Posts Tagged ‘Fuzion Communications’

Body Image: The Covid-19 edition

September 17, 2020

Body Image

At the start of Lockdown I set myself loads of goals including trying to lose ten pounds in two weeks and dropping a dress size in one month.

When these inevitably didn’t work I challenged myself to drink 4 litres of water everyday and I got into a really bad habit of weighing myself everyday, hoping the scales would shift the tiniest bit to fuel my ego.

With so much idle time at home with nowhere to go and nobody to see, the only thing that seemed worth focusing on was bettering myself, and by that I mean my exterior, safe to say I wasn’t trying to improve my mindset!

All this extra time amounted to excess screen time. Endless scrolling through false realities, “Lockdown Glowups”, home workouts and low calorie meals was so damaging to thousands of girls/boys/women/men exactly like me.

TikTok was spitting out exercise videos at me as well as “two week transformations” with amazing results.

As Lockdown was such an isolating experience for everybody, we spent quite a lot of time with our thoughts: What you might have thought about yourself for a split second in February just got heightened by 1000% in April. Suddenly MyFitnessPal felt like my only pal.

To pass the day I spent my time entering the bowl of fruit I ate for breakfast into a calorie calculating app that constantly notified me that I didn’t weigh myself this morning and to “Jump On The Scales!”. The constant restrict-binge cycle was exhausting, but it was okay because my favourite “influencers” said it happens to them all the time (sarcasm intended!).

So as if people weren’t going through enough hardship with a global pandemic and all the frills that come with that, we were given mixed messages regarding health and fitness advice every day; There was – work from home, but don’t sit down all day, get out and exercise – but make sure it’s in your 5km radius and you should have no contact with others.

While at the same time we were bombarded with banana bread recipes, homemade cocktail ingredients and of course that thing that happened in the middle of all this that nobody seems to remember, Easter and those delicious yet deadly hollow brown eggs!!

After a few months had passed and the “new normal” had set in, the calorie counting stopped.

Safe to say at least 100 of the accounts I used to follow online have gotten a big unfollow from me, because they weren’t there for me when I slipped up -They were still drinking kale smoothies and getting their ten thousand steps everyday, while I faced my second serving of carbs that morning.

I asked myself, why would you follow someone who makes you feel bad about yourself?

I’ve learned that you can be healthy without weighing out your spinach, and I’ve learned that I don’t need to look like those girls we see all over our feeds, because that’s how they make their living and I just want to focus on living.

Be careful with who and what you follow..

Heather LordanHeather

Heather Lordan is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in both Dublin and Cork.

Twitter Advertising?

September 15, 2020

I’ve just received some “useful advice” from Twitter about an ad campaign we kicked off last week for a client as well as some performance data.

Twitter Advertising

 

It kindly suggested that we should be running more variations of the creative and also that we should consider adding video as an option.

All great advice Twitter… thank you.

Now Twitter some advice back at you..

We took an hour and a half to run a simple advert on your social media channel that broke our hearts. It is clunky, inefficient and wasn’t working and for no good reason.

It worked in the end … not because we did anything different, but we kept doing what we were supposed to be doing in the first place and it eventually worked.

Considering the budget we were spending on a mini “test campaign” our time spent on it was definitely not worth it and the very painful experience left two of us very frustrated and vowing… never again!

More creatives, add video.?.. as I said, great advice, but we didn’t have a whole day to run a simple advert!    

If your target audience is on Twitter, think long and hard about alternative ways of reaching them and if you do go ahead give yourself an age to create your campaign.

I had no intention of writing this piece but the helpful advice was a straw too many..

Phew..

Greg Canty - FuzionGreg

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

 

 

Social Media Update: Reels, Live Shopping and Snap Camera

September 7, 2020

In this blog post our digital guru, Alma Brosnan, brings us some recent recent developments from the world of social media that you might find interesting and might just work for you and your business!

Changes with Instagram: Reels

One thing that always stands true for Facebook is that they want to be the king in the space of social media and yet again they have duplicated another social media platform into one of their own.

