Archive for the ‘Dublin’ Category

I’m not telling you where it is..

February 5, 2017

Fireside

You can feel everything heating up again..

We spend at least half our working week doing business in Dublin and our home has been a particular hotel, which was located close to the office.

It became a home from home of sorts for years with most of the staff recognising us as we trooped in with our bags week after week. They looked after us really well and we left them lots of business. We had our corporate rate and our bonus nights and they had a regular customer, often at times of the year when Dublin was quiet.

The first sign of things changing was an email last year notifying us that our corporate rate wouldn’t apply on peak weeks. Okay, but wasn’t that the whole point of a corporate rate – a good average rate in exchange for lots of regular business?

The second big sign, which came along a few months later was an email informing us that the corporate rates in 2017 were increasing by 40%. Thank you… it seems that the whole loyalty thing doesn’t quite cut the mustard when things get busier!

So we went shopping for an alternative.

We did find a place, a little further out that gave us a good corporate rate and they assured us that they had a complimentary shuttle service to alleviate the slightly inconvenient location.

On the first day using the new hotel I enquired about the shuttle service – unfortunately the driver was on leave this week so there would be no shuttle service. Okay – Mr Shuttle driver could not be relied on!

I headed on foot to the office and just as I was nearly there I passed a gorgeous little place, an old Georgian house with a sign outside declaring it to be a “hotel”.

I marched up the steps of this beautiful property and pushed the door open to be greeted by a really nice, friendly guy. I asked about rates and asked to see a typical room.

I was so impressed with the package he offered me and the gorgeous rooms and homely atmosphere that I immediately booked us in for a number of weeks ahead. The guy I was dealing with was the owner – the place had been in his family for decades and somehow you knew it had.

Our first stay didn’t disappoint – “Would you like a tea or a coffee?” was just one part of the warm welcome, the room was homely and impeccable and our breakfast was delicious and made to order.

I’m guessing the friendly woman, Agnes who served us was part of the family that owned this special place.

We walked to work, just a few minutes away and there was an extra skip in my step because in all the years that we have been staying overnight in Dublin I have never felt so at home.

So, unfortunately I’m not going to tell you where it is!!

I’ll resist tweeting about it because selfishly I want to keep this place a secret so that there is always a room there for us.

Dublin is booming ..

Greg Canty 

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

A Tale of Two Cities and The Cork Opportunity

January 7, 2017

One Albert Quay, Cork

With busy offices in both Dublin and Cork I am in the privileged position of witnessing both cities up close and personal and with the nature of our work we get close to many of the key issues and challenges.

In Dublin I am a Council member of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and in Cork I have been working on various marketing initiatives for the region so I guess I have a unique perspective. The recent Connecting Cork initiative by Cork Chamber has the city proactively connecting with our business diaspora around the globe.

Undoubtedly, there are terrific opportunities but there are also big challenges that must be addressed if we wish to seize them and Cork can play a pivotal role in ensuring that these opportunities stay in Ireland.

We hear the fantastic headlines on the news everyday about the many companies announcing new jobs but we also hear about how much demand there is for housing and the limited supply of high quality office space in the locations that contemporary businesses and their talented employees want to be in – high quality, accessible urban destinations with an attractive lifestyle mix.

While unemployment levels are half what they were at the peak of the recession the headlines are dominated with news of sky rocketing rents and the resulting social issues due to the huge imbalance of supply and demand for housing. The brave ‘Home Sweet Home’ campaign with the occupation of Apollo House has just put a huge spotlight on the issue of homelessness, which is in part a consequence of an improving economy.

So, it doesn’t always quite feel that we are succeeding.

While I am hugely proud of Cork, my hometown it is vital that Ireland has a strong, effective capital city to rival any in Europe. As part of my role in Dublin Chamber of Commerce we regularly feed into briefing documents and housing has been clearly identified as the number one issue for Dublin followed by infrastructure.

At the moment, it feels to me that Dublin is “broken” and it needs radical fixing so that the opportunities that present themselves can be seized without causing further problems for those living and working in the city.

