Posts Tagged ‘Greg Canty’

Can you have Profit without the Passion?

April 21, 2015

Passion

These two guys came into us, full of confidence about their new project.

They were introducing a new range of ready made meals to the Irish market, which they reckoned were going to be a huge success.

The market in Ireland was huge and growing and according to them poorly serviced with inferior products. They were going to bring restaurant quality meals with recipes designed by a high profile chef using the best of Irish ingredients.

These meals were going to be well packaged and would be ‘on shelf‘ at competitive products – this was their recipe for success!

By their reckoning they would conservatively capture a share of the market and even with moderate success they would make a fortune, it was guaranteed.

They had the listings with some of the multiples and our job was to launch the new range of products. They also had a good budget for the promotional campaign – success guaranteed?

I had a few nagging doubts ..

These guys had no history in food or experience in the industry. They had no passion for food – I tried and I tried to find it. I couldn’t see a genuine love for Irish ingredients and great food – this was just a way of making money and they reckoned they had all the necessary ingredients for success.

The high profile chef was equally unimpressive – I started to get the feeling that his ‘name was on the box‘ and that was about the extent of his passion for the project.

Of course he did the interviews and said all the right things but I just didn’t feel the passion for the project.

The launch date arrived, there seemed to be trouble with distribution, the products didn’t look well in the packaging and there was nothing special about the taste. It certainly wasn’t the superior restaurant quality ready-made meals that we were promised.

In no time at all the partners were fighting and the chef pulled back from the project. Effectively before the whole project got going they shut it down and many people including ourselves went without payment.

If there was genuine passion you would taste it in the end product, you would work hard to overcome any problems and you would dig deep and do everything to keep your dream alive.

Without passion you just give up ….that’s easier!

Passion is the single must important ingredient in your meal, your restaurant, your products, your service and your organisation.

Profit without passion? … I don’t think so 

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Dunnes Stores – Building your Reputation

April 2, 2015

Dunnes Stores Strike

It was a strange thing – I heard news of the Dunnes Stores strike first thing this morning on Newstalk and immediately without hearing any of the detail I was on the side of the workers.

I wondered why did I think that automatically?

The truth is I never hear any good things about the company.

I don’t hear about charities they support, I don’t hear about a focus on Irish products,  I don’t hear about how they work closely with suppliers, I don’t see them being helpful on social media, I don’t hear about how much they contribute to the Irish economy and I don’t hear about new jobs that have created.

Instead I remember the strikes of old and the trouble and controversy that the company has had down through the years.

This doesn’t mean for a second that they do none of these things – it just means I don’t know about the good things they do and as a result when I hear a negative about them I tend to believe it.

When we use the words ‘building your reputation‘ it is a powerful analogy because your reputation is something that is built over time.

It is a culmination of all of the things you do; how you look after suppliers, your team and most importantly your customers. It also includes how you interact with the general community – while we are all in business to make a profit it is vital that we respect our environment and those around us and genuinely try to be a good, responsible corporate citizen.

Besides doing good it is vital that this is communicated clearly and effectively so that people understand that this is a business that genuinely cares about something more than just making money.

When an ill wind blows it is vital that your reputation has been built carefully and robustly so that it can withstand it easily and that you will have the support of your customers, investors, the media and the general public in these circumstances.

There is a strike at Dunnes

If a good job was done here our first thought when we hear this should be “They are a great company who are really responsible and fair – there must be two sides to that story

Build your reputation … it will protect you

Greg Canty

Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland offer a full Crisis PR Service. Deirdre Waldron, (Partner) heads up the Crisis PR team, which includes former journalists, media training and social media expertise.

 

 

 

Mr Motivator

April 1, 2015

Mr Motivator

There is just one Greg Canty and he is special and don’t you forget about it” he said

Just keep being the best ‘you’ that you can be” ..ok, I will.

It had been a while since I had chatted to him but it is always great when we do. He always leaves you feeling ten feet tall and better about yourself than before you had spoken.

I called him out of the blue just for a chat but he always has this knack of saying something that makes you feel better about yourself.

