ireland as the big cities.

For any undecided’s out there in the Cork North West Constituency, I would like to ask you to please vote for Áine.  Even if you have promised your No 1 elsewhere (why?), if you could give her your second or third preference.

During the last general election, Greg and I reached out through social media to candidates of all parties (well bar Sinn Fein – but that’s another story!!) just to get conversations going around the election.  Post election Áine was one of the few who continued the engagement, even after she got our vote she genuinely wanted to know what she could do for us SME owners in Leinster House and Greg and I have both seen first hand, if we put an issue in her direction, she is like a dog with a bone trying to get it sorted.

She always listens and she is like that with everyone she comes in contact with.  She has done some amazing and often unsung work including setting up the Cork Foundation – totally her idea – which very successfully now reaches out to the Cork business community at home and abroad and she has personally cajoled them into helping fund new enterprises and community projects.

In my home town of Ballincollig, when all sources of possible funding were exhausted she managed to secure €5k for the inaugural Ballincollig Music Festival, which thousands attended free of charge on a sunny Sunday in August in Ballincollig Park. It would not have happened without her.   Also in Ballincollig she secured funding for a vital research project by international experts, which will help the development of the business proposition in the town.

I could go on, but I don’t want this to seem like a party political broadcast.  

I am so proud to call Áine my friend and over the past five years she has also been a valued colleague on various projects, she was even a client for a short while and I am honoured to have been along a little of her journey so far, representing us in Leinster House.

Aine Collins TD294.jpgI believe, in our constituency of Cork North West and in particular in the fantastic place I call home, Ballincollig, that Áine, is really the best option.  Not just because I am her friend, but because I believe that she is the best person for the job and that the best place for Áine is in the house – Leinster House.

Teamwork – Are we in this together?

September 14, 2015

Volunteers in Brooklyn after hurricane

It’s Saturday morning and I totally admit that we are slightly hungover and very tired after a fantastic party the night before in the office to celebrate our Fuzion 15th birthday.

Despite the torrential rain we had a great turnout of friends, clients, media and of course our team. The banter and fun was in full swing and a few of us headed to Brick Lane for a few more drinks and even a boogie or ten! Slices of pizza at Fast Al’s was a must before dragging our tired bodies home in a taxi at 3am ….you are only 15 once after all!

Unfortunately someone had to head to the office so that the audio visual crew and the caterers could collect their respective gear and then face into the big ‘tidy up‘ to transform our space back into an office.

My head was sore and I promise you I was not looking forward to this arduous, painful task but it had to be done and as it was a Saturday it was Deirdre and I who had to do it. Of course we would love help, of course we would love a few extra hands to lessen the load but it is Saturday and the team are off so we wouldn’t ask.

As ‘owners’ isn’t that what you do?

We parked up and dragged our bodies slowly to the office and then something incredible happened.

Aoibhinn, one of the senior members of the team was already there with her young son Noah and she was in full swing with the tidy up. That one set of extra hands, that willingness and that powerful gesture of taking ownership felt like 100 extra hands and it just blew both of us away and we had the job done in no time.

We own the business and we have a great team in Dublin and Cork that work hard with us from Monday to Friday. For 15 years we have worked really hard to build a good team spirit but its moments like this when someone takes ownership and does the unexpected that you feel you have a real team and you are actually in this together.

It felt good ..thank you Aoibhinn

PS – Knowing Aoibhinn she will hate me writing this!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design with offices in Cork and Dublin 

 

 

Five things my mum taught me about business and life!

May 11, 2015
My mum at 18, modelling with style her dad's cap, glasses & walking stick!!

My mum at 18

I was feeling a little lonely last week as it was the 5th anniversary of my mum passing.  My mum, Joan Waldron was the first female entrepreneur I came in contact with and the older I get the more I appreciate her work ethic, her tenacity and her passion for business.  

Here is what she taught me, that has helped me become a better business person:-

Lesson No 1: Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Around 1969 my mum and dad moved to Tralee after their business went bust in Mallow.  Mum would have been In her late 30’s with five kids under the age of 13, with no job and no real prospects, apart from the most tenacious approach to business I have ever come across.

Dad wasn’t working and they were both still licking their wounds from the failure of their business, but she knew she couldn’t wallow for long, knowing she had seven hungry mouths to feed.  In the town on Castle Street she spotted a grotty, near closed down chip shop.

Even though she had no money, she knocked on the door of the house nextdoor to see what the story was about the place, found out that they were the owners and on the spot made a sweetheart of a deal to take over the business – including negotiating for a ton of potatoes thrown in on the deal for good measure!!!

With absolutely no funds, wearing her only “good” suit she visited the bank manager (a family friend) who gave her a small collateral free business loan.  (Ah, the good old days of banking!!!)

Dad had thought she had lost the plot by opening a chip shop and I think he thought by discouraging her, she would come up with a plan B.  She didn’t.  She just rolled up the sleeves, negotiating with tradesmen and suppliers to make the place respectable,

The opening day, came, dad still refused to entertain the notion, so she went off and she opened on her own.  Within half an hour, dad same in, said nothing, just rolled up his sleeves, went behind the counter and started serving up the chips!!!  And he remained by her side in the various businesses that they had until he passed away in 1991.

