Archive for the ‘Teamwork’ Category

Fuzion Design and The Importance of a Great Soundtrack

June 14, 2019

Fuzion Communications, Graphic Design, Cork, Dublin, Ireland

A classic tune may be something most of us can agree on but as much as we have in common, we all have different tastes and different ways of selecting our music.

I spent years building up an extensive music library and had a well-honed recommendation algorithm through Apple, to feed me exactly the tunes I like. I had always had an aversion to radio – partly the advertising, partly an avoidance of what was “popular”.

So, when I heard I was going to be part of the Fuzion Graphic Design team I only had one worry. This wasn’t to do with any aspect of the role, as I was over the moon with that, it was because I knew the Fuzion design department work was accompanied by the dubious melody of a radio.

I couldn’t imagine how anyone could have that racket on and get any work done, because in my book good music leads to great focus as every designer knows, so the opposite must also be true!

I needn’t have worried!!

Very shortly into my first week, I discovered the advantages of a carefully curated up-to-date playlist.

BBC 6 Music is the channel of choice, the chatter is smart, the music is excellent and the ads non-existent.

Within weeks my own library, which was stagnating around 1998, was refreshed with The Knife, Pigs (x7), Oh Sees, Mattiel, The Comet is Coming and the slightly “pretendy” but brilliantly loud Dublin band, Fontaines DC (Coley knows all the words!!).

All of this new music led to some greatly refreshed recommendations too.

It pays to have an open mind and to remember that a recommendation algorithm is only as good as the information you feed it. Read Hannah Fry’s excellent Hello World for more on that.

Sure, we still go on archaeological digs through Greg’s spare circa-2004 iPod from time to time, but when we strike gold there, it takes hours off the day. A good soundtrack allows us to focus on moving from job to job, designing everything from visual identities to web sites, from large social media campaigns to exhibition materials.

With a good soundtrack we can improve our productivity, better our mood and measure our day on the off-beat, to really #WinHappy.

..I get extra brownie points for typing that!!

Mark

Mark Kenny is part of the Graphic Design Department in Fuzion Communications, who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

When losing can actually be winning !!

March 22, 2019

Nelson Mandela - Winning and Learning

A really big potentially lucrative and very complex prospect came our way and like every prospect you must assess how much time and work you need to put into the plan between the:

  • Initial briefing
  • Background research
  • Brainstorming ideas and approaches
  • Writing the plan
  • Getting it ready visually
  • Rehearsing the pitch
  • Presenting the plan to the prospect

This one was really big and our ambitious team decided to go for it and they dug very deep spending days and nights working on the plan until the day came to present.

A big challenge here is that this work must happen alongside the normal client work, which helps to keep the lights on after all!

Apparently of the five agencies that were invited to pitch, two had withdrawn from the process and we were one of three who were remaining.

Our guys made their presentation, which they felt went really well so their confidence levels were up and then the anxious waiting and very painful period begins.

A strange thing happens when these prospects come to you – at the beginning it is a simple case of ‘will we or won’t we‘ and other than the possibility of a new client there is no emotional investment at this time.

At the point of presenting when you have poured heart and soul as well as bucket loads of time you are totally invested in the result with a huge emotional investment in the result.

The news came though via a very polite call from the prospect…

We didn’t win, we came a close second!!

We were the personal choice of the person who called us but someone more senior voted for another service provider, a mammoth of the consulting world.

While this was a disappointing loss in particular for those in the core team who worked on it, I explained to them genuinely that I believed it was really a win.

Nelson Mandela made a famous quote: “I never lose, I either win or I learn

Taking Mandela’s inspirational quote we did learn but we also won – our team had a chance to demonstrate two of our Core Values, they were Ambitious and they were Brave, they had the opportunity to showcase the deep expertise in our team and they had the joy of working closely together, even when there was a good chance the odds were stacked against us.

On our Fuzion Friday (we go for lunch every Friday with the team) we toasted our Dig Deepers, our true winners!

