Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

100 Days – Doing nothing might be the best approach!

May 1, 2017
Donald Trump signing executive orders

The first 100 days – there is a lot of talk about this and seemingly it has become a great way of assessing the success of a new President in the United States.

Why?

The media are locked into a frenzy about this “100 Day” thing and we all eagerly join in the conversations and somehow buy into this crude assessment of the new President.

Is this a really great yardstick of success and a good sign of what more is to come from the remainder of that person’s four-year term?

In the earliest days of his Presidency we saw Donald “Chump” Trump buying into this, breaking into a sweat signing as many Executive Orders as he could …”look at me, how great I am, look, look, I really mean business and will change the world and show everyone how a real President does it“.

It was quite awful watching the circus around this crude display of power.

100 days on after a frustrating “birth” poor Mr. Chump is now giving out about the American Constitution and blames it for hindering real progress and as always he turns his anger at the media and accuses them again of fake news.

His popularity has fallen since he took office and he really hates that because this bully still wants people to think he is doing great – sorry Donald, that isn’t happening!

The craziest thing of all is this fascination with “100 days”.

Apparently, the term was coined in a July 24, 1933, radio address by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, although he was, in fact, referring to the 100-day session of the 73rd United States Congress between March 9 and June 17, rather than the first 100 days of his administration.

However, it is a lot sexier if we apply the “100” to the first days of the Presidency so this measurement tool caught on.

A good measurement tool?

Managing a super power nation must be incredibly complicated and no matter who you are, no matter how well briefed you are, and no matter how intelligent you are I can imagine those big decisions should be taken in a very considered manner.

From my career experience of having been in business a long time and having managed many companies and worked for many companies, I shudder at the thought of any boss wanting to make as many changes as possible in this initial period.

I would feel an awful lot better if this person would have the sense to listen, learn, take stock and only when they have a full grasp of a situation do they start to make any changes. I have found that even the seemingly obvious things that look wrong can often have very good reasons why they are in place and cannot be changed easily.

I imagine that Donald if he had allowed himself the time and not been a pawn to the media his own bravado persona might have gone about things quite differently.

Next time for the safety and benefit of everyone in the world let’s judge the President positively when he makes no changes in his first 100 days.

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

Global recognition for Enda Kenny abroad – Bula Bus!

March 28, 2017

Enda Kenny

We all held our breath as our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny went over to the US to visit the new President of America, Donald Trump on St Patrick’s day.

A visit that wasn’t welcomed by all, as many expressed their dislike at our Taoiseach visiting the not so popular Donald Trump, went much better than expected as Mr. Kenny took the opportunity to lecture President Trump on Immigration. This turn of events was quite brave and unexpected and earned our Taoiseach immense praise at home and abroad.

He began his speech by thanking the President for extending the invite to celebrate St Patrick the patron of immigrants”. He was careful not to mention any of Trump’s harsh immigration policies but instead made a point and encouraged the President to be open to immigrants. He went on to tell how many Irish came to shelter in America in the past and how it had such a positive impact on the country rather than a negative.

 “We lived the words of JFK long before he uttered them – we asked not what America could do for us but what we could do for America. And we still do.”

US Media including the New York Times and Fox News praised our Taoiseach for not playing it safe and instead doing what he could do to encourage change and positivity. Enda Kenny used his visit to represent his people and protect Irish Immigrants who are residing in the USA and who are contributing to “making America great again”.

Enda Kenny is under a lot of pressure to stand aside at the moment and is receiving a lot of criticism in Ireland, however in this instance I think he did us proud and represented us well and instead of flying under the radar, he took a bold stance and possibly a risk. As well as doing wonders for his reputation as a leader his performance deserves a massive pat on the back and a Bula Bus!

Maybe St.Patrick himself was looking after Enda Kenny in his own way?

Edel

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

 

 

How you shake hands sends a message

March 13, 2017

Trump Handshake

“How you shake hands sends a message – Every interaction communicates something”

Last week, I had the privilege to be master of ceremonies at the first Cork University Business School (CUBS) conference.

The speakers included top business leaders and entrepreneurs, including Marissa Brown, one of Ireland’s most successful businesswomen, sharing their visions and their stories.

And it’s precisely how they tell their stories – how well they communicate – that I imagine will largely mark each one of the speakers as the successes they are.

Research shows that when you line up people with equal competencies, the better communicators will always have the competitive edge.