The government for obvious reasons were unable to prime the development context to support the housing, office and hotel development that urban Ireland really needed. It also failed to really get to grips with the major infrastructure deficit in Dublin and we are now in major catch up mode.

To complicate matters further the management of the city of Dublin is totally fragmented, which makes cohesive planning and effective action extremely difficult.

The private land and property sector can shoulder some of the blame but there are huge tracts of brownfield land and property owned by State Agencies in Dublin, which should have been primed for development in 2012,13 and 14 for delivery now.

We talk about the genuine opportunities for Ireland as a result of Brexit but you must question if we could honestly cope with them if they came to fruition. If we are struggling with major issues for those living here now, are we crazy to be still talking about attracting even more businesses and talent?

Getting the companies here and then trying to sort out homes, schools and transport for the people afterwards will not be that easy.

ireland

While we proudly proclaim that “Ireland is the best small country in which to do business” we are in real danger of this message changing to “Ireland is the worst small country in which to find a suitable home“.

We need to be really careful because this message will catch on and once it does it will be very difficult for us to change the it.

This is where I believe Cork can step up to the mark.

In my hometown, something exciting is happening. Cork, has been progressing well with office, hotel, retail, leisure and community projects completed or under construction and at the same time public realm improvements are helping to present Cork in a better light.

However, Cork is also facing housing and infrastructure challenges but like any smaller ‘entity’ we should be more agile and flexible with the capability of reacting quickly as long as we have the genuine will to do so.

If Cork is positive and works diligently, cleverly and cohesively we can position the Cork ‘Metro’ area of some 500,000 people as Ireland’s only genuine second tier European city region full of innovative and creative people who are hungry to succeed.

Cork would then be in an ideal position to provide solutions for Ireland that Dublin will be unable to provide.

Cork can and should complement Dublin, adding more depth to Ireland’s global offer, helping IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the private sector to attract and retain businesses and people in Ireland and helping all to grow and succeed.

We now have real critical mass in global growth business sectors including technology, agribusiness, bio-pharma, tourism plus business services so a person can enjoy a great career along with other benefits.

Living in Cork is unquestionably a fantastic alternative with cheaper housing, cheaper office space, superb education, little congestion, the amazing countryside and coastline plus you can access Dublin, the rest of the island plus the global hubs of London, Paris and Amsterdam along with 50 other European cities easily. Into the bargain, we will soon be able to fly direct to the US.

Our most precious asset is the very special quality of life that is second to none in Cork, which many clever people, domestic and foreign, have already figured out. So many people who locate to Cork just don’t leave!

We have this superb opportunity and it is within our grasp once we are proactive and accelerate the development, infrastructure and marketing of the Cork region. House building must be front of centre with this agenda to ensure that we can provide all of our current and new citizens with suitable homes.

While Cork is “Big on Life” it needs to be just as Big on Action if we are to seize the opportunities that are there, right now.

Greg Canty 

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

Donald Trump and Dublin Chamber of Commerce 

October 8, 2016

Donald Trump

At the beginning of this year I was voted onto the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council – it’s like a big management team for the organisation, which plays a role in setting the direction for it and overseeing how it is run.

The Council is made up of 30 elected members and each year 10 must resign to be replaced by another 10, which can include the members who have resigned.

To get voted onto the Council you must put yourself forward for election and gather enough votes from members to make the grade.

It’s a tough and humbling thing putting yourself in the firing line, out there to be judged but that’s what you do to become a member!

If you don’t put in the work you won’t be elected and this means punching in sufficient effort so that members will recognise you and put their faith in you.

To rise to the pinnacle of the organisation and become President is another ballgame altogether and is testament to the very clever and robust set of rules that have been put in place to ultimately protect the Chamber.

Presidential Process

If you wish to become President you must first become Deputy Vice President (Number 3) and to achieve this you must first be a Council member and you must be voted in by the other members.

The very clever organisation rules only allow council members who are on their 3rd year to be eligible – quite simply you must be around council for over two years ensuring that you serve your time learning the ropes.

The Deputy Vice President normally becomes Vice President the next year and then President.

