Posts Tagged ‘Arlene Foy’

Consumer Branding and JK Rowling

March 7, 2018

Britney Spears

As I sit at home on a snow day working like many others across the country, which is all made possible by the glorious Google Drive, I started wondering about what my next blog should be about – something riveting, meaningful and life-changing?

But instead I decided to write about the fact that I was obviously unaware of two things that other people seem to have already known, and I’m going to use those things to talk about what we do for our clients.

For instance, did you know that:

1 – Britney Spears has subliminal messaging in her lyrics – GENIUS!

2 – JK Rowling is actually Robert Galbraith?

Well I didn’t, and the fact that I didn’t know is probably the mind-blowing part.

Also, if you are not watching the TV series BBC’s Strike (which is based on the books) you need to.

Knowing the Britney fact has now altered part of my youth and I wish I could go back to that time to see what this would have meant to me then and if it would have made a difference?!

Britney was and still is so influential, but I’m sure it would have made for an epic OMG conversation between friends!

The second mind-blowing fact is one that I feel is a reflection of what so many of us would like to do – trying something new and not being held to a certain level of expectation, which is the whole reason JK Rowling chose to write a series of crime novels under a fictitious name.

She wanted to begin a new writing career in a new genre and to release her crime novels to a neutral audience, free of expectation or hype.

Consumers can see examples of this on a daily basis with “Umbrella Brands”.

This is where a big brand buys another brand or launches a similar product under a different brand name, some of which fall into the affordable price range.

This happens so often in the beauty industry and it is why there are so many “dupes” of different products or cheaper alternatives.

L’Oréal do this very well with a portfolio of international brands such as NYX, Maybelline, Essie and Garnier to name a few – Full list here: www.loreal.com/brand

An Irish brand that has done this very well is Bellamianta, the brain child of Linda Stinson and Lisa McDermott. Last year we saw these two amazing business minds launch Iconic Bronze, a more affordable tanning product, less than three years after the launch of Bellamianta.

 

With the help of their Irish brand ambassadors, Jade and Laura Mullett, this tan became so sought after than it made its way onto the shelves of Primark.

In communications we encourage our clients to think outside the box and try new things.

Whether that is how we launch a new product or campaign, the way we plan on revealing new company branding or working with a brand ambassador for the first time, or it could even be with a social media strategy and how to reach new audiences.

At Fuzion, when we meet a client for the first time it is important that we get to know them and have a clear understanding of what they do and what their objectives are.

From here, as a team, we put our heads together using the many years of experience we have to generate concepts and formulate a strategic plan that will work to the client’s benefit, delivering consistent and cohesive messaging that will help them get noticed and make an impact in a crowded market.

Our creative design team is also on hand to develop outstanding, eye catching and conversation starting designs that will leave the target audience remembering your brand.

Maybe we can help you to be like Britney or JK?!

Arlene

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 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.

The Fuzion Christmas Gift Guide 2017

December 15, 2017

The festive season is certainly in full swing in the Fuzion offices as well as with our clients, who have some amazing gift ideas to be enjoyed this Christmas. You are bound to find something for the whole family to enjoy as well as the foodie, explorer and shopping addict in your life.

There’s also some information on fun, quirky nights out to help ring in the New Year, as well as the opportunity to give back by supporting the Mercy hospital Foundation Christmas Appeal.

Mercy Hospital Foundation – Christmas Appeal

This Christmas the Mercy Hospital Foundation is fundraising for a 3D Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) System at The Mercy University Hospital, which can be used in kidney, liver, prostate, esophageal, and stomach cancers. Importantly, it can also be used in cases of bowel cancer, of which Cork has the highest rate in the entire country.

Mercy Foundation

By 2020, 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime and by supporting the Mercy Hospital Foundation this Christmas, you can help make this difficult journey easier.

The new state-of- the-art 3D MIS System, which will be purchased through funds raised by The Mercy Christmas Appeal, will enable medical teams at The Mercy to carry out even more keyhole surgeries in Cork, and this means that patients will not need to be afraid of major scarring and recovery time will be sped up.

By donating just €50 this Christmas, you are not only helping to save lives in the Mercy Hospital, but you are investing in the future of cancer care in Cork.

To make a donation or for more information on The Mercy Christmas Appeal call (021) 4274076 or visit www.mercyfundraising.ie

James Whelan Butchers

James Whelan Butchers is a fifth generation family-owned and run butcher business and producing high quality products is part of their DNA.

In 1960, James Whelan Butchers first opened their doors in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary and since then they have expanded five times to locations in Dunnes Stores and Avoca in Dublin.

This year for Christmas James Whelan Butchers has two very special gift ideas for the foodie in your life – Beef Bonds and Butchery Demonstration Evenings.

