Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

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

 

SEO and the impact on your brand

August 31, 2014

Jeff Bezoz, Amazon - Branding quote

A Simple test ….do a Google search using the keywords that describe what your organisation does and see how your website performs.

Crisis PR in Ireland’ , ‘PR firms in Dublin‘ …. Do your own search for your relevant keywords and see what happens. Include your location in the search, which is what most people normally do when they are searching.

From a business point of view it makes clear sense that if someone is looking for what your organisation is offering that they find you easily online. The very best way is for your website to perform for these ‘key‘ searches organically or naturally. If this is not the case your website is more than likely not properly optimised.

If you have done all you can to optimise your website and it is still not performing well enough then it makes sense to implement a Google Adwords campaign to ensure your website is appearing for ‘key’ searches in a prominent position.

While your website performance is essential for business is this the only reason your site should perform well for searches?

I feel another big reason your website should perform well is that it is an integral part of your overall brand. This might seem like an unusual reason at first as we normally thing of ‘descriptors‘ when we discuss someone’s brand attributes.

Jeff Bezoz of Amazon described a brand as ‘what other people say about you when you are not in the room‘. While it might be up to others to describe you this can clearly be shaped by how you portray your organisation through your actions, behaviours, products, services and all the visual cues or representations of your brand.

Your website plays a key role in this, not just in how it appears but also where it appears when searched for.

It’s difficult to appear as a ‘leader in the sector‘ if a random Google search for the services and products you provide has you appearing well below your competitors or possibly so far back on the search results you are not found at all.

If this is the case you need to optimise your website, which is mostly a very straight forward but methodical process and if necessary support this with Google Adwords pay per click advertising.

The opposite is also the case and with a well optimised site it is possible to take on the big guys who normally dominate in your sector.

Where you appear is just as important as how you appear!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion provide online consultancy and website optimisation services from our offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland

15 Incredible social media tricks to send your campaigns into orbit!

August 24, 2014

Orbit

The whole team are busy working on a plan for a ‘hot prospect‘ that we would love to win.

We brainstorm together. first ensuring we all understand the brief, and then we agree the key objectives and what we need to achieve by the plan. We then assign the different parts of the plan to the different team members who are best suited for each element and we go to work.

Often I will work out the social media strategy and the plan for the ‘new client‘ and when all our different parts are done we reconvene and review the collective plan making sure all parts work together – Fuzion!

I went off and worked on a plan that I felt would work for this new client who were targeting a stylish, cool and savvy social media audience.

My crew pulled me aside and told me my they thought my plan was boring – “the client have big expectations from you around social media and we need to ‘wow’ them. What you have put together is boring and won’t achieve that wow“. Ouch ..that was harsh!

Now here is the dilemma ….everyone wants the big trick, the big wow, the magic moment that sends their plan into orbit but I find 100% of the time that you will never ever get near the possibility of this happening unless you first get the basics right. In particular with this target audience I also felt they would see any tricks and gimmicks as trying too hard.

Unfortunately the big trick is actually doing the boring basics right and being diligent enough to do this consistently day in day out, including those days when you are up the walls and your social media posts seem trivial and a waste of precious time. Because I believe this I find it hard to pop out tricks and gimmicks in a genuine plan.

I guess I wrote a social media plan for this prospect that was designed to succeed, which probably did read as very boring and ‘trickless‘ but unfortunately that’s what I believed was needed.

In a way there were huge ‘tricks’ in the plan even if they appear boring:

  1. Get your objectives and key messages right and stick to them
  2. Concentrate on the main social media platforms and until you have these up and running properly forget about the others
  3. Make sure all the key imagery used is strong and supports these objectives
  4. Have a clear follower strategy
  5. Post regularly and at times when you know your target audience are watching – that isn’t once a day!
  6. Make sure that the posts are well balanced covering all of your key messages
  7. Stop selling, be helpful, craft your posts so that your unique personality shines through
  8. Use great and natural photos that show the best, authentic version of the organisation and not something plucked out of a corporate brochure
  9. Apply some advertising budget to carefully push your message out to the target audience
  10. Don’t always talk about yourself and start interacting with others
  11. Listen to your target audience and get the ball rolling with your followers
  12. Write blog posts that really show your unique personality and not just facts
  13. Train your internal team so they can look after your social media (always the best option)
  14. Organise your team so that social media activity is always looked after
  15. Keep doing it!

