Archive for the ‘PR’ Category

Our German Crisis Communications Partner, Engel & Zimmermann

May 17, 2021

Fuzion Communications are part of a European crisis communications network with the core purpose of providing clients with a network of experts in crisis communications should a pan-European issue occur.

The Crisis Communications Network is an association of European owner-managed PR agencies with unrivalled expertise in Crisis Prevention and Communication. As independent agencies it is highly flexible and is able to react immediately to clients’ needs and where necessary co-ordinate across different jurisdictions in Europe.

At the time of writing there are experienced agencies in 11 countries as part of the CCNE.

To give you some insight into these international partners we have asked each of them to give us some information about their business, the local “hot topics” and their general approach.

We start off with the founding partner of the CCNE.

Here is some information about our German partner agency, Engel & Zimmerman.

About them:
Engel & Zimmermann was founded in 1985 in Munich. Nowadays the owner-run consultancy has a second office in Osnabrück (Lower Saxony) and works for more than 60 companies as regular consulting clients. 50 employees take care of mostly midsized companies.

For these clients they set up systematic crisis prevention, e.g. training for the staff with camera-based media training, workshops for the crisis management team or risk analyses. When a crisis occurs they develop effective communication strategies and talk as spokespeople on behalf of the client to the press.

Engel & Zimmermann specialise in working for food and beverage producers, which account for about half of their regular consulting clients. Furthermore, they deal with compliance and cyber breaches for companies from various industry sectors.

Crisis Communications in Germany:
Communications is very challenging in Germany these days. They observe that social media and corporate communication departments in many companies are not well prepared for sensitive communications with the general public. One of the big topics they identified is that companies are struggling with what they refer to as identity politics.

Many of them are completely overwhelmed and need help in developing an attitude or position concerning political and social issues (e.g. racism and gender diversity), which is accepted by all of their customers. It is more and more obvious that no company can be unpolitical any longer. The reason why Engel & Zimmermann has so many clients from F&B is that this sector has been highly criticised in Germany for many years now. The expectation is that this development continues in the future.

Broadcast media, NGOs and parts of the general public have a huge focus on product quality problems, the use of additives and artificial flavourings or general consumer deception. Against this background, many F&B companies are under permanent pressure and communication mistakes have to be carefully avoided.

Their Approach:
From their perspective, crisis communications is a strategic and long-term task. They are convinced that systematic crisis prevention should be practiced by all companies, which is their groundwork for every kind of effective communications in the case of a crisis. They are available for their clients 24/7 and also help them with current issues. Because of their strategic approach they also believe that and crisis should be precisely analysed in the aftermath. They consider their strategic approach to be a holistic one – from crisis prevention to ad-hoc crisis communications and to crisis evaluation.

The Irish Comparison

While the basics that we follow are identical; be prepared, identity potential risks, have a plan, have a great, experienced team that can handle a crisis and a client team that is trained to handle media with support – it is clear that there are special conditions in each country that you need to be aware of if you are dealing with a crisis and it is at these times that you need a local experienced, agile partner to help you navigate these challenges when they occur.

If you would like any information about our crisis communications service or the Crisis Communications Network Europe feel free to contact me at deirdre@fuzion.ie.

Deirdre

Deirdre Waldron, founder of Fuzion heads up the Crisis Communications team, which operates from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

While it’s not guaranteed, it is possible

April 8, 2021

At Fuzion we strategically think about our approach to media opportunities and look for the best possible way to tell our clients’ story. While we cannot always guarantee national blanket media coverage with every story, that doesn’t always stop us from trying…

CRY Ireland has such a powerful story and Fuzion has been working with them for almost six years to help tell this in the best way possible while increasing awareness of the charity and the amazing work that they do. This time last year, Fuzion had the idea to reach out to the “top dog” of Irish Media, The Late Late Show to see if there was any interest. (Ambitious we know!)