Bravely onto the next big challenge…

Greg 

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

Career Guidance Counsellors should try #WINHAPPY

February 25, 2019

Left or right

It was reported last week on Valentine’s Day by the Higher Education Authority that a number of Irish third-level courses have up to 80% drop-out rates.

The fact that there is a worrying percentage of students failing to complete their course naturally raises questions of student decision-making, and the level of advice and guidance they may be accessing in making informed decisions on their futures. The issue of the quality of career guidance in schools is suggested as a potential significant factor in this process.

This brought me back to when I was choosing my subjects for my Leaving Cert.

I met with my guidance counsellor in school and told her proudly I was going to be a journalist. I was expecting a response of “what a creative and exciting career, young Miss Jordan- go for it. Do what makes you happy.

Instead I was met a condescending answer of needing to follow a more “structured” and “safe” career path. “Study science and business studies for your leaving Cert, Miss Jordan,” she told me, “make sure you can get a job after college, work isn’t’ supposed to be exciting Miss Jordan. It is a job.”

My 15 year old self left that office deflated and picked subjects that were “safe, reliable and structured” for my Leaving Certificate. I then followed the same path by choosing to study Economics and Politics for my degree.

I am very much a case study of someone who is right-brained. If my creative muscles are not stretched or challenged it actually affects my mental health.

You can imagine how much I loved studying Economics!!

I thought college was supposed to be the time when young minds are challenged to question how the world works, and figure out how to make it better. Economics does that for many, it did not do it for me. While I did not drop out of college, it was certainly a struggle at times.

When I finished my degree I decided to pursue my 15-year-old self’s dream.

I would be a reporter. And I was. I worked for local newspapers in the west before moving to the “Big Smoke” to work for national titles.

I then discovered just how creative PR and communications can be, and worked for a number of International Aid organisations.

The experience gave me the opportunity to report on the biggest international crises of the past five years.

I reported on Ebola, as it happened, from West Africa. I travelled to the Syrian border, Jordan and Turkey to report on the Syria and refugee crises.  

I met with girls who had been abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, and I travelled to famine-stricken and war-torn South Sudan to tell the stories of displaced families.

Ciara Jordan

I think my fifteen year old self would be proud. I’m not so sure about the career guidance counsellor. There was very little about my career that was “safe and structured”.

When I met Greg and Deirdre, the principals of Fuzion Communications, where I recently joined as Account Director, they told me about their #WinHappy philosophy.

Here is that philosophy in a nutshell: work should not be something you dread, it should be something you are proud of. When you go home on Friday, you should feel like you have done something that was challenging and made you happy. Work might be hard, and it won’t always be plain sailing but you have still done worthwhile work.

It was like Fuzion was talking to my 15 year old self!

Perhaps the #WinHappy philosophy should be shared with Guidance Counsellors nationwide?

Perhaps then we would see a decrease in drop-out figures, along with an unprecedented rise in job satisfaction.

Ciara Jordan - Fuzion CommunicationsCiara

Ciara Jordan is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency who provide Marketing, PR and Graphic Design Services from offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

Note re image above: Ciara, reporting from an observation and Interim Care Centre (OICC) in Sierra Leon, where children who have been affected by Ebola, or who have come into contact with somebody with Ebola were observed and cared for.

 

10 things you didn’t know about Emer Healy!

February 13, 2019

Emer HealyOne of the fantastic things that we do in Fuzion is provide internship opportunities to young, intelligent, enthusiastic professionals who wish to explore a career in our fast moving, ever changing industry.

Meet the very lovely Emer Healy, who is with us in our Cork office!

Describe yourself in 5 words?
Friendly, cheerful, optimistic, organised and motivated.

Your favourite holiday destination?
Probably anywhere around Spain. Although Spain is a generic holiday destination, I have made some great memories there, from family holidays in Malaga to living in Bilbao during my year abroad. Spain definitely has a special place in my heart!