By the time this person takes on the role they will have at least 5 years under their belt and they will be fully immersed in the workings of the Chamber – this is a superb system for protecting the running of the organisation that plays such a significant role in the business of our capital city.

Now compare this to the role of President of the United States, possibly the most powerful and influential position in the world!!

Up steps Donald Trump. a loudmouth. brash, uncouth, moneybags who has enough balls and bravado to run and convince a lot of people that he is actually a valid candidate.

Would Donald be prepared to first punch in three years of meetings and learning the ropes with his peers before being able to run?

Would he put himself forward to be judged by his peers who have witnessed him in action close up for at least 2 years?

Would he then hang around for another two years of valuable learning, soaking up the ways of the organisation and the skills required to identify and tackle the real issues?

I doubt it …..

Greg Canty 

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

In Dublin’s “not so fair” city

September 25, 2016

Smithfield Dublin

We were just after leaving a really successful client event in the Smithfield area of inner city Dublin, just north of the River Liffey.

I love this quirky, eclectic area of Dublin with a mix of old and new, the large cobbled stone plaza, new apartment blocks and old houses surrounded by coffee shops, little stores, the old Jameson distillery with a buzz of young and old including plenty of ‘cool’ hipsters making this area their own.

On this occasion it was nearly 8pm on a dark dreary night and the heavens had opened. A taxi was nowhere to be seen so we made our way in the pouring rain to the Luas stop (part of the much used Red Line, which would have come all the way from Tallaght with a stop at Heuston Train station).

There seemed to be an edge to the atmosphere as we waited for the tram to arrive. A woman was asking us as well as others if we had “two tens“. You could see she wanted people to open their wallets or purses.

Sorry, we don’t” Deirdre responded politely. “That’s alright love” she replied.

After about 5 minutes the tram arrived and we embarked with many others as well as the woman who had been asking for change.

On the tram we were standing next to a middle aged guy wearing an old black tracksuit with runners that had seen better days and a laptop case slung over his shoulder.

Three lads in tracksuits (they weren’t on the way to or from the gym!) were making a racket and they started exchanging banter with the guy in the black tracksuit – it was hard to figure out if they were spoiling for a fight or just messing but you knew inctinctively not to make eye contact with any of them.

During their banter there was plenty of “colourful language” being used as well as statements about “getting a syringe and doing ya“. They were now shouting down the carriage at another group of young girls who were shouting back at them.

At this stage we were feeling very uncomfortable as I am sure were the others including some visitors to Dublin with their suitcases who would more than likely have boarded at the train station.

The three lads in tracksuits jumped off at the next stop along with the woman who had been looking to change money leaving the guy in the black tracksuit, who at this stage was talking loudly to himself.

The Spire, Dublin

Eventually we were glad to get off the tram at Abbey Street just off O’Connell Street – as we stepped off the tram a man and two women, all soaked to the skin passed us by. The woman who may have been in her forties was like a woman possessed with her dead hair, pale face, mad eyes and missing teeth. She was shouting and roaring at everyone she passed by as well as those with her.

The man with her who was wearing a green tracksuit top and jeans, was pushing a tiny, quite old kids bicycle. Deirdre winced as he accidentally walloped the bicycle pedal off her leg as be brushed past her – he didn’t even notice.

Keeping our heads down we kept moving but then noticed the toothless woman had bumped into another weather beaten  woman with a hard face. Life had been hard for her, I’m sure. They clearly knew each other and now the other woman was crying and shouting something we couldn’t quite understand.

Lets get out of here quick we were thinking…

We passed them, pushed onto O’Connell Street and made our way as quick as possible towards O’Connell Bridge. Once you got to the other side of the river you could see and feel that it was a much safer area. We noticed that at no point along the way did we see anything resembling a police presence.

Dublin, our very popular capital city is a fantastic place but it has a dark, dangerous anti social edge to it in many central locations that are sadly witnessed by many visitors as well as natives.

While we can curse and detest these ‘louts’ for tainting our beloved capital we should first wonder how these desperately troubled and deprived people have ended up behaving and living like this and then begin to figure out the huge job of breaking these awful cycles of misery.

