10 Things you didn’t know about Arlene Foy

March 5, 2018 by

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 by

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

 

 

Facebook algorithms and posts not quite reaching your audience anymore

March 2, 2018 by

mark zuckerberg

Algorithms, algorithms…. It’s the buzzword when it comes to social media these days but do the people talking about it even know what an algorithm is?

It’s not used just by people in the digital world now.

Your annoying Aunt Mary who posts her whole life to Facebook and thinks that when people post they’re sending it directly to her, is now sharing posts telling people to comment on her feed because Facebook will hide you away forever, otherwise!

This is slightly dramatic and not what the new Facebook algorithm is about…. Mark Zuckerberg actually wants you to see what your friends are up to.

In his announcement on January 11th MZ said that Facebook had changed the news feed algorithm to prioritise content from “friends, family and groups.”

Fuzion Win Happy podcast thumbnail [Check out the episode of the Fuzion Win Happy Podcast “Frustrated about Facebook where Greg Canty and Alma Brosnan from our digital team chat about this issue]

Since last June, he has placed a huge push on Facebook groups and using those to build communities.

The algorithm is just another one of those changes to (theoretically at least) help users see content they want to see (however, you may not want to see an album of Aunt Mary’s holiday pictures!) and interact meaningfully with their friends and family.

The only users being negatively impacted by these changes are Business Pages who have already built a solid audience through organic reach and engagement.

Facebook are now saying that Business Pages will still be able to reach customers through “meaningful interaction”.

What is meaningful interaction to you and your business page?

  • To some businesses, it’s posting special offers for their followers
  • To others, it can be rewarding followers with a competition and prize giveaway

Both of these types of posts are affected by the new algorithm.

Facebook have said using “engagement-bait” (deliberate content to get people engaging) to encourage users to comment or share is not a meaningful interaction and these posts will be demoted in the News Feed of users (eg – they won’t see these posts!!).

Examples of “engagement-bait” include:

  • React baiting: Asking people to react to the post (includes like, love, haha, wow, sad, and angry)
  • Comment baiting: Asking people to comment with specific answers (words, numbers, phrases, or emojis)
  • Share baiting: Asking people to share the post with their friends
  • Tag baiting: Asking people to tag their friends

So, all those competitions that pages ran asking people to “like, comment & share” are exactly what Facebook don’t want to see anymore.

(ironically most of these tactics were being used to “beat” the previous algorithms!)

How can Business Pages get around this?

You should follow what Facebook wants from you, and post relevant content that they believe your followers want to see.

Begin by creating quality content (in our view this should always be your number one priority, regardless of social media platform) that you believe will start a conversation on your page (ideally this will be a conversation between fans of your page).

Highlight the personality of the business and use that voice and tone consistently throughout your posts.

Include questions in your posts that will generate interesting answers in the comments so that you can then interact with your audience.

What we seem to have forgotten in all of this is that the point of creating a Business Page was to interact and promote your offerings to customers.

We all just got too caught up in counting the number of followers and wondering who those three people from Malaysia looking at your page were!!

It’s time to bring it back to basics and start building relationships with the followers on your Pages again.

Or if all else fails…. Just turn to Facebook Advertising!  

Is this the real agenda of Mark Zucherberg?

Alma

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

The Beginning of Our Journey

March 2, 2018 by

Fuzion DesignRecently myself and Fuzion’s Creative Director, Jonathan, held an internal presentation.

We added a few new members to the team, some of whom had not worked directly with designers before. So to introduce ourselves, what we do, and how we do it we came up with a little presentation.

The presentation itself was not all that different to what we do for clients.

We explain the research, driving ideas, the process and how we deliver our final result – but there was a key difference.

Jonathan had the idea of putting in one slide of how we got into the design, day one, what sparked our interest, what visuals or interaction fuelled our love for design.

This exercise became the most fun part of the presentation, and an interesting insight for each other into our reasons why.

Have a look at the visual above..

I am not going to dive into who liked what and for what reason but it was nice to look back and see the beginning of our journey, to remind us of why we started and even question if it was still relevant..

It was.

Paul Wade

Paul Wade is part of the Graphic Design team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Capturing your Story

February 23, 2018 by

In a previous post we outlined our Fuzion Process, which is a framework that we use with clients for their planning.