Reluctantly I agreed to a ‘wow’ social media brainstorm with the team and we did add a few quirky ideas, gimmicks and tricks because if we want to ‘wow’ them we have to give them what they expect but I did make sure the real ‘tricks’ were still in the plan.

When they master the real ‘big tricks’ those ‘wow moments’ will occur naturally and then they will be ready to fly into orbit!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

 

 

Big brands and the shopping bag test

July 14, 2014

Shopping Bags

We pop the boot open and the usual process of fishing out a bag or two to do our shopping starts.

I really hate having to do a big ‘weekly shop‘ so most of our shopping is done as required. The store we normally find ourselves at is Quish’s SuperValu where the staff are really friendly and it is the closest one to our home. While the selection of stock isn’t always too hectic it is a handy store for us and shopping there never feels like a chore.

When I pop the boot open I have to quickly grab a bag or two and I’m surprised how this simple exercise shows me how I feel about the different retailer brands and the ones I align with most.

My first choice is the SuperValu bag – after all, thats the shop I am going into and I feel its a good thing to bring a bag from the same store with you. It must drive a store manager nuts to see shoppers entering or leaving their store carrying a competitors shopping bag with them. I know it would really irritate me if a client came to us with some POS or other material from a competitor.

I also love the SuperValu franchise model and I feel this owner operator ethos leads to friendly community orientated stores often including a support and buy local agenda.

My next choice is the Marks & Spencer bag. This surprises me as I always like to support Irish but I do admire their dedication to quality food and I guess I am happy for that to be part of ‘my personal brand‘ as I do my shopping.

The M&S choice probably makes me look like a snob but my next bag choice would be either Aldi or Lidl. To be honest I can’t differentiate between either of these brands and regularly get them mixed up. I really don’t enjoy the shopping experience in these stores but I admire the simple value proposition and huge strides seem to have been made with quality and there seems to be a genuine effort to buy Irish. The adverts are working!

My next choice is Tesco. As a brand it still leaves me cold, with no stand out proposition but I do admire their Irish producers programme in conjunction with Bord Bia. Even though their share performance has been suffering they seem to believe that the Irish producers strategy will play a big role in winning in Ireland.

Bord Bia Tesco Supplier Development Programme

They are doing some great work with Irish producers improving their operations so they can do more business with Tesco.

My very last choice is the Dunnes Stores bag. Why is an Irish company, the one I should logically have an allegiance to, be the one that I connect with least? I really don’t get their brand proposition, I don’t understand it, I don’t see them connecting locally like SuperValu and nationally I don’t see any noise about supporting Irish – they could be the best at this but if they are I don’t know about it.

I know this is just my view and that my simple ‘picking a bag from the boot‘ analysis isn’t very scientific but then I look at the latest market shares in Ireland published in May 2014 and reported in the Irish Independent and see how closely aligned the reality is to my feelings.

German retailers Aldi and Lidl have continued to snap at the heels of Dunnes Stores, with the pair now commanding a combined 17.1pc share of Ireland’s multi-billion euro grocery market

Tesco retained its top ranking, but remains under pressure. Its market share fell 4.1pc to 26.3pc in the latest period, while Dunnes Stores also saw its position further weakened. Its share slipped 1.3pc to 21.6pc

SuperValu the chain controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group – continues to snap at Tesco’s heels. Its share of the market, which includes its now rebranded Superquinn chain, rose 0.5pc to 25.1pc, confirming its second place in the supermarket wars

Industry insiders said the latest figures will be another wake-up call for both Tesco and Dunnes Stores in particular

Maybe Tesco and Dunnes Stores should do the shopping bag test?

How do customers feel when they pick up a bag from your store?

Greg Canty

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

 

 

 

Do you need to change your uniform?

June 16, 2014

Clothes Rack

I decided I better wear a suit for the day as we had a meeting with quite a senior group who most definitely would be wearing suits – I’ll always try to make sure it is a sharp suit with something just a little bit different going on. I won’t wear a tie as this is a step too far for me and at this stage I would feel uncomfortable wearing one.

This accountant turned marketer starting wearing suits at 17 in the accountancy practice and wore them for 21 years in my financial and general management roles within the high-tech and drinks industry. When I finally stopped working for others I stopped wearing this ‘uniform’ as I had enough.

I guess this was the appropriate ‘uniform’ for this meeting and if I wasn’t somewhat ‘uniform’ I might run the risk of giving the impression that I wasn’t taking my role seriously and I would have felt a little awkward within myself.

Later in the day I had to give a training course and later again we had to conduct a workshop for a project we were working on.