As a former CNN reporter and anchor, I learned the power of communications through the lens of journalism. I later managed international campaigns for politicians like the first female parliamentary candidates in Iraq and opposition parties in Egypt, and on issues like increasing immunisation awareness in Cambodia.

Today, in my current role with Fuzion Communications , I see communications as a solid combination of style and strategy.

What does that have to do with you? 

Without any further preamble from me, find someone and shake their hand.

What did you get?

Did you deliver a warm, firm embrace, fingers curling around the other person’s hand with the pads of your fingers making contact with their hand in a meaningful way?

Did you clasp for a full second, or two? Or did some of you find that you shook hands with a limp, dead fish? Or who got the arm wrestler, the squeezer?

Why do I make a big deal about a handshake?

Because it’s often the very first thing we do when we’re introduced to someone and many of us don’t have any idea about whether we’re doing it right.

But, make no mistake, how you shake hands does send a message. What does shaking hands with the arm wrestler or the dead fish say to you? Every time you interact with someone, you are communicating something either by design or by default.

Communication is not a soft skill, it’s a critical skill

Thankfully, communications is also a skill that can be learned – and put into action for better results – in every part of your lives.

Any time you have what I call a ‘communication event’ you are either moving your relationship forward or backward with another person.

For instance, applying skillful communications is critical when you first have a big idea. How are you going to pitch your product, platform or service? Even more than market research and projected figures, the story you tell will dictate whether or not you connect with your intended audience.

How do you take the kernel of an idea, or, as you mature in your field, the depth of your knowledge, and best communicate to various audiences?

It takes emotional intelligence and training.

Content and delivery

There are two main facets of any communication event: content and delivery, and there are teachable strategies around each.

Before you create any content, you need to apply a strategy for your audience, intent and message – in that order.

Here’s what you should consider:

1. Audience – Who are you addressing? Are they new hires or veterans? Senior management or the executive board? Women, men or both? Do they prefer Elvis or the Beatles? Tea or coffee? PCs or Macs? Every audience is different. Try to get inside their heads.

I sometimes ask clients to write down their agenda and then write a second agenda from their audience’s point of view.

Then I have them throw out their own agenda and begin again from the second one!

2. Intent – Your intent is never simply to inform. If you’re only doing that, put your information in an email and hit the send button.

You must be trying to motivate or inspire your audience to some sort of action, so define your goal very clearly. Too often I see this one overlooked and the goal becomes too broad or ill-defined.

What is it exactly that you want your audience to do after you’re finished speaking? Even if it’s just to agree to another meeting, that’s OK. Be very specific.

3. Message – Only after you have deliberated the first two points should you move on to craft your message. Like intent, this must be clear too. Write it down in one sentence.

Here’s the definition I learned from organising campaigns: A message should be ‘brief, memorable, repeatable, emotional and data-backed’.

Your message is your “call to action“, your spoken declaration of your written intent. State it clearly and state it often. Don’t assume your audience is getting it.

The delivery

Once you’ve crafted your content, how do you deliver your message?

Think of a presentation as being supported by three legs of a stool: words, para-lingual and body language.

1.Words – Use powerful, colourful, imaginative words. Don’t waffle or equivocate. Be bold. Choose active verbs not flat ones.

For people who say words are less than 10% of communications, try watching a foreign film without subtitles and tell me if you understand 90% of what’s going on! Words matter.

2. Para-lingual – This mouthful just means the way we say our words – the tone, the pace, the volume, the pitch.

These are tools we naturally vary when we’re talking to family and friends, but they often get left behind when we deliver “business stuff”.

When we don’t use them, they leave us sounding robotic, rote, dull and lifeless.

3. Body language – Unless we’re master poker players, our bodies are always ‘leaking’ our emotions – and people are always reading us.

How do you hold your arms or hands, and does your listening face look interested or bored? Other people notice, so take ownership and get trained to appear more engaged.

Reaching your audience

Like it or not, both Donald Trump and Brexit proponents discovered how to communicate potentially complicated messages in simple ways to reach their target audiences.

While critics may argue that those simple messages also played on constituents’ anger or fear, imagine what can happen when one creates simple, captivating messages that seek to inspire and motivate people to positive action?

Gina London - Fuzion PRGina London is an award-winning former CNN correspondent who now serves as director of Strategic Communications at Fuzion.