We use this “Story” framework and we find that it brings a very sharp focus to all marketing activity, to ensure the very best outcomes.

Our process follows some simple steps:
1. Understand your story
2. Capture your story
3. Make sure your story is found
4. Tell your story
5. Engage with your story online
6. Protect your story

In the last post we spoke about ‘Understanding your story‘ and the possible role of a brand workshop to help bring some clarity to exactly what you are trying to communicate to your target audience.

The next step is all about capturing this story.

Capture your Story

Once you understand the story that you want to tell, it’s important that this is captured visually in a way that connects with your target audience.

We judge things quickly by how they appear to us, so whenever and wherever anyone comes across your products or services in your website, promotional material, vehicles, premises and even the individuals in your team, that these tell the right, professional story.

Does it convey professionalism, is it modern, is it unique or is it very generic, does it convey your story simply and clearly, does it appeal to your target audience? Has the organisation moved on and is it time for a refresh?

Someone is always making up their mind about you by how you appear to them.

It is vital that the graphic design work and the execution of this needs to be sharp and consistent on all platforms when your brand is being presented so that your story is properly captured and told.

Click here to see some of the work that our Creative Team have been doing for clients

If we can be of help in any way you know where we are!

Greg Canty 

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 Alison Nulty!

February 13, 2018 by

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 Alison Nulty, our former award winning journalist and broadcaster who joined the Fuzion team last year after a career that included UTV, Kerry Radio, South East Radio and KCLR.

Describe yourself in 5 words

…solid, organised, motivated, enthusiastic, funny

My favourite holiday

…Anywhere in Italy

Venice

My dream car

…The Ultimate Driving Machine

My worst habit

…hitting the snooze button.  I really should just get out of bed as soon as the alarm buzzes!Snooze

My first album

…Kylie Minogue “Enjoy Yourself”  I was a HUGE Kylie fan, and even got a my hair permed just like Kylie.

Kylie Minogue

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

…sit in on a Central Criminal Court jury as the 12 members deliberate over the verdict.

The best advice I was given

…Listen half as much as you listen (am still working on it!)

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

…If I could choose anyone, I’d love to have one last lunch and natter with my Mam, who passed away 12 years ago.

Alison Nulty, Fuzion CommunicationsWhat was your first ever job?

…I think it was knocking on my neighbours’ doors asking if they wanted their cars washed.  

The part of my job I love most

…My clients!

Alison

Alison Nulty, of Fuzion Communications is a Senior PR Account Manager, Media Trainer and part of the Crisis PR team.

Understanding your ‘Story’

February 12, 2018 by

Fuzion - Brand Workshops, Dublin, Cork, Ireland

In a previous post we outlined our Fuzion Process, which is a framework that we use with clients for their planning.

We use this “Story” framework for all of our clients and we find that it brings a very sharp focus to all marketing activity, to ensure the very best outcomes.

Our process follows some simple steps:
1. Understand your story
2. Capture your story
3. Make sure your story is found
4. Tell your story
5. Engage with your story online
6. Protect your story

 

Understanding Your Story

In this blog post we will deal with the very first step, which is ‘Understanding Your Story‘.

It is our job as marketers to help our clients tell the story of their business, organisation, products and services effectively so that when people talk about these things they say exactly what we want them to say.

Before we create any plans, it is a crucial first step to understand exactly what the business is all about, what makes it special, where it is going and what it needs to do to get there.

To assist this step, we often conduct a Brand Workshop with clients, which is a very simple way of capturing all of this and defining their “story” or brand.

We also find that this powerful process helps to motivate the team, reminding them about what makes them special, providing them with clarity and defining exactly what needs to be communicated as part of the marketing process.

During this process we work together with the team to probe what it is that they do, how they go about this work and what the driving force or essence of the organisation is.

We look at the values, the core characteristics, the vision for the business and the mission that the team is on together to achieve this vision.

We even do some visualisation work to help the team crystallise what it is about them, that makes them special and different from competitors.

This work paints a clear picture of the brand or “the story” of the business, which must then be captured and told.

One of the outputs of this process is a Brand Brief, which we would give to our graphic/creative team to help them deliver this story visually for the client.