For the training course I was fine but I did feel just a little out of sorts because I wasn’t dressed in my usual way – I removed my jacket, which made me feel less formal and more appropriate.

The workshop was a totally different story – I was presenting with two other guys, each of us in our suits, quite ‘uniform’ but when the session started you just knew the group participating in the session were looking at us as we were different. Somehow we were ‘the establishment’, different to them and I felt it might have created a barrier and it could have changed the dynamic of the session.

I stood there quietly cursing my suit and wished I was in my more usual uniform, which is a smart trendy jacket/blazer with neat jeans and shoes – this is the real me (or at least it has become me and its the ‘me’ I am most comfortable and confident projecting).

After the session we went for a drink and a debrief and again I wished I wasn’t in my suit.

Was I being silly, was this all in my head or taking it to its limit should I have brought a second outfit to work with me that day to make sure that my ‘uniform’ always told the right story to my audience and most importantly made me feel more comfortable with them?

I remember a friend of mine who was working in the purchasing department of a large multinational telling me that they hated it when their suppliers would arrive dressed casually for meetings – she knew this was a little unfair because their own dress code was casual but it did work against the supplier.

When I was in Guinness in Dublin they introduced a causal Friday – while this created a more relaxed atmosphere I must admit that attitude towards work did become more relaxed as well.

Casual Friday

Could a slight change of uniform change one from being a ‘typical’ accountant, solicitor, graphic designer or whatever to someone who stands out a little?

In Fuzion we were interviewing for graphic designers recently and one poor guy arrived for interview in a suit and tie, looking more like an accountant than a designer. Maybe his mother killed him when he was heading out the door that morning in his cool t-shirt , jeans and Converse runners and insisted that he dress properly for his interview.

Somehow it was really hard to get past that he was wearing the wrong ‘uniform’ and you had to work hard to jump over those first and important impressions to discover his personality and capability.

With our clients we advise that their branding, websites, social media pages, marketing materials, vehicle livery and all other visual demonstrations of their organisation must tell the best story about them – we often buy with our eyes and those first impressions are vital. Are we any different?

What story are you telling about yourself today?

Greg Canty

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

 

 

 

Hashtags and Breadcrumbs

June 6, 2014

Hasttags Explained

I see the confused look on their faces and Hashtags are often just one step too far!

What is all this hashtag business?” I get asked.

At times it does feel like we are talking another language…

At my social media courses I think it is the one thing that definitely seems to bother people the most. It is a step too far: On Twitter they understand followers, they get following and know that tweets must be less than 140 characters but the mere mention of Hashtags and it seems to add that Tipping Point of confusion that never fails to get a few moans and groans of exasperation. Too much!

So what the hell are these nasty things and how and when might you use them?

In very simple terms a Hashtag is a means of adding a “tag” or label to a post (tweet) on Twitter by using the “#” symbol followed by a continuous set of characters. This is normally a word or a few words joined together.

For example if I prepared a tweet about a new shop opening in town I might tweet “Great to see a new shop opening on Grafton Street #Positivity

When you do this on Twitter it automatically changes the colour of this text, making it stand out and it also adds some “link” functionality to that word(s). If you click on this “link” Twitter will display a list of all the tweets where this hashtag was used.

In a way it gathers them together, which is really handy if it brings the reader to a bunch of tweets about a topic they were very interested in.

While Twitter will track popular topics and show you the keywords that are used most frequently in posts (trending) it will also track the most frequently used hashtags. If everyone who is talking about a popular topic uses a particular hashtag to label these posts it not only gathers them together but it also helps to get the topic trending.

Hashtag ExplainedSo when might I use a hashtag?

For me the single biggest advantage to the use of a hashtag is the simple colour change to that keyword. The text appearing in a different colour draws the readers attention to it and when used properly it can help to communicate the subject matter of that post. The link functionality as discussed earlier is an added bonus.

You can use your own hashtags (there is no ownership of them) or decide to join in on conversations about topics where a particular hashtag is being used already and use it in your posts – this can give you and your tweet visibility if this topic has stirred up a lot of interest.

For me a hashtag can be used in a powerful way to signify a Key Message of yours or a significant  “Breadcrumb” (click that link for my blog about key messages) that you wish to leave behind about you and your business for the reader.

