Archive for the ‘Irish Politics’ Category

Time to stop playing politics

October 31, 2017

Jeff Flake speech

In the earlier part of my career as an accountant I used to hear people talk about “Being Political” and naively I never quite got what it meant.

Did it mean being sneaky, being dishonest, playing silly buggers instead of just doing your job?

I never quite got it, and I did think that, if it did exist it was something that happened in large organisations or literally in politics, where it sadly seemed to be a necessary part of that game.

As far as I was concerned. as long as I worked hard I would get ahead and there was no reason for me to believe that I needed to act otherwise.

I worked hard in a busy accountancy and management consultants office and progressed well. I worked hard in an American subsidiary of a multinational and progressed well. I worked hard in a subsidiary of Guinness and progressed well and I found myself promoted to the role of General Manager at the age of 28.

I could see “politics” happening externally around me but it was still a case of, work hard and you will always progress.

I then took up a role with the fantastic Guinness company in Dublin and six months later I discovered that my ‘hard work’ previously effective instrument was no longer sufficient to progress – I had to learn how to play politics to get on!

I never quite cracked this skill and while I had a fantastic time working at St.James Gate I can quite honestly admit that I never fulfilled my potential, even though I did learn a lot and make some contribution to the business.

I guess I was never the type that was suited to playing games and I guess this is why I was always suited to entrepreneurship, where you make your own bed and lie in it.

What does “being political” actually mean?

Being apolitical refers to situations in which people take an unbiased position in regard to a political matter.

I guess if you are being political it means you give up on your own views and principles, you take positions on things that are not yours to stay in some sort of favour with others, for some other benefit (a promotion, a raise maybe?).

Once this creeps in, as I saw in Guinness you never get to see all of the potential of the people there. Many will leave frustrated and those that stay will be the ones who are good at surviving in that environment. A lot of positive energy gets suppressed and the business never performs at the level that was possible.

At a certain point it is accepted that “this is the norm” and something bad creeps in forever.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake

I watched the speech last week given by Senator Jeff Flake of the Republican Party in the United States whereby he was declaring that he was ‘turning his back‘ on politics and not running again.

He used the words “the new normal” and how we must not let what is happening now become ‘the new normal‘.

If you listen to the content of his speech it is very interesting and quite sad with some very basic points, which illuminate how bad things have become when you ‘play politics‘ at the very highest level with the dangerous potential of affecting the whole world.

There are times when you must risk your career in favour of your principles” – the opposite is a scary place to be. Who are we if we don’t follow principles – do you want that person working with you?

We are all complicit when we don’t stand up when we know wrong things are happening” – this should be something basic you would want in everyone you work with.

The flagrant disregard for truth and decency“`- the new norm?

The reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons” – the schoolyard bully?

Heaven help us if this is politics as usual” – this feels like a huge cry for help and something higher to intervene

Reckless, outrageous and undignified behaviour has become excused as telling it as it is” – politics in all its glory

When this come from the top it is something else, it is dangerous to democracy

Our strength comes from our values” – the most powerful statement of all.

It is often said that children are watching” – We are setting an awful example for the next generation

Remaining silent and failing to act in fear of making enemies is dishonouring our principles” – Yep!

I think you get the idea…

If you want your business to flourish then be proactive about creating a culture that brings out the very best of people. and one where no one is afraid of speaking their mind in fear of the consequences.

Stop playing politics…

Well done to Jeff Flake for standing up to the biggest bully of them all, potentially the most powerful and most dangerous man in the world today, Donald Trump.

Check out the full speech by Jeff Flake, which already many are considering to be one of the most important of our age.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Global recognition for Enda Kenny abroad – Bula Bus!

March 28, 2017

Enda Kenny

We all held our breath as our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny went over to the US to visit the new President of America, Donald Trump on St Patrick’s day.