In August, Instagram (which is owned by the social media giant) introduced ‘Reels’ onto the platform, which are short 15 second video clips that can have a musical background…

Sound familiar to anyone? (It’s not so long ago when they literally copied all of the very cool, fun functionality from SnapChat to wrestle young users over to them).

This is Facebook’s attempt to compete with TikTok, the popular short-form video creation app which is especially popular with Gen Z and has garnered more attention from the older generation during the year.

Reels - Social Media Consultancy

The timing of releasing Reels has been perfect by Instagram as President Donald Trump is getting closer to banning TikTok in the United States as a national security threat, and with this popular TikTokers might move to Reels to keep their audience and momentum going.

However, Reels may seem like TikTok but does not have the same functionality and ease of use of the popular app.

Click here for an article from the New York Times that goes through the differences between Reels and TikTok, and TikTok comes out the winner, so we’ll see what happens if Trump goes through on his threat to ban TikTok on September 20th.

The United States wanting to ban a social media platform from another country – that idea is a whole other debate!

Changes with Facebook: Desktop and “Live Shopping”

Have you noticed the new change to Facebook on the desktop version?

From September 1st, the “New” Facebook design was rolled out to everyone. It’s an update to the interface that is now placing a bigger emphasis on Stories, Groups and Events, with the traditional News feed still appearing in the middle of the page, but users have easier access to the above-mentioned activities.

You can also choose to have a “dark mode” as some users prefer to use on their mobile devices but this is usable on the desktop version too.

Facebook changes, Social media consultancy

During Covid-19 and the lockdown periods, Facebook have begun to put a lot more effort in their Facebook and Instagram Shop offerings.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift to online shopping has rapidly accelerated, with an estimated 85% of people worldwide now shopping online.

To quote them:: “We want to make shopping easier for people and empower anyone, from an entrepreneur to the largest brand, to use our apps to connect with customers and grow their business. That’s why we’re creating new ways for people to shop on our apps and providing tools to help businesses sell online

With these new tools, they have now added new customisation features, messaging tools and new insights to help measure results.

A cool new tool introduced with all of these features is “Live Shopping”.

The user hosting the live video will be able to tag the product they’re speaking about which will enable the users watching the video to purchase the product directly.

Changes to Snapchat: Clever integration tool for Zoom 

Sick of Zoom meetings? We’ve all been in at least two Zoom calls a week since lockdown and they’ve varied from professional business meetings to quizzes with families at the weekend.

Snap Camera - Social Media Consultancy, Fuzion Communications

Now as the boredom of those kicks in, we have a fun way to jazz up all your Zoom calls from now on! You can download the Snap Camera from Snapchat as a desktop program and play around with all the different filters to make your calls more entertaining.

That’s it from me until next time … 

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

 

 

Internships during Covid19

August 31, 2020

Finishing college and entering the workforce is a difficult time in general. Throw in a global pandemic, widespread job cuts and you’ve got yourself the Month of June for over 225,000 third-level graduates!

Trying to seek employment is tough, regardless of qualifications or stage of life.

I spent four years in college, writing reports, working on projects and completing modules with a lecturer always on hand to help. Then, all of a sudden on some sunny, yet wet day in mid-March, I get told to leave the college and go home.

Just like that, I felt robbed of my last year in college.

What I had been working towards for the past four years no longer seemed important. Online lectures, shared Google Docs, hours of sitting in the sun feeling guilty for not sitting in front of the laptop, was the reality of my last few months of education. The focus then was on getting it done. Getting my degree, which I had been so set on. The notion of finding a job only filled my body with anxiety, so I put my focus into doing the best I could to finish my course.

Having completed two previous internships, I am pretty familiar with expectations of the intern and the company. I think they are such a great opportunity, both for the student to get insight into the running of a business and for the business to seek and train new talent as well as getting some fresh insights and enthusiasm.

Throughout my time in CIT lecturers always mentioned Fuzion Communications, a full service PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork. It wasn’t until the end of July that it really clicked with me – Get a job you love, put some confidence into yourself and your abilities and email them!

My mam always told me growing up that I should pick a place I really want to work in and get a job there, easy as that she said!

