Archive for the ‘PR Training’ Category

My first month in PR!

May 21, 2016

Word PR.Wooden cubes on newspaper. Close up studio shot

So my first month in Fuzion has nearly come to an end and I have really enjoyed it so far. Prior to joining Fuzion I completed a small amount of work experience in PR when I was in college in Maynooth University, but during that short term I really did enjoy it.

Fuzion as a PR Company really stood out to me from the rest. Their online presence is fantastic, it is current, easy to find and there is a high level of engagement and they have a large portfolio of high profile clients.

Fuzion is also an award winning PR Agency so when I saw the job vacancy I jumped at the opportunity to apply straight away, then hoped and prayed I would be successful.

I love the fact that there is variety in what you can do in PR. It’s not the same mundane repetition day in day out. The wide range of clients and different projects are really interesting, which means we are always thinking of new and quirky ideas for different clients and most importantly their target audiences.

One of the many things that I find great are the brainstorming sessions, which are a really good way to bounce ideas off each other and to develop ideas as well. It’s amazing how you can start with nothing at all, and within a short period of time with the help of some simple ‘start-off’ suggestions and a fantastic group dynamic that feeds off each other, we can end up with some ‘gems’ of ideas!

I got the chance to attend some photo calls for the first time, which was great experience and one that has definitely been one of my favourite things to do so far. I have also gotten to meet some really great characters who always seem to come back with a funny story to tell!

It’s a great feeling to see the pictures the next day and throughout the week in the various newspapers. I also attended a client event where I took social pictures in order to use them for social media (we keep on talking about “Parallel Media” at Fuzion – all the channels work parallel) . Getting the chance to go to some really nice locations and meet some really interesting people isn’t exactly “hard work“!!

So one month in, I’m loving it and I’m looking forward to learning much more about the world of PR and communications!

Saidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a PR intern with Fuzion who offer PR, Marketing and Graphic Design Services from our offices in Dublin and Cork 

Ronnie Corbett and 10 PR Tips

April 4, 2016

Ronnie Corbett and 10 PR Tips

Words and all their meanings were delivered straight to the camera from Ronnie Corbett’s arm chair.

His marvellous meandering monologues (The Two Ronnies) came to mind this week as I reflected on his passing. His super, well constructed easy humour had a certain innocence that did not offend.

It did get me thinking about the English language and how important it is to be clear. The incredibly funny skit with Ronnie Barker in the hardware store, where only after much toing and froing does it become apparent that he wanted to buy “fork handles” instead of the “four candles” highlights this perfectly.

There was also a really funny interaction within a conversation about purchasing ‘O’s. Ronnie Barker first supplies a garden hoe, then a length of hose & finally Ronnie Corbett says “no, the letter “O”!”.

It got me thinking about PR and press releases and pitching to the media and how important it is to be clear when pitching a news story about..eh..a new range of candles:

  1. Get to the point: Tell the journalists what has happened, what is being launched or who is doing what. Add some brief context about the company, the product and perhaps the market that both either addresses. Flowery, descriptive stuff in the first paragraphs is like fog on a sea-rescue mission!
  2. Basic facts: Are you launching a product? How much it is? Where is it available?
  3. Conciseness and readability wins: A brief succinct summary of the event, product, executive or story at the top of the release makes you the PR star of the day.
  4. Fonts: Don’t try to be fancy or use special effects. Your goal is to be readable and as clear as possible, not to win a digital calligraphy contest.
  5. Avoid making your pitch sound like an awards speech: Try not to use adverbs and descriptive terms to make it ‘sound better’. This dilutes the credibility of your pitch. For example do not say that you are launching an amazing, must-have new app that taps into the latest cloud computing paradigm in the industry. I thought you were launching candles??? Be clear that you are launching an app that does A,B and C, in the context of D, E and F: that the market is currently G and that your client is available to contact at H (email) and I (mobile)
  6. Journalists advice: A well known, wonderful journalist in The Irish Independent (now a friend) once rang me after I sent in a pitch saying “Aisling, I will decide if the PRODUCT/SERVICE? is amazing and if it will work in the feature!
  7. Personalise: Always personalise your email pitch and take the time to acknowledge something the journalist has written or some other personalised note.
  8. Follow up: Be friendly, polite and happy when you follow up with a phone call. Know their deadlines and always ask if they have time to talk.
  9. Smile: Remember, they can hear a smile in your voice.
  10. Manners: Say thank you when a journalist covers something for you – it takes so little time and means a lot.