What is the quote you live by?
Everything happens for a reason” I’m a firm believer in what’s for you won’t pass you.

What is your favourite album?
Tame Impala – Currents.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs 100%. I have two dogs at the moment, Spike and Bear, and I am embarrassingly obsessed with them. Spike is a Pug and Bear is a miniature Yorkie.

If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Teleportation, I hate waiting in traffic and I can be quite lazy sometimes so this superpower would be perfect for me!

The best advice you were ever given?
Treat people how you would want to be treated“. I think what goes around comes around and it’s nice to be nice!

What was your favourite book of 2018?
Everything I Know About Love” by Dolly Alderton. I rarely laugh out loud while reading but this book was an exception. It is genuinely hilarious as well as being utterly heartbreaking. An absolute must-read from me! Dolly also has a weekly pop-culture/ news Podcast called ‘The High Low’ that I love.

What was your first ever job?
I worked as a Sales Assistant in River Island as a Christmas temp. Working here helped me to develop my love of fashion and I then continued to work in different clothes shops for the following four years while I was in college.

What part of your job do you love the most?
Definitely the variety of this position. I love having the opportunity to work on different projects with different people. As an intern I’m given the opportunity to jump in and help my colleagues with anything I can when they are under pressure. I love this part of the job as it’s such a great learning experience!

Why I’m doing an Internship (Bonus question!)
I’m doing an internship so I can learn as much as I can about the communications industry. I am so happy to be able to do an Internship with Fuzion as it’s a company that really encourages their team to grow and it offers as many learning opportunities as possible.

I believe that this is the perfect place for me to start my career in communications and I am excited for what the future will bring.

Emer

Emer Healy is an intern with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Positive Vibes Only…

February 8, 2019

The INternStarting a new job can be daunting, especially as an intern!

You are at the bottom of the food chain, or so they say, but here, that is most certainly NOT the case.

First week. New faces. New names. Is there anything more frightening? (Well apart from snakes and spiders and birds – weird, I know!).

From the moment I walked in the door, I’ve never had a warmer welcome. Greeted by a beautiful, smiling face, I already feel like part of the team.

The first thing I was told was that Fuzion is ONE BIG TEAM.

Even though there are two offices at two different ends of the country, Dublin and Cork, “How is this going to work? Cork is so far away” were the first thoughts that popped into my head.

However, this thought was quickly wiped away when I received a call from EVERYONE in the Cork office. Yes, I most certainly feel like part of this team (well family) now.

How lovely would it be if every company treated their employees this way? Wouldn’t we all be so much happier in our jobs and happier in ourselves for that matter?

Our work is acknowledged on a regular basis- and honestly, there is nothing nicer than to hear that you’re doing a great job!

You feel valued.

When you are valued and appreciated, it automatically reflects in the work that you do, and when this is acknowledged, there honestly is no better feeling!

Having colleagues who are so passionate about what they do, really drives and motivates you to grow and learn so much more, as an individual and as part of the team.

Even though I am (technically) bottom of the food chain here, I do not feel that way at all.

Being treated as an equal, I believe, is the most important thing about having a successful team and having that special bond, that not a lot of companies have.

So here’s to all of the positive vibes only!

Abigail 

Abigail Shaw is a PR Intern with Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Are you creating Hygge [Hoo – gah] at work?

August 20, 2018

HYgge

I had never heard the Danish word ‘Hygge‘ before but a podcast that I listened to recently from Freakonomics titled “How to be Happy” resonated with me.

When Helen Russell, fashion editor of Maire Claire moved to Denmark from London with her husband, who had taken a dream job with Lego, she decided to write a book to try to figure out exactly why this country is officially one of the Happiest in the world!!

Her cleverly titled book, “The Year of Living Danishly” digs deep into the psyche of Denmark and why this dark, cold, highly taxed and very expensive country is so happy.

