Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Never, ever write a cheque to make yourself look bad!

May 16, 2017

James Bond Museum

I was doing a review of the marketing activities with a new home improvement client a few years back.

In the previous year, they had spent €15,000 on Google Adwords in the UK bringing the right search traffic to the website of their UK operation.

They weren’t convinced about how successful this investment was and they asked me to review the campaign.

The lack of success was simple to figure out because the €15,000 was being used to drive traffic to their website, which was outdated and made them look like an old fashioned, backwards operation. You could easily understand how this traffic was not converting because, like me, I am fairly sure that the people who looked at the website were not inclined to do business.

Not only were they wasting money but they were damaging their brand – an important and very simple SEO tip is to make sure you have a website that makes people want to do business with you!

My simple recommendation to them was to stop the campaign immediately, upgrade the website and then, and only then, start up the Google campaign again.

I was told that there was no budget for a new website and instead they decided to increase their Google Adwords budget in the hope that bringing, even more traffic would somehow improve the results they were getting from the previous campaign.

Whether it is..

– Advertising when your store is a mess
– Putting a cheap sign over your premises
– Paying for an advert and not designing it properly
– Getting cheap business cards
– Bringing traffic to an outdated website

..the message is always the same.

Never, ever, write a cheque to make yourself look bad.

Greg Canty 

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

“I don’t want publicity this time but next time, yes… “

May 8, 2017

Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll wedding

Looking at the media coverage of the recent nuptials of one of golf’s hottest properties Rory McIlroy, something struck me as odd, well less odd than the reported price tag of over half a million Euro spent on it, but still strange nonetheless.

There were no photos of it. The lavish four-day wedding was veiled in such secrecy that very few details have been or could be made public.

Reportedly, some of the steps the McIlroy’s went to stop leaks were anti-drone technology to stop them flying overhead and taking photos, people working at the event had to check in their phones and guests had to leave their mobile phones behind entirely, just in case one of them decided to ‘check in’ to the wedding of the decade or post a photo.

This all begs the question, where does the public interest start and finish when it comes to celebrities?

Rory for example, has sponsorship deals with Omega, Bose and has just signed a new 10 year deal with Nike valued at around €100 million. Publicising these, Rory can be seen sporting the new exclusive Omega watch and on the course, he is branded from head to toe in the newest Nike gear and is all too happy to pose for the cameras while wearing them.

To protect the couple, there was reportedly three levels of security around the grounds of the beautiful Ashford Castle and McIlroy’s management team worked overtime to ensure that the wedding details remained top secret from the large media entourage that arrived at Cong.

Ashford Castle staff, lauded for their discretion with the hotel’s celebrity clientele, even refused to make any comment on the wedding celebrations.

The phone hacking scandal a number of years ago ignited the question of how far media can go, and the recent demands of €1.5 million in compensation from Prince William over photos taken during a three-day break in a chateau in southern France in 2012, is bringing the topic of invasion of privacy of celebrities to the fore once more.

Prince William expressed his anger at the incident in a statement read to a court in Paris, where six media personnel, including three photographers, are on trial for alleged invasion of privacy.

In McIlroys instance, what would have happened if a ‘lucky’ photographer managed to get a snap of the happy couple in their finery – an invasion of privacy lawsuit?

I’m not saying that prying into the personal lives of public figures is correct or not, the question is, is it right that celebrities can have their cake and eat it too?

Patrick Jones - Fuzion CommunicationsPatrick

Patrick Jones is an Account Manager in Dublin with Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR & Graphic Design 

Social media is easy, right?

April 11, 2017

Social Media Management

Social media is hard!

There I said it. I reckon this is what most people think but no one wants to admit.

Social media is meant to be the easy part of marketing. It’s free so it must be simple! No-one counts the time that has to go into creating, posting and monitoring the content that will represent you or your business on social media.

This is what scares a lot of business people away from using social media. They dip their toe in and then realise how much time is involved and step back. And when they decide to give it a second chance everything has changed!

But it doesn’t have to be that hard – I promise.

Here are my top tips for keeping on top of your social media platforms:

  1. Create a social media marketing plan before you begin

Just like you would with a normal business plan you should create a social media marketing plan. This will help you set goals and decide which platforms you want a presence on. Doing this will set you up for success, and will allow you to avoid any social media mistakes.