While writing this, I’ve just heard that a cement lorry has collided with a minibus carrying prisoners to Portlaoise Jail. Gardai are now looking for 13 hardened criminals.

Ronnie Corbett RIP ..we will miss you!

Aisling White - FuzionAisling White 

Aisling White is an Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design based in our office in Dublin, Ireland

A Newcomer’s guide to the land of PR

June 2, 2015

PR Career

Entering the world of PR is a steep learning curve, one where you have to take a deep breath and run with it.

I am the newest member of the Fuzion team and so far I’ve found the PR industry to be swift, sociable and constant. With the economic downturn, the PR game has adapted to the business climate – this landscape is an exciting one to be starting your PR career in.

The stereotypical view of this industry is that it is bustling and overwhelming, but the reality is that the fundamental purpose of PR is based on human interaction and enabling your clients to convey their stories and life’s passions to the world. Really – PR maintains a steady presence in all our lives.

After all, when are we not communicating and engaging with the world around us? Although many aspects of the industry have evolved with the modern age, the foundations of PR’s values and goals have remained true to their roots.

The Secret to Success in the World of PR

Success and progression within the world of PR rely on the ABC formula of success – Ability, Breaks and Courage.

Once you set yourself the goal of beginning your career in PR, your ability will flourish. Interpersonal skills and being in tune with your gut instincts will be of great benefit to you in the PR arena. Also, passion, an astute nature and having the wisdom to take advice from your more experienced colleagues will equip you with the tools you need to become a successful PR professional.

Then when your lucky break comes along, make sure you’re ready to take it!

You can create such opportunities through hard work and by embracing all elements of your new role. The effort you put into your PR skills in your budding career will pay dividends! Hard work ensues courage in your professional ability, so with self belief and a strong skill set you’ll make an outstanding PR professional.

Courage and confidence in your role allows you to communicate the values, strengths and personality of your client to their target audience.

PR’s Rules of Engagement

Having come from the food industry – where hospitality and customer service is key, I’ve always seen businesses as a set of relationships. When these relationships are harmonious and balanced, your business is sure to be humming!

restaurant

Contented employees lead to satisfied customers and it’s from here that your business’ success will soar. In this sense, PR is no different from the business of food and hospitality. The rules of engagement in PR are clear cut and enable you to unlock the potential of both your professional profile and that of your client.

Human connection is still the key to engagement: meeting people, hearing their stories and communicating your story effectively is the ultimate key to success in PR. By properly engaging with your client, you relate to their needs and the key messages that they want communicated to their target audience.

Public Perception

Positive public perception of one’s client is an essential function of the PR professional.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can play a vital role for your image and for engagement with your target audience and is something that as a PR professional will be of great worth.

Lets get social!

In the current PR climate, social media plays a key role and the enhancement of your client’s profile can be more easily quantified in the public sphere through one’s number of followers, likes and retweets.

Media coverage has extended from print, radio and TV to online resources.

Social media makes communication instant and constant and mean your PR profile should be ever present on these online platforms.

What has changed in this newly formed PR arena is the form of writing most valued in your PR role. While quality of writing is very important, brevity is also vital, reflecting the swift pace of communication in today’s Ireland. Capturing the passion, sentiment and sincerity of a key message in 140 characters on Twitter is a skill worth perfecting for every PR professional.

My whirlwind continues and as I learn more I will keep you updated!

Thanks for reading..

Diasy HigginsDaisy Higgins

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

 

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.

17 PR Tips that No One can do for You

September 12, 2010
Answer the phone promptly

Answer the phone promptly

PR or Public Relations is all about Managing your Reputation– protecting, maintaining, building and managing your reputation.

