Posts Tagged ‘Dublin’

It’s all about integration!

September 4, 2019

Donald Draper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So … what’s the magic formula for success?

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

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

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

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

If we can help you let us know!

The very best of luck!….

Greg

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

PR Stunt – “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

September 2, 2019

Dove campaign

The company Dove is legendary when it comes to creating world renowned publicity stunts and one of my favourites has to be the short film they created in 2013 titled, “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

Throughout the short film , Dove investigates further into female self-loathing and hatred. It is safe to say that women in this modern era lack a great deal of self-esteem.

This self-hatred stems from the likes of social media, beauty magazines and gorgeous celebrity models. Women are forced to compare themselves to an image that is most arguably face-tuned and photo-shopped.

Dove believe that women undervalue their true selves and that women are “their own worst critics”. However, in order to battle this phenomenon of self-critique, Dove invited a number of women to describe their face to a sketch artist.

The comments made by these women in the video are extremely disheartening.

One of the most shocking remarks was from a woman who immediately stated that she had a “fat, rounded face” when asked what was her most prominent feature. This proves that most women immediately focus on the negative aspects of themselves and see it as their most prominent feature instead of a positive aspect, such as their eyes or smile.

Dove campaign

Thankfully the video includes a surprising turn of events in which each woman had to chat with a stranger after describing their appearance.

After a long chat, this new acquaintance was asked to describe the face of the women they were just talking to.

Finally, the film concludes with each woman examining two pictures of themselves, one drawn with the details they had given and the other with the details given by the stranger. What is completely unbelievable is that the two images are strikingly different.

The image described by the stranger is clearly more flattering and complimentary of the woman. This image is also a lot more similar to the women’s actual appearance. The images described by the women themselves seem to be more depressed, older and fatter than the other picture.

Dove campaign

This short film is revolutionary in my opinion as it reminds women that what we see every day in the media is not real and most importantly extremely unattainable.

I find myself looking at bloggers and celebrities on Instagram and comparing myself to them and discovering faults in my own appearance. However according to Dove I must realise that I am more beautiful than I think.

I hope every woman watches this film and gains a sense of confidence and comfort in their own skin. I also believe that the media has a moral obligation to promote real beauty and beauty diversity rather than an unrealistic photo-shopped image.

This in turn could demolish this common self-hatred among women.

Eimear

Eimear McKenna wrote this blog post when she was on a week’s work experience with Fuzion Communications, a PR, Marketing, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing Agency in Ireland with offices in Dublin and Cork

About Eimear (in her own words!)

I am 19 and currently studying English, History and Classics in UCD. This course has unleashed a true desire within me to write and elaborate stories. I am also a fully qualified associate teacher in Speech and Drama.

As a Drama teacher I meet many people every day and organise events such as the Feis and musicals/plays. It is a combination of these interests that has created an aspiration of mine to fulfill a career in PR. As a teenager I also love to follow many different influencers and fashion bloggers on Instagram, which has also added to my interest in PR as I would hopefully be working with these influencers every day

Ladies Sport in the Irish Media: 20×20 Campaign

August 20, 2019

Ladies in Sport 20 20

Over the past few weekends, and of course the next couple of weekends to come, we have been lucky enough to see some fantastic displays of Gaelic Football and Hurling on our National broadcaster RTÉ and of course, the newest addition, Sky Sports. 

However, there’s not a sign of a ladies GAA game to be shown.

A campaign presented by the Federation of Irish Sport is on a mission to create a change in the Irish public and media’s perception of women’s sport. 

The 20X20 campaign is calling on the Irish public to get behind women’s sport to increase media coverage, boost match attendance and to grow female involvement in sport by 20% at the end of 2020. 

Since the start of this campaign, people have been sharing their support on social media by using the hashtags #20X20 and #ShowYourStripes. With over 8,000 followers on Instagram, it is clear that the Irish public are getting behind the drive to end the gender bias which is presented in female sports in Ireland.

But, why do we need to campaign for this equality?