Almost a year later, The Late Late Show dedicated Friday’s show on the 12th of March to raising awareness of sudden cardiac death. As we worked more with the producers of The Late Late Show, the more they bought into the story of CRY and quickly realised how valuable the work that they do is. The show featured CRY Ambassador and Downton Abbey star, Allen Leech, Model and jewellery designer Emily MacKeogh and Founder of CRY, Marie Greene with each telling their experience of losing someone to Sudden Cardiac Death and their link to the charity.

With CRY’s major fundraising events being cancelled due to the pandemic, not only was the charity’s revenue adversely affected but so were the families of CRY. Many families that have lost someone to sudden cardiac death were left in isolation without the support of friends and family. Often, communities used regional fundraisers for CRY as an opportunity to come together in support of losing someone in their community. Many now left to grieve alone.

Over the last year CRY have been working vigorously to improve their family support services including the development of an all-island helpline. It was estimated that it would cost €150,000 for CRY to continue providing their cardiac screening and bereavement services for free over the next three years.

From the Late Late Show segment and the media coverage that came with it, CRY managed to reach their goal and more, raising over €155,000, while also reaching many homes who weren’t aware of the charity, but had lost someone to sudden cardiac death.

When the idea came about to pitch into the Late Late Show, we could have never imagined the amount of support CRY would receive and we are delighted to be a part of the footwork that helped achieve this. No idea is too big and we always try to reach for the stars with our clients.

While it’s not guaranteed, it is possible!

Note: A huge thanks to the fantastic team at The Late Late Show for taking the time to listen to us, for understanding how important the work of CRY is and for working so hard to deliver this message to viewers of the show – you have made an incredible difference to so many people that are supported by CRY.

Niamh 

Niamh Lawlor is an Account Executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork.

The Power of Communications in a Crisis – Updates from professionals across Europe

April 2, 2020

Fuzion Communications are members of a pan-European network, the Crisis Communications Network Europe, which is made up of independent Communications agencies who offer a significant Crisis PR service in each different country.

The rationale for this network is to have a strong group of like minded, connected agencies that can handle Crisis PR situations for clients when these crises extend beyond national borders.

When it comes to a crisis that extends beyond borders there is no better example than the COVID-19 crisis that has affected everyone.

On the Win Happy podcast, I invited a senior person from each agency in the network to discuss the crisis and in particular:

  • The status of the crisis in each country
  • How government have reacted
  • How good the communications have been
  • The media role in these communications
  • The reaction of the general public

It is clear listening to the really interesting discussion, that we can see the huge difference that strong communications can make in a crisis and and it can literally help to save lives.

Trusted, responsible government, leading by example, powerful gestures, quick action, honest briefings, strong and accurate media reporting and the public response are all key factors that determine the success of the communications and the fate of so many in each country.

The members that featured on the podcast were from Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, England, Netherlands, Austria and Belgium.

You can listen to the show by clicking here.

Enjoy the show..

Greg

Greg Canty is a Managing Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer a full Crisis PR service from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

 

How PR and Advertising Work Better Together

February 18, 2020

Integrated PR, Fuzion

For many years we have seen brands and agencies focusing on one discipline as part of their marketing strategy, thinking PR alone will encourage sales with no advertising (be that digital or traditional) or vice versa. But with the rise of the internet and social media, brands and companies are now realising that they need to use PR and Advertising together to be more strategic when it comes to their marketing approach.

There is no longer a one-way channel between brands and consumers.

Advertising no longer controls the distribution of your message and PR is not the only channel telling your brand’s story. Consumers have more power than ever and are somewhat in control of the message your brand tells.

The general public can get a message out about your brand or company in a matter of seconds or tune in to your marketing messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn,YouTube, or other online forums. The list is endless.

This is why it is now more important than ever to ensure your PR and Advertising are working cohesively together.

Advertising versus PR

Paid for advertising needs to promote and reach the people most willing to pay for a company’s products or services and entice them to buy. PR helps to make this advertising more effective as it cultivates a positive reputation with the public through various unpaid or earned communications, including traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements. By using them strategically together you hopefully create both awareness and trust with your target audience.