You might use a hashtag to label posts about:

  • An event or concert #LondonFoodFest or #EP14 (Electric Picnic 2014)
  • Elections #LE14 (Local Elections 2014)
  • A place #Dublin
  • A cause #LGBTRights
  • A sentiment #LoveCork
  • An outlook #Positivity
  • A philosophy #WinHappy
  • A show #Murnaghan
  • Your team #LFC #YNWA
  • Recommending followers on a Friday #FF
  • Publicising job opportunities #Jobs or #JobFairy

You can use the hashtags in very many ways to suit the occasion and to draw extra attention to the point you want to make or a particular keyword(s) in your post.

Murnaghan

You will find the more progressive TV shows will encourage the viewer to tweet about a topic being discussed and will suggest a hashtag to use – in a way the viewer is asked to “join the discussion“.

Hashtags are also appearing in adverts for brands, where they are often used to help create an association for the consumer between a sentiment and the product or service #LoveLife.

For me hashtags are used best when you decide on a “family” of these, which should be used consistently for you and your business.

Having decided on your key messages you might devise a range of hashtags that might best be used to communicate these little breadcrumbs about you and your business.

For example a restaurant in Dublin who prides themselves on using local artisan suppliers, who have an extensive menu with good gluten free and vegetarian options, who stock a range of craft beers and is very proud of the city and who offer free treats on a Tuesday, might regularly tweet using hashtags such as:

#SourceLocal #Artisan  #GlutenFree  #VegMenus  #CraftBeers  #LoveDublin  #TreatTuesday (hopefully not all at the same time!)

When you are posting you are best keeping your hashtags as short as possible, memorable and try to use them just one at a time in tweets. Used consistently and in the right context you would be surprised how quickly a place gets known for these things.

For example when I tweet I use hashtags a lot to draw attention to particular things in my posts and the ones I use most frequently are #Positivity (when talking about good news or job announcements) #WinHappy (when talking about Fuzion – this is a core philosophy) #FuzionFriday (when talking about our Friday lunch with the team) #FuzionPlaylist (when I mention the music playing in the office).

It amazes me when people play these back to me (“I’d love to join ye for FuzionFriday some day”) in the context that I intended and I then realise that I have managed to convey our key messages effectively by using this simple Twitter device.

I do fully understand people’s frustration with all of this new media and it’s quirks and idiosyncrasies but most of it is built to be easy to use ….once you know how!

You may prefer not to use hashtags at all (sometimes there may be no need) but if you want to get that special message across then start using this new language…

 #HashtagHeaven

Note: Hashtags are now also being used on other social media platforms but they are a very significant feature when used on Twitter.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Power up your Profile

May 27, 2014

Stand out in a crowdWho are you?

What are you all about, what are you interested in, what are you passionate about, what is your expertise?

What parts of you do you want to reveal and what are the parts of you that are really special that would propel you to success if only they weren’t such a secret?

Are you holding back on your personal power by staying under the radar and not letting people see the special talent and person that you are?

People Power

Pick up a newspaper or a magazine and do you find yourself reading about people? People are interesting and we want to know about them – we’re often more interested in the owner of the business and their story than the business itself. How did they do it?

Online is exactly the same with everyone from celebrities, sports stars, politicians, business people and Joe public all revealing their stories or at least parts of their stories through their conversations, photos and other revelations. We can access this information easily by following sites that reveal all sorts of news and gossip and by actually following those individuals we are interested in.

One of the great quotes I heard about twitter reveals the new opportunity that is available to all of us right now: “It makes famous people ordinary and ordinary people famous!“.

Coffee shop gal

This is a really simple statement but it gives us a insight to a colossal opportunity that is only possible ij this generation. Online you can often find that the ‘star‘ you are following is boring, just posting about products they are endorsing and you discover that the woman who runs the coffee shop around the corner is hilarious and totally engaging. She is the real star!

You can also be a ‘real’ star if you take that step and reveal the special you and harness the Personal Power that you have within yourself that will only come alive once you start flexing your muscles and make your own noise online.

With a clear vision and consistent effort it is now possible for any of us to carefully build our own powerful personal profile by using the opportunities that the online platforms present us.

There are a few simple steps to make this happen:

Clear Objectives – Decide what you want to achieve through your online activity. Write it down!
Who are You – Consider which “you” do you want to reveal online? Map out clearly all the parts about you, that you wish to portray; your information, life and career experience, interests, passions and beliefs
Choose How – Decide how you want to push this “you'” out there including the online platforms that you choose
Tribe – Decide the audience you want to cultivate a relationship with and start following and interacting with them so you get their attention

You may not want to be a star but you might just be interested in the right people discovering ‘you’ and achieving those bigger objectives of yours.

Go on, Power Up and …..make some noise!

