Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

The Business of Blogging

August 7, 2018

Blogging Tips

Blogging has seen a huge rise in recent years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

The way people blog is evolving and adapting constantly. For many businesses, engagement with bloggers and influencers now plays a major role in their marketing strategy and is producing fantastic results.

I recently attended a really interesting event hosted by Network Cork called “The Business of Blogging”.

The lineup of speakers included international blogger Erika Fox of Retro Flame, Cliona O’Connor of Lean Mean Momma and Stephanie Lynch of OnTheQT.

Erica, Cliona and Stephanie all shared some fantastic tips that apply to both businesses and individual bloggers in order to grow their social media presence and get results. Below are some top tips from the event:

  • Consistency – It’s all about consistency and quality, if you’re not posting regularly on your online platforms people will forget about you.
  • Be authentic – Don’t copy what other people are doing, be true to your brand whether it’s a personal or business brand. We love to see the people behind a brand and social media is a great way to do this.
  • Branding – If possible, have the same username across all social media channels with a similar style on all channels as well.
  • Value your followers – Don’t be afraid to ask your followers for feedback on what they want to see.

For more tips about blogging check out a blog post that our Greg Canty wrote over six years ago!!

13 Tips about Blogging and Making some Noise

There was also some discussion at the event about working with bloggers and influencers and some criteria you might take into account when deciding to engage with them:

  • Understand the influencers’ followers, check out what their followers are asking them.
  • Look at the influencers/bloggers engagement, this is much more important than huge follower numbers.
  • When you have identified an influencer that fits with your brand, try and meet with them to iron out what you are looking for from the collaboration.
  • Don’t be afraid to work with smaller bloggers as they often have high engagement.
  • After a collaboration, ask for analytics to understand what worked best and what didn’t work so well.

A big thanks to Karen Fleming and Network Cork for organising another interesting and insightful event.

Saidhbh Sweeney - Fuzion CommunicationsSaidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is part of the PR team at Fuzion Communications, who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

Cracking the “Social Media” Training Code

April 2, 2018

Social Media e-learning

Incredibly we have been running social media courses since May 2010!

This was the new thing, the new way to reach your customers and promote you and your business and it was free to use!!

I do think a big part of the reason it exploded at the time was because we were immersed in an awful recession and most people had virtually no funds to do anything, let alone promote their business.

So the simple advice was, grab the relevant platforms (at the time it was Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and use them to tell your story and engage with your target audience.

In the earliest training that we delivered, it was all about the functionality – step by step we would show all the participants how to do everything on each of the platforms.

As time went on we changed the emphasis on “why” first and then “how“.

This approach was designed to get people engaged with the simple idea that, if you knew what you could achieve with social media and you understood the special role it could play in your communications mix, then you were more likely to dive in and apply the learnings.

I think this approach worked much better but there was still a problem, and I put this down to what I call the “teeth brushing” aspect of social media.

When you leave the half day or full day social media course (or any training for that matter) it is up to you and you alone to implement the learnings and make room in your life for a new habit, a social media habit.

To be effective for you, it should be just like teeth brushing, you just do it automatically as part of your routine.

To this day, I still believe that using social media effectively can be one of the most powerful ways of promoting you and your business as well as a brilliant way to make valuable connections.

So why are people not grabbing the opportunity?

The big challenge for me is getting those who take my courses to squeeze all of the potential from the social media platforms, and for the training to go beyond the initial sessions and integrate into their daily routines.

To crack the “training code” we have invested in an e-learning platform, which has enabled us to create unique follow-on programmes that consist of a series of short, practical exercises on each of the social media platforms.

These exercises are delivered to the trainees over a period of time to ensure that they can really learn, through daily implementation away from the classroom and in their own work environment.

If you want to make sure that you and your team, really, really learn let us know!

Check out our Social Media Training services by clicking here.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, who offer Social Media Consultancy and Training  from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Some Twitter changes to curtail spam tweets and “Tweetdecking”

March 7, 2018

TweetdeckingIn a move to prevent the growth of spam and fake news, Twitter are making changes to their Tweetdeck platform.

To be clear: Twitter prohibits any attempt to use automation for the purposes of posting or disseminating spam, and such behaviour may result in enforcement actionYoel Roth, manager of trust and safety at Twitter, wrote in a blog post.

Note – this is ironic as Tweetdeck is their own application that facilitates this behaviour!!

For those of you who are scratching your heads now asking what is Tweetdeck and how it helps spread fake news/spam let me break it down for you:

Tweetdeck is a platform mainly used by digital professionals to monitor and post from Twitter accounts. For those of us who work in social media management, it’s a very useful tool where we can monitor what’s going on with all of our clients and post from their accounts, including the ability to schedule posts into the future.

However, in the last couple of years a new practice has emerged known as “tweetdecking” whereby users are tweeting content across many accounts added to their Tweetdeck in exchange for payment.

Have you ever noticed several famous accounts tweet the exact same thing at the same time? That’s tweetdecking!

Basically, what these accounts are doing is using multiple accounts to cause their tweets to go viral.

It can be something simple like a company trying to spread their offers, a celebrity trying to go viral or something more sinister when it’s someone creating fake news and spreading it.

If you see a tweet that has a huge number of likes and retweets and it’s appeared in your feed more than a couple of times, are you more likely to believe it?

With these new changes Tweetdeck users will no longer be able to bulk tweet, retweet, like or follow using several accounts at the same time.

These changes will also affect third party applications such as Hootsuite where you can do similar actions.

So, in a way it’s good news as it prevents users being able to spam others with fake news and nonsense tweets….

However, for those of us that use Tweetdeck and have those times where it’s relevant to post or retweet from two accounts, we’ll just have to do it separately and take an extra five minutes (we don’t have!!) switching between accounts.

Check out our latest Fuzion Win Happy Podcast where Greg Canty and Alma Brosnan discuss these changes and also the features of Tweetdeck and Hootsuite that may be useful to heavy social media users:

“Tweetdecking and other social media developments”

Fuzion Win Happy Podcast - Social Media Series

Alma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Social Media Consultancy team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

Capturing your Story

February 23, 2018

In a previous post we outlined our Fuzion Process, which is a framework that we use with clients for their planning.

We use this “Story” framework and we find that it brings a very sharp focus to all marketing activity, to ensure the very best outcomes.

Our process follows some simple steps:
1. Understand your story
2. Capture your story
3. Make sure your story is found
4. Tell your story
5. Engage with your story online
6. Protect your story

In the last post we spoke about ‘Understanding your story‘ and the possible role of a brand workshop to help bring some clarity to exactly what you are trying to communicate to your target audience.

The next step is all about capturing this story.

Capture your Story

Once you understand the story that you want to tell, it’s important that this is captured visually in a way that connects with your target audience.

We judge things quickly by how they appear to us, so whenever and wherever anyone comes across your products or services in your website, promotional material, vehicles, premises and even the individuals in your team, that these tell the right, professional story.

Does it convey professionalism, is it modern, is it unique or is it very generic, does it convey your story simply and clearly, does it appeal to your target audience? Has the organisation moved on and is it time for a refresh?

Someone is always making up their mind about you by how you appear to them.

It is vital that the graphic design work and the execution of this needs to be sharp and consistent on all platforms when your brand is being presented so that your story is properly captured and told.

Click here to see some of the work that our Creative Team have been doing for clients

If we can be of help in any way you know where we are!

Greg Canty 

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

Understanding your ‘Story’

February 12, 2018

Fuzion - Brand Workshops, Dublin, Cork, Ireland

In a previous post we outlined our Fuzion Process, which is a framework that we use with clients for their planning.

We use this “Story” framework for all of our clients and we find that it brings a very sharp focus to all marketing activity, to ensure the very best outcomes.

Our process follows some simple steps:
1. Understand your story
2. Capture your story
3. Make sure your story is found
4. Tell your story
5. Engage with your story online
6. Protect your story

 

Understanding Your Story

In this blog post we will deal with the very first step, which is ‘Understanding Your Story‘.

It is our job as marketers to 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.

Before we create any plans, it is a crucial first step to understand exactly what the business is all about, what makes it special, where it is going and what it needs to do to get there.

To assist this step, we often conduct a Brand Workshop with clients, which is a very simple way of capturing all of this and defining their “story” or brand.

We also find that this powerful process helps to motivate the team, reminding them about what makes them special, providing them with clarity and defining exactly what needs to be communicated as part of the marketing process.

During this process we work together with the team to probe what it is that they do, how they go about this work and what the driving force or essence of the organisation is.

We look at the values, the core characteristics, the vision for the business and the mission that the team is on together to achieve this vision.

We even do some visualisation work to help the team crystallise what it is about them, that makes them special and different from competitors.

This work paints a clear picture of the brand or “the story” of the business, which must then be captured and told.

One of the outputs of this process is a Brand Brief, which we would give to our graphic/creative team to help them deliver this story visually for the client.

To find out more about our Brand ‘Promise’ Workshop click here

If we can be of help in any way you know where we are!

Greg Canty 

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

A New Way To Call To Action

November 20, 2017

A call to action is an instruction to your audience that is designed to provoke a response – ‘visit our website’, ‘follow us on Facebook’ etc.

But do you need to call your audience into action?

I came across this advert from Flavahans as I waited at the bus stop recently.

It is simple with a small bit of humour, but have you noticed anything missing? There is no website, no social media reference and no ‘buy now’, not even a hashtag!

There is a product, a tagline and minimal information.

I can imagine the meeting that occurred when the designer or marketer presented this to their managers.

Where’s the website?

You have to tell them to follow something, how will they know what to do?

We need to tell them everything about the product” – but do you?

I think it is brilliant!!

We already know every company has a digital presence and if we want to find them we will type their name in the search bar.

So why take up space?

Why tell people what to do?

People hate being told what to do – so let them make up their own minds.

This is a brave move, and one that goes against the grain – but it makes so much sense.

We live in a digital world, we know how to find information but I do not know about your product.

Tell me what I need to know, not what I already know.

Well played, Flavahans

Paul Wade - Fuzion Graphic DesignPaul Wade

Paul Wade is part of the Graphic Design team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Future!

November 6, 2017

The Future Conference

I spent this weekend at The Future Conference in Dublin, with about 2000 of my peers, and a few of my heroes.

Like most design conferences, it was set on a range of stages, each with a difference agenda and mechanic, ranging from Q&A style platforms, individual presentations, staged interviews and a pop-up artist’s studio.

And like many design and creative conferences, there was a stellar line up (more about this in a bit) crammed into a packed schedule. Unlike any conference that I’ve been to, this one had an agenda, where the speakers were to talk about “The Future”, and what it meant to them, to our industry and our work, which largely meant that rather than the standard portfolio review, we got to have deeper insights into where things are going in the design world. 

Usually I come away from these events with a sense of both love and hate – a love for the work I’ve seen and a hate for my own work, but with a resolve to do more, work harder and be a better designer, and The Future was no different – but this time, as I watched the speakers talk about our collective futures, I found myself looking back and examining why I had chosen design as a career in the first place. 

Future Conference 2017

The Why?

There are various routes into design – many of us start out with either a flair for art, or an unhealthy obsession with pens, pencils and paper.

Mine was no different, I remember one particular art set I got in 1978 and the hours obsessing over colouring in, and I remember spending hours drawing band logos on my school bags. And looking back on it, it was really quite clear that there was only one industry that I was going to end up in!

And (long story short!) this has brought me full circle to thinking that I am so unbelievably fortunate to be part of this creative industry, one that keeps me awake at night trying to figure out solutions to projects, one that gets me talking about crazy sounding intangibles about why we chose fonts and colours, one that makes me passionate about other people’s businesses, sometimes in an almost obsessive manner, but one that rewards me, because as one speaker said “When I do my job well, my clients can do theirs better”.  

The Future was brilliantly illuminated with speakers such as international superstars Sagmeister (of Sagmeister & Walsh), Paula Scher (as seen on Netflix’s Abstract series, a must see!) and Steve Espo, and the incredible homegrown talent such as Brian and Paul from Detail, designers and educators Lara Hanlon, Bob Grey and David Smith who collectively showed us that design is a huge range of things: it is a partnership, solution building, a shared collective experience. It is informative, it can be beautiful, and it is a vehicle for ideas, profit, emotions and humanity.  

If you want me to tell more about some of the things I saw, or if you want to know how I can apply my learnings to your project, just get in touch.

The future is very, very bright!

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj - FuzionJonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads the Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

Ophelia, Don’t go breaking my heart!

October 17, 2017

Alison Nulty Ophelia preparation

If Ophelia hit this time last year, I would have been one of those storm chasing journalists, imploring viewers not to make any unnecessary journeys…….while I made the same unnecessary journeys I was warning them not to!

What a difference a year makes…

Fortunately, I now have a job where I can work from home, and a boss that recognises and champions flexible working styles (thanks Dee!).

Now I was fairly prepared for ex-Hurricane Ophelia, I even made a to-do list on Sunday afternoon.

But as I sat at home this morning, listening to Ophelia bellow and roar, it got me thinking. How prepared are any of us for when a disaster strikes?

And if you’re a business owner, how crisis-ready is your company?

Preparing for a Crisis

While the nature of the crisis remains unknown, there are plenty of steps that can be taken ahead of that crisis. Preparation is key, and being prepared can save you valuable time, when you feel like you don’t have any to spare.

We know only too well from our work with clients that a crisis isn’t always caused by a major incident either. An ill-conceived tweet, or a failure to respond to customer feedback can quickly snowball out of control. Again, having a plan in place to monitor and manage your social media, and customer feedback channels is vital to helping you protect your reputation.

At Fuzion we have a very specific and robust process that helps our clients to prepare in the event of a crisis situation, big or small occurring.

Ophelia’s flexing her muscles today, as she rages her destructive path through our little island. So, until she leaves us in her devastating wake, batten down the hatches, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Are you prepared for when the storm clouds gather above your business?

How prepared are you for when a crisis strikes?

You know here we are…

Alison Nulty, Fuzion CommunicationsAlison Nulty is a Senior PR Manger, Media Trainer, and Crisis Communications Specialist with Fuzion Communications, a full service agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

New Business or Brand Name – Check first before you launch!

October 8, 2017

 

Coca Cola

I am perhaps betraying my age here, but when I was a young boy, I sang along enthusiastically to the ‘Safe, Cross, Code’ song, which was part of a road safety campaign on Irish TV fronted by ‘Judge’, a puppet dog with a patched eye.

The mantra of the road safety campaign was always to look left and right before you cross the road. The same rule applies when choosing a new name for your new business or launching a new branded product to the market. Always check first to ensure that your new business name or brand is not being used by somebody else.

Very often, many start-ups make the mistake in believing that a positive search result of the Companies and/or Business Name registers means they are free to trade under their desired name. This can be a fatal and very expensive mistake to make.

Only a comprehensive ‘Freedom to Operate’ search of the Trade Marks Registers in the territory where you propose to trade can provide you with a comprehensive risk assessment of whether you are free to operate under your desired business name.

The very same applies when you want to launch a new branded product to the market. You need to ensure that your proposed brand, in whatever forms it takes, be it a word or logo, does not clash with identical or similar existing brands already in the marketplace in your industry sector.

Wanderly Wagon - Judge

Why, you may ask, is it actually necessary to do a Trade Mark search?

The reason lies in the fact that a trade mark is a sign which distinguishes the goods and/or services of one trader from those of its competitors.

When a trade mark is registered in the territory where a trader operates or proposes to operate, it gives the trader a legally enforceable right to stop others from using, without consent, identical and similar signs in relation to goods and services which are identical or similar to those of the trader’s trade mark registration. You therefore need to be aware of these legally enforceable rights.

Undertaking and analysing trade mark and design searches is a highly specialised skill which only a Trade Mark and Design attorney with years of experience and knowledge of ‘risk of confusion’ law can provide.

Doing ‘DIY’ online searches runs the serious risk that the owner of an identical or confusingly similar trademark that you have not discovered will come out of the woodwork and sue you. You may either have to abandon your plans or incur significant expenditure in contesting a legal challenge from the owner of that earlier trademark.

In some cases, a legal challenge may result in the holder of an earlier trade mark obtaining a temporary injunction from the courts prohibiting you from trading under your chosen name or brand. This could be disastrous, particularly if you have already spent time and money in developing your brand. You may also be faced with the prospect of having to pay the earlier trade mark owner’s legal costs should they win in court against you.

In Ireland, a further complicating factor is that not all earlier rights may actually be on the Trade Marks register.

Ireland is a ‘First to Use’ country which means that the owner of an earlier brand may have sufficiently strong unregistered rights to sue you for ‘Passing Off‘. Passing Off is an action which protects the goodwill and reputation built up under a brand name. Additional non-trade mark register searches will therefore need to be carried out and analysed to provide you with a robust and comprehensive risk assessment.

I have many years of experience in undertaking ‘Freedom-to-Operate’ and Trade Mark clearance searches, having assisted some of the world’s largest companies in clearing their most important brands.

In a recent instruction, l assisted and advised an Irish based software company to clear its trading name in Ireland, the European Union and the United States. Also, in a complex instruction a number of years ago, I advised a large multi-national FMCG corporation to clear a brand for use throughout the European Union.

The brand I cleared is now highly successful and one of the leading pet snack food brands on the market. In both cases, it would have been highly risky for my clients to operate and launch their new brands without first undertaking a comprehensive trade mark search program.

The process is quite straight forward and relatively inexpensive, so its always much better to be sure before committing big budgets.

So…can you remember that song?

Niall Tierney - IP LawyerNiall Tierney

Niall Tierney is a Legal Brand Consultant to Fuzion Communications and an IP Lawyer located in Dublin, Ireland,  Managing Director of TIERNEY IP, a specialist law firm which assists and advises businesses in clearing, protecting, enforcing and monetising trade marks, designs and other Intellectual Property rights.

 

Ryanair – Is the biggest crisis the attitude?

October 1, 2017

Ryanair - Always Getting Better

Early last week we were asked to comment by the publication Fora.ie about the whole Ryanair fiasco and what we thought of how they handled their crisis.

In a crisis situation we always advise –

  • Don’t hide
  • Quickly establish the facts
  • Be 100% truthful
  • Always provide a solution (or a least be honest about working hard to find one)
  • Don’t be afraid to say sorry (as long as you mean it)
  • Don’t be shy about telling people the good things you are doing

This can be achieved with a combination of holding statements, follow up statements, interviews and implementing any necessary changes.

In the case of Ryanair there wasn’t really a formal apology but Michael O’Leary was door stopped by reporters and did say it was “clearly a mess” but he went on to point out that it was just 2% of their passengers that had been affected. I think Michael is missing the point here about focussing on the good things!

On their website where they have a page dedicated to the cancelled flights they also remind people of this “2%” as well as listing the flights that have been cancelled. They also provide a ‘link’ to a page that directs people to an EU legislation document about entitlements to refunds and compensation.

The words “sorry” or “apologise” don’t appear anywhere!

Ryanair - Cancelled Flights

Understandably customers are irate – Ryanair are not helping the situation by drip feeding news about cancelled flights, their customer contact lines not being managed efficiently and are still overheating their situation by promoting flights at “€19.99”.

Furthermore, they have been denying that part of the problem is pilots leaving to take jobs in other airlines.

This scenario has got even worse with pilots going public with their gripes and painting a pretty awful picture about what life is like working for the ‘low care’ airline.

All of this comes at a time when the airline has been trying to refocus it’s brand with their “Always Getting Better” campaign.

A different scenario? 

So – would it have made a difference if Ryanair were upfront, issued a formal apology and showed genuine empathy with inconvenienced customers and were honest about solutions and assurances going forward?

The answer would be a big “Yes” but there is also a big “But” to contend with.

The effectiveness of this approach will depend on what people feel about the company when embarks on such a course –

  • Do people feel warmly towards the airline?
  • Do they believe that there is a genuine concern for customers?
  • Do they believe that staff at the airline are treated well?
  • Do they believe that this company does charitable work?
  • Do they believe there is a strong moral compass at the airline?
  • Have they communicated the great things (if such things exist) they have been doing to the general public and stakeholders?

Maybe realising this Michael felt there was no point pretending to care?

In a crisis a robust process will definitely help but the best preparation for a crisis is to be good and do good things and communicate this effectively – it is only then that people will be willing to listen to your apology and accept it.

Leopards don’t change their spots and not caring will bite you in the butt eventually.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Crisis Consultancy Services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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