Melania Trump, Dolce & Gabbana’s Hot Mess

January 27, 2017

Melania Trump D&G Dress

Melania Trump wore a stunning black Dolce & Gabbana dress at an event in Palm Beach, Florida on New Years Eve last. She was accompanying her (shy and often misunderstood!) husband, Donald Trump and the dress was pretty, elegant and quite sexy all at the same time.

Edel Cox from Fuzion did a blog post ‘When Fashion Meets Politics in December ’16 if you’d like a read more of the interesting topic that is fashion and politics.

The photo of Melania in the classy long black dress was everywhere, quickly, and Stefano Gabbana, one half of the dynamic Italian fashion duo, Dolce & Gabbana, picked up on Melania’s dress as soon as the pictures were published (it’s unclear whether he sent it to her, or she bought herself).

Stefano posted a picture on his Instagram account calling Melania a ‘beautiful woman’ and a ‘#DGwoman’ soon afterwards. Very quickly  the fangs were out and followers, who may or may not have been genuine customers erupted in anger at D&G’s positive recognition of Melania.

Over 1,000 followers and fans reacted.

Melania Trump - USA

Social Media Fashion Catfight

Comments by the D&G audience included those who believe Melania should only wear American brands, to those who said her wearing it and the subsequent post was ‘offensive to the core’.

One woman said ‘Yuck. I think I just bought my last Dolce piece’ to which Gabbana replied by writing: ‘Great.’ He also included a heart emoji.

So disappointed‘ said one person.

I don’t care‘ replied Gabbana.

Stefano GabbanaGabbana lashed out  “How many stupid and ignorant people r on Instagram!!!!

Please if you don’t like my post unfollow me … thank u ❤”

Please don’t buy anymore of my fashion please!!! I don’t need an ignorant costumer!!!” before adding that he sees it as “just one dress” and therefore not a political talking point.

He shot back to one poster with the simple comment – ‘Ignorant

And then there was the person who told Gabbana: “Clearly I can’t buy your clothes any more. Good luck“.

Gabbana responded by writing: “good luck you too”

(the spelling and broken English above is his, not mine!!)

Later in the week Gabbana continued to post stories about the uproar over him pointing out that Melania, a former model, wore one of his dresses and looked good in the frock.

Some commentators did separate fashion and politics but in my opinion this negative reaction is bad brand news for D&G, particularly because of the way Gabbana handled it (or didn’t).

Brand Value

Surely this brand, being around for as long as it has, knows how to talk to people, customer or not, in a professional, polite manner?

Surely they are mature enough as individuals and a brand to rise above taunts and manage such social media chats without getting bitchy and offensive to anyone?

Or perhaps Stefano Gabbana is following Donald Trump’s methods and just being direct, extremely open and somewhat offensive – like it or not?

However surprising this fashion fight was to read, it’s very surprising that Stefano would stoop so low as to insult people, customers or not, in such an angry, aggressive and frankly, immature way.

I think this social media behaviour, being extremely rude to your audience is an awful one and although I’d still love to own some D&G (who wouldn’t!), it leaves a bad taste with me that a designer would get so personal, and then unapologetic and stubborn, with his audience.

Is he or the brand so big that it can simply tell people to stop buying it because they’re annoyed ‘in the moment’ with some negative remarks?

I don’t think any brand is that big that it can be so unpleasant with those who engage with it. The feeling I got from Gabbana’s overall  tirade on Instagram last week was that he came across as being arrogant and totally superior to everyone and I don’t think that should be in anyone’s communications strategy: angry, ’in the moment’ or not, whatever he was feeling it personally himself – don’t let it out there.

An online audience following, engaging with a brand or business is highly valuable – word of mouth, ambassadors, influencers are all in there and a business needs to care for this community and treat it with respect, which hopefully leads to an understanding of the brand, loyalty, and sales.

I would have thought Gabbana would have been well advised by his digital marketing professionals on how to handle bad press online and not get so overheated.

Melenia Trump wearing Ralph Lauren

(this time she is wearing the American brand, Ralph Lauren)

Aftershock

After the shock of reading the posts by D&G I’m assuming that they are typical red blooded, fiery Italians (which is mostly great!) and at the end of the day, it’s their business and they can feel and communicate the way they want to, about people making negative remarks online.

However I do think this kind of irrational behavior makes me, and perhaps many lose a good dose of respect for them. If they don’t value (customers) relationships, on or off line, why would anyone, customer or otherwise, feel good about buying or wearing their clothes? Or perhaps the exposure this got in global media was just the hot topic focus D&G wanted on the brand in order to stand out… would we dare ask him?!!