Beef Bonds – A Gift – Not Just For Christmas

Christmas is a time of giving, but sometimes the perfect gift can be hard to find. This year, award winning artisan producer James Whelan Butchers has something a little different, “Beef Bonds” – an innovative approach to Corporate gifting or for the food lover in your family or circle of friends.

Beef Bonds from James Whelan Buthers

The Beef Bonds are priced at €100 each for an Angus and Hereford bond, or the more exclusive Wagyu bond priced at €150 each. The Bonds generally mature within 14 to 22 weeks (but shorter-term bonds are available on request), so you can look forward to a meat packed surprised in Spring 2018!

On maturity of the Beef Bond the below variety box will be delivered to the bondholder, anywhere in Ireland or the UK.

The bondholder will receive:
– 5lbs Selection of Roasts Joints
– 3lbs of a Selection of Steaks Cuts
– 3lbs of a Selection of Braise/Slow Cook Cuts
– 2lbs of a Selection of Steak Mince & Steak Burgers

To order your ‘Beef Bonds’ in time for Christmas, or to find out more about James Whelan Butchers please visit www.jameswhelanbutchers.com/info/beef-bonds/

Butchery Demonstration Evenings

The James Whelan Butchers, Butchery Demonstration Evenings are the perfect gift this Christmas. Learn from two of their Master Butchers as they demonstrate knife skills, pork and beef butchery and how to debone a chicken, while you sit back and enjoy the experience with a glass of wine, some James Whelan sausage rolls as well as tastings of our slow roasted pulled pork.

Nutchery demonstrations at James Whelan Butchers

Not only will you leave with a newfound appreciation of the magic of meat but each participant will take home a gift bag including “The Irish Beef Book” and the pork joint that you stuffed and rolled on the night.

The demonstrations will take place in our James Whelan Butchers branch in the Avoca Food Market, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018 and Monday, February 26th, 2018, from 6.15pm – 9.00pm

To order a Butchery Demonstration Gift Voucher in time for Christmas, or to find out more about James Whelan Butchers please visit www.jameswhelanbutchers.com/info/butchery-demonstrations/

Dunnes Stores – Simply Better

Dunnes Stores Simply Better Collection was established in 2013. Since then the brand has received over 300 food awards, the most awards for any Irish food brand. It is a cross category collection, spanning all major food categories plus confectionery, coffee, flowers and occasion-specific products.

The collection promises to offer the customer proper food made in the right way – simple, recognisable and done exceptionally well.

As part of the Simply Better Christmas Collection they are offering a gift of pure luxury with exclusive Simply Better Christmas Hampers.

Simply Better Dunnes Stores Hampers

Presented in a beautiful willow basket, the four hampers ranging from €50 – €100, carry a wealth of opulent delights and thrilling tastes, from hand crafted puddings to award winning handmade preserves and chutneys and decadent treats all selected and packed carefully.

To order a hamper in time for Christmas or to find out more about the Dunnes Stores Simply Better Collection, please visit Dunnes Stores, Simply Better Hampers 

Flynn Hotels

Flynn Hotels is a family owned hotel group with four exceptional properties, the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny; Imperial Hotel, Cork; Old Ground Hotel, Ennis; and The Park Hotel, Dungarvan.

Combining superb service, beautifully appointed rooms, fine dining and excellent facilities. Whether you are looking for a city break, family getaway or romantic weekend in Ireland, Flynn Hotels is the perfect choice.

This Christmas Flynn Hotels has some terrific gift voucher ideas, and let’s be honest who wouldn’t want the chance to slip away for a few nights in the New Year to wine, dine and relax!

Flynn Hotels Christmas Gift Vouchers

Spend €250 or more on a gift voucher for any of the Flynn Hotels, including The Imperial Hotel, Cork; Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny; The Park Hotel, Dungarvan; and The Old Ground Hotel, Ennis; and get a gift of a free night’s stay at any Flynn Hotel for yourself, or for the lucky recipient – the choice is yours.

Flynn Hotels

Gift vouchers are available online at www.flynnhotels.com or directly from any of the four hotels.

“Three is the Magic Number” package from Flynn Hotels

This Christmas, treat a loved one to a luxurious stay at any of the Flynn Hotels including The Imperial Hotel, Cork; Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny; The Park Hotel, Dungarvan; and The Old Ground Hotel, Ennis. Purchase two nights with a full Irish breakfast each morning and dinner on one evening, and you’ll get a third night absolutely free.

Flynn Hotel Group - Old Ground ,Ennis

To book this package online at www.flynnhotels.com or contact any of the hotels directly.

