Archive for the ‘Communications’ Category

Local Elections, old codgers and phone zapping…

May 21, 2019

Old codgers - Inniscarra Bar, Cork

We were in our local, the Inniscarra Bar, one of the most authentic old style pubs you will find in the country, part of that dying breed where the walls will talk warmly to you about everyone who has sat there before you and before them.

It was early on a Saturday evening and we were having a sneaky pint before heading home to cook some grub.

The two old codgers sitting at the bar sipped quietly on their  pints and every now and then there was some chit chat between them. One of the guys had a battle weary black dog with him who was busy going from one patron to the next, sniffing and being friendly.

For some strange reason there was a large election poster leaning up against the wall for one of the local candidates, Shane Fallon. I’m not really sure if this was a practical joke or if it was a serious election tactic by the candidate?!

Out of nowhere the two men got very animated and their conversation got louder and louder..

Those f##king posters are a f##king disgrace and they should be banned as they are ruining the environment

Wow….it went on..

Sure, don’t they have email and don’t they have the internet and..and don’t they have, you know yourself, can’t they just zap phones the way they do?

You are so right, a f##king disgrace!“, followed by lots of huffing and puffing and then back to their pints.

Were they right??  

It’s funny …just a few days beforehand I was standing in front of my Dublin Chamber Council colleagues presenting them an overview of our business sector.

To do this I reached out to many of the member companies, both large and small and looked for their feedback about trends in the sector.

A BIG MESSAGE was that there was a huge shift from traditional media to digital but this was loaded with a gentle warning that clients need to be very careful not to put all of their eggs into this one channel as you just won’t reach your audience in a way that your message will land.

As I walked back from the pub I noticed all of the election posters – who do I like the look of?

When I pushed opened the front door open I looked at the flyers that had been pushed through the letter box – who are you and what are you promising?

And if I believe you really care about the location I do expect you to knock on my door and chat to me.

I tweeted three of the candidates who had dropped in their literature and two responded. One just took herself out of the running!

It’s great that the old codgers got so animated about the environment (there probably should be a limit to how many they put up), but unfortunately a candidate who relies only on email (GDPR has that one squeezed to death!!) and zapping phones (I’m taking this to mean social media) will not be successful.

The candidates need to integrate their social media with their traditional media and however they manage it, they need to be recognised, liked and if possible connect in some real way with the voters.

Get out and vote this Friday!!

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

 

The girl in the coffee shop!

April 16, 2019

Coffee

I couldn’t help but notice the girl waiting on her coffee this morning.

She was perfectly turned out, beige coat, black boots, hair tied up and perfect makeup but you could sense her tension – there was no one ahead of her and no one behind her. It was just her and the girl who was serving her.

There wasn’t a smile, not a word of chat, just a series of deep breaths and sighs as she went though the “painful” process of ordering her coffee, waiting for it and paying for it.

This “intimate” transaction happened quickly, and without a word she was on her way with her coffee and into the passenger seat of a car that was waiting outside for her.

It’s Tuesday morning and I have no idea who she is or what her life must be like but this is not a good start to the day.

Smile, say hello, wake up and ….smell the coffee!

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Peter Drucker, Management Guru and a Powerful Perspective on age

March 6, 2019

Peter Drucker

I was listening recently to a podcast hosted by Tim Ferriss who was interviewing the author of what I consider to be my bible of business books, Good to Great, Jim Collins.

One of topics discussed was age and Jim put this into huge perspective by chatting about his inspiration, Peter Drucker.

Jim was lucky enough to meet this giant of the management world and when he met him first Peter was 86 and still at full throttle.

Peter was a prolific writer and one of the most respected of his time and in many ways his writings about management are still held out as being ground breaking and as relevant today as they were when they were written.

Jim was sent an image of a bookshelf that was full of all of Drucker’s books and there was a line drawn across the image that marked the volume of books written when he was 65, the typical retirement age.

Incredibly, at 65 years of age Peter Drucker had written just one third of his books!!

Peter Drucker passed away in 2005 at the age of 92 – he wrote another 10 books since Jim had met him at the age of 86!

As I am nudging closer to another birthday (those numbers keep getting bigger!!) I keep telling myself that I am only at the beginning..

Thank you Peter Drucker…

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

 

Recruitment -The secrets that are revealed in “Soft” communications

February 1, 2019

You are hired

We’ve done a lot of recruiting in the last while, pushing our vacancy notices on social media and in adverts on LinkedIn and Facebook (As a piece of feedbackI’ll never use the job facility on Facebook again for recruitment).

In each case applicants send a CV and often with some sort of a cover note or email.

I have found that this “discretionary” cover note or email is so important as a part of the process as it is the opportunity to communicate directly and connect with you the recruiter, and a chance to show some personality, to highlight a special point of difference and demonstrate your real interest in the role.

If we want to reach out to that candidate to arrange an interview you end up corresponding with the person either by phone or email.

This simple interaction is “gold” as it is another great soft opportunity to communicate, and for the candidate that opportunity to once again show their personality and interest in the role – if that’s you, be sure to take it and be proactive and grab the early opportunity to stand out.