A visit that wasn’t welcomed by all, as many expressed their dislike at our Taoiseach visiting the not so popular Donald Trump, went much better than expected as Mr. Kenny took the opportunity to lecture President Trump on Immigration. This turn of events was quite brave and unexpected and earned our Taoiseach immense praise at home and abroad.

He began his speech by thanking the President for extending the invite to celebrate St Patrick the patron of immigrants”. He was careful not to mention any of Trump’s harsh immigration policies but instead made a point and encouraged the President to be open to immigrants. He went on to tell how many Irish came to shelter in America in the past and how it had such a positive impact on the country rather than a negative.

 “We lived the words of JFK long before he uttered them – we asked not what America could do for us but what we could do for America. And we still do.”

US Media including the New York Times and Fox News praised our Taoiseach for not playing it safe and instead doing what he could do to encourage change and positivity. Enda Kenny used his visit to represent his people and protect Irish Immigrants who are residing in the USA and who are contributing to “making America great again”.

Enda Kenny is under a lot of pressure to stand aside at the moment and is receiving a lot of criticism in Ireland, however in this instance I think he did us proud and represented us well and instead of flying under the radar, he took a bold stance and possibly a risk. As well as doing wonders for his reputation as a leader his performance deserves a massive pat on the back and a Bula Bus!

Maybe St.Patrick himself was looking after Enda Kenny in his own way?

Edel

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

 

 

Restoring trust in An Garda Síochána and Tusla

February 13, 2017

Maurice McCabe

If things weren’t bad before, they became even worse for An Garda Síochána when it was revealed that an “incorrect” sexual abuse file was held against Maurice McCabe by Tusla, the family and child protection agency.

Everyone in the media is being extra careful to avoid stating the obvious conclusions as they risk getting into trouble legally. However, they have published the various statements by those parties involved and reported the facts as they came to light and they keep probing and probing for the truth in this sinister mess to reveal itself fully.

Incidents like this demonstrate once again why we need professional, intelligent journalism to bring us the truth as we can’t rely solely on social media to deliver this. Social media is fantastic as it gives us a powerful voice to demonstrate our dissatisfaction as loudly as we feel is appropriate.

We heard the statement by the Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O’Sullivan, the leader of the organisation who has claimed that she know nothing of the sexual abuse shenanigans with the whistleblower, Maurice McCabe.

Tusla in the meantime have issued their own statement claiming that their file against Maurice McCabe with the atrocious false claims against him were a ‘clerical error‘.

The comical little addition to the Tusla story was that their official apology to Maurice McCabe was sent to the wrong address!

The public are no fools and the generally held, unsurprising conclusion about this story is that senior members of the Gardaí who were unhappy with their whistle blowing colleague tried to smear his reputation in the worst possible way to punish him and protect themselves.

Even worse in this sorry saga, Tusla were obviously happy to play ball with their Garda acquaintances.

This stinks to high heaven and leaves all of us with two awful conclusions:

We cannot trust An Garda Síochána and we cannot trust Tusla.

When you consider the crucial role that both of these state bodies are paid to provide, ‘trust‘ is not a negotiable, nice to have attribute. Trust is everything.

What next?

To begin the long road of rebuilding trust in both organisations there can be no more fluffing about and decisive action and clear communication is required.

Our strong advice to those in charge would be to get ahead of the story, remove all doubts and demonstrate in no uncertain way how important regaining trust is.

This is the time for An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny or Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald to take decisive action and remove Nóirín O’Sullivan from her role and get the investigation started immediately.

This is the time for Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone to demand a 100% honest statement from the CEO of Tusla, Fred McBride as to what actually happened. If this is as farcical as the ‘clerical error’ statement, he should also be removed from his role.

The reputation of these two state organisations is not negotiable – start demonstrating it.

Greg Canty 

Fuzion provide Crisis PR services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

BREXIT –What about IREXIT ?

February 28, 2016

European Union flag

This week we are privileged to have a guest blogger with us!

Roger Hobkinson, our favourite Londoner heads up Destination Consulting services with Colliers in Ireland. He was surprised that there was very little talk about our role in Europe in the run up to the General Election – are we too inward thinking?