Oyster Tavern, Cork

The Oyster Tavern, which dates back to the 1700s, was part of the €50m redevelopment of The Capitol Building, which reopened last summer. The 18th Century bar underwent a €1.5m makeover after it was taken over by well-known publican and restaurateur Alan Clancy, who also owns 37 Dawson Street, House and The Oak in Dublin.

The two storey bar and restaurant caters for all tastes, the downstairs bar lends itself towards a more chilled and laid back customer, while the upstairs bar enjoys a party atmosphere with a DJ, cocktails, and dance areas.

Ring in the New Year, 1920s style at The Oyster Tavern!

Cork city will welcome its very own speakeasy bar, for one night only, as The Oyster Tavern takes a step back in time to the 1920’s this New Year’s Eve! Guests will be treated to Prosecco and oysters upon arrival, as well as a delicious selection of canapes throughout the night, specially created by The Oyster Tavern’s Head Chef Kate Lawlor.

Oyster Bar - New Years Eve

Bar staff dressed to reflect the Prohibition era theme. will serve up a selection of curated cocktails, along with a full bar of firm favourites. To ensure the ‘20s theme carries guests into the brand new year, music will be provided by the Tom Millett Band, with a DJ playing ‘til late upstairs.

Tickets cost €25pp, and to book your ticket for the party of the year and to ring in the New Year in style at The Oyster Tavern call the events line on 021 7355677.

Manor West Shopping Centre and Retail Park, Kerry

Manor West Shopping Centre and Retail Park has everything you need this Christmas! With a wide range of fantastic stores you are sure to find the perfect Christmas present & for the person who has everything why not gift them with a Manor West Multicentre Gift Card.

Manor West

Manor West will also have manned car parking areas over the festive period as well as extra parking opened daily behind Debenhams during peak traffic times.

All the parking as always is free of charge. Santa will also be in the centre every Saturday and Sunday, 12 – 6pm right up to December 23rd!

For more information check out www.manorwest.ie or visit their Facebook page.

Christmas starts with Manor West – the best shopping in Kerry!

30 Seconds and Junior 30 Seconds

Everyone loves a great board game on Christmas day and 30 Seconds is the quick thinking fast talking description game that is perfect for any group or family, big or small.

It’s simple to play and is easily enjoyed by all age groups – it really is the game for everyone!

30 Seconds The game is straightforward; players must describe & give hints to their teammates so that they can correctly guess as many of the five names on the card as they can – without using any ‘sounds like’ or rhyming tactics. All this of course has to be done in 30 Seconds!

30 Seconds is fiercely entertaining and can be played by anyone anywhere – just keep the noise down!

While 30 Seconds is suitable for teenagers, college students and adults of all ages, Junior 30 Seconds is good for primary school children, and their families and teachers.

The RRP is €29.99 and it is available in toy stores nationwide.

Cosmo Restaurant – Liffey Valley

Gift the experience of sizzle at Cosmo Restaurant at Liffey Valley – an exciting dining experience that promises to bring it’s customers on a trip around the world as they experience a variety of cuisines, flavours and cultures.

Cosmo Restaurant - Liffey Valey

With a festive Christmas menu currently available at one set price starting from €10.99 (prices for Lunch and Dinner vary), diners can also expect to be taken on a gastronomic journey where they will discover authentic flavours and cultures with a choice of over 150 dishes from around the world.

Cosmo has a “cook fresh, eat fresh” philosophy with live cooking stations, including Teppanyaki which will provide a theatre of tastes, aromas and sounds, this will be most definitely a dining experience unlike any other.

COSMO Dublin is open seven days a week (closed Christmas Day) and customers can expect to enjoy unlimited courses for one set price, (prices for Lunch and Dinner vary). COSMO Dublin, is the perfect venue for families, groups of friends or colleagues.

For more information or to make a booking, please visit www.cosmo-restaurants.ie

Town and Country Hampers

Established in 1991, Town and Country Hampers is one of Ireland’s leading hamper companies. Sourcing only the finest and genuine Irish products, Town and Country Hampers has earned a Guaranteed Irish Award, acknowledging their support for small independent Irish producers. With a fantastic selection of gourmet gift hampers, you are sure to find the perfect one no matter what the occasion.

Town and Country Hampers

A new addition to Town and Country Hampers is the Gluten Free Hamper (€36.00). The Gluten Free hamper maintains Town and Country Hampers tradition of providing award winning Irish Artisan foods whilst also providing Coeliac sufferers with a gluten free hamper option. Beautifully presented in an elegant wicker basket, contents include Cornelius Lemony Lemonade, Pandora Bell Real Fruit Jellies, Denise’s Delicious Macaroon Gluten Free Cake slice & Chocolate Brownie, Utterly Nutty Florentines Crispy Bites, Veronica’s Baked Organic Crisps & Maher’s Rich Roast Coffee.