To find out more about our Brand ‘Promise’ Workshop click here

If we can be of help in any way you know where we are!

Greg Canty 

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

What do you think of Graphic Design?

February 8, 2018 by

Dark Side of the Moon

What do people think of Graphic Design?

Excuse us for this bizarre question but it is something that popped up in a conversation that we were having during an internal meeting in Fuzion, which we didn’t really have a clear answer for.

Framing this around some questions and observations about how people behave and make decisions about things might help.

Are you more inclined to buy something if it looks the part? 

I couldn’t tell you how many times I purchased an album (that was vinyl initially) because I thought the artwork looked “cool” and I remained excited until the needle was in the groove and I actually discovered what I had bought.

Needless to say I discovered some wonderful music in that random fashion and there is more than one album that were listened to just once!

Do you trust a poor website?

When we invest no time whatsoever searching online for something that we are looking for, do we judge the service or product by the quality of the website?

Years ago it would have been the Golden Pages, followed by a phone call and then maybe a visit to the showroom or offices for an appointment.

Now the website does all of this hard work for you. Without even knowing it your potential customer has popped through the door, had a look around and left and you never even realised it!

What does a business card say about you?

When someone hands you their business card is this a functional piece of paper that carries essential contact information or does it do a much bigger job at trying to create a powerful first impression?

Now there seems to be a shift with some preferring a virtual card that can be shared via smartphones – this is fine if it is about sharing essential contact details but is there some argument about having an opportunity to showcase your brand?

Does the smart van with professional graphics give you faith in the service provider?

The painter/decorator is working next door to you and their van is parked outside – it is immaculate and there are very tasteful graphics that carry the logo and contact details. Is he a professional?

What about the shift from print to online?

There is clearly a shift from print to online and maybe with this an argument for not investing too much in design if the output is never printed.

Looking good gets you noticed, it gets you read and it creates the right impression – at least this is what we believe.

Even more, we believe the printed version will always be read more than the online version – what do you think?

So….these were some of the ramblings from our conversation about Graphic Design.

We would love to know what you think – can we ask you to take a quick survey that we have created around the topic by clicking here.

Thank you…

Greg Canty 

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

Your “Story Telling” Process

February 7, 2018 by

Jeff Bezos

As part of your planning for this year we wanted to give you a simple Marketing framework using our Fuzion process, that might help to keep year on track.

We use this “story” framework for all of our clients and we find that it brings a very sharp focus to all marketing activity, to ensure the very best outcomes.

It is our job as marketers to help our clients tell the story of their business, organisation, products and services effectively so that when people talk about these things they say exactly what we want them to say.

When Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon declared that “your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room” he cut through all of the jargon about communications, and left us with a very simple task:

Know your story and then tell it effectively to your target audience – Simple!!

The Fuzion process

Our Fuzion Story Process follows some simple steps:

1. Understand your story – make sure you have a deep understanding of what makes you unique

2. Capture your story – all logos, visuals, marketing materials and your website must convey your story

3. Make sure your story is found – if you cannot be found online you are not in the game!

4. Tell your story – you have to proactively push your story out there (your traditional marketing)

5. Engage with your story online – make sure you have your voice on social media

6. Protect your story – be ready to protect and proactive about protecting your reputation

Your plan should take into account all of these elements and they should work together to produce the results you are looking  for.

We’ll go into each of these elements in more detail in further posts.

If we can be of help in any way you know where we are!

Greg Canty 

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

 

 

Top Tips for Business Continuity Management in 2018 from Avalution

February 5, 2018 by

Elaine Tomlin Avalution Consulting

When our client Elaine Tomlin, Managing Consultant from Avalution Consulting, started chatting to us about Business Continuity Management, I assumed that this was something exclusively for large organisations and the more I heard the more I thought it is something for everyone in business to take seriously.

We asked her to explain in plain language what exactly BCM is:    

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is vital in preparing and protecting business operations from disruptions caused by threats stemming from cyber attack and natural disasters, as well as resource unavailability such as building loss, staff absenteeism, and supply chain failure.  

A robust business continuity programme manages the likelihood and impact stemming from disruptive incidents through proactive response and recovery planning, with the objective of reducing operational downtime.