A great example of a brand using PR and advertising together is Paddy Power.

Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny they are forever in the media for something they have done. Not only do their marketing stunts get them noticed by their target audience, but they are also often the topic of conversation among other audiences too, spreading their message far and wide.

Paddy Power

Not only does this PR activity keep them top of mind with the public, but it is enhanced by their paid for ads ensuring that they are forever being seen by the people most likely to place a bet. This strategy has transformed them from local betting shop business to global betting giant.

By allowing PR and Advertising to work together you create one consistent message and a synergy effect, so customers see one brand whether they see you on the TV, radio, in print, or online.

Whether you are working in an Insurance company or working on ‘the next big thing’ you have an opportunity to maximize your brand through great cohesive brand building and ensure you are always moving with the times.

At Fuzion Communications we love fully integrated campaigns because we know these achieve the best results and we encourage this with all our clients.

If you would like to find out more about what we can offer, please contact us at info@fuzion.ie or visit our website www.fuzion.ie

Michelle

Michelle Harrison is part of PR team at Fuzion Communications, working from our Dublin office

 

It’s all about integration!

September 4, 2019

Donald Draper

A big shift has happened with media in the last 10 years.

I remember 10 years ago when the wheels well and truly fell off the economy, we had a thing called social media, which effectively had become a “free” (except for your time and effort of course) way to promote you and your business.

At Fuzion we were quick out of the traps offering people training on the various social media platforms and when it came to our own clients we were doing our very best to get them up and running and fully embracing this new and exciting medium.

I remember at that time when we devised marketing plans for prospects, complete with a range of different tactics to achieve their objectives, we would always have social media as one of the first tactics to discuss. After all it was free, it was new and it provided another great way to reach their target audiences but in a special and unique way demonstrating the personality of the organisation and those working there.

We discovered very quickly that we shouldn’t have social media as one of the first tactics because with many people we presented to you could visibly see the “shutters coming down” and we would lose their attention.

Quite simply they didn’t want to hear about this ‘new fangled’ thing called social media.

As usual there were a few who broke from the pack and made it work really well for them and bit by bit the word spread that social media could be great for business.

We find ourselves 10 years down the road and with many people, the whole thing with social media has flipped.

In many cases now, prospects call and their request is for Digital Marketing and they don’t want to hear anything about other forms of, let us call it ‘Traditional Marketing’ … the way it used be in the old days!!

So, where are we and where should we be on this Digital to Traditional spectrum?

While digital is great and on the face of it, very measurable, the truth is the social media platforms are overloaded with low quality content, the algorithms have squeezed the life out of “organic” (non paid for posts) and to reach your audiences you must invest in advertising, which is increasing in cost all the time.

The resulting problem that we face is that your social media post, that you have had to resort to putting budget behind now appears as a “sponsored” or “promoted” post and has effectively just become an advert of sorts.

However, social media is very powerful as it allows you demonstrate your personality in a way that other media can’t, it allows you to interact with other users and when you are advertising, it does allow you to target very precisely, depending on the type of audience you need to reach and the social media platform that you are using.

When we talk about Traditional media I am talking about PR, print and outdoor advertising, direct marketing, events, sponsorship and I even include email marketing in this boat.

All of these methods for reaching your audience can be really effective and depending on your objective they can be powerful ways of generating brand awareness or generating leads.

And we have PR sitting in the middle of all of this activity, that art and craft of getting your organisation covered positively in the media, which can be in print or online – at this stage it really doesn’t matter which, as long as you are able to reach your target audience. PR kicks in as well, where the objective might be to try to keep an organisation out of the media or to navigate it through a time where there might be a situation, which could potentially damage their reputation and business.

Trying to cope with all of this can be very difficult, so it’s very important to know your audience and figure out how you can reach them – rarely is this a silver bullet situation with one audience and one perfect method of reaching them.

For example attracting the attention of talent could be just as important to the organisation as selling goods and services to customers.