To find out more visit www.townandcountryhampers.com

I really hope this gift guide has helped you with some last minute gift decisions.

From us all in Fuzion, we hope you have a magical Christmas and Happy New Year!

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. 

 

Facebook capitalises on Celebrity Endorsements and Influencer Marketing

August 31, 2017

Recently Facebook announced new controls and capabilities for branded content marketers.

What does this mean?

For brands

This means that any influencer sponsored content can be seen and promoted by the brand once it is tagged and flagged. This gives the brand the ability to publish the post and also reach bigger audiences by boosting it.

Facebook - Influencer content

Once boosted the post will then appear with a ‘sponsored‘ tag allowing followers to see what is a paid for collaboration and what is not.

Facebook - Influencer posts

Now I know people are thinking about ways of getting around this but lets face it, it’s Facebook and there is no way around the all seeing, all knowing Wizard of OZ!

What will happen and is happening quiet frequently already, is that Facebook will suppress posts that do not carry any budget. Without extra budget a collaboration with an influencer may not generate the desired results/visibility.

A really positive outlook for this new change with Facebook is that brands can have peace of mind when it comes to being properly represented and can be selective with who they work with. Another plus is that the post will appear as originated by the creator with access to the content insights such as reach, engagement, total spend and cost per 1000 impression(CPM) to help them determine the effectiveness of posts that creators tagged them in.

For Influencers/Celebrities

This new way of collaborating on Facebook is a great way to show their followers how selective they are when choosing a brand to work with and to show that they are loyal to brands, not just promoting brands for the sake of it.

A lot of influencers are already very selective about the brands they work with it but this will change how some influencers approach this part of their job.

It will also separate those who have always been true and honest to their followers from those who are taking everything on in order to build a following and reach that “Everyone who wants to work with me” status, ultimately rendering their audience useless!

For PR/Digital Agencies

For agencies this is great news and helps when preparing post-campaign reports as well as building relationships for all involved – We love MEASUREMENT! (well our clients do!).

Your clients can rest easy that the collaborations you have suggested with the influencers you suggested were worth the spend. With access to the content insights all parties can see the results enabling you to measure what activity was the most successful and with what influencer. This can determine who the client might work with again in the future.

This new approach could see brands turning to lesser know influencers or celebrities that are not as much in the limelight as The Kardashians but have a genuine following. Choosing to work with then could allow brands to reach a bigger audience that they may not have tapped into yet.

For more information check out the Facebook announcement here: www.facebook.com/business/news/new-controls-and-capabilities-for-branded-content-marketers

Arlene

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

Fuzion offer a full Social Media Consultancy service.

Advertisements that pull at your heartstrings – are they only for Christmas?

May 18, 2017

McDonald's

This morning, like most other mornings people are continuing to find things to give out about.

I’m very much about voicing your opinion when necessary, but sometimes I feel it can all be a tad dramatic! This time one of the world’s favourite fast food joints, McDonald’s was under attack for their newest advertisement, which is now tactlessly titled the “McDonald’s Dead Dad Advert”, making it easier to find online for those interested.

What is the advert about?

The advert shows a boy who was clearly very young when his dad passed away and is intrigued to know more about him – what he was like, what sports he played etc.

His questions are his way of finding out how similar they might have been.

However, his mother depicts a person that he is nearly nothing alike. The boy seems disappointed but not upset at his findings but then just as he sits to enjoy his Fillet ’O’ Fish meal his mum tells him that what he has ordered was his dad’s favourite too and that he always got the tartare sauce on his chin.

The camera then cuts to the boy with tartare sauce on his chin, his mum smiling and looking out the window fondly remembering that moment she shared with her husband.

Watch advert here:

The commotion:

I’m not going to go into much detail on what people are saying about the advert, it’s pretty 50/50 but you can read up on this online for yourself. However, there were enough complaints for the advert to be banned.

According to The Journal.ieMcDonald’s said “t had not meant to upset anyone, but “wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives — both in good and difficult times.”

McDonald’s said today it was withdrawing the ad “completely and permanently” and would “review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.”

You can read the full article by clicking here:

My view:

So this brings me to my point, would this be more acceptable at Christmas time?

Let’s not forget EDEKA the German supermarket Christmas advert which shows a grandfather faking his own death which was also controversial but in a weird way somewhat humorous OR Lidl’s Christmas advert that showed a family celebrating the special time of the year but missing their Grandmother at the table.

You can view these videos by clicking on the links below:

The German EDEKA advert and the Lidl advert.