I have been interning with Fuzion Communications for almost a month now. Time flies when you’re having fun! Initially I thought it would be difficult working from home without being able to ask someone at the desk behind a quick question. However, fortunately for me I work in a communications company and the team here are more helpful and available to talk throughout the day.

Zoom has become my best friend!

Only having to wear office wear from the hips up is a joy. I couldn’t be happier with my first job after college. I’m learning more than I ever thought I could as an intern, and I’m really getting a taste of what a career in PR would be like.

Safe to say I’m very excited for what the future holds.

Heather JordanHeather

Heather Lordan is a PR intern with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in both Dublin and Cork.

Welcome to the Twitter Echo Chamber?

August 12, 2020

 

Pleasantville

BREAKING NEWS: Have Twitter officially gone crazy?

Twitter has just rolled out a new feature that will enable a user to limit who can reply to their tweet!

Have a peep at the bottom left corner of your Tweet window when you are tweeting and you will see a new message:

[Everyone Can Reply]

Click this and you will see two further options..

This is how Twitter has explained how this feature will work:

Here’s how it works.

Before you Tweet, choose who can reply with three options:

1) everyone (standard Twitter, and the default setting),

2) only people you follow,

or

3) only people you mention.

Tweets with the latter two settings will be labeled and the reply icon will be grayed out for people who can’t reply.

People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, share, and like these Tweets.

This is a really interesting (very weird) development for the platform that can often generate lots of discussion, arguments and often abuse.

Effectively I can now tweet that “Greg is the greatest!” and I can do it is a way that no one can argue with me!!

 

The Rationale

I’m guessing Twitter want this because of the fear that many people have when using the platform because of the aggressive nature of many people using it unchecked, led by some very hateful horrible people such as the wonderful Donald Trump.

In truth they are petrified of expressing themselves on it, and maybe for good reason as reporting abuse doesn’t seem to stop anyone.

Twitter noted that users in their test pool have said “that they feel more comfortable tweeting, and more protected from spam and abuse, which has led to them tweeting longer, more in-depth thoughts, particularly on sensitive subjects

People who face abuse find these settings helpful – those who have submitted abuse reports are 3x more likely to use these settings.

The deeper rationale is most likely a commercial one – more active users will lead to more relevance and a better ability to market it to advertisers.

The Plus 

As mentioned already, it may encourage some people to tweet more, knowing that discussion feedback (good or bad) will be limited to their narrow chosen audience.

It might enable other users to start using the platform for certain posts more like Facebook whereby only friends can see their posts.

It could also be useful for organisations (public bodies) who want to push out updates and other information without getting a deluge of responses (good or bad).

Beyond that I am not seeing any other advantages.

The Minus

This will be a huge frustration for users of the platform, when they can see a tweet and want to interact with it and they cannot because of the setting – the openness of Twitter was part of the magic (even with some of the abusive users).

I think in many cases that might result in you unfollowing the account – I do recall at a social media training once a student saying “I only want people to hear what I say” – good luck with that perspective!!

This is my point, my opinion, my view but I only want a very select bunch to see it” …ah come on, this is surely creating a very warped world on Twitter for that person and for the collective.

Do we really need a very false, extra cosy “echo chamber” loaded with biased opinions and unchecked fake news with soft cushions everywhere, or would it be much better if instead of this strange solution to aggressive, abusive behaviour on the platform, that there was a more robust reporting system that did penalise serial abusers? (bye bye Donald!)?

Note: spotting the “Greg is the greatest” tweet I can easily undermine the soft cushions by tweeting something like:

Did you see what that idiot @GregCantyFuzion just said about himself in his self congratulating protected tweet, what a Wally!!”

Twitter is a place that gives us all an equal voice – unfortunately like so many other areas of society we often can’t control our worst urges, we can be nasty, we can be hateful, we can be abusive, we can be racist and we can be downright horrible!

The Echo Chamber isn’t the solution…what do you think?

(the image used at the top of this post was from the fantastic movie ‘Pleasantville’

 

The LinkedIn “headbutt”

August 11, 2020

LinkedIn Tips

It starts with the “connection request” from someone on LinkedIn – after a quick glance over the person’s profile I make a decision whether I will accept or not.