All paid for media (advertising) comes from the organisation and our savvy consumers know this and as a result may not believe the “sales pitch”.

The sales pitch becomes much more believable when there is some form of 3rd Party verification, which could be an article by a journalist or a review by a customer.

In effect, PR can be the valuable trigger in the middle that increases the return from both advertising and other forms of promotional activity, social media and other online activity, because the customer is more convinced because of this third party verification that we referred to.

So … what’s the magic formula for success?

It’s knowing your audience, figuring out how to target them, choosing that mix of Digital and Traditional tactics to reach them effectively and then carefully monitoring the results to figure out what worked and what didn’t.

While digital marketing can provide great analytics and stats, be careful that you don’t avoid traditional activity just because it’s not as easy to measure.

As a full service agency it is our role to create fully integrated campaigns with that special mix that we believe will deliver optimum results for our clients.

By carefully planning, coordinating, weaving and executing all of these elements together, we believe clients will get an exponential return on their investment. So can you !

If we can help you let us know!

The very best of luck!….

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

PR Professionals navigating the world of Online Journalism 

July 25, 2019

Online Journalism

There is no denying that the face of the media industry is steadily changing over time.

Print journalism is in decline and the move to online journalism is the new age of media. Over the past few months alone we have witnessed the print edition of The Times Ireland close down to solely concentrate on its digital outlet, and there have been major changes in Independent News & Media as sadly redundancies took place across a number of its newspapers. 

As print media goes deeper into decline, a number of long term print journalists are making the more stable move to online media.

Leslie Ann Horgan, former Editor of Irish Independent Weekend Magazine is now Head of Content with Her.ie and Ellen Coyne, former Senior Political Correspondent with The Times Ireland has taken up a role as Political Correspondent with Joe.ie.

The changing face of traditional to online media is often lamented among PR people and this can come with good reason. As out of date as it may seem, the PR industry needs print media.

For many PR professionals having a client appear on the front page of a newspaper tends to win out over an online piece and is often still deemed as more valuable to the client. 

Perhaps it is the case that there is still a great amount of value placed on print media coverage as this is traditionally how positive PR was measured and there is a slight reluctance and slowness to treat online coverage with the same respect.

It also takes time for PR professionals to build relationships with journalists and we tend to have ‘go-to’ print journalists that we have worked with over the years depending on the content we are pitching. It is important for the implementation of successful PR that positive relationships with online journalists are formed in the same respect. 

Online news media is growing at a rapid pace in Ireland with companies such as Maximum Media continuing their expansion into areas such as politics. As the shape of the media industry continues to change, new adjustments and relationships need to be formed as the PR industry navigates how best to work with online news media.

Regardless of print or online, PR still shines through as a way of valuable third party verification of positive news for you and your brand adding momentum and credibility to your other promotional activities.

Michelle Lynch, Fuzion Communications, PR, DublinMichelle

Michelle Lynch is a PR Account Manager in the Dublin office of Fuzion Communications, a full service agency offering Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

It’s hard to find the perfect shade of yellow when you’re a blonde?

May 4, 2017

Lena Dunham at the Golden Globe Awards

For decades it was suggested that blondes simply can’t wear yellow, as it clashes with their hair and gives their skin an unpleasant, pallid undertone. This might be true of certain yellows (Lena Dunham is just not having a good day here), but sometimes when you find that perfect shade/tone it can look fantastic!

With that said, this can also be true when looking for the perfect supplier of a service you require for your business. In this scenario, the client is the blonde individual and the shade of yellow is the service you require – Procurement!

PR is a service that some businesses, not all, often don’t clearly understand in terms of what the service is or how it can benefit them.

There are many elements to a PR campaign and more and more agencies are now adapting to the changing world of technology as well as developing extensions such as design, social media, digital support, and training.

For a business, it is important to find your perfect PR agency match (your shade of YELLOW!), but you also must be ready for PR and understand what type of support you need from an agency.