Both adverts show bereavement in a different way as does the McDonalds advertisement but they are all asking us to remember our loved ones that can’t be here with us anymore.

I personally think that the complaints are a complete overreaction. It was a well thought out advertisement showing a very personal side to what some families go through every day. It was upbeat, not at all morbid and I did not get the impressions that they were trying to say that McDonald’s fixes everything. I felt that they were showing how the brand is very much a part of nearly every family.

The boy’s newly discovered likeness to his father is a fond memory that his mother has, and is now something they can both share together – this connection could make their relationship as mother and son stronger.

The trip to McDonald’s could be one of many and a way for them to hang onto a shared memory – what is so bad about that?!

Not to get all morbid, but death becomes a part of everyone’s life at some stage and while right now you don’t need to experience it directly, if an advertisement can shine a light on the part of death that shows a family connection, nostalgia and shared memories then I’m all for it.

Of course, the ironic thing about it all is that McDonald’s as a brand is still grabbing the media and public’s attention.

So whether you like the ad or not they’ve created awareness for their brand while promoting a meal that probably isn’t on their most ordered list! It might not be how they wanted to receive this attention but it is still publicity at the end of the day!

Do you think McDonald’s were right to shut down their advert?

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.

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.

 

 

What is “Work Life Balance” to you?

April 18, 2017

Work Life Balance

Some people wake up at 6am to get a run or a workout in before they face the day, maybe do some yoga or meditation to start the day in a happier mindset or simply just because they like being up that early.

I wake up at 6am because I need to, to travel to work.

No, I am not complaining, it’s great to be working. I’m just saying that it would be nice to wake up at 6am and not run around my house like a mouse just after escaping the claws of the dreaded mouse trap because I need to get my train.

My point is that as industries grow and businesses get more and more tech savvy our jobs are changing with them. Remote work, sometimes seen as working from home/working from anywhere (depending on the role) is now part of a lot of job descriptions. This got me thinking about how we are now looking for newer ways to go to work and where to work from.

I see people every morning commuting to work on different modes of transport – bus, car, bicycle, moped, skateboard, electric scooter and regular train, bus, walkers like myself! (now I’m complaining!).

As employees, I feel we too (like consumers) are looking for new experiences in our jobs, our work environment and ways to achieve our full potential within our careers and personally, that achieve a positive “WORK LIFE BALANCE”.

The first question we need to ask ourselves is – What does “Work life balance” mean to you?

Someone recently asked me this and I was stumped. I knew I wanted it but what was it? So, I took myself aside and asked myself that very question.

Here’s what I came up with, for me work life balance is a lot of things…….but mainly it is being able to do my job to the best of my ability while having time for myself personally. It’s all about TIME!

There are so many articles telling us that working from home is bad or working from home is good, but I think it depends on the individual, their productivity and also accessibility outside of the office. A recent article from Silicon Republic referred to this luxury as a way of showing employees that the company they work for is flexible and trusts and values them.

So how is working from home a bad thing?

The same article quoted Michelle Hammond, senior lecturer in Occupational Behaviour at University of Limerick referring to the drawbacks of working from home, isolation being one of them. Full-time, I can understand this issue but part-time, isn’t it just that extra hour of rest in bed, the flexibility in the evenings or having more time with the family?

Irish Rail

Today, I am grateful for the work from home option since the trains decided to go on an unscheduled strike!

The remote access to my work allows me to do my job (time for a blog post!) in the exact same way as well as not letting down my team and supporting my clients. It also made me feel even more trusted and the flexibility spared me that feeling of always chasing time. I didn’t need to be finished at this time – to get to the next place – to get the Luas on time – to reach my train on time – to get home – Phew!

Everyone’s work, life balance is different and it is very much connected to mindfulness. For that reason, it is important to look at this and ask yourself that question – What does “Work life balance” mean to you?

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion PR in our Dublin office.

Take Responsibility and Mind your Bits!

February 20, 2017

Wow! I’d like to address the topic of Cervical Cancer, a topic that should be addressed anytime not just in January!

This blog is prompted by a recent prospect meeting I attended, where I received a Cervical Cancer Awareness brooch representing the ‘Pearl of Wisdom’ with a clever hashtag #ShareTheWisdom.

Due to my social media addiction, I of course published a post across all my social platforms in support of a very relevant campaign for women across the globe. (I’m so popular with my 35 likes!)

Cervical Cancer

Although prompted by the brooch this blog is one of personal experience and a result of my lack of responsibility for my own body, which led to an experience I never want to go through again, mainly because I did not know what to expect.

I visited my doctor because mother nature had gone AWOL and this resulted with me getting an unplanned smear test. The last thing you expect to get are negative results, which only scream the word CANCER in your head.

