Posts Tagged ‘Fuzion Communications’

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.

Supports are available for your Business

April 15, 2020

What a hard to believe, crazy time that we are all knee deep in!

For some it is incredibly busy, coping with fulfilling unprecedented demand in difficult circumstances, for some it is somewhat damaging and messy and for others this “pause” is devastating and real solutions are needed for immediate survival and to plan for a much needed return to some type of normal.

The Local Enterprise Office network has implemented a suite of support services to assist businesses at this time.

We would urge you to look carefully at these valuable supports, not only to assist you right now, but also to make your business stronger going into the future.

There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, all offering these additional supports:

A support we have found to be hugely beneficial for businesses throughout the years is the Trading Online Voucher Scheme

A second voucher is now available for businesses that have previously availed of this support over the years. Having a strong online presence has never been more important, so whether it’s improving your website and online shop to creating an app, we strongly advise you to check this out.

The Trading Online Voucher can also be used to support the below:

  • Website Creation
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Media for Business
  • Search Engine Optimisation

To find more about the online trading voucher and the eligibility criteria visit www.localenterprise.ie and contact your local office.

If we can assist you to put a practical plan together in any of these areas give us a call and we will do everything we can to help.

As well as the Trading Online Voucher, there is a range of different supports available to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

An overview of all supports available:

Trading Online Voucher Scheme
Second voucher available

 

Can you do more business online?

The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets.

There is up to €2,500 available through the Local Enterprise Offices, with co-funding of 10% from the business. Funding can be used towards adding payment facilities or booking systems to your website or developing new apps for your customers.

The voucher can also be used towards subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions, to help companies quickly establish a retailing presence online.

 

Business Continuity Vouchers 
Apply for €2,500 in consultancy

The new Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people.

The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs (at no cost to the company) and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the business challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

If we can be of assistance, please contact us and we will talk through the challenges you are facing.

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

 

COVID-19
Business Loans  

First 6 months are interest & repayment free
New low rate of 4.5% through the Local Enterprise Offices

The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses.

It’s designed for micro-enterprises that are a) having difficulty accessing Bank finance and b) impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.

To view loan features click here.

 

Lean for Micro
Become a Leaner business

LEAN for Micro is available to LEO clients to help build resilience within small companies.

Under this programme, clients can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert (a qualified practitioner), who will work with the company to introduce lean principles, undertake a specific cost savings project and assist the company in benchmarking its performance. LEAN for Micro can also be used to help implement new remote working and physical distancing guidelines.

 

Mentoring Advice and guidance
Now free of charge 

Grants for new and established businesses

 
Under the Local Enterprise Office Mentor Programme, clients work with an experienced mentor to identify solutions to areas of exposure within their business. With advice and guidance from their mentor, clients develop strategies that are more robust, which address issues and maximise potential opportunities when the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.
 

Training and Webinars 
Upskill and network remotely,
for free

Local Enterprise Offices have moved training programmes, workshops and networking meet-ups online, covering areas such as cash management in a crisis, leading your business through COVID-19 and advice for employers impacted by the crisis.

Training programmes are free of charge and places can be booked online, through your Local Enterprise Office.

 

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

For existing companies and potential start-ups that meet eligibility criteria (such as employing 10 or fewer people with the potential for growth and job creation), Local Enterprise Offices can also offer financial supports to help manage current market challenges:

  • Business Priming Grants
  • Business Expansion Grants
  • Feasibility Study Grants
  • Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters Grant

To view the full details on the supports available to your business and the criteria visit: www.localenterprise.ie/Response.

Depending on how the situation evolves, criteria may change so please refer to the above website for updates.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can offer you advice during these difficult timesand try to stay positive and seriously think about using these supports, for today and a much better tomorrow….it will come!

Best wishes from all at Fuzion.

Greg

(086) 8311156 greg@fuzion.ie  

Greg Canty is the Managing Partner of Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing, Dublin and Cork offices

Resilience in the face of adversity

April 7, 2020

Push Up Challenge, Mercy Hospital Foundation

Undoubtedly, the last few weeks have been the strangest I have ever experienced and it almost feels like a blur thinking back to when it all started.

Little did I know when I first heard about Coronavirus how the situation would escalate so quickly into a global pandemic.

It has been tough to watch so I can’t imagine how it must feel for the many businesses that have had to close their doors. It’s a stressful time in general for people, especially those with the additional worry of their business. Almost overnight, their sales have reduced significantly or for many, they have had to shut up shop completely, not knowing when they will reopen.

It’s very tough for charities as well, with many needing more funds now than they ever did to cope with the pandemic, yet their fundraising events and bucket collections which they rely so heavily on, can’t go ahead at the moment.