The following are some tips that will help guide you before contacting any agency:

1. Are you ready to share your company’s expectations, your business plans and goals?

This is important. An agency will need to know what direction the company is looking to go in and where they see themselves in the future. This can decide the concepts and angle the agency may suggest to you – is it a project requirement or a more long term like a retainer?

2. How much time are you willing to give to the PR campaign?

Your agency will require ease of access to the information they need to tell your story. The campaign can only go so far and move at the pace agreed if all parties are willing to invest the required time. Be sure you have a strong team that can help facilitate this.

3. Be realistic with your expectations re: Return on investment

This will not happen overnight and in reality you should expect to see media interest within 2-6 months of the campaign (this can be industry sensitive).

4. Social Media should be your best friend!

It’s time to embrace the online social space. This can be supported by your agency but no one knows your company better than you and it would always be recommended that the voice of the company is visible across all platforms – strategic plans can be created here to give direction.

5. Prepare to be open minded and uncomfortable

If you are looking to stand out from a sea of similar companies, products etc then you must be open to thinking outside the box but also within relevance and respect to your brand identity. It’s important to grab some of the spotlight!

6. Who will be holding your hand?

When you first meet your prospective PR agency you will more than likely meet a senior, super professional senior team. Our super tip here is to request that you meet the full team who will actually be doing the work on your account – do you like them, are they right for your business, do they seem to grasp what you are trying to achieve?

7. Financial expectations

Be realistic! You’re a business person that has a particular value on the work you do and so does the PR agency. This all boils down to what your needs and expectations are, as well as the time that you’re willing to give. All these factors can make a huge difference to the value, not just in relation to cost but overall results.

 

Golden Globe Awards

Now it’s time to look fantastic!

If you take all of this on board, approaching an agency should be easier with these points in mind and you will be on the right road to finding your PR agency match!

Your perfect YELLOW!

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications in our Dublin office. Fuzion provide Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Social Media Management services from our office in Dublin and Cork.

 

 

PR is not a “one size fits all”

March 27, 2017

The perception of the PR industry is one we often have to fight against and to defend. Some people may take a cynical view that PR is an indulgent commodity, a drain on a marketing budget and that those working in the industry are experts on ‘spin‘ rather than communication.

It’s hard not to feel offended and disheartened when you look at it from the inside out, knowing the broad range of work and tasks our job entails.

For instance one client of mine depends on me for devising their strategy in line with their organisation’s objectives over the coming two years. I’ve carried out workshops with top level staff across divisions with the aim of helping them to refine their messaging, target audiences and objectives. I also act as their press office function which, for a public sector Statutory organisation, is a role of great responsibility that requires efficiency, accuracy and professionalism.

Another client of mine is a global company which requires profile building to raise its profile and understanding among the Irish market.I do this through liaising with their stakeholders, identifying interesting case study stories to pitch to the media, through office launch events and openings, media engagement and drafting and issuing press releases.

I work closely with the company’s global corporate communications team, which can significantly increase the level of liaison that is required but it is absolutely necessary to provide them with assurance, confidence and understanding of how we work and achieve results in Ireland. Building this relationship has built trust which is paramount.

We may have another project that is purely for internal communications to foster and enhance engagement with staff through events, workshops, communications, videos etc.

As an agency the varied and broad nature of our work and client base is significant. One size does not fit all – the only common ground our clients and work has, is enhancing and sometimes protecting their reputation which can be achieved through many diverse PR activities.

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn

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

(Image taken from the very funny 2005 movie, “Thank You For Smoking” which presents a great example of spin)

Award season is not just for Tinsel Town 

January 27, 2017
The 2017 Oscars

As individuals, professionals and as companies we often use this time of year to evaluate and set out our plans and ambitions for the year ahead.

For instance in Fuzion, we kicked off our first week back to work after the Christmas with our individual and departmental reviews and planning which I must admit was initially a bit like pulling teeth until we actually got stuck into thinking about the year gone, what we did well, could have done better and how we can excel this year.
Ambition and drive means we naturally want to improve and to celebrate and build upon what we do well.