For an over-thinker like me this was not going to sit in one little place in my mind..Oh no! This was going to spread into every little space that has never ever been filled with, well anything (even the science/maths section).

I thought about the dreaded results so much that I ended up being a miserable mess and crying on my dear brother’s shoulder, mainly because my mother would have thought this was the end for me!! We can be quite dramatic sometimes but I’m afraid this is the reality of when you know nothing about cervical cancer.

I was called for a Colposcopy – not only could I not pronounce it but it’s not the fluffiest of words either, so this was quite daunting. I roped one of my closest friends into coming with me and we went up the night before (this of course was Valentine’s Day, so quite inappropriate!).

The next day I went to Holles Street Maternity Hospital where everyone was very helpful and I got all the information I needed. I had a treatment called LLETZ, which removed the abnormal cells on the cervix under local anaesthetic using a very fine, heated wire loop. At this time they also tested for the HPV virus.

Afterwards I felt quiet tired (the effects of the anaesthetic) with a slight discomfort and I won’t go into everything else but a few days rest and hugging myself was in order to get me back on track.

When my results came back they were all clear and I can’t describe the incredible feeling of relief when opening that letter and reading those words. I would be called back in six months for a follow up smear test to check that everything was okay, which thankfully it was – phew and finally the mind rests!

Thanks to my doctor, I was lucky but also I believe as women we know our own bodies and mine was telling me that something was up, just like you know when a tummy ache is coming on. If that little feeling is playing on your mind do not let it lie – GET CHECKED!

Of course I am aware that one of the issues in relation to cervical checks is the age barrier for public health benefit. Young women under 25 years can be affected by cervical cancer but they are not covered via the public system – It can’t be too cheap to get this done and many may not have the cash.

However it is important for us all to be responsible and proactive about our own bits. If you are under 25 and feel something is not right don’t put it off, speak to your doctor and get yourself checked.

Well done to everyone behind the Cervical Check initiative – it is so important that we #ShareTheWisdom

Don’t overthink and let it flood the science/maths section of your brain – Get checked as it could just be one of those life changing decisions.

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion PR in our Dublin office.

For more information visit – http://www.cervicalcheck.ie

Fuzion’s Christmas Gift Guide

December 20, 2016

Christmas is a time for being grateful, for spending time with family and friends as well as the giving and receiving of gifts – the part we all secretly enjoy the most, apart from dinner of course!

At Fuzion we work with an array of amazing clients which is why we know our clients have a lot to offer the public and we want our blog readers to know this too.

We have listed below some of our clients that offer fantastic services or goods that would make for a perfect Christmas gift idea.

We hope this might help with any last minute gifting decisions!

Vintage Tea Tours

Vintage Tea Tours

It has been said that if tea can’t fix it, then there’s no hope!

Vintage Tea Tours is the Dublin City tour with a difference and is the perfect gift for a lovely girls day out with your bestie or your mam!

Dad’s will love this too but we secretly think it’s because of the Guinness Brownie! While on board you will get the chance to enjoy some of the city’s well-known sights, whilst comfortably seated in a vintage double decker Routemaster bus named Pauline and indulging in some delicious afternoon tea treats!

The tour runs three times a day: 11am, 1.15pm and 3.30pm and tickets start from €40.

Passengers will be in the safe hands of Driver Bob and the on-board Vintage Tea Tours Team who will share some interesting and juicy “need to know” facts about Dublin, its sights and of course the lovable Pauline!

For more information on Vintage Tea Tours and to but a voucher, please visit www.vintageteatours.ie. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Ted Baker

Ted Baker - Christmas 2016

Ted is on Mission Impeccable this Christmas season!

An unswerving focus on quality and attention to detail can be seen throughout the Autumn Winter 2016 jewellery collection, resulting in captivating pieces for the perfect Christmas present.

Ted has got you covered no matter what the occasion – his alluring collection offers a variety of striking seasonal shades in emerald green, royal blue and ruby red. The floral collection is the ideal mixture of bold and beautiful.

Let’s not forget Ted’s signature jewellery design the ‘Ted Baker Button’ and this season it is bigger and better with some festive sparkle – the perfect dainty piece to wear with a cashmere sweater.

Available in gold, rose gold and silver, this season’s jewellery collection screams sophistication and are the perfect additions to your accessory wardrobe.

Send someone on their Mission Impeccable this Christmas – please visit jewellery stores nationwide or check out www.timemark.ie for a full list of Ted Baker stockist’s.

 

Cosmo Restaurant – Liffey Valley

Cosmo Restaurant - Liffey Valley

Gift the experience of sizzle at Cosmo Restaurant at Liffey Valley – a new and exciting dining experience that promises to bring it’s customers on a trip around the world as they experience a variety of cuisines, flavours and cultures.

