Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Life in Lockdown – the bad and the very good?

April 27, 2020

Car Parade - Saint Patrick Day 2020

What a strange situation we all find ourselves in.

We are all used to getting up, taking the kids to school, going to work, having the kids collected from school and then head home from work, make dinner, supervise homework…this has been our way of life for many years.

We all wondered, well, I know I did, what would it be like to work from home?

My husband does it regularly and does so with ease – little did we expect for this decision to be forced upon us, with some people thriving and others not so much.

I for one, must admit that I do very much enjoy the social interaction and before the COVID19 lockdown was introduced, when we were all initially advised on March 12th to just be cautious, only travel if you need to go to work etc, I did continue to head to work, albeit in the office on my own. I did still enjoy heading out to work in the morning.

When lockdown was introduced, that is when I had to realise that I could not travel out and needed to heed the advice and stay home, that’s when it started to feel real for me. It was going to be a long few weeks but that’s what needed to be done.

I must say I thought I would have found it hard and yes, the weekends are tough as there are hours that need filling, but overall it’s been great spending unexpected time at home with my family. We have enjoyed spending every meal together, which I know might be the norm for some, but as a busy household that just didn’t always happen.

We are now going for our daily walks, chatting more in the evenings and overall spending much more quality time together. My younger daughter who is a Junior Cert student was initially angry that the exams had been cancelled, but on reflection is enjoying the time away from the books.

My older daughter, who is studying for college exams is coming around to the fact that these are now to be done online, this is unprecedented but is accepting that is the best option at this time. She likes exercising, and we always encourage it as parents and she wouldn’t have done an outdoor 5km run previously, but just this week she completed one for charity!

I know that wouldn’t have happened unless it was on the treadmill in the college gym. Speaking of treadmills, my boss mentioned at the start of all this, that now is an opportunity for us all to step off that treadmill that we are all on, each and every one of us are rushing around and this needs to stop.

I am so grateful to work with a company that are so passionate about their employees and make it their priority to check in with us each and every day, either on Google Meet or via Zoom.

In terms of interacting with each other, the communication tools that were the norm were Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and lately TikTok, which is how my older daughter communicated. My younger daughter thankfully isn’t on social media, but they sent hand written letters to their friends this past week, something they have never done and even questioned the price of a stamp – €1 for a stamp, they were shocked, so this for me was a very welcome change!

In 2018 I set up a local private group Facebook page for the village I live in and it had been slowly gathering traction but recently it has gained many followers and with all that has been happening it has been a great information platform for the community.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I put a call out at 1pm to have a car parade around the village (population of under 1000) and at the suggested meeting time of 4pm.

100 vehicles turned up, including sports cars, old cars and even tractors, whilst everyone staying in their vehicles and practising social distancing. The feedback from parents was exceptional in that the kids loved it, we drove around their estates, beeping the horns, waving to neighbours and that sense of community spirit was really special and something we will always remember.

Another initiative the Facebook page was really useful for was when I asked for local volunteers amid this pandemic. There are elderly and vulnerable people living in our village and I was aware that they may need help and again I was inundated with volunteers who are all currently on standby, should they be needed.

Last week I asked for families if they were interested in book swapping as some parents were saying that their kids were bored at home as every book in every room had been read over and over and once again, so many came out and dropped off books in the suggested location, all sanitized and ready for delighted kids to collect. Just one online platform facilitating us to help in our local community.

So what I would like to finish with is, yes, this is not something we all thought would happen, there are family members we miss dearly, but in the meantime let’s all embrace it, this time will pass. It’s only a “pause” and we will not get this down time again.

Stay home and stay safe.

Olivia 

Olivia Trought is the Office Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency providing Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Should we be using the Irish language more frequently in Ireland’s Media/PR industry?

May 29, 2019

The topic of the Irish language amongst Irish people can be a very touchy subject.

Only 73,000 Irish people speak the Irish language on a daily basis – and the other 4.7 million of us don’t!

Why is this?

Is it because of how Irish is taught to us in school, or is it just our lack of exposure to the language?

Even though about 95% of the Irish population cannot speak Irish fluently or do not use it on a daily basis, we are quite protective over the language in general.

To many, the Irish language is part of our Nation’s individual identity. We tend to view the Irish language as part of our heritage and culture, and it also separates us from and makes us different from other countries who primarily speak English.

If we are so precious over our language, then why is it not used more regularly? In my opinion, I think that we are afraid of the language due to how it was taught to us in school.

In recent years, the Irish language is slowly but surely making a more frequent appearance in our daily lives, though our media.

RTE 2FM have been a great role model by showing us that the Irish language can be fun.

This time last year, presenter, Tracy Clifford was not fluent in Irish at all. She took some time out to learn the language and since then she has presented a full show “As Gaeilge”, and this was a huge hit amongst listeners.

2FM superstar, Eoghan McDermott is a major advocate for the Irish language.

Since 2016, he has produced a full Irish music album, called “CEOL”. This album has featured some massive stars such as Ed Sheeran, Picture This, Macklemore, Saoirse Ronan and many more.

Since 2016, Eoghan has given away over 500,000 copies of the album to schools and competition winners all over the country.