Large international companies such as AIG, Investec, Lidl and KPMG are regularly and actively showing their support for ladies sport.

With AIG as the official sponsor for Dublin GAA, they provided all of the Dublin teams with new, limited edition jerseys for a select number of games over the summer with the 20X20 logo as the main feature.

This was a major boost for the campaign with the logo being shown a number of times on National television. The ladies footballers wore the limited edition jersey against Waterford in the All-Ireland Senior Championship on July 13th.

The Dublin Senior footballers also wore the jersey on July 13 during their All-Ireland SFC Quarter-final Group Phase 1 against Cork and the camogie team sported the jersey on July 20 during their All-Ireland Senior Championships Group 2 match against Clare at home.

Ladies Dublin team

Another huge moment for the 20X20 movement was the 20X20 banner which was proudly displayed in Croke Park recently before the All-Ireland Semi Final between Dublin and Mayo. However, the 20X20 campaign isn’t the only major player in the efforts to support ladies sport, well GAA in particular.

From the beginning of this campaign, it has been amazing to see National broadcasters and online media such as RTÉ Sport, Off The Ball (Newstalk), Sports JOE and HER.ie show their support for ladies sport in Ireland. 

However, they are our “National Broadcaster”, and surely they have an obligation to fill by providing their support and showing equality to ladies sport and GAA in general.

In my opinion, the real champion supporters of this campaign are the smaller club and county channels such as the “WeAreMeath” and “TalkAGoodGame” podcasts and the Hogan Stand social media accounts. 

We are meath

Looking back at some of the recent phenomenal display of GAA, from both club and inter county championship, both men and women’s games were equally broadcast and commented on. TINY background teams (no more than four people) are able to commentate and share results and opinions from almost every game which took place in the Meath Football Championship over the weekend. Surely this is a step in the right direction to gain the credit and support which is well and truly deserved in ladies sport in Ireland. 

In 2015, Lidl commenced a three year partnership with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA).

A men’s Gaelic Football or Hurling Championship final sees Croke Park at capacity and typically receives 1.3 million TV viewers. It is hugely visible through multiple sponsorships and advertising.

Ladies Gaelic Football enjoyed no such support. It was largely not televised and fan turnout is significantly lower (under 30,000 at Championship Final- just about filled the lower tier of the stand).

Although the Lidl campaign was to primarily lead to more sponsorship for ladies teams, when working hand in hand with the 20X20 campaign, they have drastically changed the opinion of the Irish public towards ladies sports by achieving more sponsorship, media coverage, social media “chat” and attendance at games.  

Talk a Goog Game - podcast

However, even though a lot has changed in ladies sport, there is still a lot to be done.

To see more ladies games covered on RTÉ would be the ultimate goal rather than just on TG4, but the media is slowly but surely showing more support for ladies sport, be it through smaller, local club podcasts to larger online and national media outlets.

Keep fighting for ladies sports and #ShowYourStripes!

Abigail Shaw - Fuzion CommunicationsAbigail 

Abigail Shaw is a PR Executive with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR , Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Social Media Update – July 2019, What’s new?

August 1, 2019

In Fuzion every month I deliver an update to the team about social media and what the latest trends and changes are.

Here is my update for July:

Selfie in a Swimsuit!

Have we reached the peak age of influencers?

The newest trend in Siberia is taking their Instagram shots next to a toxic lake… because the colouring of it is such a great background!!

According to Buzzfeed News, “Some show up in swimsuits; one couple took wedding pictures there, and at least a handful have ventured into the dreamlike, but toxic, waters on paddle boards or pool floats.”

The water is not poisonous but the Siberian Generating Company have had to announce to the fans of this lake that getting their skin in contact with the lake could react in an allergic reaction.

How far would you go for that perfect selfie?

 

Facebook Top Fans

Facebook is now allowing business pages to target their “top fans” in organic posts.

By targeting your “top fans” it could give you another way to create more engagement with the people that react most and value your content.