While the economy continues to improve we must figure out how we can leverage this opportunity and make our capital a safe and enjoyable place for everyone to work, live and visit.

Greg Canty 

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

 

 

 

 

Your No. 1 Business Tips – Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Business Owners Network

July 27, 2016

Dublin Chamber - Business Owners Network

We had an interesting session last Friday morning with the Business Owners Network at Dublin Chamber of Commerce. We hold these networking sessions every second Friday between 7:30 and 9am (no messing with this gang!).

I was chairing the session and we decided to do some online networking – we asked everyone to tweet their “Number one Business Tip” and use the hashtag #BONTips. A quick search of the hashtag showed everyone who else was in the room and we took it from there, connecting, replying – plenty of interaction and new connections.

Besides having great fun as always the session yielded some very interesting business tips:

@JodhianMorian   Privacy247

Privacy is a choice but never let anybody dictate your default settings

@tonyinvest57  Tony O’Reilly

Prepare to retire in style

@iPingIT

Always make sure you have your data backed up!!!!! Ur information is your ammunition

@borgmanearls  Nick Borgman

Be willing to go the extra mile for your clients every single time…

@dee_TPI   Deirdre Dunne

Put on a big smile when you answer the phone. You may look mad but sound great

@claudesaulnier  Claude Saulnier

Always hang out with good guys

@KylesCatering

Get up early to make your day productive

@Colliers_Ire   Colliers Ireland

Make a plan & engage! Post content that’s not just about your business but of interest to your followers!

@RoseKer  Rose Kervick

Be impeccable with your word

Dublin Chamber - Business Owners Network

@RossONeill_RGON   Ross O’Neill

You’d be surprised how many obstacles we unknowingly put in our teams way – listen to your team and act fast to remove them!

@ToxicData   Toxic Data

Handle toxic waste properly for better PR

@wandsoft   We Simplify Business

Want an extra staff for less than €100 a month, that’s what we offer

@ActNowIreland   Aisling Curtin

Reflect on which actions take you closer toward who & where you want to be in business & which actions will take you further away

@KarenADraper   Karen Draper

Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can leave to the next day

@soandsodesign  So and So

Design is so simple that’s why it’s so complicated” – Paul Rand

Dublin Chamber - Business Owners Network

@AR_Escapegames   Adventure Games Dublin

Try spend €2 on to reach more clients

@Jen_Appleton   Jen Appleton

Comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there

@SuppliesBosMatt  Mathew Dean

Smile

@BDComms   Ben Dobbs

Adjust your level of directness or indirectness based on the culture, personality and context of your partner(s) in an interaction

@garykealy2  Gary Kealy

Do what you love and you’ll never work again

@navenbachani

Believe in your product and thrive your business with that belief

@dunneclare   Clare Dunne

Going on holiday soon? Check your passport now, don’t wait until the night before departure!!

@gerrycrosbie    DesignYard Awards

Select an award that makes maximum impact

@sdg_magee  Samantha Magee

Management is an art enriched by everyday experiences

@IanH123   Ian Hannon

There is NO substitute to hard work. So you might as well get stuck in and enjoy it!

@CHBCGroup   CHBC Office Group

Just get started

@HapiColm   Colm Rowan

Clear and honest communication is essential to ensuring a team is successful in business. Communication drops, so does teamwork

Dublin Chamber - Business Owners Network

@briancrowleytip   Brian Crowley

Passion is everything!

@PrintDepotIre   Print Depot

“Turn up and get involved

@Abrivia12   Donal O’Brien

Hire ok people, have an ok company! Hire great people

@Kildaredesign   Grainne Slattery

SEO it’s all about being found

@eoscott   Eoin Scott

Always back up the data on your PC. Accidents happen!