Roger talks a lot of sense so I asked him to capture his thoughts in a blog post:

Blog post by Roger Hobkinson

This is going  to be provocative.  Ireland is sleepwalking into a European Super State, a sort of dysfunctional capitalist Soviet Union. As our exam papers used to say – let’s discuss.

Last Friday (26th Feb, 2016) marked the general election for the 32nd Dáil Éireann.  As a Londoner, Englishman and Brit who has lived in Ireland for nearly seven “interesting” years I am excited and honoured to be voting in my first Irish General Election, especially given the year this election falls in.

However I am feeling a little bemused as amongst all the scrapping and political point scoring in GE16, over admittedly very important every day issues for people –  water charges, hospital trolleys, jobs, housing etc – there appears to be no debate at all about Europe and Ireland’s place in it – zip, zero, nothing, rein, nichts, nada, faic/rud !!!

This at a time of massive challenge, change and catastrophe across Europe.  In the years following the financial and economic meltdown in Ireland, the Euro, that politically driven project that played a none too small part in creating the darkness that fell over the country, there is sure to be even more power handed over from Eurozone “countries” to Brussels and Frankfurt.  Are Irish people comfortable with that?

I’m feeling even more bemused as it’s the centenary of the Easter Rising the events that led to Ireland’s Independence from Britain and there has been mass coverage and debate about Brexit but no comment from the parties and/or  the Irish people on Ireland’s European relationship.  So you/(we!) are celebrating/commemorating the birth of the Irish Republic, then worry so much about what Britain may or may not do BUT not debating what is the best or desired relationship with the EU for Ireland and Irish people. This strikes me as crazy.

So if this Brit raises my eyebrows in a puzzled manner and a bit of gnashing of teeth it is because I care for my new home, Ireland. It does appear the Irish establishment wants to be part of a European super state and hand over yet more sovereignty, fiscal and political powers in Brussels, Frankfurt and let’s be honest Berlin in the coming years.

The Good stuff

Now I happen to think the “European Economic Community, then European Union” has on the whole been brilliant for the people of Europe.

The best thing is that it has brought people together and of course stopped Germany and France (and other countries) fighting each other, its developed trade, jobs, opportunities, understanding (sort of), improved standards (even if some countries play more by the rule book than others) and many other things.  However I believe it is now going too far.

Yes I want to be part of a European Union, understanding that some powers need to be given up for a “common European good” to tackle geo-politics, environment, crime, migration, social and economic mega trends that shape all our lives.  However I absolutely do not want Britain to be consumed into a European Super State.

So David Cameron’s negotiations struck me as maybe not a huge amount of detailed result but the fact that the UK has apparently secured the opt out of “ever closer union”.  That’s the thing. That’s the core principle to my mind. Well played Dave!

Where we have all come from to help us understand where we are going..

Lots of Brits are portrayed as arrogant, imperialist etc etc (sigh, sigh) in their belief that actually Europe is not for me.  Let’s think about where different countries came from; Spain, Portugal and Greece were fascist dictatorships within the last forty  years, Italy slightly further back and only a nation state since the middle of the 19th century.

Eastern Europe and the Baltic states were part of the communist bloc, downtrodden by Soviet communism. France was a great, proud, strong and major power with a big colonial past who kept on fighting with its neighbour. That neighbour Germany,  became a nation state in the second half of the 19thcentury. It then tried to rule Europe twice in under 30 years.  Since 1945 Germany has been incredibly successful (what was that about Germany’s debts written off – oh the irony).

Then we come to us here in Ireland. We know where Ireland came from don’t we!! Europe has helped Ireland find its own place and assert itself in Europe and the world.

So all these countries have understandable and different reasons for finding a home in the EU club.

Then we have Scandinavian countries, one bordered by Russia (enough said), and the sexy sensible Swedes and the delightful Danes, who clearly like the EU but are perhaps a little distant from it.

