Posts Tagged ‘Gina’

Why We All Need to be a Little More Mr. Blue Sky….

August 27, 2012

I was delighted to read Paddy Clancy’s article in today’s Irish Examiner.

I was actually starting to get concerned about my unwavering optimism and general good feeling about Summer 2012. While the world and its mother have been giving out about this terrible Irish summer, I have been waxing lyrical about how surprisingly nice the weather has been over the past few months. I’ve been getting a few strange looks, but I honestly don’t know what people have been complaining about.

Almost every morning I have managed to walk to work without getting lashed on and most evenings I return home on foot in mild, warm weather. Fair enough there’s usually a downpour at some point during the day, but if you listened to MET Eireann they would have you believing that we’re up to our knees day in day out in flash flooding, heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. Not the case from where I’m standing….what about you?

Now, the mandatory Irish chit chat about our terrible climate doesn’t really bother me, it’s as natural as a morning cup of tea to discuss the weather in this country. But to me it feels as if MET Eireann and very often, the media, seem to focus so much on ‘where it’s going to rain’ as opposed to ‘where it’s going to shine’ and fair enough, I know it’s science, but couldn’t they cut us a break?!!

My attitude now is just look out your window in the morning and take it as it comes. (Unless you’re a golfer  it seems– my father lives by that forecast)

The most concerning thing is the impression it is giving out to international tourists and to all of our lovely family and friends who have emigrated and who, aside from the recession, are almost afraid to give up the sunny climes of Australia and America for ‘depressing Ireland’.

We depend, more than ever, on Tourism for simulating employment and revenue, yet we shoot ourselves in the foot day in day out by giving out about the climate. The whingers are feeding that perception and as per Paddy’s article today, I’m not the only one who believes that. Donegal has clearly enjoyed a fantastic summer, and if you spent any time at all in Dublin and Kerry over the last few months you would have enjoyed some amazing weather and quite a few ‘al fresco’ dining/drinking opportunities!

How many times have you heard people say “We’d be the best country in the world if we only had the weather”. Well, newsflash: Ireland has an unpredictable climate and high levels of rainfall annually – get over it.

Ireland is a fantastic country, despite our current recession and perceived climate. Every day I experience optimism and positivity in the most unlikely places, and most importantly, a little bit of sunshine. I think we could all make a better attempt at encouraging people to come here, by complaining a little less and maybe taking some time to highlight the sunny days when we can. Don’t you think?

Gina Kelly is an Account Director at Fuzion

Gina on Twitter 

Gina Kelly operates from the Fuzion PR office in Dublin

The TripAdvisor debate – Would the Real Reviewer Please Stand Up?

August 7, 2012

Despite having never posted a review, I love TripAdvisor. Its success has reached such heights that it is now as important as packing your passport to review your holiday accommodation in advance of your trip. But let’s face it, we all know that any social media savvy hotel has probably written the odd positive review in order to boost its ratings. The trick is not to get caught right?

TripAdvisor image

But in the back of my mind I always wonder how much of this self-rating is going on and realistically how can TripAdvisor monitor every single review and mitigate against it. Similarly, the bad reviews – is it the nasty work of a rival hotel, an irate ex-employee or someone who simply exaggerates a bad experience?

The best thing about social media is the freedom it allows you to voice your opinion to a mass audience but with situations like the ‘Tom Daley Twittergate’ or the on-going cyber-bullying issue you have to ask, do we have too much freedom to hurt others, be it a business or another individual? At least with Twitter and Facebook, your opinion is entirely visible as your opinion – no hiding from it.

But TripAdvisor has the beauty of anonymity – a faceless platform in which to be as complimentary or derogatory as you like, without having to take any responsibility for giving your opinion, regardless of what it might mean for the reputation of a business struggling to survive. It seems almost cowardly in a way.

So, my question is, should we break down the wall that hides the reviewers from those they influence? Should we step out from our hiding place and be transparent in our opinions, just as we are on Twitter and Facebook? Or is that simply taking away from the whole ethos of these sites?

I’m pretty sure I know what the hospitality industry would vote for. Personally, I would like to see what review sites are out there offering transparency on reviewers and promote them as an alternative to the TripAdvisor mechanic.  Yes, it might be the biggest, but as with everything, not necessarily the best.

And who knows, maybe I’ll finally write that review!

Gina Kelly is an Account Director at Fuzion

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