  1. Create a social media content calendar

I swear by this.

It makes everything so much easier and helps you to stay organised and on track with your plan. By using a social media content calendar you’re able to figure out a social media content schedule that works for you. You can see and control how often you post and make sure you’re posting suitable content to the right platform.

  1. Engagement!

You must be willing to engage with people online. The main point of social media is to be social!

If people are asking questions about your business or your products, you need to respond to them. Even if it’s bad. Acknowledgement of an issue goes a long way and could stand to you in future.

  1. Know when to outsource your social media management

If you’re getting stuck with ideas for content or you just don’t have the time to properly monitor your activity, it might be a good idea to seek some outside help.

Whether it’s training or getting someone to take over your accounts, sometimes an outside perspective can be very beneficial. By working with an agency you get access to their knowledge and expertise about social media marketing which you can apply to your business.

Greg, our social media guru (he’ll hate me saying that!) is a huge advocate for not outsourcing your social media but even he will admit that outsourcing to well-briefed professionals is much better than doing it badly or not at all.

If this is you then give us a call!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

My Crash Course in PR, Marketing and Design

March 17, 2017

Work experience

As my two favourite subjects in school are business and art I had a bright idea to apply to a marketing company for my weeks work experience. I was delighted to see that Fuzion Communications accepted my proposal to follow the employees around for 4 days!

I expected to be photocopying, filing and making coffee, which of course I wouldn’t have minded doing, but to my pleasant surprise it was the opposite. I was being asked did I want coffee and tea!

My time in both the PR department and the design department were both equally enjoyable.

In the PR department I learned a lot about using social media and not just newspapers to advertise businesses. Also, how not only is the article important, but the headline and the photographs are equally vital to grasp the reader’s attention.

On the Wednesday, Saidhbh, one of the PR team kindly let me shadow her on one of her trips out to take pictures for their social media posts. It was extremely interesting to see the ins and outs of PR and its not easy!

From my observation humour and sarcasm are the most prominent features in the design department, along with skill of course!

They know the computer keyboard like the back of their hand, they can also make a picture taken by a two year old look like a Caravaggio painting. The Photoshop tutorials were one of my favourite activities of the week.

Although I wouldn’t have the best IT background, with help from instructions and annoying Jonathan, the head of the design department with many questions, I wasn’t as shocking as I thought I would be at them.

I can safely say that this was much better than going back to my old primary school and looking after screaming children for a week even though that was also very eventful.

My experience here was great and much appreciated.

Kate D'ArcyKate

Kate D’Arcy, Transition Year Student

Twitter: @katedarcy1469

Well done to the very enthusiastic and lovely Kate who was a pleasure to have in the office for the week and a credit to her parents and her teachers. She rose to the challenge of writing a blog post that I put to her.

Greg Canty 

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

 

 

Fuzion Fast!

December 11, 2016

Mad Men

Hello!

My name is Marianne and I’m the Intern. It’s been 4 months since I started at Fuzion and the time has literally flown. That’s a common theme in Fuzion. I call it Fuzion Fast!!

One dreary Thursday morning after trawling online looking for work in graphic design I decided to narrow my search. I typed in ‘marketing’ ‘PR’ ‘design’ and came across Fuzion. Their work spoke for itself but it was really the Fuzion blog that held my attention.

I spent an hour reading entries by everyone who worked there, the tone of each one was warm and friendly and personable. I fired off a quick email, asking if they had any intern vacancies with only the smallest hope that I would hear back. 3 whole minutes later I got an email, from the co-founder herself who informed me they had a vacancy and that the Creative Director would be in touch. 8 minutes after that email I had an interview date for the following Monday afternoon. The Friday after I had a job offer.

Fuzion Fast!

At this stage I should point out that although I’ve just graduated, I returned to college as a mature student. Before that I had a steady career in Human Resources and experienced the usual highs and lows that working life entails.

What I found working at Fuzion was a new experience. Perhaps it’s because it’s a smaller company than I’ve worked in before but that still doesn’t necessarily explain the sense of comradery that I’ve found there.

Everyone supports each other and most of all the client is King (or Queen!). There are times when pure alchemy is at play as we literally make miracles happen to meet the needs of our internal and external clients.

‘No’ is not part of the Fuzion vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong there are times when we’re under the pump and the vocabulary can get quite colourful but there’s always a workaround or alternative solution to any given problem.