At Fuzion we always talk about #WinHappy as being a core philosophy of ours, creating a positive work culture, where we do great work for great clients but with a smile on our faces.

Some think it is a little Utopian but we believe it is possible.

In Denmark they talk about a very special thing called ‘Hygge‘ , which I found very interesting as it is one of the core reasons attributed to their ‘Happy’ success.

Even on the Visit Denmark website they describe it:

Hygge: The Danish Art of Cosiness

Hygge is as Danish as æbleskiver (Pancake Puffs!!) and it goes far in illuminating the Danish soul.

In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Cosying up with a loved one for a movie – that’s hygge, too. And there’s nothing more hygge than sitting around with friends and family, discussing the big and small things in life.
Perhaps hygge explains why the Danes are some of the happiest people in the world.

I remember visiting a Danish fashion client that we were doing work for and being quite surprised to see candles lighting at the doorway of the offices and in the reception area. The warm glow of those candles certainly softened the atmosphere and was conducive to a positive working environment.

The owners of the business had also brought their little dog to work, who was running around the place! Maybe I should bring Honey and Bert?

In a random Google of the topic around workplaces I spotted an article that mentioned seven ‘Hygge’ tips:

1. Bring a mug from home

Ironically, something we used do in Fuzion was to buy everyone a mug that we thought suited their character!

2. Make a relaxing work playlist

Hmmm…in my work space in the Cork office, close to the graphic design team we always have Spotify playing something that is not too intrusive. It’s more difficult with the PR teams in Dublin and Cork as they are on the phone a lot.

3. Spend lunch outside or take that time to unwind

Too much time is spent by some of us at our desks including lunch break – that is not good and is something that we definitely need to improve on.

4. Decorate your desk or workspace

There are a few pics from home and fun things on people’s desks, but I guess we could go a little further to make the place even more personal.

5. Host a potluck with co-workers

I had no idea what this meant but apparently it is savouring home-cooked meals that your work friends have cooked and vice versa.

I do love when Alma brings in some of her tasty home cooked treats – there is something very special when someone brings something in that they made at home.

“When everybody shares, everybody gets hygge,” is what one author on the topic said.

6. Do random acts of kindness for your co-workers

I love this simple idea as it promotes the idea of friendship and treating your fellow workers as something more than that.

7. Embrace teamwork

Apparently team spirit is part of the Danish culture. From childhood, Danes work in groups and are taught to seek and/or give help in the face of adversity. They are encouraged to remain confident despite their weaknesses and humble despite their strengths.

While we have a great team and do a lot together, too often when you glance down the office we are all busy, busy, with our heads stuck in whatever client work we are doing.

In Fuzion we do our own few things in the spirit of ‘Hygge’ that we could add to this list:

Breaking bread together – Fuzion Friday

Every Friday in both Dublin and Cork offices we down tools and we go for lunch together. We chat about the wins, we chat about the losses and frustrations of the week and we laugh and share weekend plans.

Cuppa anyone?

No one makes a cuppa without asking if anyone else would like a cuppa!

Birthdays

A present is always bought for you on your birthday and wait for it…. our people get a day off for their birthday, which they must take on the day (or very close to it a least). Our client, Regus does this and I thought it was a great idea so we introduced it two years ago.

Slagging/Banter

There is always a nice amount of friendly banter in the office, which is nearly always lighthearted and never bitter.

Holidays

The person who goes on holidays is given a token few quid to buy a meal on us but they nearly always buy some chocolates or biscuits for the office on their return.

Working Late

We don’t like to see anyone caught working late at the office – Saidhbh is the biggest culprit lately!

While it is never perfect and there are the normal pressures and stresses of work I think we do a pretty good job at creating our own “Hygge” – after all, why would anyone want to work in the opposite atmosphere? ….I certainly don’t.

What do you do to create your own Hygge?

At Fuzion, I guess we call it Win Happy!!