As I keep saying to people in our social media training courses these are not wedding proposals, so my own approach is to give the person the benefit of doubt, thank them for connecting and hopefully they will be another person in your ever extending network that you have had a positive interaction with.

Of course, some people will connect with you with the objective of selling us something – I have no issue with that really as in truth most of us want to make good connections, which hopefully could lead to more awareness and even a good business lead at some point.

I always say to people that in a world of social media there should be no need for “cold calling” and instead think of it as a place for “warm calling“.

Connect with someone relevant, try to have some positive interactions with them, build up some rapport and when and if the time is right gently introduce your services to them.

However, with many that idea just floats high above their heads and instead of taking the “warm calling” approach you get what I call the “headbutt“.

Boom…you didn’t see it coming, right into the forehead and you are left dazed – and you want to do business with me??

I connected with this guy just the other day (XXX is where his name was) and this is what I immediately got back, complete with getting my name wrong:

 Hi Grey

I’m XXX.

My client can bridge funds for your New or Ongoing Business. Do let me know when you receive this message for further procedures.

I am available. Thank you for your anticipated response.

Regards,

XXX

On what planet am I going to do business with this person?

Social media is brilliant for making valuable connections for you and your business – Use it to “warm call” and not to “headbutt”!

Greg

Greg Canty heads up the Digital Marketing team at Fuzion Communications and as part of our suite of digital services we offer social media training and social media consultancy, both face to face and online

 

 

No better time to learn a new skill – no excuses!

June 18, 2020

Podcasting

We always say to ourselves, “Oh, I don’t have time for that”, “I am too busy”, but we can all honestly say that over the last few months we all have had much more time on our hands. Even those of us who are working from home, we do not have the commute to the office, so that itself is time saving.

I have always loved technology and being a curious person, loved knowing how new gadgets and equipment work, so when I was asked by Greg if I was interested in helping him to edit his many podcasts, of course I said I would be delighted to.

I have listened to the #WinHappy podcasts for a while now, even before I commenced working with Fuzion and I was always impressed how great the quality of them was and ignorantly I didn’t realise that there were many hours of editing these behind the scenes prior to the finished polished product!

The software we use is Adobe Audition 2020. I have never used any type of voice editing software before and I have found it fascinating looking at the different sound waves on screen and that they transcribed to sound. Editing my first hour long podcast took me almost an entire day. Thankfully since my first podcast edit that time has drastically reduced as I get more used to the software.

Another learning when you listen closely is how many times all of use  “emmmms”, “aaaaaas”, “likes” and “you knows” in our normal conversations!

I spend time removing many of these to ensure the conversation flows smoothly, which in turn will give you that finished polished product. I have even become much more conscious of myself when speaking as it has made me realise, we all sneak these words into our sentences in every conversation, a strange habit in my opinion.

The few that I have edited these past few weeks have been with different people from different walks of life and very different businesses. Each conversation makes you feel that you are in the room with the speakers. After each one you genuinely feel you know them so much more than you did before listening to the podcast.

When I see these people and their businesses on various social media platforms, I have a sense of pride knowing that I helped to get their chats with Greg out to the public domain.

These are some of our recent episodes (they are all great but if you have the time check out 11 Year old MC Tiny..he is a ticket!):

Tales from the top floor and much more with singer songwriter Jack O’Rourke

 

Talking Food Glorious Food with food writer and activist, Joe McNamee

 

Early Communications is Queen and Transparency is King – A pan European review of communications by experts during the Covid crisis

 

The unique role of social media throughout the COVID19 crisis

 

Helping the vulnerable as well as Sales and Leadership with Ian Hannon of Activate Training

 

Legal issues arising from Covid19 and much more with Robert Bourke, Partner in Charge with HOMS Assist

 

11 Year Old Rapper, MC Tiny says he nearly had a “meltdown” the first time he entered The Kabin

 

There is no hurling on the ditch with Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber

 

“When you let the light in, it makes all the difference” says the positive Gina Murphy of Hugo’s Restaurant as she prepares to reopen

 

I always thought to learn a new skill like this that you would have to be technically trained but alas that is not the case – you just need someone who is happy to show you the ropes!