This is a great way to build and foster a stronger connection with those fans by creating content solely for them, whether it’s thanking them for their support or a reward for their engagement.

 

Chat Stickers on Instagram 

In Instagram Stories news, they have now introduced a “chat sticker” which can be added to your images.

It lets users invite followers to join a group chat, but only the original poster can select who’s allowed in. It’ll be interesting to see how brands can use this tool, maybe as a focus group to test out new product ideas or even as a competition tool. Maybe they could create a quiz within the group for the followers who get there quick enough?

 

Facebook morphing into Instagram..see more

Facebook’s mobile view is now getting a lot more similar to Instagram!

Normally when you post on Facebook, the mobile view shows all the text that was in the post. However, from August 19th, all Facebook mobile posts will display three lines of text before cutting the rest off and prompting with the “see more” link.

As I say to clients when I’m doing Instagram training, make sure your message is in the first sentence before it gets lost!

TikTok

What the hell is TikToK.?

Who uses TikTok?

Apparently, everyone under 25! TikTok is a social media platform which allows users to upload and edit 15-second videos, with fun voice-overs or music (similar to Vine).

It is now booming with the younger generation and was the third most installed app worldwide in the first quarter of 2019.

It’s claimed it has 1.2 billion users globally, which makes it more popular than Instagram. How can businesses use this to their advantage? The best way, for now, seems to be partnering up with creators on the platform and using them to promote their products.

It looks like the influencer economy is here to stay!

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Show Me The Money!!!!!

July 31, 2019

Show me the money

My poor colleagues (you know who you are!) over the last few days have had to put up with me and a gripe I have re certain Social Media Influencers.

Working in communications, I know that Social Media Influencers can be such an important part of the marketing mix and such an effective way to reach target audiences. We work with celebrities and influencers constantly and achieve great results working in partnership with them and they deserve to be rewarded for the work they do for clients – it’s their livelihood!

But for me, a professional in this industry a long time, I think sometimes with certain influencers, when there is budget involved, it often comes across as inauthentic and mercenary.

An typical example – say we have a client organising a sports day – we pick an influencer that we know has a keen interest in this particular sport; pay them a four figure sum to participate in the event – and then we are told that their limit to social media engagement is “One static Instagram Post”!!

So basically they are saying, even though it is something that would be of interest to them, they won’t (really) engage digitally with the event, or the client or the people attending the event, who could be followers or potential followers. 

I think by not connecting authentically and being so rigid, in the long term it will cost these influencers in revenue, clients and followers.

It reminds me of the days back before social media.

We were working with an amazing Danish female fashion brand, who had really beautiful collections, totally current fashion, which were available nationwide. The brand provided us with high quality fashion and product images every season and budget to spend on advertising and PR. We got amazing PR coverage for the brand as the images as well as the price points were really attractive.

We had a five figure sum to spend with one of the high end fashion magazines, but for many seasons the title never took any fashion or product shots or editorial from us for the brand – but the title was more than happy to publish the full page adverts our client were paying for.

I spoke with the editor to see if there was anything she could do, to be told that the brand didn’t suit their editorial content, so I advised my client to pull the advertising!

Basically, the editor was telling me that my client’s brand was not of interest to their readers, and obviously we were fools spending the advertising budget there as well.  

Of course that was before the economic crash and the age of digital – when print titles perhaps could afford to act like this.

For me this Social Media Influencer is saying the same thing as the magazine did.

By only agreeing to do “One Static Instagram Post”, they are saying that my client’s event is not really relevant to them or their followers. 

I don’t expect or want them to bombard their followers with lots of posts and updates about the event, but it would be nice to think that they would want to tell their followers that they were going to attend , perhaps on their Instagram Story, share a live update while they are there and then post some nice photos of the special day out, meeting their followers and new people at something that is relevant to them.

If it’s just “One Static Instagram Post” then forget it!

They are saying to me clearly that they really are there just to collect the money, not to engage digitally with the brand or the people attending on the day.  

I’m at this too long now to compromise. 