There is nothing more valuable as a good reputation and this is about a lot more than employing a PR company.

Your reputation is every single aspect of how your business relates to the outside world, your customers, your prospects, the general public and the media. This applies equally to a small store as it does to a large store or brand.

Ok, how about 16 Tips for improving and managing your Positive Reputation (PR)

1.    Behave in an upbeat way with staff and customers
2.    Ensure your staff does the same
3.    Answer the phones promptly, politely, positively and helpfully
4.    Return missed calls promptly
5.    Return email enquiries quickly
6.    Deliver a good, friendly service to customers
7.    Handle complaints fairly and efficiently
8.    Deliver products and services on time
9.    Be polite, fair and efficient with your suppliers and staff
10.    Keep customers and prospects up to date with new products, features and services
11.    Treat your customers with respect (even if they are experiencing difficulty and are under financial pressure)
12.    Ensure that your website and all your printed materials are well laid out, with correct English,  easily understood, professional and properly reflect your business
13.    Ensure your store, premises and vehicles are kept neat and tidy
14.    Ensure the attire of your staff is in keeping with the standards of your business
15.    Ensure your staff always talk up your company and do not air grievances outside of the four walls with external people – make a pact to sort things out internally
16.    Talk up the achievements of your company and the staff working there – their talents, skills and achievements

…. and number 17, a great tip from Sean McLoughney, Managing Director at Learning curve .. Adding this “soft”/internal PR as a key topic for internal management meetings, every bit as important as other topics/performance indicators.

This is not an exhaustive list – have a think about it and add another 5/10/20 points to improve your reputation even more. Even better get your team to help you with this task.

Ok, all of this is good for your business reputation, it didn’t require the intervention of third party consultants and oh yeah, it didn’t really cost a shilling – you still have your €1 left!

So far we have looked at some housekeeping reputation issues, what about behaving even more positively?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications

Social Media – who’s using what?

June 29, 2010
Using Social Media

Social Media

As part of the PR course we are running on behalf of the South Cork Enterprise Board we run a session on the use of Social Media for PR purposes.

As expected we spend some time accessing the different options available but as part of our “experiment” we will first assess what people in the group are using currently and their attitudes towards the different Social Media elements.

The group for the most part is made up of young business people:

Facebook – who uses it currently and who operates a “business page” for their business? Generally how do people view the benefit of using it for business?

  • Everyone bar one has a personal facebook account – four are not very active
  • Some lack of understanding between business pages and personal pages and the difference between each
  • Only one person has advertised on facebook, but two have considered advertising on facebook in the past. Generally the group was not sure how the advertising would work for them.


Twitter – who uses it currently, socially and for business purposes? How do people view the benefit of it for business?

  • Of the group there were two proactive users and two others using  it a little
  • Most people are unclear about how it could benefit their business

LinkedIn – who uses it currently for business?

  • 50% of  people are beginning to use it, but are not as active as they would like to be
  • Of those that  have signed up it is a case of sign up and then don’t really come back to it

Tweetdeck – who uses this currently?

  • Two of the group are using tweetdeck
  • The others hadn’t really heard of it

Blogsdoes anyone use blogs for their business or personal purposes?

  • One person in the group was using blogs on the wordpress platform

Overall “Social Media” is a source of confusion with people, what to use and what not to use and in particular how to use it properly. The group are anxious in that there is a general acceptance that everyone should be doing more in this area with no clarity of how it should work for their business.

A common question with everyone is “how will I find the time?”

By the end of the session everyone left with a much clearer idea of what they should be using and how …. well at least hopefully !!

Greg Canty and Deirdre Waldron partners of  Fuzion Communications run the PR courses on behalf of South Cork Enterprise Board

Climbing the stairs of PR, one step at a time- literally

June 24, 2010
Cocktails or Work?

Cocktails or Work?

Some people go to Lanzarote on their holidays for a week of sun, sea, sand and a torrid assault on their liver. Others who have a keen affinity with the outdoors take themselves off to trek the Andes for a few weeks at a time (an activity I could never even contemplate as I deem it to be an almost penitential pursuit).