Greg 

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

 

 

10 Things you didn’t know about Arlene Foy

March 5, 2018

New York, New York

In this series of blogs we thought it might be a good idea to let you know some of our team a little bit better…that could be scary!

This week it is all about Arlene Foy, our Consumer PR and Social Media Account Manager based in our Dublin office, who joined the Fuzion team three years ago this March.

Describe yourself in 5 words

…organised, motivated, dreamer (the optimistic kind!), fun and team player

My favourite holiday

…New York all day everyday

My dream car

…Toyota Celica GT4 Carlos Sainz, pop up lights a must in white for the weekends, but everyday a Mini Cooper in gunmetal with all the extras!

My worst habit

…eating – I just love all the food and I just never know when to stop!

My first album

…Beatles White Album on tape given to me by my mum which set me on a the road of good music taste. I did stray in my teenage years but I always came back!

If you could be invisible for a day what would you do?

…Because I think I’m hilarious I’d probably use my day to play jokes on family and friends, really freaking them out.

The best advice I was given

…If you don’t ask you don’t get. Also, you need to look after number one (yourself) because once she’s good, then you make sure everyone else is.

Who would you most like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?

…My uncle Ned, just to have one last family Christmas dinner we so miss him every year.

What was your first ever job?

…Helping out in our family business “The Barrow Lodge”, a pub situated close to the the barrow river in Portarlington, Co. Laois (absolute plug!).

The part of my job I love most

…Everyday is different. I am always learning and working on something new.

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency who have offices in Dublin and Cork.

10 Things you didn’t know about Jane Foley

March 5, 2018

In this series of blogs we thought it might be a good idea to let you know some of our team a little bit better…that could be scary!

This week we’d like you to get to know the latest Fuzion recruit, Jane Foley, who has joined the PR team in our Dublin office from Irish radio station, Newstalk.

Describe yourself in 5 words

Organised, friendly, energetic, thoughtful and loyal.

My favourite holiday

The summer before last we spent a week on a small Greek island called Poros. We didn’t have WiFi so instead of wasting our time online we filled our days with books, music and swimming as we explored every inch of the island and ate and drank the most amazing Greek food and wine.

Poros, Greece

I’ve also been lucky enough to have lived in the Netherlands, the Alps, the South of France and Paris at different points over the years, which weren’t exactly holidays but I made sure not to work too hard while I was in any of those places so they felt like they were!

My dream car

I think I have to learn to drive first before I even think about what my dream car would be!

I blame my parents for the fact that I still don’t drive, as neither of them drove so we didn’t have a car growing up.

We lived so close to everything in Galway, it was just not something we never needed. I appreciate our slightly-reduced carbon footprint as a result of this, but I also wish I had gotten my licence when I was 17 so that it was just over and done with.

But it’s on the to-do list for this year!

My worst habit

I can definitely overthink and worry about things when there is no need.

When I put a lot of effort into something I always want it to be perfect, which can be a positive, but I also need to learn where to draw the line and just accept that some things are out of my control.

My first album

I think the first album I ever bought was Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time (of course, being a 90’s child).

Britney Spears

But the album I first obsessed over was one I stole from my mum – The Beatles’ Red Album.

I listened to those two tapes over and over again and still to this day when I hear one of those songs end, I start singing the next one on the tape automatically – it’s burned into my memory!

My hobbies

I love food, and cooking and baking is something I do a lot of in my spare time.

I try to mostly bake healthy treats so I don’t feel too guilty about doing it regularly, but I also have to admit to myself that just because it is ‘healthy’, it doesn’t justify me eating the entire loaf of chocolate chip banana bread by myself…

The best advice I was given

As I was writing this I was struggling to think of the single best piece of advice I have been given over the years.

I think certain advice resonates with you at different times in your life, but as I was walking down the street at lunchtime I was struck by something spray-painted on the wall:

“Be Kind, Tell the Truth and Don’t be Afraid”.