Then we have the UK. Britain might not be perfect but as London 2012 showcased it is one of the worlds’ most open, tolerant and dynamic countries with probably the worlds’ capital at this point in time in London. It’s the fastest growing of the big European economies, the 4th biggest economy in the world, of course it will be overtaken by the likes of Brazil, India and Mexico as they get their acts together, but it will remain one of the strongest economies in the world.

Britain also that has huge soft power. Plus the UK is forecast to be the most populous European country by the 2030’s  at the same time that much of continental Europe has a decreasing population and the majority of Eurozone countries  have moribund economies. So if Britain votes to leave, Germans will not want to sell cars, Italians clothes and French wine to the UK ??!!!

Britain is also quite an old nation state, trading (global), strong links with the commonwealth from its colonial past,  a long established legal system and a political system that is not perfect, and in need of modernisation – it generally works well.  If I had a Euro for every time I’ve heard an Irish person in the last few years say “so and so politician or business person has got away with it again” (and we keep voting for them even worse!) – if that was in the UK or US they would be in front of investigative political, police and judiciary powers.  So in legal, political and trading terms the UK does lots and has lots of experience as to what works for it.

So maybe that pushes out an alternative narrative as to why Britons don’t want to be consumed into “ever closer union”?

Game over?

With my British head on I believe Britain should stay in the EU – on balance it will be better off in rather than out. I also want Great Britain to remain England, Scotland and Wales.  If Scotland votes massively to stay in and England votes to leave, I can’t argue with the Scots for wanting another referendum.  Although the irony of course is that they would almost certainly have less “power” in the emerging European Super State than as part of an increasingly “federal” UK.  Plus Britain “in” I think will be better for Ireland.

So hopefully post June 23, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic will still be in the EU and maybe more importantly for some still in Euro 2016 !!!

Roger HobkinsonRoger Hobkinson – Colliers International

Thank you Roger for the incredible insights and as always, many words of wisdom!

Follow Roger on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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.

Celebrity Twitter Etiquette/Power

July 15, 2013

Lucinda Creighton

@LCreighton “well done for standing by your principles – we need more of that and not less in govt. You will be back” 

I don’t know Lucinda Creighton, I don’t have full knowledge of her arguments but I do admire that she stood by her principles on an important, high profile piece of legislation. She didn’t fall in with her political party on a crucial vote and as a result she had to resign.

I sent the above tweet (you can do this once you have her twitter ID, which is easily found by doing a simple search on twitter) just to acknowledge the stand she took – I gave her a public compliment.

A tweet goes a long way ….. or in some cases just an acknowledgement goes an even longer way.

With twitter, when it comes to individual users I guess there are two broadly different types of users:

  • Celebrities and personalties (I would include some politicians in this category) who naturally attract a larger following than they would follow themselves
  • You and me!

You and me are the mere mortals who pick away, follow people and organisations we are interested in and if we want to build a following we need to publish interesting content, we need to be polite, engage in twitter conversations and generally apply a degree of etiquette with our activity.

This might include acknowledging people who have followed you, following people back, thanking people for positive posts and replying to people who have mentioned you in a post.

As part of your “nice guy/gal” routine you might retweet worthy posts and when someone retweets something for you then you thank them.

The actions here tend to be quite reciprocal – if you are good to someone then you tend to get the favour returned (there are always exceptions!)

Celebrity Factor

Stephen FryWhen there is some “celebrity” factor with a twitter user these normal rules do not apply.

This kicks in when this person is popular because of the role they hold (singer, actor, sportsperson, media person or even a politician) – more people will naturally follow them by nature of their “celebrity” factor and as a result popularity (size of following) does not depend on them behaving in the reciprocal way that applies to the rest of us.

A celebrity (using our broad definition) can effectively build a large follower base on twitter without following, interacting or acknowledging anyone.

However there are clever celebrities online (I’m suspecting this reflects their personality) who really get it.