Mum and dad would always say they never made more money than they did in that little chip shop!  Mum spotted an opportunity, it was really tough going, but it made her stronger and even brought herself and dad closer.

Lesson No 2: The value of networking

Mum and dad thrived in Tralee, moving from the little chip shop to “The Central Grill” one of the first restaurants in Tralee in the early 1970’s on a prime corner location in the centre of town and in 1984 bought a little hotel in Fenit, which had an excellent restaurant and bar trade.

Mum and dad didn’t do much advertising, had never heard of PR, but were brilliant at promoting their business through networking with the local business community and people.

My mum joined the local Bridge Club; after a few years she became President of the local Soroptimist Club and networked to an inch of her life!  She encouraged my dad to join the local Rotary club and he went on to be local President of that organisation the same year she was President of the Soroptimists.

I swear Frank Underwood would have been very proud of her – in a positive way!!!.

She organised meetings on our premises, held bridge parties, where members could sample the food and get into the habit of considering our restaurant for any family or business events.  The Central Grill and later on the Lighthouse in Fenit became one of the leading places for family occasions and a lot of that was down to my mum’s ethos of networking and using her personal contacts to bring in more business.

Back then it’s the same as it is now – people like to deal with people and the best way to close a deal is the same and its to engage with a client or prospect on a one to one basis.  My mum taught me that.

Lesson No 3: Make sure they leave with a smile on their face

Growing up in the hospitality sector gives you great abilities around reading people – the good tippers, the stingy people who would order hot water and bring their own tea bag (seriously!), the couple who were on a first date or in the middle of a fight; the people who you could tell even by the way they walked in the door whether they were going to be nice or difficult.

We could also always tell a bluffer, where people would try anything to get out of paying for a meal. Mum taught us how important it was to listen to our customers complaints and handle them all with courtesy and if at all possible make sure they left feeling that their grievance was heard and dealt with.

She would say, if they have a good experience they will tell two or three people but if they went out feeling negative (even when at times we knew they were in the wrong), they would tell 100 people!  She always had the ethos, that the customer was always right – even when she knew they were in the wrong!!!

Photo 9

Mum and Dad by the Trevi Fountain in Rome

Lesson No 4: Work hard but play hard!

My mum always loved to throw a great party and she loved her holidays with my dad – the good times balanced the times when it was heads down, working at top gear.  They both were two of the hardest workers I have ever known – I think the only one that could beat them is my husband Greg!

During high season they worked seven days a week, from 8am until after 9pm, but then they made sure to treat themselves to really nice holidays in far flung places.  They also had nice weekend breaks together, were great customers in other restaurants in town and just loved having people over for parties and dinners.

Mum very much taught me that if it is all about work, it’s not success.

That if you work hard, it’s important to spend some of that hard earned money creating lasting happy memories and treating yourself to nice things. Mum had lots of happy memories of herself and dad in Rome, travelling along the Amalfi Coast, having a glass of wine in St Mark’s Square in Venice, visiting Russia when very few Europeans were going there.

I must get my love of Italy from her – you can’t keep me away from the place!

No matter what business was like during the turmoil of the last few years I always made sure Greg and I had some downtime together, with some sun on our faces for a week or two.  There are always a million reasons why we shouldn’t take the break from our busy business – but we have gathered an amazing Fuzion family around us who watch our back and our business when we are away and we come back with a renewed sense of vigour for our business, with fresh ideas and energy.

Mum with one of her greatest friends - and bridge buddy - Monica Kelly

Mum with one of her greatest friends – and bridge buddy – Monica Kelly

Lesson No 5: Mind your friends, they will become family

Mum had some strong friendships going back decades to when she first came to Tralee including, Maureen Deane, Monica Kelly, Phyllis O’Sullivan and Noreen O’Sullivan.  Her friends loved her and our restaurant on Castle Street was the meeting point for all her buddies.

Even though she was very busy she always made time for her friends and they always knew they could count on her for a chat, a piece of advice or just an ear to listen.

We would come home from school and there she would be in the middle of them, at table one in the right hand corner of our restaurant, hatching some plan or just shooting the breeze.  We would roll our eyes up to heaven and disappear to our home upstairs, knowing that we wouldn’t get any attention from her until her friends had left.

She loved bridge and loved her weekly bridge club.  I remember once asking her not to go to the club and stay home with us as I probably had a bad day at school or something.  She explained to me that she had committed to go; that she would be letting her friend down who she was paired with for bridge that night.

She told me that it was so important to cherish and respect your friends; that they provided  support and balance to her life and that when the chips are down and when all us kids had left the nest, they would still be around.

It was so true; her five kids very soon got on with our own lives, but she still had her friends, her bridge and her Soroptimist club and later the Probus club.  And those same friends formed her guard of honour at her funeral.  She was so right, they were there for her, right up to the very end!

I always remember what my mum said and really cherish my friends. The older I get the closer I get to my friends and know that I will have most of them in my life forever. We don’t live in each other’s pockets, but they know I’m there for them if they need anything as they are for me – they are my family every bit as much as my siblings are.

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion

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


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