The Dig Deepers

October 31, 2014

Digging Deep

We need every member of our team to be a dig deeper ..

To not treat Fuzion as just a job
To go above and beyond what is expected by our 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 our clients 24/7
To bring our clients something unexpected because we were watching out for them 24/7
To take responsibility for our clients as if it were our own business
To learn as much about our clients industries, issues and challenges as possible
To be a true partner with each of our clients
To be the one that is called by our clients when they need support anytime
To be an invaluable part of our clients team

When you dig deep 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

Are you ready for the Upswing?

October 29, 2014

Bursting through the clouds

Our landlord is selling our building on Fitzwilliam Street and all tenants are required to vacate the building before the end of November. I can’t believe this is happening and that we are back in the horrible loop of looking for another office, just months after moving in.

As soon as this news was delivered I immediately took off on foot around the D2 area to take down the phone numbers of the many offices that had ‘To Let’ signs outside them.

My first surprise was that many of these signs now had “Let by” on them and not ‘To Let’. I quickly got on the phone and started chasing the estate agents for the details of the remaining ones that I thought might be suitable.

I’m sorry, that is actually let now” …”Apologies, that premises is no longer available” … “The premises you are enquiring about is only available for six months as the building is being sold

There was a trend to my many phone calls and I was starting to panic a little about the future home of Greg and his band of merry men and women!

I pressed one of the friendlier estate agents as to what was going on. “The whole thing is after taking off” he explained. “If you find anything that is half way right in this area just grab it, no messing” he advised.

Thankfully after too many phone calls we have found a gorgeous office space overlooking the canal at 13 Warrington Place but even with this we had to make up our minds immediately as we were competing with someone else who wanted the space.

Judging from this experience, the talk by Aidan Gavin of Sherry Fitzgerald at Dublin Chamber recently, the Cork Chamber event with the Business Post and the recent positive economic indicators it looks like the lights are well and truly back on and we are in a definite ‘upswing’.

The big question is are you ready?

More business will be done, people will want to move quicker than before, decisions will be made faster and you must make sure you are in the mix to grab the opportunities.

I’ve put together some simple Marketing & PR tips to help you on the way, so you and your business can make the most of these opportunities.

Positive Intent – before I go into all of the practical stuff it is vital that you have positive intent on your side. Let your team know what is coming down the track and what you expect of them – they may need to work harder and faster to cope with the extra opportunities that will arrive, This will be good for everyone as long as the business can cope with the extra workload.

Those tips:

  1. Looking the part– Before you start any campaign have a good look in the mirror and decide are you ready. Do your branding, signage, website and other tangible visible elements properly reflect the essence and quality of your business, products and services? Right now take a glance at your business card! It may be time to refresh your branding and put your best foot forward.
  2. Get in the game on-line by being found– Will prospective customers who are already looking for your products or services find their way to your website? Make sure your website is found easily by anyone who may be searching for the services you offer. You may need to optimise your website or start a Google Adwords campaign if this is not the case.
  3. On-line Communication– If you decide to communicate to all your customers, previous prospects and other contacts right now could you do it? Consider adding an email newsletter service to your communications routine and let your database know of changes to the business, new products, new services, awards and other news on a regular basis. This is easily set up and new contacts can be added to your database directly from your website.
  4. Social Media– Even at this advanced stage most businesses have not got to grips with social media. If your business is not using these platforms to drive awareness and promote what you are doing on a daily basis then it is time to get in gear.
  5. Good stories– One of our mottos at Fuzion with our clients is to ‘Never waste a Good Story’. If there is good news happening in your business, if there are interesting developments, if there are new products or changes that should be publicised then drive awareness with a strong PR Plan.
  6. Advertising & Promotions– If you have pulled back on activity in this area then maybe it’s time to reconsider. There is terrific value to be had if you do this in a planned way, securing great prices and also negotiating editorial coverage. There is a strong chance that your competitors have cut back on their activity – is it time to steal a march on them?
  7. Plan– Carefully map out all of your Marketing & PR activity including your budgets for the year and share this with your team. Try to ensure that there is a constant stream of activity throughout the year so that your business is always visible with your target audience.
  8. Measure– Track the success of your activities, giving each of them a proper chance to seed so that you can properly assess their effectiveness. Flex your plan where necessary.
  9. Be Ready – My last tip is to be ready for when those enquiries come in and grab those opportunities as they come along – they will!