I really want to work with authentic people and brands and that includes the third party suppliers and influencers we introduce and recommend to our clients.  We always go the extra mile for our clients and we expect the people that we recommend to do likewise.

So, in this case I advised our client not to go with this influencer and instead to work with Influencers who have already connected with the brand organically, who have shown that they are connected and willing to really be part of a very special day. 

My client’s four figure cheque will be addressed to one of them if I have anything to do with it……

Deirdre Waldron, Fuzion Communications, PR ConsultantDeirdre 

Deirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Media Training Tips

July 28, 2019

So you’ve been asked to take part in a press interview…

Interviews, be it on radio, TV or with a journalist face to face for a print article, can be very daunting.

Even for those who are very experienced, nerves are normal – you are human after all!! Often it can feel like you have no control and could be entering the lion’s den but with some simple techniques, you can master any interview and even better come across believable and communicate your key messages.

Here are five simple media training techniques that I use to prepare and calm clients for an interview:

 

1.Remember; You are “the” expert

Media training Tip 1 - Media Training Dublin, Fuzion Communications

Remember you might not know the questions, but you definitely know the answer.

A journalist is interviewing you because you know something they don’t, you are the expert so remind yourself of this before any interview.

 

2.Never say no comment!

Media Training Tips - Fuzion Communications, Dublin, Cork

No comment is like a red flag to a journalist.

It makes them think you are hiding something if you don’t have anything to say. More importantly it makes your audience think you are hiding something if you are quoted saying “no comment”.

 

3.Silence is golden

Media Training Tips - Fuzion Communications, Dublin, Cork

It is best to keep your tone steady and also keep your sentences short.

Don’t feel like you have to fill silence as silence shows confidence and credibility – don’t be afraid to have the confidence to stop talking!

 

4 Watch your body language

Media Training Tips , Fuzion Communications, Dubl;n, Cork

Body language can often show you are nervous.

Everyone has little habits they do subconsciously. This can be a dead giveaway for nerves, so I recommend that you record yourself on camera or get someone else to record you, and try to correct your body language. 

 

5. Breathe!

Media Training Tips, Fuzion Communications, Dublin, Cork

It might sound silly, but remind yourself to take a moment to breathe to calm yourself down!

Training..

If you would like to find out more techniques for controlling and preparing for press interviews, we provide media training services from our offices in Dublin and Cork.

Our training is very practical and we always prepare thoroughly in advance to ensure that the sessions are relevant to you and your sector and that you are given tips to keep you on message and in control of the interview, even when it could be a pressurised situation.

I lead the media training team at Fuzion and my experience as a former journalist will help to carefully support you and your team in those interview situations, allowing you to achieve best results for you and your organisation.

With our help, you will learn how to speak authentically and memorably, making you a more polished spokesperson, business leader or elected official. You will learn how to plan and prepare your media strategy and once “live” we will show you how to stay on message, how to turn a hostile interview into a positive outcome and how to rise above the white noise of everything else.

Whether on-camera or on radio you will become calmer, confident, engaging, personable and most importantly believable.

As part of our training we will digitally record you in front of a live camera for immediate feedback and help you to skill-up faster than you ever thought possible.

Our media training includes;

  • Interview techniques for in-studio, and telephone interviews, familiarisation with the interviewer
  • Interviewing methods to stay ahead of all journalistic approaches
  • Simulated interviews with hard hitting questions and helping to analyse answer direction
  • Introducing an opponent for interview and hone your combat technique

If you are interested in our Media Training services please contact us and we can create a bespoke training solution for your needs.

Ciara Jordan - Fuzion CommunicationsCiara

Ciara Jordan is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications and she leads the media training team, from our offices in Dublin and Cork.

PR Professionals navigating the world of Online Journalism 

July 25, 2019

Online Journalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle Lynch, Fuzion Communications, PR, DublinMichelle

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

 

Some Instagram changes for the better?

July 23, 2019

In my training sessions, I always start off by saying that Instagram is the platform where you show your best side.