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

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Polling day

May 23, 2014

Polling day

Polling day has finally arrived for all the local and the European election candidates, full of hope and nerves – will you have done enough to convince the electorate in your patch to vote for you?

Has it been about shaking as many hands and knocking on as many doors as possible, has it been about distributing as many flyers and putting up as many posters as possible?

Has it been about working hard in your area on issues that you really believe in and ones that matter to people or has it been about grabbing issues you feel will tactically fly for you in the media and ones that will give you the right visibility?

Has it been about attending events, socials, sporting occasions and some funerals?

Has it been about getting those magic media moments, and performing convincingly when they come along and moving enough people to give you their precious votes?

Has it been about efficient PR, ensuring that the media get to know what you are doing and in turn reaching the people you want to convince?

Has it been about how well you connect with people online, not just over the last few months but over the long haul, is it about numbers of social media followers and your skill in using the platforms to show them who you are and what you are doing?

Has it been about the support of your party and how well you work with your other running mates who often are competitors?

Has it been about the skill and courage do deal with hurtful personal abuse when it comes along and to not let this derail you?

Has it been about intelligence and winning arguments or is it about being ‘nice’ and caring and winning hearts as well as minds?

Has it been about money and having the necessary resources to gain sufficient visibility even if this means some third party assistance and advertising?

Has it been about hard work and the careful execution of a strategy without any diversions?

Has it been about sacrifice, giving up precious personal time to the detriment of family and friends?

Has it been about having a great team to work with you, canvassing and supporting you along the way including family and friends who believe in you and who understand the sacrifice.

Whatever it is, today is the day when you are at the mercy of voters and you find out if what you did was enough to win the race.

Like them or loathe them we need politicians that we believe in at local, national and European level representing us and our needs.

In our democratic society we have the power to vote for our favoured candidates who have put themselves forward to do a job on our behalf using all of their skill, knowledge, influence, intelligence, empathy, conscience, energy, time and motivation to achieve what they believe Is important.

If we don’t like the selection of candidates then we need to do something about it..

A big thank you to each and every one of the candidates for stepping up to the plate and putting yourself forward for election – in truth it’s something most people would not do.

The very best of luck to all candidates and we hope that the worthy winners will execute their new roles with the same attributes and diligence that won their hard fought seats and that they do their utmost to stay true to their promises and do their very best for all of us and not just those who voted for them.

Well done for standing up and being counted ….literally!

Greg Canty

Greg is a partner of Fuzion, Marketing and PR who provide a wide range of services from offices in Cork and Dublin including helping some politicians along the way!

How did you survive the recession?

May 5, 2014

navigating the storm

It looks like we have come through the recession and things are finally improving – it was a rough, tough, bumpy ride but we got there!

As things start to improve the horrible memories will fade into the past but hopefully the valuable lessons we learnt will stay with us and we will be stronger for them.

In our industry we were particularly vulnerable as many businesses totally shut down on their positive spend and investment in Marketing and PR was deemed by many as unnecessary in tough times. Budgets were slashed and at the beginning of 2009 we lost a lot of good accounts. On top of this we suffered a lot of bad debts, which was really hard to carry.

Thankfully we dug in and we survived and we managed to come through this challenging period without losing any staff, without having to reduce wages – in fact it was the opposite. We managed to grow our business and we took on extra staff and we opened an office in Dublin.

Personally I took a lot of inspiration from a book I read called ‘Storming the Recession‘.

In my view we survived the recession because of a few things:

  • We did our best to stay deliberately positive at all times
  • We worked hard at keeping our team motivated and protected them from tax increases
  • We used social media extensively to boost our awareness and promote our services
  • We looked for and grabbed unique opportunities, which only occur in tough times
  • We kept our pricing competitive at all times
  • We made sure we delivered for our clients – their budgets are precious and it is essential their investments are wise ones
  • We looked for extra ways to deliver value for clients including embracing new media enabling them to connect with customers in new ways
  • We diversified our services and started to run training courses in PR and Social Media – most of these were done in the evening and the extra income really helped. These courses also helped to increase our network and awareness
  • We absolutely worked our socks off punching in incredibly long hours – we thought recession would mean less work!!

There were times when things were really tight and very worrying but we always seemed to just about get through. Maybe we were lucky but then again maybe you make your own luck?

This was a unique time that no doubt will come again and is important that when that happens we remember how we coped the last time round, which is why I am forcing myself to write this!

What did you do to survive the recession?

Greg Canty

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


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