Amongst this adversity, a light has been shone on the positivity and strength from the people and businesses of Ireland which must be commended.

Whether it has been from looking out for neighbours, friends and colleagues to supporting charity initiatives and local businesses, there is so much good will.

Businesses that have had to close their doors are still willing to donate goods and services to those who need them most, especially for charity and to support our frontline workers.

There are so many great charity initiatives taking place right now that were established by individuals who just want to help. An example is The Push-Up Challenge, created by Emmy Coffey Nguyen to raise vital funds for the Mercy University Hospital and Mater Foundation during this difficult time.

As we wade through this difficult period, it’s important we keep positive, supporting one another as we get closer each day to better times.

Click here for a link to the ‘Push Up Challenge’

Saidhbh Sweeney - Fuzion CommunicationsSaidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion Communications: PR, Marketing, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing from offices in Dublin and Cork Design

The Power of Communications in a Crisis – Updates from professionals across Europe

April 2, 2020

Fuzion Communications are members of a pan-European network, the Crisis Communications Network Europe, which is made up of independent Communications agencies who offer a significant Crisis PR service in each different country.

The rationale for this network is to have a strong group of like minded, connected agencies that can handle Crisis PR situations for clients when these crises extend beyond national borders.

When it comes to a crisis that extends beyond borders there is no better example than the COVID-19 crisis that has affected everyone.

On the Win Happy podcast, I invited a senior person from each agency in the network to discuss the crisis and in particular:

  • The status of the crisis in each country
  • How government have reacted
  • How good the communications have been
  • The media role in these communications
  • The reaction of the general public

It is clear listening to the really interesting discussion, that we can see the huge difference that strong communications can make in a crisis and and it can literally help to save lives.

Trusted, responsible government, leading by example, powerful gestures, quick action, honest briefings, strong and accurate media reporting and the public response are all key factors that determine the success of the communications and the fate of so many in each country.

The members that featured on the podcast were from Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, England, Netherlands, Austria and Belgium.

You can listen to the show by clicking here.

Enjoy the show..

Greg

Greg Canty is a Managing Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer a full Crisis PR service from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

 

Working from home: Coffee, skipping and a cat called Gizmo!

April 2, 2020

Heading into the end of Week Three of our #WFH and there has been a LOT of people offering top tips on “how to work form home successfully” as blog posts, infographics, downloadable white papers, illustrated series of Insta Stories and so on.

And the most successful thing that I have done to date is not read any of them!!

But I have learnt a few things about myself, which are based on nothing more than my own thoughts (and one or two are based on anecdotal observations by members of my family).

I drink way more coffee at work than I do at home, and I have access to 7 different electrical, mechanical and gravitational methods of making coffee at home, as opposed to the massive tub of half caffeinated dust/half pure crack cocaine that sits in the cupboard in work.

I have three different types of coffee beans from three different roasteries, AND I have an in-house trained barista on a COVID-19 based sabbatical on call in the front room. And with all of these amazing elements at my disposal, I have reduced my coffee intake from 5 cups a day to one, perhaps two.

I don’t know why… It’s just an observation. (I also have a large jar of Blue Maxwell House that is out of date since 2018 for emergencies!!)

Some of you may know that I am a cyclist, a commuter cyclist, I do approximately 9.7km a day, five days a week, in the sun, in the dark, in the rain, in the snow, and hot diggity, I miss it.

As dangerous as the roads are ordinarily – and they are dangerous, there isn’t a day that someone decides that either their journey is more important than my life, that the phone call is *that* important (Do drivers not know about Siri etc?), anecdotally, within the cycling community, drivers are currently being less rational, and more irresponsible at a time when really and truly they have ample room on the road to be more observant, more careful and slower – for the first time in a long long time, I am hesitant to head out (within the 2km radius, obvs.)

..So I’ve started skipping.

9am is a solid. 5:30 is a fluid.

I have saved approx €15 in the three weeks that I’ve been working at home by not buying lunch (I get one lunch a week from the Sandwich Stall in the English Market. Go there, thank me afterwards. And you will), but I spent €9 on ice creams in one go on a post-work walk (within the 2km radius, obvs.) the other day with some of my kids.

So I reckon that in the long run it will cost me more to be at home. Are ice creams tax deductible?

We have two cats. One is Lou. That’s an abbreviated name, which is short for Lucifer.

The other is Gizmo, who has a bionic leg from an accident involving a fence and, well, her leg. And she has become my Study Buddy. She sits up on the chair behind me, purring like a bloody Honda Goldwing.

Don’t tell anyone, but I enjoy her company!!