They understand the huge power that they have at their disposal and they know how to utilise it – the good ones will do this naturally with no agenda and as a result they will excel and achieve something most of  the other “celebrities” will waste and over the long run actually do themselves possible reputational damage.

If a celebrity has a huge number of followers who are posting incessantly it is very difficult for them to engage but with smaller numbers of followers they can accelerate their popularity and like-ability by doing a few simple things:

  • Reply to positive posts – “thank you for the kind words” or even “thank you for all the kind words of support I received tonight” . The acknowledgment can be done directly to the individual (this is the best) or a general one – “Guess who came back to me on my post?” you can imagine the person saying to pals when their favourite celebrity replied to them
  • Favourite positive posts – simply click that “favourite” button to acknowledge that the post meant a lot
  • Retweet the positive post – hit that RT button and in a sweep highlight the positive post and deliver a huge acknowledgement to the person who posted it
  • Follow the person –  this is the ultimate compliment to the person who posted positive things

By doing a few simple things the “celebrity” could accelerate their popularity and positive reputation and very easily win a loyal fan for life (most will not do this, which presents an even bigger opportunity for those who do)

Rachel AllenI have noticed online that a few celebrities in particular are quite good.

Rachel Allen @rachelallen1 has been good to come back on a compliment. Brian Kennedy @kennedysinger came back on a positive post after a gig as well as Mundy @mundyirl, Mark Geary @MG212 (better on Facebook) and Richie Egan (Jape)  @richiejape.

All of these by being respectful and clever are high in my estimation.

I have noticed a few that have been quite poor including the fabulous musician Gemma Hayes @gemma_hayes and the Newstalk breakfast team Chris Donoghue @chrisdonoghue and Norah Casey @norahcasey (this is strange as they always make a big deal of their twitter presence).

I listen to their show every morning and instead of giving themselves the opportunity of building their brand loyalty they are undermining it by ignoring listeners who tweet them. I’m sure if they realised the negative effect and the opportunity missed by not being more proactive they would be more responsive.

Lucinda Creighton had a busy day today and we can excuse her but she does have the power to considerably enhance her reputation by replying to the many people who said positive things about her and those who wished her well.

Celebrities …it’s up to you!

You and me….we have no excuse – we have to do the hard work.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Design firm in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin – We provide Social Media Consultancy and Training services.

A Tale of Two Granddads

May 25, 2013

War of Independence

There is an amazing Irish website that has been launched called Bureau of Military History, where you can search archive records and find first-hand accounts of the struggle for Irish Independence between the years 1913-1921.

I found my mum’s father’s testimony easily.  He was William McCabe (Liam) – Company Captain, Fianna Eireann, Ballybunion.

Reading his own words, it  reminded me of all the amazing stories my mum told me of his life as a young man during the struggle for independence (and the subsequent civil war, which wasn’t recorded in this affidavit).  (I suppose memories were still raw about the civil war even in 1955 when the witness statement was recorded).

It brought my granddad to life for me again and it was so amazing to read his own words and to see his signature confirming these were in fact his words.  I felt really proud of him – and what an interesting life he led, when he was half the age I am now!!!

It wasn’t all romantic.  My grandfather, during the Civil War, was imprisoned, went on hunger strike and his body was so damaged, that it never recovered.  He died in his early sixties, a year after I was born – so I never really met him, although Mum used to say that he loved brushing my blonde hair – see proof that I was blonde at some stage!!!  Even though my mum was prone to exaggeration – I couldn’t have had much blonde hair by the age of 1!!!

Out of curiosity I searched for my other granddad John J Waldron of Tuam – and I found him too, but not his own account.  He was mentioned in a negative way by Sean O’Neill, Irish Volunteer, Tuam 1913 – 1921.  On Page 96 of his Witness Report Sean mentions my granddad Waldron as being one of the men “who gave bail” in the Tuam area.

War of Independence

Apparently this was looked down on – as giving into the “British Law” and that it “created a bad precedent for other Volunteers”.  So my granddad Waldron was arrested, but he had a business to run at the time so paid his bail to get out of prison, provide for his family and get on with his life.