From amazing pictures of products to great pictures of your team, it allows you to build your brand aesthetic and show your story.

Most personal users use it this way too.

They only put up their best pictures – pictures of themselves, their holidays, great nights out. Due to this behaviour, Instagram has become associated with many negative effects like bullying, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and body image.

Other social media platforms such as Facebook & Twitter are full of the plague of fake news and Instagram was the one positive place where this fake news epidemic hadn’t reached.

However due to the perfect image that Instagram is meant to present, it has been a breeding place for low self-esteem and bullying. Teenagers will take down their posts if they have less than a hundred likes, due to a fear of other people seeing and judging their likes, or lack of, and also because they’re conditioned now to base the effectiveness of their social media activity on likes.

None of them are just posting a picture to Instagram any more just because it’s a nice picture.

To combat this, Instagram has introduced a number of anti-bullying features including comment warnings and restrictions. The comment warning is meant to detect offensive content as it’s being typed and prompt the poster to reconsider before they post. The restriction setting allows users to identify their bullies without blocking them but giving the user the opportunity to review their comments before they go live.

This protects the user in that their bully thinks the content is live but it gives the user the ability to review it before the rest of their followers see it.

The other new feature, which isn’t technically an anti-bullying measure, but can be seen as one for those teenagers that are judged on their likes, is a new test that will hide the display of the number of likes on a post.

This is currently being tested on some users in Ireland after being previously tested in Canada.

Instagram have said, “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who’ve liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received. We’re looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram.”

It will be interesting to see how this change effects how Instagram works, from businesses judging their successes on post engagement to influencers building their whole career on the amount of likes they get.

The important part to note about this change is that users will still be able to see the amount of likes they are getting and will be able to continue to monitor their insights. It’s only that your audience will not be able to see how many others have liked your posts.

Whether this affects the amount of likes a post gets remains to be seen.

One tip I’ll leave you with, which I always give in my training sessions, is to create content that is valuable to your business and shows your story.

This is why we’re all using social media and if you stay true to yourself and your business, your customers will react positively.

Alma Brosnan Social Media Consultant, Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Should your celeb ambassadors stay at home?

July 7, 2019

Should your celeb ambassadors stay at home?

That sentence might seem like a contradiction, coming from someone who works in public relations.

Raising awareness for worthy causes is part of my job when working with charities. Utilising the high profile and credibility of a celebrity is a good way to do that, right?

The answer is yes, sometimes.

Reputation is the foundation of the work I do. I know only too well how easy it is to damage a reputation and how difficult it is to build that reputation back up. I also know how easy it is for labels to be attached to the collective public mind and how difficult it is to change minds once an idea takes hold.

That is why everything I do in my role as a communications professional has to be strategic. It is my job to boost, but more importantly, to protect a reputation.

Comic Relief recently announced that it will stop sending celebrities abroad after BBC presenter Stacey Dooley posted a picture on Instagram with a young Ugandan child, along with the caption “;OB.SESSSSSSSSSSED” and a picture of a broken heart.

The post sparked outrage and Dooley was accused of ‘white saviour complex’.

Stacey Dooley Comic Relief post

But what was wrong with the image?

To begin with, it appears self-serving, the perception being that Stacey is using a child to push a charitable image of herself. In turn, this adds to the idea that countries such as Uganda are poverty-stricken lands that need to be ‘saved’.

Stacey’s refusal to apologise and her remarks that she “couldn’t care less what people think,” didn’t help to diffuse the situation that Comic Relief found itself in.

I have worked in several humanitarian organisations. I have sent a number of celebrities abroad to major crises such as Ebola and Syria. It makes sense, doesn’t it? The crises that are ongoing globally need to be highlighted.

Human suffering is occurring at a scale never before seen, yet organisations are finding it more and more difficult to get their message out there. Who better to help raise awareness than a celebrity?

Stacey is giving up her time and showing compassion in a difficult situation. Isn’t that a good use of her fame?