That is something for me that stands out with Fuzion from any company I worked with in the past, Greg and Dee are very open to the entire team always learning new skills and not just the role you were hired for.

So, for those of you who have ever thought about learning a new skill but thought you couldn’t, wouldn’t or merely thought there was no time – there are no excuses, even for an elder lemon like me….!

Or even better, if you wanted to chat to us about being a guest or even us producing a show for your business feel free to contact me olivia@fuzion.ie or Greg greg@fuzion.ie .

Olivia 

Olivia Trought is the Office Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency providing Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from offices in Dublin and Cork.

 

Remote Meetings – Rules of Engagement

May 19, 2020

Over the past few weeks from toddlers to elder lemons, we have all had a baptism of fire when it comes to remote meetings.  

While we are well used to them at this stage you can see already an A to Z of how people are great or not so great using them so I thought it was worth writing this as we can all get a little bit better – it’s all about Communications!

Love them or hate them, they are here to stay, so I have some tips that have helped me through this new way of working and could help you as well.

For us at Fuzion, it gives us the opportunity to say that we are very much open for business, sleeves up and ready to help. And it’s working for us – we even have won new business for the first time ever without ever having met the client face to face!

When the lockdown was announced first, we thought that was the end of all of our Social Media and Media Training as well as our Brand and Communications Workshops, but we quickly adapted and we have been busier than ever thanks to Zoom.

Remote meetings will never replace the valuable face to face connectivity but if we can get remote meetings right, think of the time we can save, not to mind the benefits to the environment and our pockets. 

It could mean that when the world “reboots” if we embrace remote meetings we will be far more productive and effective as individuals and as organisations and we might even win back some more quality of life.

Here are some of my learnings since conquering the fear of my laptop camera!!

  1. Be mindful of your image

Treat remote meetings as if you are all in the same room.

Wear work appropriate clothing and be mindful of your backdrop. If you have a home office, how about using one of your company’s pop ups, or if that’s not feasible either have a blank wall, or a backdrop that is clutter free.

The first week I just wore my gym gear – who cared…. It turns out I did. 

Part of my ability to thrive and not just survive during this time is keeping to my rituals and that includes giving myself time to look well every day – that way, if there is a last minute meeting – well I’m ready for my closeup!!!

  1. Turn your camera on – don’t hide

Pre Covid the majority of people kept their camera off and blamed the wifi! Now it’s becoming less acceptable to have your camera turned off.  

Now most people almost resent it where people leave their camera off.  You almost feel that they are hiding something, or that they don’t want to engage with you fully.

In most cases no one will say anything but they will see you (or not at all!) in a different light if you are the hidden one.

  1. Have the right light

Don’t sit with your back to the window or to strong lighting – all people will see is your silhouette. Use soft natural light to illuminate you in front or to the side. 

If you don’t have good lighting, invest in an LED Ring Light – They are great value, can plug into your laptop and offer a variety of lights and strengths depending on the natural light in the room.

In my room, I work with the light behind me, so I have positioned my laptop on books to the side with one of these LED lights behind the camera, so when I’m on a Zoom call, I turn the light on and it really softens the lighting.  

  1. Frame the camera correctly

Try out a number of positions/locations for the camera – which may also change during the day depending on light. 

Show all of your face. Place the camera at eye level or higher. Looking up at the camera makes you look more engaged (so they say!!)  And look into the lens, not at the screen. That’s where the people are, and that is how you make eye contact.

I have been on one or two meetings, where the other person’s camera was pointed at the ceiling, which is definitely worse than not having the camera on at all!!!

  1. Drown out noise

If you are in an environment where there are other people working near you, or there might be other distracting sounds you might consider using headsets. They could be the typical ones that come with your phone.

I’m working in an office on my own so I find the mic and the speakers on my laptop work fine, however some colleagues that run workshops and webinars prefer to use headphones or a headset with a mic.

Click this link that I found on the Zoom help resources on best cameras and headsets

  1. Sit up straight and proud

Don’t slouch, sit on a chair, rather than a couch if possible, so it feels more like a meeting setting. Don’t move as much as you might during an in-person meeting, and stay within the camera frame.