Even if it’s 2nd or 3rd interviews make sure that every interaction is positive and use them as opportunities to show yourself in the best light.

You haven’t got the job and you get the disappointing “Dear John or Dear Mary” email – I know you are deflated but there is actually another opportunity here.

Even if you don’t feel like it, be sure to take that last chance to show you are a great candidate!!

Send a positive email back, thank them for their time and be sure you put it in their heads that you could have been a great candidate for the role after all.

The world is small and life is short, things don’t always work out and they could well be recruiting again soon – put yourself on the top of that list by being so nice.

If you are recruiting try to include lots of opportunities to communicate with the candidates as part of your process so they can get a sense of your culture and you can hopefully reveal what they are really like and in future make this a key part of your evaluation criteria.

The “soft” communications in business are a huge opportunity for all of us, regardless of which side of the table you are sitting at. It’s a valuable skill if you can master it!

Note re the image:

I was trying to grab a clever image from the web to go with this post and I found this one, which I did think was appropriate and quite funny. 

I was not going to use it because it was all men in the image, so I had a double think, which is probably a good thing. This had me putting up a stupid anaemic “stock” photo and I said no, enough!!  If the gender police get all offended and go off on one, at Fuzion we do employ more women than men. It’s not because we have a preference for one gender over the other, it’s because they are great people who do great work..the world is a funny place!!

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Soft messages and the downward spiral of Social Media

January 27, 2019

AlgorithimsIt’s a funny, sad old time.

It’s been a year since my dad passed away so I wrote a blog post (as I do) to capture what I’ve been feeling and published it.

I have my blog set up so that when I publish, it automatically pushes the post out to my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

If my posts are business oriented posts they are suited to LinkedIn and Twitter and if they are more personal they are suited to Facebook and Twitter.

The auto publish facility that I have set up with my blog doesn’t differentiate and this personal post was pushed out to all.

You would reasonably expect that this personal post would “perform” best on Facebook (which is really the best platform for family and friends) but the platform where I got the biggest feedback and reaction was on LinkedIn, which makes no sense really!!

I was getting some really heartfelt responses from people who clearly had read the post and were leaving some nice messages and even sharing some of their own experiences.

Why wouldn’t this personal post resonate more on Facebook and Twitter?

There is nothing wrong with my logic – this type of post is most relevant to my Facebook audience, those friends and family who use it primarily to chill out, catch up on news and gossip when the work of the day is done.

The truth is Facebook (and Twitter is also following suit) have gone way too far, the algorithms are manipulating the posts from your friends so much that you end up seeing very few of these in between too many sponsored posts.

At this stage very few of us are seeing the posts by friends and family and those from organisation and business pages that we follow.

So, my conclusion isn’t that the business audience are suddenly more interested in “personal stuff”, it’s that LinkedIn is still just about hanging in there as a place that isn’t totally warped by those algorithms, those set of rules that dictate what we see and don’t see. I wonder about those working in these social media companies and if they believe that what they are actually is a good thing – they are not!!

They are eroding the value that we have in their platforms,  bit by bit , which will impact on their market value eventually.

As for LinkedIn, hopefully this platform will try to stay pure.

For anyone in business using these platforms, if you want your posts to be seen you need to advertise – we are in that phase where people think it’s still worthwhile.

It won’t last too long …

Greg

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

Listening to all of the Signals

November 21, 2018

Rush - Signals

I’ve been thinking a lot about signals recently, the signals that people will send you from time to time and the power of signals when you send them and what they can achieve.

(the pic. is the cover of an album by Canadian band, Rush called Signals)

Some of the signals are big ones from a business or organisation, which are meant to be noticed.

Big, clear signals that are built to deliver clear messages that they want their audience to digest in brochures, websites, adverts or press releases and sometimes there can be much smaller signals, which can be every bit as important such as phone manner, meet and greet, the little stories that can be shared via social media and even the tone of social media interactions.

The big and small signals apply equally with us, mere mortals, human beings occupying space on this earth. We do the big stuff with how we dress and present ourselves, how we speak, the language we use and our choice of subject matter, our personal interactions, how we communicate on email, our blogs and our videos, our bios on our social media accounts and the actual posts themselves.

With business or with our personal signals it is quite easy to “paint a picture” that is advantageous to you and your goals with your target audience but sometimes this may not always quite be “the truth”.

All of us, professionally or personally owe it to ourselves to present the best version of “the truth” to our audiences, but we also owe it to ourselves to never blindly accept what we see from others as there could always be another story, which may not be that obvious.

When it comes to business or personal, as receivers of these signals we need to be careful not to take what we see at face value, but instead look carefully at all of the other signals to discover what the real truth is.

For me, I have found that when something hasn’t quite worked out with an organisation or a person, there was always some signal there that I had actually noticed but had ignored because it was small and it just didn’t stack up against the bigger signals, which surely were the correct version of the truth?

Sellers – be careful with all of the signals you push out.

Buyers – be careful and take the time to look for all of the signals, and obey them!

Greg 

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

 

What have you got to say?

August 29, 2018

Donald Trump

Every day without fail he is at it.