Diners can expect to be taken on a gastronomic journey where they will discover authentic flavours and cultures with a choice of over 150 dishes from around the world.

With a “cook fresh, eat fresh” philosophy, live cooking stations, including Teppanyaki which will provide a theatre of tastes, aromas and sounds, this will be most definitely a dining experience unlike any other.

COSMO Dublin is open seven days a week (closed Christmas Day) and customers can expect to enjoy unlimited courses for one set price, (prices for Lunch and Dinner vary). COSMO Dublin, is the perfect venue for families, groups of friends or colleagues.

For more information or to make a booking, please visit www.cosmo-restaurants.ie

 

James Whelan Butchers

James Whelan Butchers

Delicious food plays a central part in every family Christmas and James Whelan Butchers is the perfect place to find the highest-quality, naturally reared products for your table – directly from their stores to your door.

Having their own farm, abattoir and shops to sell their produce, allows JWB to give people that essential element of trust that every consumer requires when they buy meat in JWB stores or order online.

To find out more about James Whelan Butchers or to order online visit www.jameswhelanbutchers.com

James Whelan Butchers is available at:

  • Dunnes Stores, Cornelscourt
  • Dunnes Stores, The Swan Centre, Rathmines
  • Avoca, Rathcoole
  • Avoca, Kilmacanogue
  • Oakville Shopping Centre, Clonmel

 

Town and Country Hampers

Town and Country Hampers

Want an easy way to buy quality Irish gifts without the hassle of traipsing through the shops?

Then Town & Country Hampers is your answer. With a fantastic selection of gourmet gift hampers, you are sure to find the one for you no matter what the occasion, especially with Christmas on the horizon.

Sourcing the finest range of genuine Irish products, has earned Town & Country Hampers a Guaranteed Irish Award, acknowledging their support for small independent Irish producers where time honoured methods are still revered.

To really steal the show this Christmas, with everything you need to celebrate, Town & Country Hampers’ Festive Hamper (€129.15) will certainly deliver.

Presented in a beautiful bespoke design leather bound trunk, this hamper includes an array of traditional Irish festive foods such as a luxurious Irish Christmas Pudding from Jack Cuthbert’s Bakery, chutney from Crossogue, savoury biscuits from Athenry, and  Foods of Athenry Fruity Mince Pies, to name a few, all complemented with a selection of award winning French wines.

Town & Country Hampers offers a national and international delivery service.  For more information email sales@townandcountryhampers.com, call (021) 4808100, or visit www.townandcountryhampers.com

 

30 Seconds and Junior 30 Seconds

30 Seconds and Junior 30 SecondsEveryone loves a great board game on Christmas day and 30 Seconds is the quick thinking fast talking description game that is perfect for any group or family, big or small.

It’s simple to play and is easily enjoyed by all age groups – it really is the game for everyone!

The game is straightforward; players must describe & give hints to their teammates so that they can correctly guess as many of the five names on the card as they can – without using any ‘sounds like’ or rhyming tactics. All this of course has to be done in 30 Seconds!

30 Seconds is fiercely entertaining and can be played by anyone anywhere – just keep the noise down!

While 30 Seconds is suitable for teenagers, college students and adults of all ages, Junior 30 Seconds is good for primary school children, and their families and teachers.

The RRP is €29.99 and it is available in toy stores nationwide.

 

Manor West Shopping Centre and Retail Park

Manor West

Manor West Shopping Centre and Retail Park has everything you need this Christmas!

With a wide range of fantastic stores you are sure to find the perfect Christmas present & for the person who has everything why not gift them with a Manor West Multicentre Gift Card.

Manor West will also have manned car parking areas over the festive period as well as extra parking opened daily behind Debenhams during peak traffic times.

All the parking as always is free of charge, so one less drain on the pocket!

For more information check out manorwest.ie or visit their Facebook page.

Christmas starts with Manor West – the best shopping in Kerry!

 

Sean Taaffe Hair – Happy 10th Birthday!

Sean Taaffe - Hair Salons

Give the gift of pampering and relaxation – It’s what vouchers were made for! At Sean Taaffe, award winning hair salons your loved one will be looked after by a team of professionals, from hair to make up, from manicure to pedicure!

Sean Taaffe Hair & Beauty has salons in Killarney, Tralee and Killorglin, and a team of over 60 talented professionals. For the budding hairstylist in the family why not check out the Sean Taaffe Academy.

For more information on Sean Taaffe or to make an appointment please vist www.seantaaffe.com or call 066 976 1869. You can also keep up to date on the Sean Taaffe Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

Down Syndrome Ireland

dsi

This year Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) and their members have created a fabulous pack of six Christmas cards as well 2017 calendars.