Great advice for Stefano (we do think it is great that he participates personally online – it’s a “real brand”) would have been to embrace the visibility and the free coverage that Melania Trump brought to the brand, be happy that a beautiful woman who has the world spotlight on her is choosing your brand over others. Then let anyone who wants to get upset about it have their voice but you stay out of it and maybe, just maybe..shut up!!

A simple piece of advice that we give clients about negative comments online is that very often the best thing to do is just..ignore them.

Anna Wymes, Fuzion CommunicationsAnna 

Anna Wymes is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

Language of Leadership: A lesson from the 2016 Election

November 14, 2016

Much will be said and written in coming days and years about the biggest presidential election upset the United States has seen since 1948. Donald J. Trump, candidate is now Donald J. Trump, president elect. He even changed his famous Twitter page on Wednesday to reflect it.

How did it happen? Well, they say hindsight is 20-20 and I, as someone who thought Hillary Clinton would be America’s first female president, think I see much more clearly now.

Election 2016 will go down as the year when the Clinton Campaign discovered they were out of touch with the majority of Americans. Well, as it appears Hillary Clinton will actually win the popular vote, not the majority perhaps, but out of touch with enough Americans that it cost the party the deciding Electoral College vote.

Trump twitter

There are a multitude of reasons, of course. But I think the difference in communications styles between the two candidates is one of the main reasons.

  • Hillary Clinton campaigned by the book. Donald Trump tore up the book.
  • Democrats bragged about how much Hillary Clinton studied and prepared for debates. Trump was more seat of the pants.
  • She provided detailed policies that bored the average voter. Trump had short slogans that they remembered: “Make American Great Again.” “Drain the Swamp.”
  • Democrats released lengthy policy papers.  Trump had one pagers and more slogans, “Build the Wall.”
  • Hillary Clinton appeared in photos with high-profile celebrities. Trump had Scott Baio and Stephen Baldwin and tweeted a photo of himself eating a taco bowl from Taco Bell.
  • Democrats had endorsements from major newspapers. Newspapers that many voters view as full of high-brow bullshit. Trump didn’t.
  • Hillary Clinton was measured, disciplined, studied, rehearsed, practiced.  She gave long involved answers.
  • Donald Trump used punchy sentences. Sometimes not even full-sentences. (Like that one-see what I did there?!)

From a communications stand-point, Democrats, long considered the party of unions, minorities, reproductive rights for women and the “little people” had become the party of the college-educated, the self-righteous, the deep-thinkers, the liberal lefties, the out-of-touch. The dreaded “Elite.”

Democrats messaged to the minds and intellect of the American people using facts and logic to bolster the reasons why Hillary Clinton should be elected president. But, excluding the genuine appeal of Michelle Obama, they didn’t use enough heart-felt emotion.

Research shows people make decisions based on emotion first. A-ha, you didn’t need me to tell you about the research part, though, did you? You know it’s true in your heart. And that’s a lot of what happened during this campaign.

Trump appealed to the hurting hearts and the gut of the American people. The weaker the economy, the stronger his vote.

Yes, he said offensive things. But when the Democrats or so-called “liberal,” media-folks pointed those gaffes out, they did so in logical ways – using college-level words like “misogynist” and well, “gaffe.” They simply didn’t connect with the lonely and marginalized rural voters or disaffected middle class or blue-collar workers whose jobs and dreams had disappeared and died.

I remember when my dad died, the neighbors in my hometown of Farmland, Indiana didn’t come over and say, “Hang in there, time will heal, we’ve got a ten-page grieving plan you need to listen to.” They cried too. They said they were sorry.

Democrats underestimated how hurting many of the people were. They were like know-it-all parents to unhappy, frustrated kids. The “eat your vegetables, they’re good for you“ kind of parent. The kind of parents that kids resent. The kind of parents that don’t get it. The kind that are out of touch.

I’m not literally saying that the electorate are children and the president is a parent, of course.  America’s president should be a leader. A leader who can knows how to connect.

With his name emblazoned jets and designer family and his no-teleprompter style of speech, Trump masterfully combined the American dream of attaining prosperity with the common touch.

His communications style touched a chord. He connected. And he will be moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January.

Yes, he used inflammatory language and hopefully he will move away from that to the more statesman-like tones he used during his victory speech and after his first meeting with President Obama.

Trump and Obama

The challenge and the opportunity, therefore, for Democrats and other would-be leaders, is to take a bit of one of the lessons from Election 2016.