He kept his head down, living to the very ripe old age of 91.  I remember him well and very fondly.

Both of these men took very different paths.  Were they happy with the decisions they made during that time??

William never got to know or meet many of his grandchildren, he was in constant bad health when his own children were growing up and must have missed out on so many experiences due to ill-health, which was a legacy of his exploits when he was younger.

But he left his mark – today nearly a century after he joined na Fianna as a boy of 14 in 1913. I can read his words on-line, share them on Facebook and have friends as far away as Australia (Kerrie) taking time to read what he had to say.  I feel such pride that he played his part in the War of Independence.  We needed people like him to step up, despite the consequences.

My brother (who is called after the rebellious William McCabe) had thought about the decisions our granddads took.  Liam posed a great question to me in an email :“What if instead JJ had refused to recognise the courts, gone on a personally catastrophic hunger strike, become an invalid, and died much younger than he should? “ 

My brother is a wise man.  The testimonies throw up a lot of intrigue; double dealing, with a lot of the big wigs managing to come out profiteering out of these terrible times.  He finished his profound email to me with a quote “These ‘ histories’ are like bikinis. What they reveal is intriguing. What they conceal is crucial.”

I’d love to have had my granddad Waldron’s own account of what went on, knowing what he was feeling when he had to “take the bail”.  I will never know.

That’s why it’s important that we try and be remembered in a true way.  To stand out from the crowd and make sure our voice is heard.

Both my grand fathers were brave men and I am proud of both of them, but I really just have the history of one of them!

I know we give him a hard time but that’s why Greg is right to keep writing, good and sometimes griping, as he did in today’s blog post.  I mightn’t always agree with him, but he is a rebel in his own way and he’s never shy about publishing his stories and feelings – his great, great grandchildren will definitely know what he was thinking of during our economic “war”.

Don’t be silent ….record what you are thinking for your children and grandchildren to see years from now.

It’s never been easier ..

Deirdre Waldron is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR firm with offices in Cork and Dublin

The Influence of Social Media on Politics

October 26, 2012
Romney and Obama - Presidential Debate

I must remember to tweet that !

A big thank you to Lillian King for sharing this really interesting and valuable infographic about the influence of Social Media in Politics, which is very timely before the US Presidential Elections.

After all they reckon that Barack Obama was the first Social Media President ever! (Facebook is credited as playing such a major part in his campaign four years ago)

Have a peep through the very interesting stats and tables shown at the bottom of this post.

The one number that grabs me from the stats is that “In Senate races the candidate with the most fans gets elected 81% of the time”.

Does this mean they were the most popular anyway, or does it mean they connected with more people by using social media effectively helping them to get  elected – not sure?

Ireland

For me in the Irish scenario it really bugged me that so many politicians wanted to be “my friend” before the election and now they are nowhere to be scene.

Social Media isn’t a trick – it isn’t a one off opportunity to achieve a specific goal  (however this may occur as a once off).

Social Media, for politicians (or businesses for that matter) is an opportunity to build a following, an opportunity to communicate genuine messages, values and beliefs – in this crazy world of ours an opportunity to cut through the BS, show where you are on key issues and let people see what you really stand for.

When the election (Christmas!) is over ….grab that opportunity

Social Media Election

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

Why We All Need to be a Little More Mr. Blue Sky….

August 27, 2012

I was delighted to read Paddy Clancy’s article in today’s Irish Examiner.

I was actually starting to get concerned about my unwavering optimism and general good feeling about Summer 2012. While the world and its mother have been giving out about this terrible Irish summer, I have been waxing lyrical about how surprisingly nice the weather has been over the past few months. I’ve been getting a few strange looks, but I honestly don’t know what people have been complaining about.

Almost every morning I have managed to walk to work without getting lashed on and most evenings I return home on foot in mild, warm weather. Fair enough there’s usually a downpour at some point during the day, but if you listened to MET Eireann they would have you believing that we’re up to our knees day in day out in flash flooding, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. Not the case from where I’m standing….what about you?