To support DSI and Sean, Caoimhe, Charlie and Paddy who helped to make these Christmas Cards please visit www.downsyndrome.ie where you can buy the cards and calendars.

Thank you for supporting #Christmas4DSI

 

Mercy Hospital Foundation

mercy

This year The Mercy Hospital Foundation Christmas Appeal will see an envelope containing a tea bag and appeal letter fall through the post boxes of homes around Munster in the coming weeks.

Why does it contain a tea bag you ask?

Well, The Mercy Hospital Foundation invites you to make a cup of tea for yourself and take a moment to think about what is really important in life this Christmas.

As the old saying goes, there’s not a lot that a cup of tea can’t solve, but unfortunately, this does not extend to cancer. And that’s why the Mercy Hospital Foundation needs you.

For more information on The Mercy Christmas Appeal or to make a donation call (021) 4274076 or visit www.mercyfundraising.ie

Thank you for reading – I hope you liked my list!

Arlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion PR in our Dublin office.

Let’s be Women for Women, not Women versus Women!

August 2, 2016

Pregnant woman on the train

Is empowerment simply respecting each other?

I am not usually the one in the crowd flying the flag up high for us females. I’m more of a carry on as is type of gal, but when I need to voice my opinion “you’re going to hear me”!

While this is not my usual type of blog post, I feel that this topic needs to be discussed.

Inspired by the events of my run-of-the mill daily commute, I began to wonder “is empowerment simply respecting each other, or is there more to it?

It was one of those ‘everything is late’ mornings and following my arrival to Heuston train station I came to find the enormous queue for the 145 bus. By the time I finally got on the bus there was only standing (with your face against the wall) space left – tight spots aren’t really a problem for me….I’m 5ft 2.5” and if your vertically challenged like me then you know that half means everything!

As the bus pulled out of Heuston Station, I scanned my surroundings, noticing the sea of commuters poised over their phones, drowning out the rest of the world’s noise with their headphones. While this is not an unusual sight for anyone commuting to work in the morning, what really grabbed my attention was a lady looking fairly snug amongst the human bus blanket, who had a neat little baby bump to match.

She was standing near the wheelchair space. I asked if she would like me to get her a seat but she declined (there wasn’t any so I was going to have to ask someone to get up! I’m nice like that!).

One of my reasons for asking her was because the women sitting on the pull-down chair in the wheelchair space pretended not to notice her while continuously staring at her bump, which did not go unnoticed by other passengers. Plus the fact that three other women were also glaring at her with eyes that screamed and sounded like our own mothers saying “Get up and have some manners – that might be you some day”.

I’m sure I am not the only person that has been in this position before or has had these thoughts. I am not a mother or a mother to be, but I am a daughter and I was raised to care, to be vigilant, to have manners and respect.

This action, or lack thereof, genuinely annoyed me but also left me feeling a little guilty. Was it my place to point out her ignorance or do I just carry on about my business because the woman standing could have asked for the seat herself?

suffragettes

But this poses the question: Why should she have to ask?

Do we not have enough respect for each other in this day and age to just be nice? My mother always says “If you don’t ask, then you don’t get and then you’ll never know the answer!”.

I guess my point is that I tried to change the situation on the bus by empowering myself to point out my frustration, that simply the lady is pregnant and give her your seat!! I thought my actions would empower those around me to offer up their seats but no – the frustrating fact is that in some situations people don’t want to be empowered.

They actually just don’t care – This is also frustrating because it’s the truth of the world we live in today!

There are many valid questions for this and it shone a light on my way of thinking for the first time ever concerning ‘Women v Women’ and the role of supporting each other not just in work, but in everyday life.

So I asked the Google gods and found loads of websites in reference to the topic. After a lot of reading I decided that for me it’s not just about women empowering women, it’s about empowering each other in general and also finding ways of empowering yourself.

Then there’s realising the fact that there is always going to be that person who will never give up her seat – I know shock-horror!

Here are some of the points I came across that I thought might be useful or at least thought provoking:

  • A lot of empowerment is about the ability to read through the lines and spotting opportunities – remembering sometimes someone’s advice is to help, not to set you back. I think this gets easier to recognise as you get older!
  • Be a mentor, not a competitor
  • Promote each other and don’t be afraid to promote yourself
  • Give yourself a break, give each other a break
  • Educate and empower others, who will then empower others and so on
  • Lastly, don’t be the pregnant lady not asking for the seat to sit down and don’t be the lady pretending not to notice the pregnant lady that needs to sit down!

Let’s be Women for Women, not Women v Women

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion PR in our Dublin office.


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