I remember years ago we had him over at the house for grub and at the time we were feeling a little but low because we were struggling to get some sponsors signed up for our Catwalks event. This was a high end fashion and beauty event that we used take on tour around Ireland.

I think he picked up that we weren’t as positive as we usually were and after a while he grabbed a flyer in his hand from a previous Catwalks event that we had run and he gave us one of his magical pep talks.

Do you see this?” he asked “You and Dee created a national event from nothing. You have already signed up some top brands and its been a huge success to date. Never forget that it is only you two who could have pulled something like this off

After he left we were punching the air, feeling special, full of motivation and determination, ready to take on the world … sure enough we signed up more sponsors.

We all need people like that in our lives, the ones who make you fell better about yourself, the ones who you can call if you need that little gee up …they are precious.

Pat Dolan Thank you Pat Dolan..

Who is your Mr Motivator?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Valentines Day and meeting expectations!

February 14, 2015

Romance

As she stepped out of the car she left me with the little bombshell “I hope you have something special organised for Valentine’s Day” ..Dee was half joking of course! (?)

All of a sudden this isn’t about a demonstration of your love, it’s an expectation, a bar, below which you will perish if you fail to do the right things and achieve that minimum standard!

I started thinking..I am on an absolute hiding to nothing here.

All I can do is either disappoint (try to avoid!) or successfully manage to satisfy this ‘expectation’. What can I possibly do to surprise her and make her feel as special as I feel about her on this day ..something beyond “he did what was required“?

To make matters worse I have been so busy with work that I haven’t had two minutes to scratch, think about what I might do and then have the time to actually organise whatever I come up with!!

Isn’t this what it is like with the service we provide our clients? They quite rightfully have a minimum expectation and your first job is making sure that you at least match that – anything less and they are disappointed.

But just like Dee you want to leave them surprised and feeling special and this means doing something that they are not expecting, something that they will really appreciate and show them how much you really care. This is the ‘sweet spot’ where you get to show them that you are quite different than all the other potential ‘lovers’ out there.

Just like Valentines Day it’s a challenge but if you want them to know how special they are you’ve got to dig deep..

Happy Valentines Day x

(My efforts ..I wrote a poem for her card, I bought a single rose, I brought her breakfast, we’ll walk on a beach and after that I will cook dinner …have I done enough?)

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Personal Branding and your Modern Coat of Arms

February 3, 2015

personal branding

There is a lot of talk these days about the importance of your ‘personal brand‘; how you always need to be aware of it, how you should project it and how you should protect it.

It is talked about in marketing circles as if it is a new thing and that it is borrowed from the world of products and companies, which all have their own branding that we can easily relate to.

The comparison to products, services and companies can be a little disturbing at first – surely we are human beings and not products (many may disagree!)? After all we have feelings, thoughts, opinions, beliefs, passions, we want to be appreciated and valued and we definitely don’t want to be treated as commodities.

If we forget about the comparison to products and companies it gets easier and we can start to appreciate what our personal brand really means. Our personal brand is our story, it is what we represent, it is what we believe in, it is what motivates us, it is who we are. If you deal with me this is what you get.

The challenge is to properly project our story so that others get what we are all about.

In ancient times the personal brand for our family was captured in our family crest or our coat of arms.

A coat of arms is described as a unique heraldic (a visual way of signifying rank) design on a shield or surcoat. A surcoat, and subsequently a coat of arms was used by medieval knights to cover, protect, and identify the wearer. The coat of arms symbolises the heraldic achievement which consists of a shield with a crest and motto.

These coats of arms came into general use by feudal lords and knights in battle in the 12th Century. By the 13th Century their use had spread beyond the battlefield to become a kind of flag or logo for families in the higher social classes of Europe, inherited from one generation to the next.

Your coat of arms or crest was effectively a way of telling a story about your family and what they represent.

Canty family crestIn the case of the ‘Canty’ crest:

  • the core blue colour in the shield represents Loyalty and Truth (good traits I’m sure you will agree!)
  • the use of yellow represents Generosity (the drinks are on me ..very true)
  • the Chevron (the upsidedown ‘V‘) denotes Protection. Apparently this is often granted as a reward to one who has achieved some Notable Enterprise (woohoo!)
  • the crescents signify one who has been ‘Enlightened and Honoured by his Sovereign’ (hmm..what did we do to deserve this?)