It is a complicated issue.

Yes, these crises need to be highlighted and reported on, but it must be done in a strategic and informed way.

Stacey Dooley appeared to be uninformed on what constitutes inappropriate behaviour. She lacked the strategic knowledge of the damage her fame could do and the powerful potential of broadcasting an inappropriate message to her huge following on Instagram.

Brand ambassadors who are under-prepared and unprepared can do untold damage to more than just the organisations they represent. The well-meaning work of Bob Geldof and Live Aid is a classic example.

Bob Geldof did put Ethiopia on the map in Europe and the U.S., but for the wrong reasons.

Today, the country’s reputation is one that is synonymous with the “flies on the eyes”, the “swollen bellies” and dry dead earth and it is holding Ethiopia back.

This kind of imagery has been used by the press to tell the story of African countries for nearly 35 years and it has led to the stereotyping of an entire continent as poverty-stricken, disease filled and desperate. This has a social and economic knock on effect.

Three years ago I travelled to Ethiopia to report on the effect of climate change. My colleague explained to me how, even now, his country is still defined by a famine that happened 33 years ago. He told me about how visitors come to Addis Ababa expecting to find a broken, grieving and barren country, and how they are shocked when they see motorways and skyscrapers.

There is no doubt that poverty is still a devastating problem in sub-Saharan Africa, but the image and reputation of the region has been irreparably shaped since 1984. Changing that stereotype and reputation is going to take a lot of work.

It is very difficult to move the public enough to donate to a charity.

I personally have heard arguments from countless members of the Irish public saying they won’t donate to the Syrian Crisis because they have seen many refugees with mobile phones who don’t appear to be “that poor”.

The temptation for a communications professional in that sector then is to only show the sympathy-grabbing, tear-jerking “fly-in-the-eyes“imagery. Shocking imagery is not balanced coverage of the continent’s more successful side.

Dooley using a photo opportunity with a child in Uganda and using them for likes or a photo op is not only insensitive, it continues the narrative of this stereotype. It is suggesting we need to “save them”, and we don’t.

The Mission Statement of most Humanitarian and development organisations is to inevitably go out of business, that the country will no longer need the organisation, to empower the people for whom they work, and to safeguard their rights and well-being post crisis and create a thriving economy that is sustainable.

Unfortunately images such as the image Stacey Dooley posted, does not empower anyone. It continues to empower a reputation so many Sub Saharan Countries have been working tirelessly to counteract.

It doesn’t matter if the action was well-intentioned, it is the impact that matters. 

Ciara Jordan - Fuzion CommunicationsCiara Jordan

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

 

The end of the Business Card?

July 3, 2019

Business Card etiquette

I was having a chat yesterday with a businessman who was saying how LinkedIn was his new business card – that when he meets a new business contact, instead of handing them a business card he connects with them on LinkedIn, so he has that electronic connection.

This is a perfect use of social media tools for business, but I think he is missing a big point of the business card.

For me my business card is an opportunity to showcase my brand to a new contact “Look who I am and where I work”, ““Look at what we can do”, “Look how well we look”.

I just love the Chinese and Japanese culture around business cards, how it is considered rude not to present your business card properly and then to examine a business card respectively and carefully when you are presented with one.

They almost have a ceremony around business cards – how they present it with two hands and you are expected to receive it in both hands, study it and put it beside you if you are at a meeting with them. The business card is considered to represents the person.

I remember 20 years ago when I first started Fuzion Communications, I didn’t have a fancy office, I was working with a borrowed laptop, but I invested in my branding and my business cards, as out and about meeting people, my business cards were my shop window!

Even in our digital age, I still like to present my business cards – and I always watch how they are received. I think it’s a great way to judge if someone is actually engaging with you, to see how they react when you hand them your business card.

So next time you present a card to someone, see how they receive it – and when someone gives you a business card, accept it with honour – you never know, they might have read this blog post too!!

Deirdre Waldron, Fuzion Communications, PR ConsultantDeirdre 

Deirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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