He is on Twitter consistently pumping out his messages, over and over garnering our attention and fuelling the stories that the media grab onto.

His content is on message: Make America Great Again #MAGA, Witch hunt, Fake News, Crooked Hillary, Build a Wall, Jobs, the Economy, I’m Great and those before me were rubbish!!

As much as we might hate him, his (lack of) beliefs, policies and philosophy we do get to see who he is and yes, we do make up our minds about him.

He has a target audience that he seems to understand quite well and sadly, he knows what they want to hear and he fires them up relentlessly in his favour with his often dangerous rhetoric.

This social media stuff is powerful and you and your business can use it too:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want them to know about you?
  • Start telling them
  • Start telling them often
  • Start telling them consistently

Donald…thanks for the social media tips!

Greg 

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

 

What does the customer REALLY want?

July 9, 2018

Fuzion Communications team

We had our team day planned- we were all heading to Kinsale for the day!!

The mini bus was ordered and I went on a quick off-licence run with one of the guys, nothing mad but a few beers and ciders, something for everyone.

Instead of the mini bus that was ordered a few taxis arrived – my heart sank.

To the taxi company there was no difference between a mini bus and a few taxis. In their book each option got our crew to our destination – isn’t that the point of transportation?

Fuzion Communications team

To me this was a real let down – the team bonding, the banter and the fun and yes, the few drinks together was going to be an important part of our team day, including the journey there and the journey back.

There was no point saying anything – they just wouldn’t get it!

It’s really important that you clearly understand what your customer really wants when they order your product or service …. what do they really want?

Of course we had a great day but it could have been even better.

A big thanks to Hal McElroy of the Trident Hotel , who organised our boat trip with Ocean Addicts.

Greg 

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

Strategy – A good strong “why” will stop the arguments!

June 12, 2018

Strategy

I found myself in the middle of a big argument with a colleague about a decision that had been made around an initiative.

To cut a long story short, it was cancelled and I wasn’t at all happy about it as I believed this was a really poor decision according to all of the well thought criteria and rationale that I had in my head!

He thought it was the right thing to do to cancel it and I thought it was totally wrong and we both argued tooth and nail for our point of view. In the end we had to agree to disagree as it would soon be dark as there was no shifting of our respective opinions.

I reflected after on this argument and the potentially damaging heated disagreement and realised that the absence of a clear strategy that would have given the argument a clear focus was the main reason that had us in a battle of words that was going nowhere fast.

Why?

If the why (or the strategy) was clearly established, understood and agreed in advance of our “argument” then there would have been a good chance that we may have had no need for any conversation!

Armed with a good ‘Why’ a logical decision could have been made by answering a few basic questions:

– Who is our agreed target audience?

– Why are they important to us?

– What is our agreed objective for that audience?

– What are the best tactics for reaching that audience?

– How did this initiative work as a tactic that delivered the objective for this audience?

– What were the KPIs that were agreed to assess the success of the initiatives?

– What was the cost of the initiative?

– How did the initiative work in the past and how did it perform against the agreed KPIs?

– Could anything have been done to improve the performance of the initiative?

– Are there other alternative tactics that would deliver the same or better results?

With a strong and transparent assessment framework that is rooted in a clear strategy our conversation would have been very straightforward.

Have a strong why that everyone agrees with and your life will be much easier all round !

p.s. I know I was right!

Greg 

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

“Ordinary” voices speaking loudly

May 13, 2018

Vicky Phelan

I was driving across the city and listening passively to RTE 1 – it was Dee’s car so I didn’t have it set up to stream podcasts from my phone.

The presenter brought on a woman to talk about the utterly awful and totally depressing situation with the cervical cancer screening fiasco, brought to light by the very brave Vicky Phelan who had refused the insulting and inevitable “non-disclosure” clause in her settlement case with the HSE.

(can you even get your head around the callous thinking here? “We’ve practically killed you by not owning up to an error and we are now giving you some money to compensate you, but a condition must be that you keep your mouth shut about it!!)

This brave, “ordinary” woman had courage, refused this clause and used her voice to expose this awful crime on Irish citizens.

Margaret Murphy

The person who came on air was Margaret Murphy, who is a Patient Advocate for the World Health Organisation (WHO) Patients for Patient Safety Programme. I had never heard of her before and I never heard of this programme.

Margaret came to this position because of her eloquence and her unique ability to share the story of her son Kevin who died aged 21 years.  Margaret gives an insight into what it is like to be a patient, a family and a clinician when things go wrong in the healthcare system.

Margaret speaks all over the world addressing audiences on the topic of “things going wrong” within the medical world and advocates strongly for a regime of honesty, transparency and candour – she knows it works, she has the facts and she even makes the business case for being honest as it is proven to save money for the medical profession!

Once Margaret came on the airwaves she immediately grabbed my attention –  the most engaging thing about her was that she spoke in a down to earth accent (an “ordinary” person) and used down to earth language and she spoke with passion.

This is the time for all “ordinary” people to stand up and use their powerful voices and highlight the bullshit that is contaminating the most powerful institutions in the country.

Bring on the ordinary..

Greg 

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