While this captures and projects a ‘story’ and a set of values and beliefs for my family in many ways it also sets a standard and creates an expectation about our behaviour – something that we all need to live up to.

Ironically the use of the coats of arms evolved over time and started to be used by commercial companies, which are effectively the origins of the modern logo.

Telling your story today

Today we don’t carry around a shield (just a business card..) and we don’t wear a suit of armour so communicating our story can be a little bit more challenging!

The face to face personal experience has always been the most important part of our story. How we look, how we dress, how we speak, how we behave and what we do are powerful ways of telling this story. Those who interact with us get to experience our ‘personal brand‘ up close and hopefully they will carry with them a positive version of our story.

For those at a distance our modern day coat of arms is our blog, our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media accounts. This is where we get a chance to show our photo, detail who we are, what we have learnt, what we have done, what we believe in and then bring all of this to life through our regular conversations and interactions.

In Ireland alone there are 1.4 million LinkedIn users. The most common activity of these users is looking at other people’s profiles. I wonder why..

How is your coat of arms looking? 

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Cork – Let’s Shake it up!

January 5, 2015

 

Good to Great

2014 was a good year.  There were definite signs of recovery, which our own business could see first-hand through our offices in Cork and in Dublin.  We were finding that people and businesses may not have had more money to spend, but there was an air of optimism and that there was a willingness to invest once more, in their businesses, in their homes and on themselves.

In Cork there were a number of indicators that have helped generate this air of positivity.  Work began on One Albert Quay, by John Cleary Developments and BAM Construction, which is initially creating 300 construction jobs and once the construction phase is completed will accommodate up to 1,800 new workers in the city centre. This is one of the largest projects of its type in the whole of Ireland at the moment.

We saw award-winning Cork entrepreneurs such as Dan and Linda Kiely of VoxPro, growing from strength to strength and announcing that by 2016 they plan to employ 4,000 highly skilled people in Cork.

The Cork Convention Bureau continued to punch above its weight, attracting international conferences to Cork in 2014 to the value of over €9 million.

Work continued on the Cork Marketing Strategy – or Cork INC as people have started to call it, where all of the major stakeholders, led by Cork City and County Councils are looking at more joined up thinking in promoting Cork to Foreign Direct Investors.

As part of this project, the research showed us that Cork is seen as a special place to do business. Not only is it economically viable with an intelligent and motivated workforce on our doorstep thanks to our terrific education institutions, but it is also seen by everyone as a great place to live. When it comes to ‘life success’ which is a combination of career and quality of life, Cork beats most other locations globally, hands down.

When we were working on this project it was fantastic to hear so many people playing back to us what we already knew!

Cork also led the charge in the tourism sector with visitor numbers up and the hospitality sector reporting a busy high season. Visitors flocked to attractions such as the English Market, Blarney Castle and Fota Wildlife Park as well as the wilds of East and West Cork.  A lot of visitors know what a special place Cork is!

All of this has made 2014 a good year for people living in Cork. However we can’t just stop at this and we need to be on the front foot and really shake things up and make things happen for ourselves.

As anyone who knows Fuzion and in particular my partner Greg Canty, will know that we are big fans of Jim Collins, the American business consultant and author.  Jim’s most famous theory is how “good is the enemy of great”.  He believes that good organisations can unwittingly slip into a mind-set of  good is good enough and that this complacency can prevent the organisation becoming great.

My wish for Cork in 2015 is that we don’t slip into this mind-set.  Cork is perfectly set to take full advantage of the upturn in the economy which now seems to not just be rhetoric, but fact – instead of thinking “good”, let’s plan for “great”.

As a really nice pre-Christmas boost, IBEC announced that economic growth in Ireland is expected to hit nearly 6% in 2014 – the strongest rate in Europe, with continued strong growth predicted in 2015. If Ireland can be the star of Europe why not work together to make Cork the star of Ireland.

Cork stakeholders have a responsibility to make sure that we take full advantage of these positive figures and that this time next year; we are all saying that 2015 was a great year for Cork, that we did not get complacent with “good”, but worked towards being “great”.

I have many things on my wish list for 2015.

Cork Convention CentreOne wish is that finally we get going on the much-needed Convention Centre.  There have been enough delays on this for a variety of reasons – many of which I can’t fathom – but Cork needs it urgently if we are to be seen as a “great” player in this arena.

Something desperately needs to be done with our amazing city centre. We are passing way too many empty retail units on Patrick Street and even more empty offices on the South Mall and neighbouring streets. I hope that 2015 is the year we see some tangible initiatives to really fill these empty spaces with a creative mix of uses. With some creativity, positive incentives and initiatives and by working together we can get these streets buzzing once again.

Cork Airport is haemorrhaging flights and this flow needs to be stopped in 2015. I think we all know the answer to this one and my hope for Cork Airport in 2015 is that it gets more autonomy from Dublin and becomes an independent airport. Shannon Airport is thriving to the detriment of Cork Airport and this needs to be addressed urgently. Not only do we want access to fantastic destinations for business and pleasure, we also want to see this traffic reciprocated with more overseas visitors able to discover our fantastic city and surrounds through direct access through our state of the art airport.

We have two very proactive and powerful new CEO’s in Ann Doherty for Cork City Council and Tim Lucey for the Cork County Council who need to continue to show us leadership and steer Cork together towards a great year in 2015.  They both have vast experience in heading up major organisations and now they need to lead us through positive change and progression.

I would ask that they would be confident and brave and a lot more than just safe pairs of hands. Our local politicians and all other stakeholders must support them in this regard and even allow them to take some risks as they push forward.

A colleague of Fuzion’s in our work on the Cork Marketing Strategy over the past year and a half, Malcolm Allan of Place Matters, puts it brilliantly when he says “if you continue doing the same thing, you will get the same results”.  Malcolm is one of the leading global figures in Place Marketing and sees great potential for Cork, but we need to bear his words in mind in 2015.

Let’s make 2015 the year that we really changed things in Cork, taking full advantage of the economic improvements and that we all played our part to make things happen. So much has been invested in plans, consultants, research etc. so let’s make 2015 the year that Cork took major steps to take its rightful place among the leading city regions in Europe and beyond.

My last wish is that all of us genuinely work together and apply a ‘rising tide’ mentality so that overall Cork benefits and not specific interest groups.

Let’s make sure we all have a great year, because Cork and all Corkonians born and bred and those like myself who are lucky enough to be adopted by Cork and to call it home, deserve it.

Lets shake it up!

Deirdre Waldron - Fuzion PRDeirdre Waldron is a Partner of Fuzion

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

This post first appeared as an Opinion Piece in the Evening Echo 2-1-15

We had a great 2015 because..

January 5, 2015

Cool Runnings

For the last few years we have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

We have found it to be really useful and one that has made a big difference.

Making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year we find ourselves at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

Benjamin Zander - The Art of PossibilityA few years ago we were inspired by a book about goal setting in a different way called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (unbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

This year instead of doing it individually (definitely do this as well) why not as a team take on the task for your business or organisation.

Imagine the last working day of the year just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you exchange office presents and head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you have a chat about the fantastic achievements during the year.

Here goes ..

Take a flipchart and simply write your achievements in advance for the last working day of the year to come..

Wednesday, 23rd December, 2015

We had a great year because ….

Be as specific as you can including business and developmental goals and when the team are done get everyone to Sign it!

Once you have done this take some time out with your team and work out the detailed planning and action plans that support your 2015 wish list and then track progress during the year.

…grab just 30 minutes with your team this week before things fully kick off again and do it!

Happy 2015 from the Fuzion Crew!!

(the pic at the top of the post is from the fantastic movie, Cool Runnings the last featuring the comic genius John Candy about the Jamaican bobsleigh team making their debut at the 1988 winter Olympics in Canada)

Written by Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Marketing or Great Storytelling?

December 22, 2014

Storytellers

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon perfectly summarised branding when he declared “your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room

So..branding isn’t about logos or tag lines? …it is actually what people say about you.

In that case our job as marketeers is to simply help our clients tell the story of their business, organisation, products and services effectively so that when people talk about these things they say exactly what we want them to say.

In effect we need to be great storytellers, creating memorable content that connects with our target audience in a way that they will remember positively.

Telling memorable stories takes great copy, imagery, logos, tag lines, ideas, PR campaigns, events, sponsorships, initiatives and social media activity.

When we talk to clients about the Fuzion process we try to forget about the industry jargon and instead we talk about stories:

Capture your story

It is vital that your story, the essence of the organisation is captured properly – this is an important and necessary first step. It is damaging to promote your business if this part is not right.

Whenever and wherever anyone comes across your products, services, website, promotional material, vehicles, premises and even the individuals in your team your story must be told in a way that properly reflects what you want.

Finding your story

If I look for the products or services that you offer with the help of Mr Google it is vital that you are found easily and prominently. This is the low hanging fruit!

When we build websites for our clients we make sure the platforms they are built on facilitate good search engine performance and that we include the right ‘copy’ (the keywords customers use when they search for your products or services) so they are found prominently by potential customers.

Telling your story

Every business must promote itself so that people know it exists. This is your advertising, PR campaigns, direct marketing, email marketing, events and sponsorships all designed to tell your target audience that you exist and what you do.

This must be done carefully and consistently so that the right story is always told.

Conversations about your story

We often hear that 80% of business comes from referrals or ‘word of mouth‘.

Surprisingly only a portion of these referrals will be from actual customers. Often these referrals will simply come from people who have ‘heard about you‘ somewhere along the way.

Social media when correctly used is a fantastic way to generate these referrals and get the right word of mouth going through online ‘conversations‘ and interactions.

It is also a great way to communicate the personality and beliefs of the organisation in a way that is often impossible through other communications.

Protecting your story

The last part of the process is only ever called into action when something goes wrong. We help organisations when incidents occur that have the potential of ruining the good ‘story‘ of an organisation.

The larger well prepared organisations will have predicted possible negative scenarios and will have a ‘crisis drill‘ in place to deal with these should they occur. Often you just cannot predict every possible scenario and when the wheels do fall off unexpectedly we will get the call to help when it is really needed.

What’s your story?

Every individual, business and organisation has a story to tell and this ‘story’ process works best when it is carefully executed as part of an integrated plan.

Marketing?…nah, just like the guys around the camp fire we are just storytellers!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Power of Compliments

December 16, 2014

Compliments

I was checking my emails just now and I came across a fantastic message from a contact I have on LinkedIn, which cheered me up no end.

The very lovely and very generous Valerie (Ryder) O’Hanlon had picked up on the changes I had made to my LinkedIn profile and left me a message that put a huge skip in my step.

Thank You

Not only did she pay me a compliment, which is always great to receive but she also grabbed my attention by being nice, generous and friendly – in a sweep Valerie has moved to the top of my ‘nice people to deal with online‘ league table!

If we ever have a requirement in the HR Consultancy sector we know who to go to.

Paying a compliment is a really easy thing to do but it can also be  incredible powerful.

If you see something you like, think someone has done something worthwhile, noticed they have just got a promotion then take those 30 seconds to say well done!

Try it ..if you have a compliment to give, don’t hold back

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

The Dig Deepers

November 6, 2014

Digging Deep

Everyday when you rock up for work you make a choice about who you are – could you be a dig deeper?

To not treat work as just a job
To go above and beyond what is expected by your clients
To look out for the other guys in the team and help them out when they need it
To not worry about the clock when there is more to do
To think and watch out for your clients 24/7
To bring your clients something unexpected because you were watching out for them 24/7
To take responsibility for your clients as if it were your own business
To learn as much about your clients industries, issues and challenges as possible
To be a true partner with each of your clients
To be the one that is called by your clients when they need support at any time
To be an invaluable part of your clients team

When you dig deep career success follows..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork


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