Don’t use negative language, of course, but get real. Get human. Use language your audience uses. Try to really focus on your audience’s perspective. What are their hopes, dreams and fears?  Consider those first and then build your message from there. Use your gut. Your heart.

Speak from the perspective of your audience– not above them.

That’s the language of leadership.

Kindly, Gina

Gina London, a former Emmy award winning CNN anchor is a Strategic Communications specialist with Fuzion

 

Where did it all go wrong?

November 9, 2016

Donald J Trump

I woke up this morning to the news that Donald Trump is the new President of The United States Of America!

At first I thought I was still dreaming but to my shock and horror I soon realised this was real.

Going to bed last night I was watching the results come in and saw that Trump was ahead by a few but went to bed quite content that Hillary Clinton would claw it back as there was no way a man who is hated and feared by millions around the world, would be voted in as one of the most powerful men in the world.

Listening to the fallout this morning on the radio and TV as presenters, journalists and civilians around the world reacted to the shock news, it’s clear that the pollsters and polling analysts got it incredibly wrong and I have to ask, how did this happen?

In the lead up to the election, Hillary was almost certain to be crowned the winner of this bizarre presidential race and yet here we are on the 9th November 2016 coming to terms with the fact that reality TV star Donald Trump is the new President.

The pollsters are certainly hanging their heads in shame this morning. In the lead up to the election the press reported on the polling predictions, The New York Times reported Hillary Clinton had an 85% chance of winning, The Huffington Post gave her 98.3% chance of winning and the list goes on, so what happened?

electoral-map

Were people not telling the truth and ashamed to admit they would vote for Trump and yet when they got to the polling stations gave him their number 1?

  • Did Trumps campaign of ‘Making America Great Again’, prove to be an exciting prospect that voters craved?
  • Did Trump get into the heads of the white working class American community who Hillary may have dismissed as they don’t have a history of voting?
  • Were people just voting against Hillary instead of voting ‘for’ Trump?
  • Did Hillary lose because America was not ready for a female President?

So many questions that leave not only America, but the world baffled. The experts got it totally wrong so lets hope that with the benefit of hindsight that the same experts can figure out why.

It certainly is a crazy time to be alive and it will be very interesting to see what lies ahead!

Edel

Edel Cox - FuzionEdel Cox is a Senior PR Account Manager with Fuzion

Fuzion are a Strategic Communications, Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

What we do when no one is looking…

October 17, 2016

Cafe Velo - Cork

Rob runs Café Velo, one of the loveliest breakfast and lunch cafes here in Cork, Ireland. When I’m there, it’s as if I’ve walked back in time to when I lived in the 15th arrondissement in Paris.

Pastries are arranged behind the counter glass with artistic flair. The servers are just the right blend of warmth and chatty and the tea is served in delicate china.

I ran into Rob unexpectedly this week downtown – in a rare moment when he was not in his cafe. We stopped and chatted a bit and I casually asked about the single large book I glimpsed in the white shopping bag he was holding. Rob smiled and told me the book was for an elderly customer.

The man, in his eighties, reported in to Velo every morning for his daily scone. Except for this week when he suddenly did not appear. Rob inquired and learned the customer had had a stroke. And was in the hospital.

The man has no family to speak of. So Rob went out of his way on his own time to buy a book he thought the man would enjoy during his recovery. Now Rob was off to the hospital to pay the man a visit.

I was touched by the story and asked if I could write about it. Rob looked at me a bit embarrassed, but said, “Sure, go for it.”

So here it is!

I want to contrast a man like Rob with another man.

Rob was simply doing a kind thing. Without, in our day of Social Media marketing, even posting about it. Doing a kind thing when no one, he thought, was looking.

Donald Trump and his lewd comments

Compare that with that now notorious video, of a certain person running for US president objectifying women when the women weren’t present. Then he steps out of the van and “politely greets” one of the same women he had just talked so horribly about.

What we do when we think no one is looking says a lot about our true character, doesn’t it?

Not all men are the same. Rob’s act when he thought no one was looking was kind. And it was more than caring for a regular paying customer, it was caring of a fellow human being on this planet.

The more we can strive to get past race, religion and gender, and consider that we’re all just people together on this planet, perhaps we can all be a little kinder too.

Thank you, Rob, for a lesson all of us can learn from.

Gina London - Fuzion PRGina London

Gina London, a former Emmy award winning CNN anchor is a Strategic Communications specialist with Fuzion


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