Now, the mandatory Irish chit chat about our terrible climate doesn’t really bother me, it’s as natural as a morning cup of tea to discuss the weather in this country. But to me it feels as if MET Eireann and very often, the media, seem to focus so much on ‘where it’s going to rain’ as opposed to ‘where it’s going to shine’ and fair enough, I know it’s science, but couldn’t they cut us a break?!!

My attitude now is just look out your window in the morning and take it as it comes. (Unless you’re a golfer  it seems– my father lives by that forecast)

The most concerning thing is the impression it is giving out to international tourists and to all of our lovely family and friends who have emigrated and who, aside from the recession, are almost afraid to give up the sunny climes of Australia and America for ‘depressing Ireland’.

We depend, more than ever, on Tourism for simulating employment and revenue, yet we shoot ourselves in the foot day in day out by giving out about the climate. The whingers are feeding that perception and as per Paddy’s article today, I’m not the only one who believes that. Donegal has clearly enjoyed a fantastic summer, and if you spent any time at all in Dublin and Kerry over the last few months you would have enjoyed some amazing weather and quite a few ‘al fresco’ dining/drinking opportunities!

How many times have you heard people say “We’d be the best country in the world if we only had the weather”. Well, newsflash: Ireland has an unpredictable climate and high levels of rainfall annually – get over it.

Ireland is a fantastic country, despite our current recession and perceived climate. Every day I experience optimism and positivity in the most unlikely places, and most importantly, a little bit of sunshine. I think we could all make a better attempt at encouraging people to come here, by complaining a little less and maybe taking some time to highlight the sunny days when we can. Don’t you think?

Gina Kelly is an Account Director at Fuzion

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Gina Kelly operates from the Fuzion PR office in Dublin

First impressions count…

August 8, 2012
Kennedy Nixon televised debate 1960

First impressions count

In 1960, the relatively unknown Senator John F Kennedy debated against Vice President Nixon in a US first television live debate in a presidential election campaign.

It’s widely acknowledged that without that debate, Kennedy would never have been president. Nixon, pale and underweight from a recent hospitalisation, appeared sickly and under pressure, also famously refusing makeup, while Kennedy appeared calm and confident, tanned, robust and healthy, wearing full make up.

Those who listened to the debate on the radio thought Nixon had won. Those who watched it on television, thought Kennedy had been victorious. While Nixon went on to perform much better in subsequent debates (and to look better, due to weight gain), 20 million people watched that first one, and the damage had been done.

For the first time ever in the US, viewers judged presidential candidates on not just content, but style, stage presence, appearance. For the first time, it demonstrated that how you present yourself, counts.

In our working lives we make presentations, give interviews and conduct meetings, leaving first impressions every day. We don’t want to be all style and no substance, but how you present yourself, matters. How you dress, how you shake hands, how you speak at that first meeting, may be the only shot you have, so you have to make it count.

Sometimes we are casual in our approach with business associates, with prospective clients, with colleagues, and we conspiratorially confess that business hasn’t been great, that we couldn’t wait to leave the office to go home and watch the Olympics, assuming we are making friends, but this is not the climate for over sharing- this economic climate requires your game face!

People like to think they’re doing business with a focused, capable, confident person, and that first impression will do at least half the convincing, that you’re the right person for the job.

Nixon himself insisted on campaigning right up to an hour before that famous debate, not having fully recovered from a hospital visit either,  but he never got a chance to explain that in the live debate- the public presumed him exhausted, weaker than his opponent. Not fair, not true, but the rest is history.

Of course we all do our best to look smart going to work, and make a greater effort for important meetings, but we should probably assume that how we present ourselves says more about us than we realise. Bear it mind as you’re getting dressed tomorrow morning- time to get your game face on!

Jill Collins is an account director at Fuzion.

Jill Collins conducts presentation skills training and media training in both Cork and Dublin.


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