Saying that, I work from a couch, with cushions supporting my back as I work. 

I have my laptop to my side, connected to a big screen on a coffee table in front of me and my cordless keyboard on a tray on my lap. Very comfy as as it makes room for my new work colleagues – my dogs Honey and Bert either side of me!!! 

When it comes to meetings, I lean toward the edge of the couch, sit up straight, turn towards the camera which is to the side, so that the backdrop is the wall rather than all the cushions surrounding me. It keeps me focused sitting at the edge of the couch and I have my cordless keyboard and mouse on a tray, so I am able to access the screen if I need to.

  1. Look engaged

Remember it’s not a mirror, so don’t go fidgeting with your hair, or don’t click away on your computer keyboard while someone is talking. If you really have to click away or if there is any external noise like the dogs (or the kids) acting up, then mute when you are not speaking.

I was at a meeting the other day, where one of the ladies kept on tying her hair up and then down. She forgot that everyone could see her.

I think I preferred her hair down lol!!!

  1. Be on time

And that means joining the meeting a few minutes before the start time, to make sure your connection is working OK.

It’s sort of like getting the meeting room ready for the meeting. When I worked in the office, I’d always make sure the room was in order before the meeting and this is my way of making sure I create the best possible impression by being on time and that everything is working properly.

  1. Keep Meetings Short

Some people find remote meetings more draining than face to face meetings. So try and keep them to less than an hour. After the meeting walk around for a few minutes, grab a coffee or give the dog (or kid) a treat for behaving during the meeting!!

I find that I have to focus much more during remote meetings. I want to be sure I hear what everyone is saying and that I’m 100% engaged. So afterwards I feel really drained, but I find it helps keeping them to under an hour if at all possible.

  1. Go Zoom

I know there were some security issues regarding Zoom during the first week or so of the lockdown, but we find this platform really reliable and the quality of audio, visual and screen sharing functionality really good. 

It’s free to use to host meetings if they are under 40 minutes and it’s also free to use if you are just joining in on a meeting. You just need to download the app the first time you use it.

Their website is really great as well for tips on how to use the platform as well as general help with organising webinars, meetings or just working from home. Click here for a blog post from them I found really useful – tips on how to meet like a pro while working from home.

The biggest reason for using Zoom at this stage, is that it is quickly becoming the standard. People are becoming very familiar with it and if it is a meeting, a training session or a webinar make it as easy as possible for them and don’t place any barriers to entry, such as another platform they may not know.

So, that’s all from me – I hope you find these simple tips really useful, and you never know I could be meeting you soon, on Zoom or even better in person!  

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

 

Instagram – Reactions and new features during COVID19

April 28, 2020

Instagram Innovation

Have you noticed an uptake in live videos across social media?

With all our constant Zooming, Housepartying and Skyping, everyone is getting much more comfortable communicating through video.

Any time you log into Instagram you’re pretty much guaranteed to see at least one business account, celebrity or influencer broadcasting live to their followers. This is a great time to reach a captive audience especially as activity on the social media platforms has increased.

Instagram has now added the ability for users to watch live videos from desktop, which is a huge move for them considering how they’ve stuck to ‘mobile-only‘ features the last couple of years. The really useful aspect to viewing Instagram live videos on desktop is that now businesses will have a URL to cross-promote on their other social platforms to boost viewership of their live video.

Instagram have now added more tools as stickers on Stories to help businesses during these times, including gift cards, food orders, fundraisers and challenges. These will allow businesses that have been impacted by limited availability or shutdowns to continue to generate income at this time.

Businesses can share a new gift card, food order, and fundraiser stickers in Stories and on their profiles. When you see gift cards or food orders, you can tap to make your purchase through our partner’s site.”

The gift card function is a great option for all businesses to build on their brand loyalty and encourage engagement with their customers.

The food order stickers run through third-party delivery businesses such as Deliveroo & Uber Eats, which can be very useful for those food businesses already using those services.