I work with the graphic design team who are more affectionately known as the ‘Colouring In‘ team, which isn’t a fair assessment of what we do – we also outline!

No two days are the same and I’ve been lucky enough to work on a variety of projects that have actually seen the light of day and received some pretty positive feedback from my boss and from clients. Each day is a new learning experience and I’m even learning to overcome obstacles such as quick commands and working with a Mac (#PCGirl).

Not only am I learning about the design world but because of where I work there’s exposure in marketing, PR and social media activities that are current and exciting and ultimately about people which is what Fuzion is all about.

My favourite weekly event is our ‘brainstorm’ meeting that gives everyone an opportunity to throw ideas into the pot about upcoming projects. No idea is a stupid idea. Even the humblest idea gets a hearing and can start a whole other conversation that might trigger a fantastic marketing or branding concept.

The experience is the closest analogy to any episode of Mad Men except that it’s lead by a larger stronghold of women and far less alcohol than you’d think!

As I sign off I’m reminded that 2016 is coming to a close and our Christmas party is about to begin. Of course it’s a Fuzion party and our pre-dinner hi-jinks will begin after lunch with what I am told are some fun and games to get us into the festive spirit.

I’m not sure what to expect which is par for the course but I’m hoping it’s the one time of the year that’s not so Fuzion Fast.

Marianne

Marianne Tierney is part of the Graphic Design team at Fuzion who have offices in Dublin and Cork

Without some “wow” it just won’t work!

July 12, 2016

Products with nothing specialI arrived there in torrential rain and entered a premises that lacked personality, that lacked anything. No pictures, no branding, no product displays…nothing.

There was a display on the wall with Certificates of Incorporation and some certs confirming a legal change from one company name to another.

I was politely ushered into a room and three people joined the meeting.

The new product was produced and placed centre stage on the board room table. The bland, quite generic packaging was the first thing I noticed.

Where was the product made, what’s special about it, what has the journey been, what is the wow, what is the  “story“?

I probed, I dug deep and I asked this crew why they developed this product, why it was in front of me on the table and why they brought it to market?

I was hoping to discover a unique (I hate that word) insight, I was hoping to hear some personal story, I wanted something that would help us to bring this “thing” to life in a genuine and authentic way that would connect with their target audience.

What I got was very profound – “it’s just a product that we think we can make money from

This won’t work…

Greg Canty 

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

I am Social Media!

April 19, 2016

Digital Influencers

I am social media

How many of us can actually say this?

Technology expansion and Social Media takeover is a global conversation that is always there to be had. It has vastly taken over person to person conversations but it has also enhanced it, by allowing us to have our face to face conversations in several different ways through Apps and to be honest I really think this is fantastic!

However, these advancements have opened up a whole new careers sector of ‘Digital Influencers’, a new role that is not just about having a job, it’s a lifestyle and a way of expression, doing what you love and sharing it with others.

So what is a ‘Digital Influencer’?

For me it is someone who exists across multiple platforms and through sharing their thoughts, skills, lifestyle, likes, dislikes and discoveries with a dash of personality have carefully nurtured an online following of people, who are genuinely interested in what they have to offer or live to criticise their being!

So how has this simple thought sharing activity grown so much that it is now a sought after career?

Recent findings from the Sermo Digital Influencer Index, shows us that bloggers/influencers have extended their reach and influence by creating a multi-platform presence in a global, female dominated “Industry” – yes it think it has grown so much that it can now be referred to as its own industry!

The research also showed that because of access to these other platforms, blog readership figures are falling and Instagram is leading the way because it is the one platform that allows users to be visually appealing and is a somewhat compact version of Facebook and Twitter with a higher rate of engagement. Another interesting finding was that Digital Influencers were now creating multilingual content to achieve global status and inherit more followers – smart!

Many Digital Influencers have built a solid and lucrative business from doing what they love and showing people who they are.

Much of their business includes brand collaborations, affiliation sales, charging for posts or mentions and making appearances to name a few! This has worked quite well for some of Ireland’s Digital Influencers and Sermo paid recognition to Ireland’s Top 10 with one particular influencer making the Global Top 16, Suzanne Jackson of SoSueMe. (see below for full list)

zanne Jackson - SoSueMe

The PR world is very much aware of the Digital Influencer world and many are now staple contacts in all PR agency press databases.

Here are some of our top Digital Influencers:

  • Suzanne Jackson – So Sue Me
  • Pippa O’Connor – pippa.ie
  • Joanne Larby – The Make Up Fairy
  • Lisa Jordan- Just Jordan
  • James Butler – Jus de James
  • Marissa Carter – Coco Brown
  • Grace Mongey – Faces by Grace
  • Rosie Connelly – Hearts Heels and Handbags

Sermo Digital Influencer Index

Top 10 – Ireland

  • So Sue Me – Suzanne Jackson
  • Pippa – Pippa O’Connor
  • Chloe Boucher
  • Anouska  – Anouska Proetta Brandon
  • Thunder & Threads – Leanne Woodfull

 

  • Erika Fox – Retro Flame
  • My Name is Vogue – Vogue Williams
  • James Patrice – James Butler
  • Penny and Polaroids – Nuala Gorham
  • Ciara Doherty – Ciara Doherty 

and some rising Stars..

  • Lauren Bejaoui
  • The Daily S’elf – Nadia el Ferdaoussi
  • Catherine Poulain

What’s your passion, what are you obsessed about…is it time to start influencing?

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is a valuable part of the Fuzion PR team in our Dublin office.

Blogging and PR – Top Tips

November 25, 2015

Blogging and PR

I was recently asked to speak at one of the National Blogging conferences that was held in Cork.

As a blogger myself (www.thebeautydial.com) and a PR account Manager at Fuzion I was asked to speak about PR and Blogging and how they are linked.

I first started out with how bloggers can use PR to grow their own blogs. PR is such a fantastic way to build your reputation, create awareness and create a loyal following.

Top Tips for getting your blog out there through PR

  1. Capture your story by “looking the part” (your branding/layouts etc)
  2. Identify your target market
  3. Never waste a good media opportunity/news story – timely topical posts
  4. Seek out profile pieces in media – pitch your expertise
  5. Be proactive & engage on Social Media – don’t wait for them to find you!
  6. Attend Networking/Blogger events
  7. Mix and interact with other key influencers (including other bloggers)
  8. Guest Blog on other blogs and ask for people to guest blog on yours

I then moved on to the best practices when working with PR Companies.

There are hundreds of bloggers around now and more and more are popping up each day. Many of those who are new to blogging don’t know where to begin, so I explained (having been on both sides of the fence) the best practice for bloggers when engaging or working with PR Companies.

Top Tips for Bloggers working with PR Companies

Create a Media Kit – which should contain:

  • An overview of your blog including your target audience etc.
  • The stats/demographics on your Blog (Be honest!)
  • Blog Achievements
  • Brand Affiliations
  • Social Media usernames
  • Sample Blog Posts/ Adverts
  • Photos, Logos etc.
  • Testimonials
  • Contact Details

Blogger reviews

  • Give honest & timely reviews
  • Promote via social media outlets
  • Disclose all sponsored blog posts

Responding to press releases

  • Ensure relevance to your Blog audience
  • You don’t need to respond to all
  • Don’t be rude, build relationships

I hope this helps and feel free to contact me with any questions at edelc@fuzion.ie.

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

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

What’s your dream job?

September 5, 2015

Tour de Munster 2015

With the Leaving Cert results having been released in the past couple of weeks, and the CAO panic setting in, I got thinking of when I was at that stage. Even though you’re only 17 or 18 years old, you’re asked to decide on your career path.. which begs the question- what is your dream job?

The recurring theme in most people’s answers to this will be that their job must have meaning and one that will give you the lovely feeling of making a positive impact on the world around you. I know that in my case, my dream job conveys the values I hold dear in my personal life, while also highlighting my strongest skills. By following my passions, I fell into the perfect career path- to all students, I’d definitely recommend taking this approach!

Having worked in the food industry for so long, and coming from a big family, I’ve always loved the aspect of human interaction at work, and PR delivers that in abundance!

The job satisfaction in PR and Marketing is great, problem solving and engaging with an array of people every day. The swift pace and constant engagement with others is what I loved most about working in the food industry, and I’ve found the same buzz from PR. Seeing success from a PR campaign that you have been a significant part of, or when an event runs perfectly, is a brilliant feeling, one that you just can’t beat.

Not only this, but PR allows you to work with causes and initiatives that you really value. At the start of August, the Tour de Munster took place, with the final, steep leg taking place on Patrick’s Hill. Over 100 amateur cyclists cycled approximately 600 km in just four days, with all funds going directly to the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), with the Tour having raised almost €1.5 million in the past six years for the charity.

Tour de Munster 2015

Sean Kelly pictured at the end of the 2015 Tour de Munster cycle on Patrick’s Hill, Cork.

I was already familiar with the Tour de Munster, as my dad and sister had taken part in the charity cycle over the past couple of years. This year I was especially proud to be working on this campaign as my dad celebrated his 60th birthday while on the Tour. Seeing the months of hard work and training that the cyclists put into the Tour makes you all the more determined to have a really successful campaign. Believing in the message behind the campaign you’ve created is the key to success. We at Fuzion also get to see how well the funds are used by DSI’s Munster branches. Working on a PR campaign for the Tour de Munster is such enjoyable work, and gives me real job satisfaction.

When I was applying for University courses back in my Leaving Cert days, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I did know what I enjoyed and what I was good at, so I followed these passions and studied English and Politics in UCC. Experience and time have led me to PR and to my ideal job. The CAO points frenzy seem to me to be so stressful and unnecessary for students.

Do what you enjoy, work hard and everything will fall into place!

Daisy HIggins, Fuzion Daisy Higgins

Daisy Higgins is a PR Account Executive with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Artisan and things I can believe in

August 17, 2015

Artisan cheeses

Many years ago (in the late eighties/early nineties) I was the general manager of a Guinness owned company in Cork called Deasy’s. We manufactured soft drinks and we distributed beer and soft drinks to pubs, off licences and shops in Cork and Kerry.

We took great pride in our own soft drinks, which to this day are still fondly remembered by people in Cork. Our Deasy’s Orange and Red lemonade were big favourites. Well before my time they even manufactured their own beers and there was one called Wrestler (pronounced ‘rastler’), which people used mention to me.

For years we had been accepting falling volumes in our own soft drinks sales as there was a well accepted principle that it was all about ‘big brands‘ and that these would eventually wipe out all the other smaller brands. The belief was that there was nearly no point in trying with your own products.

As a former accountant for the company I could see the big margins and profitability that these products contributed compared to the products we bought in from other suppliers and I couldn’t see the logic in just letting them drift so we took a different approach.

Guinness - Pension Dispute

We felt that the branding had gone stale and did not reflect the quality of the products so we rebranded including an upgrade of all the packaging. We investigated in an advertising campaign and we also introduced an incentive programme for the customers.

Immediately the results started to shine through with increased volumes but there was also a renewed energy with the sales team who took great pride in their own products and were motivated by us investing in them. The sales pitch to the trade was relatively easy – they were manufactured locally using the best of ingredients and the quality was superb. However many still preferred the big well known brands such as Club Orange and Schweppes.

In a way we were selling ‘artisan‘ products at the time except we didn’t have this label for them and in any case it would not have been the selling point that it is today.

Sadly Deasy’s was merged into another larger Guinness subsidiary a few years later and the manufacturing plant was shut down and these much loved brands were allowed to disappear without a trace.

Phil Cullen Mountain Man Brewing

The Artisan Era

Now we are all about ‘artisan‘ products.

Artisan is defined as “a person or company that makes a high-quality or distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods“.

These now trendy products are unique, special, something made with loving care and most importantly they are something that we can believe in. We believe that these products are superior in quality and in some ways we can even accept little imperfections as they can confirm the somewhat ‘homemade‘ attributes that prove we are not consuming products that are mass produced. Retailers who are sharp make themselves unique and believable by stocking ‘artisan’ products, which adds to their overall offering.

Artisan is so much in vogue (and selling!) now that even large companies are trying to make us believe that their products are also artisan – check out the recent Guinness adverts for example.

Guinness advert

I strongly believe that one of the reasons for the popularity of artisan products is that when the recession kicked in there was a huge rejection of the ‘excess‘ that was so prevalent during the Celtic Tiger.

We desperately wanted to get back to things that were real and authentic; this included our food, our drinks, our restaurants, pubs and even our service providers no matter who they are. We had lost faith in so many things that we needed to be able to believe once again.

No matter what you do, try to give your customers an artisan service

Greg Canty 

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

 

 


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