If you are in Dublin pop in to say “Hi” to us at our new offices at 13 Warrington Place, Dublin 2, which runs alongside the canal just off Baggot Street.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

A New Jersey back garden

October 27, 2014

A New jersey Garden

Colin, my brother has been on a conference call for the last hour even though it’s his day off. That’s what life seems to be like here!

Dee and my sis-in-law Lisa have gone bargain hunting to TJ Maxx while my brother and Lisa’s two kids Alex and Ciara have gone to school (first day back).

I am left in peace in this New Jersey back garden with the two dogs Weezer and Angel reading a really great book, ‘Hatching Twitter‘ by Nick Bilton in the sunshine …. Bliss!

I hope all of them will relax and take their time.. I rarely get to do this.

Greg Canty 

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

When harsh criticism can be the best thing ever!

October 27, 2014

Boring conference

I was recently at a large, high profile business conference and unfortunately the first segment of it was dominated and ruined by shockingly poor presentations.

I couldn’t believe how these senior business individuals broke nearly every presentation rule – they used boring powerpoint slides with way too much text laid out in bullet point after bullet point.

What’s worse is they insisted on reading each long sentence, word for word letting these shockingly awful slides hijack the knowledge they undoubtedly possess and in the process making them look very foolish in front of a large audience.

The slides should help guide you not hijack you!

To make matters even worse one of the guys drove on, slide after slide, ignoring the ‘warning‘ bell and selfishly ate into the next presenters time – as a result the whole schedule was forced back, which meant many people had to leave that day before everyone had finished.

Despite this when they finished their presentations they each received a polite round of applause leaving them quite oblivious to the fact that they were truly awful.

At the coffee break the predictable chit chat started ..”weren’t those presentations shocking?” ..”the worst I have seen” …”that’s a real pity because he’s a good guy and his presentation let him down” …”surely someone will say something to him

Just as we were chatting one of the ‘car crash‘ presenters passed by and one of our guys who knew him said “well done” ..”oh ..thanks a lot

Why do we do that?

I have no doubt that these guys would have left the conference feeling satisfied that they had stood up, done their presentations and based on the feedback they did quite well. Next time they are asked to present they will probably do exactly the same again ..it worked last time, didn’t it?

Thankfully the day improved and there were some really superb presentations later, which did a huge job for the profile and the credibility of these speakers – they grabbed the opportunity to shine!

killarney lakes

In 2000 Bridgestone Guide author John McKenna, caused a storm of controversy when he slated the fantastic and nationally treasured tourism gem Killarney. In a review this travel writer and food critic stated that “the best way to see Killarney in County Kerry is through the rearview mirror of a car. He added that discerning tourists will avoid the town as it was an Irish travesty surrounded by beautiful lakeland“.

This review sparked an outrage, which made Mr McKenna a hated figure in the town – how could he say such a thing about our beautiful and perfect place?

Despite despising those words and the cruel messenger the savvy locals started to process this truth – maybe our product has deteriorated, maybe our food offering is poor, maybe the town is dirty and shabby, maybe our service levels aren’t quite what they should be and maybe, just maybe this critic might be telling the truth.

Killarney dug in and got to work on their offering and 11 years later they proudly invited back the much maligned John McKenna as a guest speaker to ‘eat his words’ following the town winning the Irish Tidy Town award. He conceded that “the Kerry holiday hotspot has improved enormously and is the undisputed capital of Irish tourism“.

While hearing the truth might hurt deeply (lets face it we all hate being criticised) it could turn out to be the very best thing for you.

Whatever we do we should always look for the person who will tell us the truth instead of applauding and saying “well done”

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

At Fuzion we help our clients with their Presentation Skills and Speech Delivery from our offices in Dublin and Cork

What is it about Cork and Dublin rivalry?

October 21, 2014

welcome to cork

Recently I was at the inspiring IGNITE UCC graduate innovation programme launch event whereby this years participants were introduced to the attendees.

One after the other. each of the enthusiastic new entrepreneurs stood up and very quickly pitched their business idea to the audience.

Hi, my name is Greg and I am developing an APP that records receipts for valuable things you purchase just in case they need to be returned at a later date” (not a bad idea..huh!! )

The simple routine was, ‘My name is ..and my idea is..‘.

We heard one good idea after another and then it came to Eileen Weadick’s turn.

Hi, my name is Eileen Weadick, I’m from Dublin and I hope you don’t hold that against me!” She went on to tell us about her company, eXtensicon that offers a technical content service for companies mainly in the Information Communications Technology sector.

Eileen was one of the only people to mention where she was from.

I chatted to her after and asked her why she felt she had to mention where she was from in such a way – no one else did. Even though she has been living in Cape Clear for years she explained to me that she still gets stick from some people for being a ‘Dub‘ or a ‘Jackeen‘.

Often it is harmless but sometimes there is a little bit of an edge to it she further explained.

While it seems odd and makes no sense that anyone would feel negatively disposed towards her there is a clear and real ‘truth‘ in what she was saying.

In Cork being very honest we do have an issue with the ‘Dubs‘ and the normal, friendly welcome that we are well known and much loved for, can be put firmly to one side if we hear the wrong accent.

What is that all about?

Do we think they feel superior to us and do we feel inferior to them?

Do we feel they get the breaks that we never get?

Do we feel they think we are all from the ‘country‘?

Is it so engrained in our history that these feelings are automatically passed down to us?

Maybe we feel they might know more then we do and it is our automatic defence mechanism?

I spoke to a guy from Dublin last week about the whole Cork/Dublin dynamic and he said he spent three years trying to ‘crack’ Cork but he never succeeded – he reckoned being from Dublin was the reason for his lack of success.

When we worked on the Cork Marketing project we found there was no reason to compete with Dublin – we are a modern European city with plenty to offer in our own right. If truth be told and we were to compare we have the distinct advantage of having a more relaxed and better quality of life.

When I worked with Guinness in Dublin I was surprised how enjoyable the whole experience was and how the anti-Cork feeling that I was expecting before I joined never, ever materialised.

We work a few days a week in Dublin and I do find myself stressing to anyone we meet that we have a real office there and often I wonder if my Cork accent is a disadvantage to doing business.

Based on my experience I genuinely don’t feel there is a similar prejudice against Corkonians but they do want to know that you are physically there and that you are up to the job in a larger market. Once you convince them of that you get business on merit.

While local knowledge is valuable and priceless, so too is a fresh perspective.

Why not enjoy both equally and have the best of both worlds?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion who have two Dubs working for us in Cork!

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

 

 

 

Crazy thinking about the “Brave” self-employed – Budget 2015

October 15, 2014

Irish Budget 2015

As usual we listened to the budget to see how it would effect the Irish economy, how it would effect us and what shocks were in store.

As predicted there were elements of ‘giving back‘ many of which were an attempt to ease the burden of water charges, which has all the protesters up in arms and there were a few other little adjustments here and there.

With all of the recent talk about our high rates of tax I was astonished to see a new USC rate of 8% being introduced but the one thing that has totally floored me and had steam coming out my ears is the new 11% USC rate for the Self Employed.

This group of mad entrepreneurs (the crew that AIB are currently labelling as ‘Brave’ in their extensive advertising campaigns) for some reason are worthy of special attention …we have the privilege of the highest tax rate of them all!!

What is the logic behind this, where is this thinking coming from? – we earn money, we pay tax and the more you earn the more tax you pay but for some reason if you are in this unfortunate category you pay even more than others – WHY???

Have we started businesses, do we employ people, do we take risks, do we work hard, do we have little protection if anything goes wrong, do we enjoy benefits that other people have when we retire?

The truth is the risks are more, the protection and benefits are less and this ‘much heralded, heart of the economy group of people‘ must pay more tax than everyone else because …..?

Someone thought this was a good idea, that this group should pay more tax and others nodded their heads and agreed …good idea, let them pay more – is that what you really think we deserve?

I even wonder is this unconstitutional?: Equality before the law “All citizens in Ireland shall be held equal before the law. This means that the State cannot unjustly, unreasonably or arbitrarily discriminate between citizens

Today I am angry, not because I will end up paying more tax (I am so far away from that income threshold its not funny) but because I work my ass off and instead of being rewarded I feel that I and every other self employed person out there has been discriminated against.

Crazy thinking..

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

 

 

 

Turning up to do business since 1783

October 12, 2014

Dublin - O'Connell Street

Over 1,600 of us sat down for a fine meal at the Dublin Chamber annual dinner in the Convention Centre and listened to guest speakers Alex Ferguson and our Taoiseach Enda Kenny. It was a great night with lots of friendly business banter just like the banter shared by members since 1783!

In 1783 a group of men (no women at that stage!) came together and founded the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, the first in the country.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce is in fact one of the oldest such organisation in Europe, having been preceded by other collective bodies including the Guild of Merchants, which dated from the mediaeval period, and the Ouzel Galley Society, established at the beginning of the 18th century.

Dublin Chamber’s formation followed a weakening of the merchant guild system which left an opening for bodies which advocated free trade. Much of the focus of the Chamber in its early years was on abolishing impositions and opposing restrictions on export trade.

The creation of Dublin Chamber led to the formation of other chambers of commerce around Ireland, including Waterford (1787), Londonderry (1790), Limerick (1807) and Cork (1814).

Who were the men that founded the Chamber and what were the business issues that motivated them to come together?

Travers Hartley was the first Chamber President and held this position from 1783 until 1788.

On 18 March 1783, 60 year old Travers Hartley chaired the first meeting of the Chamber, shortly after his election. He had been a leading light in the Committee of Merchants since the 1760’s. Being a Presbyterian and dissenter, Travers was very aware of the sectarian nature of business in Dublin at the time.

Travers married Anne Spence on 11 February, 1749, who was described in the newspapers as ‘an agreeable young lady with a £3,000 fortune‘. She died soon after the marriage, and he was married for a second time on 28 March 1752 to Anne Gibton by whom he had one surviving son, James (d.1810), who never married, and five daughters.

His youngest daughter Anne married Addison Hone, the youngest brother of Alderman Nathaniel Hone, a future President of Dublin Chamber – keep it in the family!

For some reason there seems to be a gap of eight years between Travers Hartley and the next President John Duncan in 1805 and in the next 2 years there were six different Presidents, whatever was going on.

George Francis Carleton, a director of ‘The Commercial Insurance Company’  was President in 1807 . He was also one of the Common Councilmen of the Guild of Merchants in Dublin from 1824 till 1830, as was George Simpson Carleton who was the nephew of George Francis Carleton, all living on Eustace Street in Dublin. Keeping it in the family once again!

72 year old Joshua Pim (1748-1822), a Dublin Quaker, whose family came from Westmeath, became President in 1820. He became a general merchant in Dublin with a business premises at 16 Usher’s Island, and resided in the adjoining house, 15 Usher’s Island, later famous as the setting for James Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead‘.

His career before this appointment makes interesting reading as we see the other organisations of significance in Dublin at the time.

He was elected a member of the RDS Dublin Society on 31 January 1782 and, appointed to the Society’s museum sub-committee 21 August 1800, and to the committee of trade on 23 February 1809.

He was elected a member of the Ouzel Galley Society in 1776 and was a founder member of Dublin Chamber of Commerce in 1783. He largely controlled the bay wool business in the Dublin area and was a proprietor of the Commercial Insurance Company, established in 1799 with a capital of £100,000 to transact fire, marine, and life insurance. That was a colossal amount of money at the time.

In 1816 he acquired the Greenmount Mill in Harold’s Cross to process raw cotton imported from New York.

The early Presidents were prominent businessmen who all seemed to be living in Dublin city centre.

1914

One hundred years ago business in Ireland had war issues to deal with and Chamber President Richard K. Gamble with an address of 51 Fitzwilliam Square (just up the road from our office!) was going to be busy.

When the Dublin Chamber of Commerce met in September 1914, the President, Richard K. Gamble, impressed upon those gathered the need for employers to encourage and facilitate the enlistment of their workforce.

It was stressed that employers should keep workers’ jobs open on their return from war and explain to them that the uncertainty of trade during the conflict meant that they could not be assured that they could retain their jobs if they stayed.

Richard K. Gamble paid the ultimate price when one year later his 22 year son Richard with a rank of  Second Lieutenant with the Kings Liverpool Regiment, 7th Battalion was killed in battle in France.

Since its foundation in 1783, Dublin Chamber of Commerce has sought to bring business people together to share ideas, to form a single voice for the local business community and to ultimately connect and grow business.

While business has changed a lot since the days of  Travers Hartley and Richard K. Gamble many things are the very same. While we are not exactly the wealthy business owners and merchants of industry like our founders and those who followed in their footsteps we still turn up with the objective of doing business and making a crust!