As a global leader in BCM, Avalution Consulting, which provides business continuity, IT disaster recovery, and information security services to profit, not-for-profit, and government organisations of all sizes across all sectors, compiled their top tips for 2018 to ensure organisations protect themselves from major risks.

 

  • Business continuity plan – make sure you have one!

 

Taking the time to develop and invest in business continuity strategies and plans is an opportunity to protect staff, clients, operations, profits and brand. It’s important to understand and identify critical processes, gaps and risks to ensure the organisation can develop effective response and recovery plans to address stakeholder expectations.

 

  • Who does what, when?

 

If your key staff are aware of their responsibilities during a major incident (i.e. if they know what to do, how to do it and when to do it), there is a high likelihood that your organisation will recover your business activities and will help minimise negative impacts in a more timely manner, especially in relation to potential operational, financial and reputational losses and damages. 

 

  • Ensure recovery support staff are fully accountable – own it!

 

Choose those accountable for business continuity performance (recovery support teams) carefully.  Senior staff with strong oversight and knowledge of critical processes, systems and inter-dependencies, will be most effective during a major incident and will ensure staff are fully accountable for their recovery roles. They will require appropriate business continuity and recovery training and their recovery accountabilities should be noted within their personal scorecard / performance objectives.

 

  • How to manage risks…  What risks?

 

Identify what types of threats and risks are likely to impact your business. Explore each threat and risk, aim to understand how each impacts your business, and then consider what controls or preventative measures you may already have in place which can minimise the risk (e.g. a secondary office location, multiple suppliers, etc.). Where there are no controls or preventative measures in place, consider planning to mitigate/reduce, remove or accept these risks. Document all identified risks as part of a risk register, which will help you take control and manage risks effectively. Many identified risks can be addressed through a well thought out business continuity plan.    

 

  • Recovery Strategies – plan for four key business disruptions!

 

You can’t plan or have a recovery strategy for every eventuality, but you can develop strategies and plans for four key disruptions that will cover the outcome stemming from most threats. Ensure you prepare and have a plan to recover from:

  1. denial of access to your building (building damage, Health & Safety, etc.)
  2. denial of staff availability (strike, severe weather, etc.)
  3. denial of technology
  4. denial of supply chain (loss of a dependent supplier)

 

  • Business recovery – It is about more than just technology recovery!

 

The information technology team is not responsible for the recovery of business operations from all causes, they are only responsible technology recovery! While it is essential to have IT disaster recovery strategies and plans this is only part of the story. The business, outside of the IT organisation, should take responsibility and ownership for a wider operational recovery (non-technical). Technical teams support an operational recovery as part of a suite of services they provide to the business. The business needs to plan for multiple potential interruptions to services causes by the unavailability of staff, workplaces, and third parties.

 

  • If you have a business continuity plan – test it!

 

If you don’t test or exercise your business continuity plan, you don’t know if it works. There are always plan gaps and performance issues that have not been considered. Testing and exercising helps to identify the gaps and therefore provide you with an opportunity to identify, address and close these corrective actions over time.  

 

  • Crisis/Incident Management – agree on the recovery protocols!

 

Have clear and well understood crisis/incident management protocols. Identify what information and how information about an incident should be managed and communicated both internally and externally. Incident management will require an understanding of who the key stakeholders are, what the timeframes for escalation are, who information should be shared with, how information should flow between teams (such as the board and executive management, the crisis/incident management teams, technology teams, BCM teams, facility teams, human resources teams, marketing and communications teams, customers, and essentially all staff). It is important to have clear documented indicators to support quick escalation, actions and stakeholder engagement. 

 

  • When does a standard or normal interruption to service – become unacceptable (an incident)!

 

Take all interruptions to normal business processing seriously as small incidents have the potential to grow and creep significantly. However, some business processes are more important than others due to their time sensitivity (short-time to impact) and their high potential impact to the long-term viability of the organisation. The impact of not being able to deliver a product/service or complete a critical process could give rise to penalties, regulation issues, client impact, financial losses, and reputational impairment. These factors should be considered within the incident management protocols and escalation paths.

Lots of food for thought for all of us – are you ready?

A big thanks to Elaine and her team for this post.

Greg Canty


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