@conorisme   Conor Coyne

Succeed or learn

@joebehan7  Joe Behan

Listen to understand

BON 7

@kdhampsonkevin   Kevin Hampson

Hire a great accountant

@robertwrockwell   Robert Whelan

Embrace setbacks. Don’t dwell! Learn and move on

@Alec_Drew   Alec Drew

Value of the zero invoice

@Davey_ETE   Dave Murray

People want to do business with people they like

@ItsSocialBee   Melissa Curley

Use to create a twitter background header. It’s free to use and uses exact dimensions

and of course last but not least is my one….

Dublin Chamber - Business Owners Network@GregCantyFuzion

My number one business tip is “Never waste a good story”

What is your No.1 Business Tip?

If you are a business owner in the Dublin area contact the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and arrange to attend one of the Business Owner Network sessions for free. Even better ‘tweet’ them @DubChamtell them Greg sent you!!

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 Good and do Good Business

May 28, 2016

Simon - Bringing breakfast to the homeless

I was asked to give the new Dublin Chamber of Commerce member, Ian Hannon of Activate Sales Training, two minutes at the beginning of the Business Owners Network session (we hold these every second Friday at 7:30am) to introduce himself to the group and briefly promote a training programme that he was running shortly.

I was determined that I would give him about a maximum of 2 minutes as I had a busy “Let’s do Business” session planned.

I was chatting with him during the pre-meeting networking over coffee and croissants and I let him know that I would introduce him at the very beginning of the session. During the course of our chat he explained that he had been up really early because on Fridays he volunteers for Dublin Simon Community and he does a ‘breakfast run‘ before his days work.

Basically he delivers breakfast packs to some of the homeless on the streets of Dublin.

Ian became a different person to me.

At the start of the session when I was introducing Ian I asked him to first tell the group what he did earlier that morning. The group hung on his every word as he spoke about the different characters, the guys he sees regularly, the guys who are still asleep, the guys who are on the streets for just a few days.

Ian became a different person to everyone in the room.

When he got around to speaking about his training programme everyone listened attentively – we liked him, respected him and trusted him. He spoke for a lot more than 2 minutes – Ian will do well!

Do good and do good business.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Corporate Social Responsibility consultancy from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

 

#GoGreg – Dublin Chamber Council and my 5 Priorities

January 14, 2016

Greg Canty - Fuzion Marketing & PR, Dublin and Cork

As we are doing a lot of work in Dublin and I am getting more and more involved with Dublin Chamber of Commerce (I co-chair the Business Owners Network that meets every second Friday) I decided I would take the next step and try to get even more involved.

I have decided to run for Dublin Chamber Council which would give me the opportunity of influencing how the Chamber is run and trying to shape the strategy and direction that it takes about key issues.

While I believe that Dublin Chamber is doing a really good job I do feel that it could do even more..

My Pitch!

No 1 – Passionate about Entrepreneurship

I am passionate about start-ups, business ownership and the SME sector and believe that Dublin Chamber should become a natural hub for all activity in this area. I don’t believe this is the case at the moment.

Dublin Chamber was founded by business owners and we should strive to get back to a scenario whereby successful business owners of all sizes are proactive members driving, supporting and encouraging enterprise in Dublin. We need their voices, influence and expertise to start shining through.

Successful entrepreneurs are asked to speak at Dublin Chamber events – we need them as proactive  members!

For my part I have had my own businesses since the age of 13!

No 2- Influence

I believe that Dublin Chamber should have a much bigger voice and influence in how our city and country is run. I hope with more involvement and through my own expertise I can start to support Chamber in communicating our messages even stronger through more use of traditional and digital media.

Also I believe my communications experience and my insights from working closely with some politicians and other key influencers could be of benefit here.

No 3- Fresh Perspective from the ‘Not so shy’ Cork boy!

I admit it, I’m not from Dublin!

While some might hold this against me as being a negative I feel it is a real positive. I operate a business in both Dublin and Cork, spending my time equally between both locations. I believe I offer a unique fresh perspective as a result, which could benefit the Chamber.

No 4 – Destination Branding Insights

I was recently part of the Destination Branding team that created a Brand book for the Cork region with a focus on attracting Irish and foreign direct investment.

The learnings from this process could be quite valuable to Dublin Chamber.

No 5 – Fun

My last point is a very serious one!

While there is serious business to be done I do believe we need to have a much bigger element of fun to the networking and the business of Chamber. In my view the best networking is done in a relaxed atmosphere and when people are enjoying themselves. I always try my best to achieve this and for anyone who attends my Business Owners Network sessions I chair once a month, I hope this is witnessed.

To give you a taste of the fun we have check out the incredible rendition of “White Christmas” that the Business Owners Network managed in December on YouTube!  

For these reasons I am asking the Dublin Chamber members who would like a fresh, challenging and different voice for Dublin Chamber Council to consider me when voting opens on the 18th January.

I am also asking members to also consider voting for David Lafferty, an accountant who runs his own practice and someone who is busy flying the flag for the SME’s and business owners. He is an active member of the Business Owners Network and has worked on the Budget Task Force with the Chamber.

For Dublin Chamber members the voting is open from the 18th till the 29th January.

#GoGreg !!

Greg Canty - Dublin Chamber

Housing is the vital first step to progress

November 30, 2015

Dublin Docklands

Before we do anything we have to focus on the housing opportunity. Nothing else will work properly without attending to this key issue first.

I attended a really interesting session hosted by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce to discuss the Draft Dublin City Development Plan. There was a big attendance by the top property companies in Dublin as well as other key stakeholders.

There was a presentation by John O’Hara, Acting City Planner of the Dublin City Council. He carefully outlined the areas around Dublin that have been specifically earmarked for development.

The big message from his presentation is that there is a huge demand for residential accommodation and the challenge for the city is to deliver this with the limited space that is available as quick as possible.

There is also big demand for quality office space – however without places for people to live extra offices will only cause problems.

Dublin City Plan image

John Moran, Managing Director of Jones Lane LaSalle (JLL) presented their medium term outlook on the property market in Dublin.

The highlights of this presentation were big demand for office and residential property matched with insufficient supply and a rising hotel market with 85% occupancy, one of the highest in Europe. Being practical about it (and it will be very unpopular to say) maybe its a good thing that the Web Summit will be in Portugal next year? – we won’t have the hotel capacity otherwise!

Quite tellingly we heard about two FDI projects that Dublin lost to overseas locations due to lack of sufficient office space. While this was a loss (the people in the audience were concerned when we heard this) would we have been able to provide accommodation to the workers needed in these companies ?

He also spoke about rising rents putting pressure on employees. This is simple – the employee looks for a raise because their rent has been increased by €200 per month – their problem becomes the employers problem and this wage increase (its takes a lot more than €200 to put an extra €200 in a persons pay packet) will be passed onto the customer and before you know it we are uncompetitive all over again.

How did we get back to this place so quickly?

Brendan Foster of Grant Thornton took us through a very interesting case study for a proposed National Concert Hall Quarter, which would deliver considerable much needed city centre office and residential space.

Crwods

A few things struck me about the session:

Are we not talking?

I was really surprised at the discussion in the room – it struck me that these vested interests had to be brought together by the Chamber for these important conversations to take place. Surely these vital conversations should be happening for more than just 60 minutes? This is very worrying – joined up thinking is required to tackle such a huge issue and a Draft Development Plan for our capital should have much bigger input.

Business first

We all tend to think first about business, attracting more of it, making sure that quality office space is available – both for the big multinationals and the smaller indigenous start ups and service providers.

I could feel the frustration in the room when John O’Hara spent so much time talking about accommodation – we wanted to talk about business, BUT…

Housing is the most important issue that we have to get right very quickly – without this nothing else will happen!

It is clear that Dublin is seriously ‘overcooked‘ and there are serious issues with the supply of social housing, private and accommodation for rental.

If we don’t first sort out the housing challenge quickly in Dublin we should forget about attracting foreign direct investment and encouraging indigenous growth (I hate making that statement) in the city as it will cause further overheating, which we are not able to handle.

Huge Opportunity

The housing challenge in its own right is a huge economic opportunity, which we need to do everything to grasp and facilitate as a huge priority, right now if we want to progress.

Lets start building ..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, who conduct brand workshops for clients from our offices in Dublin and Cork