Finally, a note on the IOT.

I have a Sonos Speaker system. They are fantastic speakers. Loud, bassy, clear and bright. but when you are listening to Drum and Bass and you get a phone call, it’s a juggling act that Fosters Circus would be proud of, for me to take the call, find the app that controls the speakers, greet the person on the phone, scramble to open the volume control on the app, turn the volume down, NOT up, and carry on like the true, professional that I am.

So… how’s working from home going for you?

Jonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj is the Creative Director of Fuzion Communications who are a full service agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, offering Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing Services

 

LinkedIn – Group Hug!! (Are you joining groups?)

April 1, 2020

LinkedIn Groups - Social Media Training

From my experience most LinkedIn users are not using the very useful ‘Groups‘ facility on the platform.

For your industry or your business community there is more than likely a group set up with like minded individuals who have already joined.

These could provide you with the opportunity to interact with like minded people, discuss topical issues, solve problems, demonstrate your expertise, get information or these could easily help you to identify useful connections for your business or organisation.

If you do a search right now…Dublin Chamber, Cork Chamber. UCD Alumni, Marketing professionals, Hospitality professionals in Ireland – you are likely to find a group that matches your search.

Groups will have a filter process for members depending on how they have been created – you will need to request to join or be invited to join by an existing member and an administrator somewhere will decide whether to let you in or not.

If it is a group for a membership organisation it is very likely that they will not grant you access unless you are a member.

When you create a group you have a number of options including:

  • Name and description
  • Industry types (up to 3)
  • Stated rules for the group (how members should use and behave within the group)
  • Whether the group is visible or not: you could for example make it a “closed” group for your organisation so it won’t appear on searches
  • If you allow existing members to invite others to join
  • Approval setting for posts within the group.

New Feature: Messaging

The functionality is always changing so how you can use them is always changing. For example LinkedIn have just now given members within groups the ability to send a message to other members, without being connected to them (and without having the paid version of the platform).

These messages will come into you just like a normal message on LinkedIn.

So…look for a group today that could work for you and your business, click that ‘Join’ button and off you go!

Or…maybe you could be the one to create that group?

What are you waiting for?!!

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

 

 

 

Time for earth and its inhabitants to heal?

March 30, 2020

The earth is healing

In the midst of the horrible nightmare that is the COVID19 disease, which has so many sick and so many dying all over our world, we do need to raise our heads and wonder is there some greater purpose to all of this?

My initial thoughts were that our precious earth has needed time to heal itself for such a long time, and “we” were never going to allow this to happen due to our greed and the crazy pattern of living that we have all adopted as the norm. Has nature found a cruel way of saying STOP, while us humans have to just take our place in the queue before we start to abuse it all over again?

In the last week or so my thoughts have moved on as I observe how we are changing – I’m believing that humanity is also healing itself as we have to stop being selfish and self serving. We have been forced to jump off our respective treadmills and focus on survival and on the things that are really important.

I am seeing kindness, friendship, togetherness, sacrifice, humour, generosity and lots of love.

Do things work this way or is this all a big coincidence?

While I was living with these thoughts a friend of mine shared a post that supposedly came from Bill Gates, which pretty much captured what I was thinking in a way that I could never have:

Message in the letter:

I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind
everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being
good or being bad.

As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the
Corona/ Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:

1) It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our
culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we
are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should too. If you
don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.

2) It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that
affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that
the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus
does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a
short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in
oppression.

3) It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have
moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and
drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If
we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.

4) It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most
important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those
who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.

5) It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and
how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials
that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.

6) It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and
how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses
so we can rebuild them into our home and  to strengthen our family unit.

7) It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what
we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.

8) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us
that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we
are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.

9) It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We
can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to
help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to
hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.

10) It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can
either understand that this type of situation has happened many times
before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end
of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.

11) It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new
beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where
we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which
will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.

12) It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us
that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as
we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of
shelves. We are sick because our home is sick.

13) It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always
ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle.
We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.

14) Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I
prefer to see it as a *great corrector*

It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have
forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not.

Note: It turns out that this “letter” is fake and didn’t come from Bill Gates at all but because his name was on it, it did the rounds with many high profile people sharing it.

I don’t really care who wrote this piece, I applaud them.

After this time, however long it lasts, the scientists will be able to come to us with definite proof about the damage that we are causing this earth by our actions (and inaction) and how it can be healed and what we need to do once this period is over to achieve this.

In the meantime, let’s pray for everyone who is suffering greatly at this time and for everyone else to do the right things to ensure that the hardship is minimised and that we can recover as soon as possible.

Thank you “pretend” Bill for making sense of this…

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


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