We also want to achieve big and better things for our clients which is why I’ve spent time this week researching award opportunities and working on award submissions not only for my clients but for our own company.

Across industries there are a great deal of award opportunities to grab hold of and it would be remiss not to be aware or put one’s name into the running for the credit, news, awareness building and achievement that awards have to offer.

Many may think that award submissions require a great deal of an investment of time with the chance of no return but I don’t agree.

Below are a few reasons that might change your mind:

  • Being shortlisted or winning an award can boost your brand awareness through pre and post publicity.
  • Researching and working on a submission naturally forces you to assess, evaluate, refine and promote your wins. It also has the benefit of helping you to identify key areas that you’d like to focus on and grow for the year ahead.
  • Credibility – we at Fuzion know how to roll-out a successful lobbying campaign for clients but our PRII award for lobbying on behalf of Down Syndrome Ireland provided invaluable third party endorsement not only for us but for the charity that fought with grit and determination for an overturning of a controversial Government decision.
  • Reputation building – awards can give you the edge over your competitors. Would you rather work with an award-winning company or not?

Ruth Negga, Oscar Nominee

If you listen to the media coverage when anyone in Ireland gets nominated for an Oscar you can see the benefit to them of the publicity that they enjoy as a result.

This year Ruth Negga,  received a nomination for Best Actress for her role in “Loving.”  “The Lobster” – co-produced by Irish production company Element Pictures – scored a nomination for Best Original Screenplay and Consolata Boyle was nominated for Best Costume for her work on “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. It’s worth spending some time to research what awards and opportunities there are now and over the year and mark them in your diary.

They say you only regret a chance you didn’t take.

Aoibhinn

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

New friends are Silver, old ones are Gold

January 10, 2017

Tour de Munster

Maybe it’s a sign of brighter economic times, maybe it’s a reflection of past experiences with us; whatever it is, I love to see our clients return. And over the last ten years in Fuzion I’ve seen my fair share.

Last September we got a call from the lovely Oonagh Levis and Mary Leahy from Town & Country Hampers, clients we hadn’t worked with since 2011 – but ones that I had fond memories of working with.

As they approached their busiest time of year in the hamper business they contacted us to help push their campaign that little bit further and spread the word that they were celebrating 25 successful years in business. I worked closely with Saidhbh, one of our newer team members on this account, and together we upped the ante in terms of social media activity, as well as securing numerous media competition and profiling opportunities for them.

You can measure column inches, analyse social media statistics, but at the end of the day it’s sales that count for a business like Town & Country Hampers, so we were thrilled when they told us they had their busiest Christmas in years…. Success!

Sometimes we see clients return for a yearly project, the Tour de Munster charity cycle is a great example of this, and that’s a testament to our work and the relationships we build with them. Tour de Munster, led by Paul Sheridan, first teamed up (and that’s what we’ve formed, a team!) with us in its 7th year in 2007, and have worked with us every year since. I was lucky enough to work on this project in the very beginning, and it has been an honour to work on it in some capacity ever since.

Having raised over €2.4 million to date for its various beneficiaries over the last 16 years, this year alone the 600km charity cycle raised €285,655.37 for its beneficiary, the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI). This was the 7th successive year that DSI benefited from the popular cycle. The hard work and dedication from the cyclists and volunteers is been truly incredible, and I am so proud to say that the work we do in Fuzion contributes in some way to the enduring success of Tour.

Over the last three years I’ve met and been inspired by some of Cork’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs through our work on the Local Enterprise Offices’ regional campaign in the search for Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur. This year saw the largest number of entries to date, and I was thrilled to see so many new faces involved. For me this project gives me the chance to support young business people starting out on their journey who might not ordinarily have the resources to work with a PR company.

Who knows, maybe they could be my “returning clients” in a few years’ time!

Alison O'Brien - FuzionAlison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien is an Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing & Design, who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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