Me? I made it as far as the South Mall in Cork.

I am a recent graduate and, like most of my ilk, have spent the past number of months searching for relevant employment in my field of interest.  The global recession has resulted in a dearth of jobs, particularly for those who have graduated in the past two years. Although we are not alone in this respect, it seems that graduate positions are only available to those who are qualified in the finance or commerce sectors, or those who are willing to work unpaid for a year.

I’m luckier than most. I am already in employment in a job that I love and which is challenging and eternally interesting. However I have worked in the airline industry for close to six years and the time has come for a change.

I have always had an interest in PR and it was always something I felt  would suit me and my capabilities. That being said, I have always felt I’d make a good airline pilot also, and so far I’m unlikely to give Amelia Earhart a run for her money. My problem has always been that I have a wide spectrum of interest (a direct quote from a UCC guidance counsellor) and so, never wanted to be tied down to one particular thing.

Working in PR gives me the opportunity to interact with a number of different industries, and because of this, I’m on a constant learning curve which I love. Aside from anything else, I’m one of those (irritating) individuals who has an opinion on most things. I’m not shy either so, as most of my friends will tell you, I rarely have an opinion or an idea that has gone unexpressed. After careful consideration, I thought I might as well put that aspect of my personality to good use and get myself a job in PR.

Almost nine months have passed since I graduated and, out of sheer frustration, I decided something had to be done. The fact of the matter is; good things do not come to those who wait. Whoever said that was not living in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland and possibly had a trust fund from which to sustain them.

With this in mind I took myself along to Fuzion and lay myself prostrate at their feet (metaphorically speaking of course) and asked, rather cheekily, if I could work with them for a week of my holidays. They graciously agreed and so, this is how you find me; sitting at a desk in one of Ireland’s best PR companies (they won an award today for Excellence in PR so I’m not biased!).

So far I have absolutely loved every minute of it, even the bits that everybody warned me were boring. I’ve learned more in 4 days than I would ever have done in 4 months in college. I’ve been thrown in the deep end and it’s absolutely fantastic learning how to swim! I haven’t made one cup of coffee all week, nor have I photocopied a single page. I’ve been helping one of the girls with an up-coming event and, although it’s hard work, it’s never boring. I think I’ve eventually found my niche!

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have found myself in an office where everybody is so helpful and eager for me to learn what the industry is about. Last night I went to the PR course in the Cork International Airport Hotel with Deirdre and Greg, and I learned so much in 3 hours that my head was spinning. The gaps in my knowledge could fill the archives of Cork City Library but at least I have a reference point from which to start.

As for my holidays; well, due to the fine weather in Cork I’ve been existing in sub-tropical climes since Monday so who needs Lanzarote??? And, had I a physically active bone in body, I’d be grateful for the mountainous trek up to the 4th floor office every morning. As it is, I anticipate having Venus Williams-style thighs come Friday so that when I get back to work everybody will think I’ve been away at boot-camp.

Kerrie

The New PR Girl!!

Happy Customers – the best PR!

June 16, 2010
Happy Customers are the best PR

Happy Customers are the best PR

As part of the PR course we (Deirdre Waldron and yours truly) are running in conjunction with the South Cork Enterprise Board, we run a session on the importance of looking after customers – Good Customer Service generates the best natural PR of all!

As a matter of interest we asked the group for their examples of where they had recently experienced Good Customer Service – just in case you are interested ..

  • Nash 19 (thumbs up x 3)
  • Natural Foods Bakery in Blackrock
  • Kilkenny Store
  • China Sea in Cobh
  • Fellinis
  • Sheanachai Bar in Dungarvan
  • Boots – Academy Street
  • Keanes Jewellers
  • Hayfield Manor
  • East Village in Douglas
  • Milanos in Oliver Plunkett Street
  • Hassetts Bakery in Carrigaline

Keep up the good work all of these businesses – what are your examples?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications


%d bloggers like this: