Good Friday and the Scarcity Principle

April 18, 2014

Good Friday - The Scarcity Principle

I’d do anything for a drink in the pub right now..

It’s always the same on Good Friday – once you know all the pubs and off-licences are closed you want nothing more. We can have wine or beer at home, like we do frequently on a Friday evening but on this day you would just want to go to the pub!

As usual in the lead up to Good Friday we heard the publican and the restaurant lobby groups giving out quite rightly about the antiquated law, which has no sale of alcohol permitted in Ireland unless it is in a club or unless you are a guest in a hotel.

The Scarcity Principle

Robert Cialdini, one of the foremost experts on influence, found that people value and desire something more when it is rare or difficult to obtain. He called this the Scarcity Principle. Across numerous experiments, Cialdini and others have found that making something rare (“only 5 left”), time limited (“one day sale”), or unique (“just for you”), increases its perceived attractiveness and value.

He explains that this Scarcity Principle works on the idea of Reactance.

Essentially, it happens because none of us like to be told no, limited in any way, or have our freedom constrained. So, when we think we might miss out, not be chosen, or be denied what we want, we “react”. That reactance makes us try all the harder and want what is denied us all the more.

In some strange way maybe this is a great marketing trick for pubs and restaurants as all of sudden we ‘desire’ a visit!

Maybe pubs and restaurants should embrace the day and take the opportunity to do some minor renovations, repairs, spring cleaning or take some precious time off and get ready for that rush..

What are you doing to create some scarcity in your business?

Greg Canty

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

Crisis, What Crisis?

April 18, 2014

Supertramp - Crisis, What Crisis?

Little did I know that in 1977 when I was listening to ground breaking music with our very cool Spanish summer student that years later some of this would continue to make an impact.

I was just 12 years of age and I was listening to music by fabulous bands and artists such as ELO, Lou Reed, Supertramp and Bob Dylan.

That summer we listened to some incredible albums including Face the Music (ELO), Even in the Quietest Moments (Supertramp), Street Hassle (Lou Reed) and one that always stuck in my mind was Crisis, What Crisis? by Supertramp.

I loved the name of the album, the cover was really cool and the music lived up to the promise.

My passion for music kicked off that summer so much so that I ended up opening my own music stores (I reckon I made a lot of landlords wealthy!) in my twenties and now we find ourselves often operating in the Crisis business.

Crisis PR

Much of our normal PR work is planned out in advance with our clients having clear communication objectives – its our job to secure media coverage to achieve these objectives.

With Crisis PR work you can get a call on a Sunday, which requires you to drop everything that you are doing and jump into action for an organisation that requires immediate help to deal with a situation. These situations are always different, they require clever thinking on your feet and inevitably they are very fluid, often changing by the minute.

Sometimes an organisation has the benefit of some advance warning where they have prior knowledge of something that could happen, which they know may require careful handling with the media and other stakeholders.

Over the last number of years this seems to have been an area of our business, which has grown and grown. We have recruited deliberately to give a great service in this area as our team now includes ex-journalists, individuals with political communication experience, individuals who provide media training and others with significant TV experience.

We also find that our expertise in social media is vital in a crisis situation as you can track issues, mentions and sentiment about the issue. This helps greatly with our media communications as you can gauge the temperature of an issue and use this information to often correct misunderstandings.

Crisis Planning

Just like you take out an insurance policy to protect against risk it is a really good idea to have a plan in place to prepare your organisation for a crisis situation.

No organisation can afford to hide in a crisis as it has the potential to damage relationships with clients and stakeholders, wreak havoc with an organisation’s reputation, seriously effect revenue and in some cases lead to closure. Social media in particular can accelerate the speed and damage from a crisis situation.

We work with our clients in advance of any potential crisis, planning such things as:-

  • Reactive Statements
  • Preparing spokespeople, including Media Training
  • Monitoring traditional and online media
  • Devising a plan that will be put into place should a potential crisis become a reality
  • Developing an Internal Communications Strategy to include communications to relevant stakeholders
  • Crisis Social Media Strategy

Hopefully you will never need our Crisis PR services but if that ever happens you know we are ready…

Greg Canty

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

A Night of Passion

April 13, 2014


This was going to be a busy night dancing between three events ..

First up Eamon Curtin, Programme Manager of the IGNITE Programme had arranged for an incredible speaker to tell us about his fantastic start-up journeys. Raomal Perera, now a Professor of Entrepreneurship told the group of young entrepreneurs about how he scaled the dizzy heights with two companies, ISOCOR (listed on NASDAQ in 1996), which he sold and Network365, which was ultimately purchased by Intel in 2013.

Raomal PereraThe very passionate and honest Raomal,who has won many entrepreneur awards gave the group precious advice about funding a business and dealing with Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists. He told the group that the first things they look for in a young business they consider investing in, is the Integrity and PASSION of the people involved.

Next up we headed to L’Atitude 51 for the International Wine and Food SocietyBest of Local Producers” event where we sampled the best of wine which was carefully selected by the joint owner Beverley Mathews who is as passionate about wine as the guest food producers.

The wine was accompanied by the finest food from some of the best of local food producers. We heard from Frank Hederman who has been smoking salmon for over 30 years, we heard from the owner of On The Pigs Back about the fantastic cheeses and best of all was our butcher from Kanturk.

Jack McCarthy, Butcher KanturkJack McCarthy, 5th generation butcher was both entertaining and no-nonsense as he lit up the room with his passion for spicing beef, black pudding, haggis and tongue – you just wanted to plan an immediate trip to Kanturk and stock up on anything that this passionate man was selling.

Our final event of the evening was the Mark Geary gig at Coughlan’s Bar, which has just been voted IMRO’s best live venue in Ireland. This is an incredible and well deserved accolade for this cosy venue, which is a huge credit to the woman behind all of this, Edel Curtin. Bands all over Ireland and Cork music fans are lucky to have such a passionate person as Edel bringing us great gigs in such an intimate venue on a regular basis.

Mark Geary

After a little wait our buddy Mark Geary and his band of merry men and the fabulous Grainne Hunt came on stage and entertained us in his inimitable style complete with great songs, great story telling and a special sense of humour. This was a great gig with a special solo cover of a Tom Waits song by Grainne ..beautiful!

Mark could have brought a small band with him for this intimate gig but this is a passionate artist who prefers to give his audience everything instead of making a few extra bob and doing just enough.

We had a really great and quite diverse night, but the one thing that was the same and made everything special, whether it was business, wine, food, music or running a venue was Passion.

Raomal was right …Passion is the most important ingredient of all.

Does what you do allow your passion to shine through? 

Greg Canty

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



Seven Tips to Building Your Online Tribe

April 8, 2014


“I’ve set up my social media platforms but I’m finding it very difficult to build a following” is a problem I hear from many of our clients and I know they look to me for a simple solution, a magic trick, a special feature or some nugget of advice that will solve this dilemma easily.

I’m sorry, the bad news is that there is no one trick or piece of magic but of course it can be done if you follow some of my tips. I’ll assume in preparing these tips that you want the right people following and not just numbers purchased online from click farms for the sake of looking popular.

Here are my seven magic tips that I believe will work for you:

1. The Tribe Mentality and Getting the Basics right

You must think in terms of building your tribe at all times and this involves exercising a discipline and structure that allows you to easily pick up new followers.

When you set up any of your social media platforms make sure you execute the process of inviting your email database to follow you, include social media links on your website and on your email signature and make it easy for people to subscribe to your e-newsletter or follow your blog.

Another simple piece of advice here is to highlight your social presence offline on all posters, adverts, signage, shopping bags and other materials where someone may interact with your business or service.

2. Start the chat,  you’re not Kim Kardashian!

Kim Kardashian & Greg CantyWe all have to do a little reality check about what type of business we are and realise that it is quite possible we do not have the natural appeal of  Kim. This is a real dilemma for certain businesses who being honest you may not be inclined to automatically follow such as the Insurance Broker in Ranelagh or the Chiropodist in Gort.

My advice to any businesses without the “Kim” appeal (that’s most of us!) is that they must initiate a lot of the social media chat by first doing the following and then interact with what that target audience are saying.

While it’s vital that we get our own message across in our communications it’s just as important that we achieve awareness for ourselves by interacting with others. Join the conversation of others, share and retweet their posts and in no time at all you will find they will do the same for you, which will bring you new followers.

3. Lose the robot, talk about the match

At some point in time we were taught about formal business communications, which has us often behaving like robots. The beauty of online is that we can lose much of the formality that can choke normal written communications and this allows us to show some of the really important attributes about our business such as our personality, our humour, our interests, our caring side and how passionate we are about things that matter to us.

It’s amazing the difference it makes to a business relationship when you discover that a prospect is also a hugely passionate Liverpool FC fan!

4. “Like” and Stop Selling

Being realistic why would someone want to become a member of your online tribe?

The Facebook word “Like” can really focus you here when you are communicating and the word dislike can be just as useful. I’ll follow you on twitter, subscribe to your blog, read your newsletter or connect with you on LinkedIn as long as it delivers some benefit to me – it should be an experience that I “Like“.

Are you going to give me advice, make me smile, be nice, let me be the first to know about special offers, offer me samples, invite me to exclusive events, promote my business, help me to solve problems, enrich my life in some way or do you just want me to Buy, Buy, Buy?

If  the online platforms are used to deliver benefits to your tribe, to build relationships and rapport with them, the sales will look after themselves.

5. Brushing your teeth

In the same way that brushing once a month won’t do your teeth any good, posting infrequently online will do your business no good.

The biggest stumbling block to success that I see with clients is that they struggle to make online activity part of their regular routine. It’s vital that you do your weekly blog post, that you schedule your newsletter, that you post daily on all of your social media platforms and this becomes part of the normal running of the business.

Every time you post you are effectively promoting your business, which is a great habit to get into just like brushing your teeth!

6. The Power of You

Just as we want to build our tribe of followers it’s really important to leverage the tribe that you have within your organisation. Online activity comes alive through person to person interactions – I’d much prefer to talk to a person rather than a logo.

Where possible I would encourage as many individuals as possible to pro-actively wave a flag for the business online, which spreads the workload, maximises the reach but also increases the effectiveness. This works as long as there is a good solid social media policy and a clear understanding around objectives and key messages.

Where companies have accounts online it is always a good idea to introduce the person behind the posts where appropriate. I have seen Eircom doing this quite effectively on Twitter and it adds a degree of trust to their content.

Show me the money

7. Show me the money!

While you can do all of the right things to build the size of your online tribe there is a time where you just have to advertise to accelerate this process.

With Facebook, advertising is essential both to build a following and then subsequently to reach them with your communications. At the moment success on Twitter isn’t as dependant on budget but unless you are as popular as Kim you will need budget to build your following quickly.


Like everything else in business nothing comes easy and if you want to build your online tribe you either get a body like Kim, do a reality TV show and have a baby with Kanye West or else roll the sleeves up and do it the hard way!

Good luck with your tribe..

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR and Marketing who offer Social Media Consultancy and Training to clients from our offices in Dublin and Cork.

Career changing photographs

April 6, 2014

Tommy Doyle, High Court Case against Guinness

I walked out the door of the High Court with my good friend, Tommy Doyle and out jumped a photographer.

Before I knew it Tommy put his arm around me and “snap” the photo was taken, which appeared in national newspapers the following day as they covered Tommy’s high profile High Court case against Guinness, which had been settled on the day.

This court case was very high profile with the media as Tommy Doyle was a former Kerry GAA star with seven All-Ireland medals and here he was taking on the might of Guinness in a constructive dismissal case with strong suggestions of a price fixing cartel, which was a potential time bomb for the industry.

When I was General Manager of a Guinness subsidiary in Cork, Deasy & Co., Tommy was our very brilliant sales manager and a really great guy to work with. You could see all of those motivational traits and steely determination which brought him huge success on the field transferring to the business arena.

To this day Tommy is the very best sales/relationship manager I have come across.

After I left Deasy’s to take a senior role with Guinness things fell apart with the management of Deasy’s and Tommy. In my view the wrong person was put in charge of the company and instead of working with Tommy he put the boot in and they clashed immediately. I believe they tried to force Tommy out but they underestimated his steely determination to hang in there.

A super effort eventually broke him, which led to a serious bout of sickness and the court case, which was eventually heard the day of this photo.

Unfortunately for Tommy he became one of the most hated man in the drinks industry because of the court case.

On the day of the court case Tommy’s solicitor had summoned nearly every senior player in the drinks industry as witnesses around this price fixing issue. Needless to say this colossal time bomb was of huge concern to Guinness and all other industry players, which they would really want disarmed.

I was at the court case on the day because I was also summoned by Tommy’s solicitor. At the time I was doing well in my early days as General Manager of Nash Beverages, a subsidiary of Heineken. The nervousness was obvious with all of the industry heads who were there.

As the day progressed it was clear that Guinness were making a huge effort to kill this case and were prepared to settle. With my close relationship with Tommy and my good relationship with senior Guinness personnel I ended up being a go-between. Both sides were open to a settlement and this was quickly negotiated with everyone going home late in the afternoon.

This was a huge day for Tommy and when the settlement was agreed he asked would I stay in Dublin for a bite to eat and a chance to chill out.

I decided it was the right thing to do and felt it was ok not to attend a Heineken conference later that evening.

Out we walked and “snap“…that photograph.

The following day the picture appeared in the national newspapers who covered the case and I was politely told in a few quarters that appearing in “the photo” was a big mistake for me.

After that day I must admit I did feel a change of attitude towards me by senior management and a promising start seemed to turn cold despite my input that day, which resulted in a quick conclusion to a case that everyone was relieved with.

Ultimately maybe friendship and loyalty is a better choice than keeping up appearances and other people happy?

Greg Canty

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





Leo Varadkar – The man who answers questions!

April 4, 2014

Leo Varadkar - Fine Gael

I was listening to George Hook on Newstalk as we were travelling down from Dublin. He was broadcasting from San Francisco and he was chatting about some politician and he described him as being a “Leo Varadkar type of politician“.

Immediately you know that he means a politician who will give a straight answer to a question when asked.

When you think about it this is quite an incredible and simple attribute to be known for!

In assigning such an attribute to a politician you would imagine  that no one single name should stand out – surely there are plenty who demonstrate this attribute on a regular basis either currently or in the past? Can we name them?

In truth there should be so many with this quality, that describing the straight talking/answer a question when asked attribute by mentioning a single politicians name would be confusing!

How is it that the youngest member of the Irish Government carries this torch?

Is it youth, is it not enough time in politics to be ultra cautious, is it a lack of fear of making an error against party policy, is it 100% confidence in his own ability and capability, is it not caring too much about politics and being prepared to simply say it as it is?

Is it his upbringing or the career he had before he became a full time politician – he lived in a relatively good part of Dublin, he studied medicine in Trinity and he worked in hospitals before opting for General Practice.

As a doctor do you get used to answering questions when asked?

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar of the Fine Gael party was appointed by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny in March 2011. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2007 and prior to this is served as a member of Fingal County Council since 2003. He received the highest vote in Ireland in the Local Elections of 2004.

Did his constituents like him because they saw him as someone who was prepared to answer their questions?

It is a great thing to see him doing really well and to see someone with these attributes progressing effectively in the Government but it is a very poor reflection on our recent political history that being prepared to answer a question is something that makes you unique!

Is there a lesson in this for all our politicians? 

Is there a lesson in this for all of us?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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



Time to give up what you’re doing?

March 29, 2014

Flatpack furniture

Edel called me from Dublin to say that the guy who was sent from Viking to assemble the furniture for the new office was grumbling, moaning, huffing – he would be back the next day to start the job!

We finally managed to get the keys for new office and now we had to kit it out. Viking is a great option with their wide range of furniture at reasonable prices but I’ve learnt the hard way that the assembly of the furniture is a big undertaking – even the smallest pieces can be more than awkward.

I had thought that finding someone to do this was going to be difficult but much to my relief it turns out that Viking were now providing this service as part of the package – major phew!

However it looked like Mr Assembly might be hard work ..

I joined Edel in the office the next morning and she gave me a “look” as Mr Assembly and his co-worker could be heard inside the adjoining room grumbling, moaning and huffing about the task ahead.

I made an attempt at cheering up our happy friends by buying them coffee early on but the effect seemed to wear off quickly. It was clear that we would have to tip toe around these boys.

Suggesting our preferred height between shelves was just about digested. They reckoned they didn’t have to assemble the smaller desk units – Dee’s suggestion of a clarification call to Viking seemed to sort out that one and when I asked them if they would be taking away the packing materials it was if I said something really horrible about a close relative!

I had to leave before they finished up so I told them there was a few quid in it for them if they managed to take away the packing materials. I thanked them both for their work and the quieter of the two wished us the best of luck in the new office. That was nice.

Edel called later when the job was done – our happy men took half the packing materials away and once all the units were assembled they refused to push them into position in the office “We assemble things, we don’t move them” – Nice!

Edel who lacked the energy to cajole them took just 5 minutes herself to pull and drag the desks and cupboards from the middle of the room to where she wanted them.

I wondered about our two happy men.

I have no doubt that they were on a tight fee to complete our assembly job but very early on they made a choice about what mood and persona they were going to bring with them to work including a clear decision to do as little as possible.

Were they totally miserable doing this work, was something awful going on in their lives, were they treated really poorly by the last crew they assembled furniture for, were they being treated badly by Viking or by nature are they just grumpy people?

Whatever was going on with them they were miserable and brought this misery with them this day.

If this is how you feel at work is it time to give up what your are doing?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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


Searching for Gold in the world of Glamour

March 22, 2014

Panning for Gold

Is there one thing that you can do can that can help you find gold for your business?

Back in 2001 I had this crazy idea for an event – how about getting the best models in Ireland, with the best fashion brands, adding in a beauty exhibition area, spicing it up with some entertainment and then taking this on tour to the best hotels in the country in major locations?

I woke in the early hours of the morning with this crazy idea, insisted that I explained it to Dee before I forgot it and then I turned around and went back to sleep.

Soon after that we met Michael Doherty the owner of VIP magazine who liked the idea – if we went ahead with the event he would come on board as a Media Partner.

That was the last piece of encouragement we needed and from that conversation “Catwalks” was born. Both Dee and I had the job of bringing Ireland’s most glamourous fashion and beauty event on tour around the country.

Blossom Hill CatwalksWe met model agencies, we chose models, we chose a fashion show producer, we met staging companies, we booked hotels, we chose menus. we set up a lo-call number, we developed a brand and we sold the idea to top national brands and before we knew it we had six dates booked around Ireland – all we needed now was to sell tickets to the women around the country. Simple!

We went back to Michael Doherty and sure enough as promised he agreed to be our media partner. He believed in our event but he also agreed that it was a great fit for VIP magazine and it’s readers. He boldly predicted that the very first double page advert in VIP magazine, would effectively sell out the event.

When we heard this we were delighted – if that was the case our events would be a huge success, we would make money and there would be little need for all the other planned promotional activity.

The day that issue of VIP magazine hit the shelves across the country we braced ourselves. Our phone was manned and we waited for the avalanche of women booking tickets for this first of it’s kind event. We’ll never forget the name Marie Carroll, a hairdresser from Tralee who rang and booked two tickets – Yes, we were up and running!

And that was it ….nothing for another two weeks.

Panic started to set in big time. Was this great idea such a great idea after all?

Our other advertising started including local radio and newspapers. We ran competitions, we managed to get media coverage through Dee’s PR skills including a great piece on TV. We sent flyers and posters to each of the participating hotels who promised to distribute them.

Slowly but surely we started to get bookings but not enough to take away that awful sense of panic.

Tony Hadley - Catwalks

We made a decision to hit the road and visit each of the locations where we were holding our events. When we went to a town we distributed large quantities of flyers and posters – we went into the boutiques, the hair salons, the beauty salons and any place where we felt we could grab the attention  of our target audience.

We handed out our flyers and posters and we could see the reaction of the women we handed these to. What was this event all about? We stopped and we chatted and we explained what it was all about. Boutiques asked could they participate – “If you buy a table at the event we will give you a segment of the fashion show” was our response. We shifted a lot of tickets through this simple mechanism.

We got a call from our girl manning the phones. “Where are you?” she asked “I’m getting lots of calls for tickets from Limerick“. We had just spent four hours hard slog in Limerick and were totally exhausted. My shoulder was nearly broken from the weight of the promotional material I had been carrying around the place.

This was the day we learnt some big lessons:

There is no one thing that will make the promotion of your event, initiative, product or service a success – It is the combination of everything.

The one absolutely essential ingredient for success was us working our socks off!

The events turned out to be a huge success and in total over a four year period we ran 72 separate shows with our final event being in Killarney with Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet fame closing it with an incredible version of “Gold“.

Gold….it is never easy to find!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

Twitter – Waste of time or a real Gem?

March 21, 2014

Jack Dorsey - Twitter

Happy Birthday Twitter..

On the 21st March 2006 founder Jack Dorsey sent the very first tweet and eight years on while it is growing in popularity it is still quite the most misunderstood of the popular social media platforms.

When we run our Social Media courses the results are nearly all the same, pretty much everyone is using Facebook at some level and just a very few are using twitter. I would safely guess that a maximum of  20% of social media users are actively using twitter.

Is this failure, is this most people deciding that it is irrelevant, is this most people not understanding how to use Twitter or is it an absolute gem that is yet to be discovered by the mainstream?

At Fuzion we take it really seriously because we see the value of it for us and for our clients but we do understand the difficulty that people have with it. By it’s nature it is looser than the other platforms with pretty much anyone being able to follow anyone, your messages are more public capable of being picked up by anyone searching and then there is the business of hash tags, re-tweeting and #FF, that’s Follow Friday, by the way!

Added to that everything is quite limited, how many characters (you have 15 characters in your twitter “handle”) in your unique identity, how many characters you are allowed in a post, how much information (literally describe yourself in 160 characters) you can include in your bio – it’s just different, different enough to scare users off initially before they get to experience the real magic.

The whole experience is very different and in many ways it is attracting quite a different type of user – often a curious individual who loves getting involved in discussions and who loves giving an opinion! Many of these users seem to leave Facebook behind as they find the Twitter experience more enriching.

This trend of choosing Twitter over Facebook is definitely happening – since Facebook went public two years ago the platform is now being dominated by advertising (any business user must advertise now for their efforts to be effective) and this is definitely accelerating the switch for many users.

In the last year we have seen the interface and some of the functionality improve, we have seen the introduction of user advertising and the numbers using the platform have continued to increase.

I won’t start giving a lesson on how to use twitter but I will share with you my Top 10 reasons why we think you should consider embracing it for you and your business -

1. Branded Chit Chat – on twitter you can choose an identity for yourself and every time you post, your “identity” carries with you, it’s like advertising in a subliminal way @prguru. Guess what service that person provides? Even if you are chatting about the latest Liverpool game your identity travels with you.

Oscar's Selfie2. Viral “ability” – of all the social media platforms twitter is the very best for passing on information. The retweet facility makes this possible. I pass the message to my followers, them to theirs and so on. Uninteresting posts will not be retweeted but interesting ones will be. The recent “selfie” from the Oscars caused quite a stir and reached more twitter users than any other tweet.

3. Innovators and Early AdoptorsSeth Godin in his famous book the Purple Cow talks about a typical product cycle and he stresses the importance of targeting people who love new things. These are the people who love to try new things out and then tell their friends, they are generally naturally curious and are often the ones who are vital for spreading the word – before you know it when enough people have heard about “that” new product it enters the mainstream, where volume starts kicking in.

If you have a new product or service you will find many of these innovators and early adoptors are already using twitter- makes sense if you think about it?

4. Avoiding the CrowdFacebook has the advantage of so many users and it is really powerful as a result. However it is a pretty crowded space with more businesses joining it the whole time competing for people’s attention. The chances are that your competitors are already up and running and competing with you in this space. Twitter on the other hand has not been fully explored to the same degree so you can steal a competitive advantage over your competitors and have more of those prospects to yourself.

5. Search – the search facility on twitter is incredible. You can use it to follow topics, to search on people discussing your business and your industry. We find it invaluable in our work with clients and in a “crisis” situation it is really useful. You can literally measure the temperature of a situation on twitter, which can be really useful if you are dealing with a tricky situation. In the last 12 months alone we have used it many times to assist us in our work with clients.

6. Read all about it! – the problem is that it is now impossible to “Read all about it” . With so many newspapers, magazines, radio and tv channels how is it possible? With twitter by following the correct media profiles on twitter you can create your own customised news feed. Everything from your favourite team (have I mentioned this is Liverpool!) to breaking news.

7. Journalists – Most journalists are using twitter – the search function makes it really useful for them to stay up to date on issues. If you start using it you can quite easily follow journalists who may be interested in your sector and if used correctly you will be able to learn what they are interested in and what they are writing about. Use the platform to try to build a relationship with them and then pitch your stories – make sure you build trust before you start pitching!

8. Audience – if you use twitter proactively we believe you have a good chance of building “followers” or an audience for your message very quickly, much quicker than Facebook. However, it’s up to you how you use these relationships once you gather them.

9. Relationships – we have found that the nature of the conversations is quite different and at times they are more of a “community” type – the conversations can happen between groups of people. As a result you can have quite different relationships with people. Once you are capable of holding your own on an issue or topic you will build a good reputation and also quality relationships with relevant people.

10. Fun – there can be quite a good sense of humour around using Twitter and even though your topics might be heavy you can build good relationships around lighter issues, which can ultimately lead to a listening for your key messages. My key message is don’t take yourself too seriously on twitter, have fun, build trust and build relationships – after that spread your message.

I heard a great quote by someone who attended one of my social media courses in Dublin, when comparing Facebook and Twitter – “Facebook is for interacting with people you were in school with, Twitter is for interacting with people you wish you were in school with!”  - This is a big generalisation but it does capture a little bit of the unique spirit that exists on twitter.

Twitter is a load of rubbish, the stuff people tweet is totally useless.. who cares what people have for breakfast

I often hear this type of argument about using twitter so I will leave you with my closing thoughts ..

Twitter is like a radio station, you tune it in by following who you want – find the channels that you like. If someone is annoying you, don’t follow them, block them, change the channel – you are the controller!

So Jack, thank you for Twitter .. I’d miss you if you weren’t there, Happy Birthday!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Destination Branding and the “special” Cork DNA

March 18, 2014

Cork region

We’ve been privileged to have been working on a really interesting marketing project in conjunction with Colliers International, Placematters and Location Connections for the Cork region, which was commissioned by some of the key stakeholders.

Destination branding is something all cities and regions must now consider as they must market themselves in a clear, concise and consistent way to all target audiences they wish to attract. How a region markets itself must be believable and true so that the actual experience matches the reality.

As part of this marketing process you must first understand what the offering is, decide what parts of this offering are attractive to relevant target audiences and then package this offering in a clear brand description for the region.

All the subsequent marketing of the region should be consistent by all stakeholders so that maximum return on investment is achieved and that target audiences develop a clear understanding of the unique offer from that destination.

As part of the research work we conducted about the Cork region we discovered that many people are attracted to the size of Cork, “it’s not too big and not too small“, they love how quickly you can get from the city to the country, they love the nearby  coastline  and they also love the friendliness, humour and warmth of the people.

Even the Huffington Post identified Cork as an “overlooked city in Europe that must be visited in your lifetime!

It is easy to understand the physical attributes of the region but the people dimension is one that is more difficult to pinpoint.

The Queen visits Cork, Friendly City

Is it really true that Cork is a friendly city just as the Lonely Planet Guide declared in it’s Top 10 List of cities to visit? The guide praises the city saying ‘Cork is at the top of its game right now: sophisticated, vibrant and diverse, while still retaining its friendliness, relaxed charm and quick-fire wit.

How can you explain this friendliness?

Do Corkonians really have this special “friendly” gene in their unique DNA?

In our research in Cork we conducted questionnaires with many foreigners working in the Cork region and they consistently told us how they had no intention of staying initially but this is now home and they would not be leaving. Cork is great fun and the people are very “friendly“.

As much as this proud Corkman would like to think people from Cork do not have a special gene, no more so than people from any other part of Ireland.

If it’s not a special gene then why do we behave in such a manner?

  • In Cork you can enjoy a good career with small SME’s or with large multinationals without the big commute.
  • You and your children can receive a great education right on your doorstep
  • You can enjoy a vibrant and friendly city where strangers still chat to each other that is easy to access
  • It’s a relatively safe place to live, visit or go to college
  • You can be in the country or walking on a beach within half an hour
  • You can enjoy a lively, entertaining, art loving, multicultural place where independents can still thrive
  • The food and entertainment offering is diverse and top class
  • You are connected to the world and major city hubs via an airport that is 10 minutes from the city centre.
  • On the very practical side of things Cork is a significantly cheaper place to live than Dublin and a more economical place to do business.

While the career opportunities aren’t as great as in Dublin or London, an internet world makes this less of a problem and the overall sense of well-being from an exceptionally better life balance makes the Cork region a very clever place for people to choose to live their lives.

So why are people from Cork friendlier, warmer and wittier?

Maybe this ideal sized region with an abundance of natural attributes just makes us happier?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

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

Colliers International offer Destination Consulting services

Placematters are Destination Branding experts

Location Connections are an International FDI  site selection consultancy


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