Challenges are another fun sticker Instagram has introduced recently to keep up with all the engagement around real-life challenges happening between their users. Using this sticker allows you to browse the other challenges that are currently popular on the app and also to tag the friends you want to challenge.

It can be useful for businesses to use this function if they have a fundraising challenge they want to promote amongst their followers.

The social media platforms continue to innovate and stay up to date and relevant by their ability to respond to customers requirements, trends and changing circumstances – Instagram have done well here with their latest innovations.

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

Life in Lockdown – the bad and the very good?

April 27, 2020

Car Parade - Saint Patrick Day 2020

What a strange situation we all find ourselves in.

We are all used to getting up, taking the kids to school, going to work, having the kids collected from school and then head home from work, make dinner, supervise homework…this has been our way of life for many years.

We all wondered, well, I know I did, what would it be like to work from home?

My husband does it regularly and does so with ease – little did we expect for this decision to be forced upon us, with some people thriving and others not so much.

I for one, must admit that I do very much enjoy the social interaction and before the COVID19 lockdown was introduced, when we were all initially advised on March 12th to just be cautious, only travel if you need to go to work etc, I did continue to head to work, albeit in the office on my own. I did still enjoy heading out to work in the morning.

When lockdown was introduced, that is when I had to realise that I could not travel out and needed to heed the advice and stay home, that’s when it started to feel real for me. It was going to be a long few weeks but that’s what needed to be done.

I must say I thought I would have found it hard and yes, the weekends are tough as there are hours that need filling, but overall it’s been great spending unexpected time at home with my family. We have enjoyed spending every meal together, which I know might be the norm for some, but as a busy household that just didn’t always happen.

We are now going for our daily walks, chatting more in the evenings and overall spending much more quality time together. My younger daughter who is a Junior Cert student was initially angry that the exams had been cancelled, but on reflection is enjoying the time away from the books.

My older daughter, who is studying for college exams is coming around to the fact that these are now to be done online, this is unprecedented but is accepting that is the best option at this time. She likes exercising, and we always encourage it as parents and she wouldn’t have done an outdoor 5km run previously, but just this week she completed one for charity!

I know that wouldn’t have happened unless it was on the treadmill in the college gym. Speaking of treadmills, my boss mentioned at the start of all this, that now is an opportunity for us all to step off that treadmill that we are all on, each and every one of us are rushing around and this needs to stop.

I am so grateful to work with a company that are so passionate about their employees and make it their priority to check in with us each and every day, either on Google Meet or via Zoom.

In terms of interacting with each other, the communication tools that were the norm were Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and lately TikTok, which is how my older daughter communicated. My younger daughter thankfully isn’t on social media, but they sent hand written letters to their friends this past week, something they have never done and even questioned the price of a stamp – €1 for a stamp, they were shocked, so this for me was a very welcome change!

In 2018 I set up a local private group Facebook page for the village I live in and it had been slowly gathering traction but recently it has gained many followers and with all that has been happening it has been a great information platform for the community.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I put a call out at 1pm to have a car parade around the village (population of under 1000) and at the suggested meeting time of 4pm.

100 vehicles turned up, including sports cars, old cars and even tractors, whilst everyone staying in their vehicles and practising social distancing. The feedback from parents was exceptional in that the kids loved it, we drove around their estates, beeping the horns, waving to neighbours and that sense of community spirit was really special and something we will always remember.

Another initiative the Facebook page was really useful for was when I asked for local volunteers amid this pandemic. There are elderly and vulnerable people living in our village and I was aware that they may need help and again I was inundated with volunteers who are all currently on standby, should they be needed.

Last week I asked for families if they were interested in book swapping as some parents were saying that their kids were bored at home as every book in every room had been read over and over and once again, so many came out and dropped off books in the suggested location, all sanitized and ready for delighted kids to collect. Just one online platform facilitating us to help in our local community.

So what I would like to finish with is, yes, this is not something we all thought would happen, there are family members we miss dearly, but in the meantime let’s all embrace it, this time will pass. It’s only a “pause” and we will not get this down time again.

Stay home and stay safe.

Olivia 

Olivia Trought is the Office Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency providing Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from offices in Dublin and Cork.


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