I don’t know who wrote it, and it wasn’t exactly advice that was given to me, but there is something about its simplicity that stuck with me.

If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you bring?

A good book, an iPod full of podcasts and music, and a really comfortable hammock.

What was your first ever job?

I worked in our local corner shop when I was 13. I remember being delighted with myself, working four hours a week after school and not knowing what to do with all the extra money I had (€26).

The part of my job I love most

I love the variety of my job and the fact that no two days are ever the same.

And of course the people. I appreciate the wonderful colleagues and clients that I work with and it definitely makes getting up on a Monday morning that bit easier!

Jane Foley, Fuzion CommunicationsJane

Jane Foley is a PR Executive with Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.”

August 14, 2017

Pippa O'Connor and Brian Ormond at the Opening of The Oyster Bar

Nearly two weeks we had a fantastic night at the highly anticipated launch of the iconic Oyster Tavern, in Cork, just alongside the just as iconic, English Market. The launch welcomed a sea of famous faces and the ‘who’s who’ of the Irish social scene and sports world descended on Patrick Street to toast the new bar.

Stars such as Pippa O’Connor and her husband Brian Ormond and rugby legend,  Peter O’Mahony all donned the red carpet on the night and enjoyed an evening full of surprises as the new Oyster Tavern was finally revealed after a €1.5 million makeover.

However behind every fantastic event is a truck load of hard work, which at the time can be stressful and overwhelming but when it pays off, it is so worth it.

The last two/three weeks in the lead up to the highly successful event there was a huge amount of organisation and to-do lists to be completed and it meant that it was all hands on deck in the lead up to the event and on the night.

I really really enjoyed working on the event with the Oyster Tavern team (what a great team of people) but I couldn’t have done it without the help of my own Fuzion team.

We do event management day in, day out, from large scale high profile events such as the launch of The Oyster Tavern, the launch of One Albert Quay, the launch of Dunnes Stores, Simply Better Cook with Neven range and the launch of Nano Nagle Place to smaller scale ones such as the Summer Food & Craft Fair in Manor West Shopping Centre & Retail Park and the Official Public Dedication of the Kindred Spirits memorial with the Choctaw Nation.

In order for these events to run smoothly there is normally an account manager who takes the lead (which in this case was me) but we do depend heavily on the rest of the team to jump in when necessary and I have to say the team here at Fuzion had my back every step of the way with this launch.

They helped with invites, planning, media, and event management not to mention endless cups of tea, and on the night they came out in force to support the event and support me with any help I needed.

It was a night I felt proud to be part of such a solid and fun team.

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.Phil Jackson

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel

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

Changing from Doubters to Believers

July 1, 2017

Jurgen Klopp - Doubters and Believers

When Jurgen Klopp took over as manager of Liverpool FC in October 2015 he made a huge statement to the worldwide fan base through the media with a simple message:

We have to change from doubters to believers

Jurgen is clever, he quickly picked up on the mood at this famous, previously successful club and he knew that very often it is strangled by the quick loss of faith by the fans if something doesn’t go the team’s way on the pitch during a game.

The fans groan “same old story“, “we’ll throw this one away“, “that fella’s useless” ..when that negativity creeps in it spreads like a virus and before you know it everyone is a doubter.

Fans stop cheering, fans leave early, players get nervous, they choke, fans stop attending, the team starts losing, corporates stop entertaining clients at games, sponsors move on, the best players at the club want to leave and others don’t want to come to the club, success gets further and further away.

Jurgen understood this and from the beginning he sent messages to fans in his press conferences, in the match programmes and during the games he encourages them (by gesturing frantically!) to support and scolds them for not doing so – at a match that wasn’t going according to plan at the very beginning of his reign he scolded the fans who left early in his post message press conference – you can play your vital part in the success of this team.

We are all like Jurgen with the teams that work with us, with our customers (or clients if we are being posh) with those who we would like to be customers and all other stakeholders.

We have to change them from Doubters to Believers.

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

 

 


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