This is such a huge undertaking, and a major commitment to the Irish language by 2FM and Eoghan.

According to Eoghan, he believes that there is a “retrospective appreciation” for (the Irish language), like the big firework Irish project that (2FM) do is the Ceol album.

So we get bands to record a song in Irish. Over the last two years, we’ve given away over 500,000 copies of CEOL and I find so many people will request a copy, because they did Irish in school and never really appreciated it, but now they are a little bit older and have gone back to learn or have started to try and brush up on Irish”.

The Irish language isn’t a scary thing, so I don’t know why we are afraid to speak/ use our national language in the media or even in our day to day lives. Our language makes us unique, so why don’t we embrace it. The more exposure we have to the language, the more we will understand.

I think most people have a very basic understanding of the language and can generally piece together what is going on.

The language in which we view our media is just the medium, we should be embracing our language and appreciating our cultural originality through Irish.

However, I think with more exposure to the language through our media and different PR campaigns, that people will become less afraid and start to embrace our powerful and unique language.

Check out Is Sinne Óg by Picture This:

Abigail Shaw - Fuzion CommunicationsAbigail 

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

 

Why is there so much industrial unrest?

November 7, 2016

Teachers Strike in Ireland

Strikes, conflicts, confusion and chaos – they’ve become the norm in Ireland over the last 12 months.

Although, the economy is continuing to strengthen and our unemployment rate continues to fall, we as a country are in the midst of one of the most significant periods of turmoil and industrial action in recent history.

As I write the first Garda strike in the history of the state has been narrowly averted – that inferno’s been quelled, now back to the next blaze that rages with the ASTI who plan to return to the picket line in the coming days.

Gardaí, teachers, bus drivers, postal services, nurses, midwives, train drivers – those who we as a society depend most on are those who are pushing, or have been pushed so far as to feel they’ve no other choice but to down tools.

How did we get to this point? Could it have been avoided? 

Are any lessons being learned?

It’s too simplistic to define the industrial actions simply as pay disputes. There are a myriad of reasons why the disputes get that far – workers feeling disenfranchised, unequal, undervalued, employers remaining firm yet feeling threatened.

Feelings, attitudes, perceptions and actions are all based on communication, or a lack of. It underpins everything.

Internal communication and engagement is essential and the most effective way to prevent, identify and resolve discontent in the workplace. It makes a workforce feel engaged and valued.

Could the industrial actions have been avoided with more and better communication?

Just recently I wrapped up on a project with a major international organisation that began as one, altogether different and modest brief, but developed month-on-month to be something bigger and better with far greater and long-lasting benefits and effects for both the company and its staff.

Working with an external communications agency brought value to the corporation in terms of identifying and strengthening weaknesses with fresh and innovative plans and activations.

It was a really interesting project to work on particularly as it often required at short notice a change of plan and time lines in the context of the company’s matrix organisational structure.

Adaptability, reporting and communication was hugely important, not only on our behalf but within the organisation of what we were hoping to achieve, why and how we were going to do it.

The investment of time and resources on this communication was invaluable and while the project has drawn to an end, it’s legacy remains in the innovative approaches taken to internal communication and the platforms available for two-way communication, which will continue to be utilised by the organisation going forward.

Communication is not all about talking – listening can be all the more powerful and effective.

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn Twomey

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

10 things you’ll see in Ireland in the summer!

June 2, 2016

Ireland really is the best country in the world when the sun shines. When the sun comes out everyone has a smile on their faces and the craic is 90 as they say.

Here’s why Ireland is so unique – 10 signs of an Irish Summer!

1. Topless men everywhere – The sun only has to threaten to come out in Ireland and men everywhere have their shirts off.

Topless

2. Tan Lines – We never learn, every summer you are sure to see people with ridiculous sun burn and horrific tan lines.

sunburn

3. Queues for 99’s are endless – Irish people tend to gravitate towards their nearest ice cream shop when the sun comes out – a sure sign of an Irish summer is a 99 with a flake!

99

4. BBQ season – Hail, rain or shine if its summer in Ireland the BBQs come out. We only get a few weeks of “summer” so we have to make use out of the very expensive BBQ we bought, if that means standing under an umbrella while eating your burger, so be it!

umbrella

5. Down Tools – Let’s face it the good Irish weather doesn’t come around that often so when it does, it’s time to down tools and get to the nearest beer garden ASAP.

Down tools

6. People complaining about how hot it is – We wait all year for a bit of sun and the minute it comes people start complaining that it’s too hot!

complaining

7. Endless chat about the weather – “Is the sun shining where you are?”, “It’s great to have a bit of sun isn’t it”, “enjoy it while it lasts”.

weather chat

8. Make swimming pools – Paddling pools, bins, buckets, baths etc. You name it anything and everything is turned into a swimming pool when the sun comes out!

swimming pools

9. The fun and banter is in full swing and the beer gardens are packed – Real life and responsibilities don’t seem to matter as holiday mode kicks in

banter

10. Jean Byrne can make or break your day – The RTE weather is a must see. For once the whole family is glued to the TV watching the weather, hanging on every word Jean Byrne says in the hope the sun is going to stay shining!!

jean byrne

Enjoy the summer!!

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

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


%d bloggers like this: