Posts Tagged ‘PR’

The Importance of Visual Assets in Effective Public Relations

May 11, 2022

A recent photocall by our wonderful Account Executive, Heather Lordan for Southern Comfort

As one of my favourite saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to conveying an impactful PR campaign

Photocalls and visual assets are essential in PR to accompany a pitch for an article, case study, or press release. Strong imagery immediately amplifies the content, catching the reader’s eye straight away, and prompting their curiosity. 

Strong visual content can propel both the story and brand in a fun and effective way. My favourite part of building any campaign is brainstorming photocall ideas with the team and watching the story come to life from there.

Here are my top three reasons why I believe a striking photocall image is a worthwhile addition to any PR campaign:

Visual Storytelling 

A strong image will strengthen your campaign and engage the consumer in your brand story.

A flat image with a person holding up a branded sign offers nothing to the journalist or the reader. I always like to think outside the box here, exploring the use of dramatic colours, unusual props, and picturesque locations.

A photograph sets expectations about the tone and subject but It shouldn’t give away the whole story. The image should engage the curiosity, prompt the question and the caption and press release should offer the answer.  

Shareability

Social media is a great way to increase the reach of PR campaigns and create a conversation with your target audience.

Images are processed in the brain’s long-term memory, while words are processed in the short-term memory. If the image is captivating, people will be more likely to share which encourages their followers to find out more about the story.

I always encourage brands to share assets internally as it brings the team on the journey too.

A recent photocall by our creative Account Manager, Michelle Harrison for IACP

Increased Brand Awareness

Images make an immediate connection with your audience because they are less taxing on your attention.

If you have a great image to go with your story you will recieve more media coverage and as media coverage grows your brand will garner much more attention.

Quality media coverage not only secures share of voice for your brand but also establishes expertise and credibility – a priority in the world of Public Relations.

So, next time you have a great story that is worthy of media attention spend time and attention with your team and your press photographer to capture those special images, because they are probably worth more than 1,000 words!

Stephanie Stafford 

Stephanie is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland. Stephanie is known for her innovative approach to PR as well as her diverse range of agency and in-house communications experience. 

Our learning: Teamwork – So far and yet so close!

February 7, 2022

A lot has changed over the past number of weeks as we somewhat return to ‘normal’ life and are hopefully waving goodbye to all of the constraints and negatives associated with the pandemic for good.

And while there were so many negatives that consumed our lives over the past nearly two years, we can’t ignore the positives that have changed our lives. We were forced to adapt and change, review our processes and get on with life in a whole different way.

We had to be resilient and innovative, flexible and caring and so much more to navigate our way through this unprecedented journey.

Professionally and personally, teamwork and how we strengthened this has played a huge role in our journey. Working from home has been a game-changer for many reasons (I especially do not miss the endless hours sitting in traffic) and it would not have been so effective without some great teamwork along the way. As a team in Fuzion, I can honestly say that we have never felt so close across all departments and locations, despite not seeing each other in person for months!

Key to this and something I definitely recommend to businesses if feasible, is the introduction of a regular team catch up. For us that happens as a 30-minute, 9am social catch-up every Monday morning with the whole team on Zoom, chatting about weekend events and hearing about what everyone got up to.

Its impact has been extremely beneficial, really bringing the team together as one rather than the separate locations and functions. Our team is spread out across all four corners of the country and there are always plenty of stories to be told and ironically we’ve really gotten to know each other far more than before the pandemic and without even realising it!

For me, it wouldn’t feel right without our team call as it is something that we all really enjoy now as it gets us in the right mood for the week as well as helping to shake off those Monday morning blues. It has allowed us to strengthen our relationships with each other, improving how we communicate and work together and ensures a positive team environment, even during the height of a global pandemic!

With so many benefits, we certainly won’t be waving goodbye to this pandemic learning for a very long time.

Saidhbh

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

The diary of a newbie!

November 2, 2021

I am delighted to have joined the Fuzion Communications team three weeks ago.

I have been working as a freelancer for the last two years, and there are many benefits to that… but also a lot of negatives (if you know, you know!).

Last winter, I realised that I missed working as part of a larger team and the bigger projects that tend to come with that.

I wanted to join the right agency for me, a place that truly cares about delivering the best results possible for their clients, and has a fantastic team at the heart of the organisation. Thankfully that is absolutely the case.

In my first week I was keen to be in the office as much as possible while the team was adapting to work towards the hybrid style, everyone was so warm, friendly and straightforward about everything, which is something that I really appreciated. In addition to this they were fantastic in dishing out tips for the best local coffee and where the best lunch spots are…Tir on Baggot Street is my new firm favourite for sandwiches just in case you were wondering. You weren’t? well, sure now you know!

Some of my observations and learnings from the first week are that a good office manager is everything and already I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “Thank God for Olivia!

Everyone joining a new organisation needs to have that person that knows everything and like Olivia is so helpful in sharing her pearls of knowledge with new joiners.

One of my first tasks was to prepare a presentation for a potential new client.

What was amazing about this process was talking through everything with Dee the founder of Fuzion, where she explained with heart the ‘why’ behind each action as opposed to saying “this is just what you do.”

Last Friday was a team day in the gorgeous Montenotte Hotel in Cork, which was a lovely opportunity to meet everyone off-screen, in person over a cup of coffee… who would have thought something so simple is in fact so important to our working lives?

One of the main items on the agenda in Cork was reflecting on the year just passed and future planning for 2022.

One of my key observations was just how engaged everyone on the team was while their colleagues spoke, every idea and wish was noted to see how it could be brought to life down the line. I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed that in action before, it was lovely.

There was a shared sense of respect, and yes, of course, we all have to and want to work hard but there is an onus on everyone to make the best of it, by speaking up and being a part of the brilliant ideas that are at the heart of what makes this organisation tick. I am so excited about what is to come, it’s been a long time since I had that feeling that I was truly in exactly the place I am meant to be.

Sarah

Sarah Murphy is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications a Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

E-Newsletter : Don’t leave your brand behind

June 17, 2021

I received an email newsletter from a really fantastic brand this week that featured special offers, new products, deal bundles and suggestions for Father’s Day gifts.

Visually it was executed well as I have come to expect from the brand, with superb photography that showcased the quality product range perfectly, clearly placing it the very “premium” category, which it most certainly is in.

However, there was one huge, but very simple thing missing from the e-newsletter.

They left a big part of their brand behind, and in the “click of an email campaign” they managed to relegate who they were to a lower league and they became another commodity retailer.

Even though they have my name there was no personalised “Hi Greg” and there was no attempt anywhere to start the communication with a friendly on brand message, nor any attempt to briefly update me on the recent exciting developments (things relevant to the reader) in their business.

The view might be that people have no time for any of that when they are online and it should be “BOOM” lets get straight down to business, but the crazy thing is that this company is the total opposite of this – they pride themselves on customer service and the relationship with their customers, and in person there is no one better but for some reason on this occasion they left so much of what makes them special outside the door!

The big lesson in this ….don’t leave who you are outside the door just because it is an online e-commerce transaction.

Greg

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service PR and Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork

Crisis Communications & Lessons to be learned, The Ill Fated Announcement of a European Soccer Super League

April 23, 2021
European Super League

The announcement of a new Super League for the top European soccer clubs, was one of the key news stories breaking this week across Europe and here in Ireland, even overtaking pandemic media coverage – a very welcome distraction for most!

It was an emotional issue for soccer fans and pundits across Europe – and a textbook communications disaster unfolding on a global stage.

Here in Ireland, even though the issue didn’t relate directly to Irish soccer clubs, most UK clubs would have Irish supporters clubs and reactions from spokespeople from these organisations was in line with fans across Europe – and all Irish soccer pundits and journalists were also uniform in their condemnation of the concept.  

It was very difficult for Irish media to find anyone that was in support of the initiative.  Even our Taoiseach Michael Martin expressed solidarity. 

In a Tweet he posted “I will engage with other EU governments about possible common action against this Super League Proposal. “

The reaction came as no surprise as so many people in Ireland have a strong affiliation for soccer – Irish soccer fans may have their own home team they support, but most would also have a close affiliation to an English or Scottish team as well. 

The announcement of the Super League was doomed as there was no consideration for their internal audience and when managers and players were not in the loop, the concept came across as flimsy, arrogant and ill-considered.  

In Ireland we love to forgive the repentant sinner – which is why Liverpool FC’s owner, John Henry’s apology directly to the fans “I let you down”, has dampened some of the flames at Anfield – if not elsewhere.  

“I’m sorry” – are such powerful words in a crisis.

This episode has shown once again how effective people power can be and the power of communications. 

From now on every step the football club owners, directors and football authorities take and any communication they make, must be seen to be with the fans in mind. They must be seen to be listening to fans and acting on fans wishes.  Grass roots communications and activity will be so important going forward and will help heal the wounds.

What lessons can other people in power take from all of this? 

Bring your internal audience on the journey with you. Test sentiment towards the change and adapt your messaging taking in these learnings. If making changes that will have a great impact, start with a grassroots approach and a very soft launch. Have relatable spokespeople using relatable language.

And, very importantly if you get something wrong, admit to it, communicate how lessons will be taken from the mistakes and move on.

Deirdre Waldron

Deirdre Waldron is the founder of Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Why is having a sense of purpose so important?

March 15, 2021
Joe Caslin - IACP Mural

Why is having a sense of purpose so important?

What is ‘purpose’ and why is having one so important? Purpose can be described as the reason for which something exists or is done, made, or used.

To me, I don’t think anyone has a set purpose for their whole life, I think it changes throughout our lifetime, naturally changing as our life ebbs and flows. I see purpose as both striving to achieve a goal and a specific outcome but also enjoying the journey while you’re on it, working towards something but enjoying what you hope you will someday achieve.

Working on your ambitions and personal goals while also potentially changing the lives of other people, is one of the reasons I enjoy what I do. Feeling like the work you do has a purpose and a meaning is one of life’s greatest joys.

I’m a strong believer in manifesting what you want in life, and last year, when I began my journey with Fuzion I wrote down a goal of mine; to work with a mental health organisation. Being a big advocate for mental health myself, I wanted to feel as though I was doing some good and helping others as much as I could in my day-to-day life; any little part I could play.

Joe Caslin - IACP Mural

When we got to pitch to work with the IACP I knew it was an account I had to work on.

Working alongside them last year and launching their national ‘Look After Yourself‘ campaign was one of the highlights of my year. From team brainstorms to reaching out to strangers, with notes in their door to see if we could put a mural on the side of their house (we’ll do anything to get the job done, us PR folk!) to reaching out to Joe Caslin and seeing his vision of the campaign come to life in a mural on Montague Lane in Dublin was an exceptional moment for me and no doubt my Fuzion colleagues too.

This campaign sought to shine a light on men’s mental health, to break the stigma surrounding toxic masculinity and to encourage young men to see therapy as something they shouldn’t be ashamed of doing, and instead encourage each other to seek help if they need it.

There is no shame in asking for help, and although there is still a lot of work left to be done to break the stigma of therapy, we do hope this campaign started a conversation and even encouraged one person to seek help.

Not only did this campaign, I hope, help others but it also helped me achieve my sense of purpose. I would consider working on this campaign not only a highlight for me but the most noteworthy moment in my career thus far and I plan to be talking about it for years to come!

Michelle Harrison , Fuzion Communications

Michelle

Michelle Harrison is part of PR team at Fuzion Communications, working from our Dublin office

The Importance of Staying Visible..

February 8, 2021

No matter what way you look at it, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a trying time for everyone. But as the saying goes, ‘with every cloud there is a silver lining’ – which in my view has been the drastic business transformation and surge of digitisation that we have experienced over the past year.

There has never been a time when staying visible online has been more important for business survival.

With doors closing around the country due to the on-going Covid-19 level 5 restrictions, many businesses have had no choice but to adapt ‘from bricks to clicks’ in order to remain viable.

At Fuzion, we work closely with the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), to help share the stories of the hundreds of micro-enterprises and SMEs around the country with media – in the hope that it will encourage and inspire others who may be looking to start or grow their business – or for those struggling, to contact their Local Enterprise Office for support.

Through this work, I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing LEO client businesses from all over Ireland – helping to share their stories of how they have adapted / pivoted (…..even battled) through the pandemic and how they have come out the other side with the help and guidance of the LEOs.

The LEO Trading Online Voucher has had particular impact across the country – with over 13,000 TOV’s approved in 2020…… That’s a whopping 13,000 businesses supported with developing or enhancing their online presence!

From this work, my little nuggets of advice to any small business would be:

  • If you haven’t already, contact your nearest LEO – they provide so much support in terms of business advice, mentoring and grants such as the TOV mentioned above, Business Continuity Vouchers, Feasibility Grants and so much more
  • Again, if you haven’t already – get online! A website ideally or a social media channel where you can keep your customers updated, share new products, blogs etc.
  • Try to think outside the box – now is the time to create a new branch for your business or solution for your customers – take the chance it could pay off!
  • Work on your ‘story’ in three short paragraphs & engage with local media to share your story or share via short blogs / social posts
    • How/Why you started the business
    • How your business adapted / transformed – (including any relevant figures such as online sale growth Vs 2019)
    • Any future plans that you have for your business – ie. new employees, overseas expansion, new stockists etc.
  • Good quality, high resolution photography is a must if engaging in any PR / online activity
    • Know your angles
    • Use colourful props or something that explains your business in the shots
    • Images can be taken by a PR photographer or on your smartphone with a family member or friend if taken landscape
  • Create video content – whether it’s short 30’ second “Meet the Team” videos or a “Hero Video” explaining your business proposition – it is an engaging way to reach your audience
  • If you are a sole trader or very small business – it can be an isolating place – join a network or reach out to professionals (such as ourselves 😉) if you need a sounding board or business support
  • Be consistent and persistent
    • Stay visible & keep plugging and reminding people of why you are so great and why they need your products / services!
    • Use social media advertising and Google Ads to your advantage – with so much competition online – it pays off to pay a little!
    • Connect and talk to your audience online – ask them questions and engage – you might learn something new!

Much of this you may already know – but I hope it has helped just to be reminded or re-energised your motivation!

Most of all it is important to know that the opportunity is there for those who wish to dive head first into the challenges – the decision is ultimately yours whether to stay the way you are or take the plunge!

Suzanne Meade, Fuzion CommunicationsSuzanne

Suzanne Meade is an Account Manager with  Fuzion Communications, who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Buy a Newspaper..

September 21, 2020

Buy a newspaper

I was delighted to get a call from my local newspaper recently to let me know they had returned from their Covid 19 closure, and asking me if I had any stories for their next issue.

The local paper has always been the ultimate in county pride – getting the graduation picture in the local rag was bragging gold dust for many’s a mammy and daddy!

Regional media is the community cornerstone, the pulse of the town but Covid 19 has changed the media landscape forever.

It was the final nail in the coffin for many local and regional newspapers that were already just barely surviving. Many were forced to close, simply because there was no advertising and zero revenue. It left many journalists unemployed.

It is fantastic to see some return, but devastating to know that several never will. What a gaping hole those well-loved local newspapers leave.

The local newspaper is one of the most valuable media outlets, as well as one of the most credible. It tells the story of a local audience from an insiders perspective.

No Facebook, Instagram or Twitter will ever be able to do this.

The role it plays is essential to our society, our culture, and our democratic reporting. The free press are the gatekeepers for our democracy. With the rise in fake news, the press has never been more important.

But, we must also remember the reality that local newspapers are also businesses.

They must make a profit to stay alive. And they won’t make a profit if their value is not seen, including their advertising value. Advertisers won’t see their value if the public and the local audience don’t read the paper.

Buy a newspaper. Our democracy depends on it.

Ciara Jordan, Fuzion CommunicationsCiara

Ciara Jordan is an Account Director with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing Agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland.

Internships during Covid19

August 31, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zoom has become my best friend!

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

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

Heather JordanHeather

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

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.

 


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