Well done to Dublin Chamber of Commerce and all the other Chambers for giving us places to meet, to debate, to discuss and to do business with a collective voice and of course to eat drink and be merry!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

 

Feeding the fly on the wall

October 5, 2014

fly on the wallIn many ways we are all a little curious..

What are they really like, what is she like, are they nice people, what is the spirit of the place, what do they really believe in, is it all about profit, what does he do in his spare time, what experience does she have, what happens behind the scenes, what is their process, how committed are they to results, what are they passionate about, what is it like to work there, what are the people like that do the real work that we never get to meet?

At times we would love to be a fly on the wall to see first hand what the real story is so that we could really get a sense of that person, that business, that organisation – can we believe in them enough to trust them and maybe even do business with them?

Next time you tweet, post on Facebook, write a blog post, publish a photo, update your bio or post on LinkedIn think about that fly on the wall and feed him well!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Contact me if you are interested in the Power You online reputation programme which I will be starting soon in Dublin and Cork: greg@fuzion.ie

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

The Challenge of Attracting Talent

September 28, 2014

Attracting Talent - Superman

Attracting top performers to your organisation is the key factor for future success according to many of the top CEO’s and one of the biggest challenges they are facing today.

Understanding how top performers think is critical and to get this right organisations must figure out what motivates and inspires them and then how to create an environment where these things exist.

Some of the common attributes that top performers look for in an employer are:

Real value alignment

Top performers want to believe that the organisation they are working for are strongly aligned to their own personal values. These ‘key’ corporate values must be clearly communicated and could include things like customer ethos, creativity and innovation, involvement in the community,  teamwork, opportunity and personality.

Quite simply “If you want me to work for you I must believe in you

Positive reputation

In the eyes of the top performer, the organisations they consider working for must have a strong, attractive brand and a great reputation in the marketplace. This by default will enhance their own personal reputation and help them to progress with their career. When the question is asked “where do you work?” you want to be able to answer proudly and even create a little job envy ..”Oh, you are lucky to work there“.

Special personal opportunities

Top performers want to know what sets the organisation apart and what does that mean for them: Special experiences, unique opportunities, enjoyment, satisfaction, achievement and rewards, career progression and a great work life balance are things that important for these individuals.

Development opportunities

The opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is crucial for the job satisfaction of high achievers. They want to invest their talent and precious career time in an organisation that can help develop them and progress their career positively.

Communicating

If these attributes genuinely exist in the organisation (easier said than done!) then the challenge is to communicate these to Top Performers in a way that attracts their attention.

Some of these attributes are easy to convey such as organisation success, great products and services but other ‘softer‘ attributes are difficult to convey in a believable way to prospective talent but it can be done.

Website

The organisation website will be the first port of call for anyone considering working with the organisation. Organisation websites are normally built with customers in mind but you will find that the more progressive ones will go to great efforts to demonstrate the opportunities that exist for staff and will try to provide evidence that their place is a genuinely great place to work.

While describing employee programmes and opportunities is a must on the website, the ‘evidence’ will come from the staff themselves and with clever corporate videos, team blogs, demonstrations of team activities and team testimonials the opportunities can be communicated in a believable way.

For an ‘active‘ job seeker the website will be useful, but to attract someone more ‘passive‘ who may not be considering a career change you must work much harder to get their attention.

Social Media 

Social media in particular, free from the formality of the organisation’s normal communications is a powerful platform for communicating the softer aspects of the organisation. These channels are the perfect way to demonstrate the personality of the organisation, the positive work life balance activities, the team spirit and publicising some of the community work and other things that showcase the ethos and values that exist.

For example happy pictures of team activities can speak volumes for any organisation.

For deeper messages well written blog posts, which allow more informal and softer communications can be distributed cleverly on the social media platforms to really demonstrate the special personality of the organisation.

PR

If the right attributes exist for the organisation then it is vital that these are communicated to the widest possible audience through the media using PR.

Your brand is ‘what other people say about you‘ so it is really important that you carefully plan and shape how your organisation is perceived. Not only should the organisation’s progress and success be communicated but every opportunity should be taken to publicise community work and other non-commercial activities that really show how special the place is.

One of the clever ways to do this for our clients is through profile pieces in the media with individuals who work there. These are a powerful way to capture stories and communicate the real personality of the organisation.

Awards

Awards are another clever way for an organisation to showcase other aspects of their personality and ethos. For example many organisations in Ireland are competing for the Chambers Ireland CSR  and ‘Great Place to Work‘ awards. Companies as diverse as Diageo, Microsoft, EMC and McDonalds are all participating in these awards, which demonstrates in a tangible way that it is not all about profit within their businesses.

In 2013 Fuzion proudly won a Chambers Ireland CSR award for our international Safebook anti-cyberbullying campaign, which we hope speaks volumes about the type of business that we operate. We care!

The top performer is not a work horse and they care deeply about their careers and about things that really matter to them.

Jim Collins in his iconic book ‘Good to Great‘ says one of the key factors of successful organisations is great people.

It’s up to you to attract them!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

 

What I didn’t know about the 9/11 Memorial

September 11, 2014

911 Memorial

We were very recently in New York (late August 2014) and on a very sunny, gorgeous Saturday we decided to visit the 9/11 Memorial site, which is nearly fully completed.

We had mixed feelings about going there as it feels a little ghoulish and after all when you are on holidays do you really want to visit some place that could upset you?

For those who haven’t been there the site is dominated by a nearly complete huge new building, One World Trade Centre, which will be the tallest office building in the US soon to be occupied by thousands of workers. Alongside this building there are other smaller new office buildings along with the Memorial, which consists of two pools set in the footprint of the original twin towers with a museum close-by. These pools feature 30 foot waterfalls each descending into a centre void. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze parapets, which surround the pools.

The idea is simple and impactful even though  I felt the centre voids were quite depressing and should instead have captured something more positive and uplifting. This didn’t stop the huge crowds visiting and taking photos, some strangely posing as if it were an exotic holiday location and not a place where victims were being remembered.

The whole development unfortunately turned out to be a well documented troublesome political football. The final design was selected through an international competition that received 5,210 submissions. This must have been an impossible task – how can you properly and respectfully remember the victims. highlight  the awfulness of the attacks and at the same time capture a resilient and positive spirit that will comfort and inspire all who visit?

Much of what I saw I was expecting but a few things really surprised me, which I felt were really worth sharing.

The Victims

The memorial features the victims of both the September 2001 attack and the attack on 26th February, 1993. In 2001 there were 2,977 victims from over 90 nations. The oldest was 85 years old and the youngest was two. More than 400 of these were first responders who died performing their jobs. Six people died in the 1993 attack.

Meaningful adjacencies

When we walked around the two pools we noticed that there seemed to be no obvious sequence to the names that were inscribed on the surrounding bronze parapets. Reading the names you get a sense of the huge mix of nationalities that were working together on that tragic morning including plenty of Irish names. Some names had flowers inserted in between the lettering and some of the names were women who were carrying unborn children who were specifically mentioned, which was very poignant bringing home the reality of these terror attacks.

We discovered that the names were arranged carefully based on what was described as ‘layers of meaningful adjacencies‘. People’s names were arranged depending on where they were on 9/11 and the relationships they shared with others who were killed on that day, honouring requests from victim’s families for specific names to be next to each other.

This must have been a very complicated undertaking but it is a beautiful sentiment that reflects the togetherness of the victims and their surviving families.

Survivor Tree, 911 memorial

The Survivor Tree

In between and around the two pools there are swamp white oak (I read the brochure!) trees carefully planted softening the whole area. In the middle of all of this there is one particular tree, which is a little different as it stands there with some unusual straps and supports around it.

This tree is a Callery pear tree, which was found after 9/11 by the workers who were clearing the wreckage at ground zero. At this point in time it was reduced to a eight-foot-tall stump. This stump was nursed back to health in a New York City park and with much care it grew to 30 feet sprouting new branches..

There is a discrete little sign near this tree, which is rooted in its new home and it is attracting a lot of attention. Many of the visitors take photos near the tree but there is a huge desire by everyone to touch the ‘survivor tree‘. We touched it ourselves and it feels strangely reassuring and uplifting as it embodies the story of survival, resilience and hope.

In some way maybe this simple tree is the very best way to remember the 2,983 people who perished in 1993 and 2001?              

The 9/11 memorial site will no doubt attract millions of tourists every year reflecting on the victims names around the two pools and reliving the tragic events as shown in the memorial museum. Next to them the offices will once again fill up with thousands of ‘suits‘ going about their busy jobs, just as the victims did before them showing how the world and New York does move on.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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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