Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

The slow and long road back to the office ..

July 13, 2021

Oh…you want me to deliver the session in person, in Dublin?

This was a simple enquiry to facilitate a social media strategy session to a group from an organisation and then provide some specific bespoke training on one of the social media platforms.

We were having the usual conversation except the only sticking point was that they wanted a full day session with their group and I was trying to discourage this.

I find that if you stay at training too long then people get tired and what they learn in the morning they end up forgetting in the afternoon. It’s best if they get a chance to slowly digest, process and try it out for themselves.

I normally suggest half day sessions, when everyone stays fresh and then allowing a week in between so that everyone can practice and then come back to progress further.

It must be on the one day because we have the hotel booked” she said.

It was only then that the penny dropped and I understood why she wanted it on the same day.

This threw me as I hadn’t been faced with this in a long time and I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it.

Ok, lets do it ..

As it turned out there was a mix up with the hotel booking on their end and the training was cancelled (after all that !!) and while I was disappointed a big part of me was delighted!

I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect and disruption of it.

Travelling and delivering training sessions in person was part and parcel of the last 10 years (pre Covid), but the truth of it is that I have been doing this from the comfort of my little home office (converted bedroom) for the last 16 months and it works really well.

It’s convenient for me and participants, I’ve tweaked my delivery for online and it works really well, it’s cost effective and it also means they get a fresh “Greg” who isn’t after driving for a few hours and all that goes with it.

The big conversation that I was having with myself was “how inconvenient and pointless” that travelling/in person/ hotel experience would be compared to the very convenient way that I have replaced it with, and with no negative impact on the learning experience.

However, I do love the face to face in person training and as a social creature I love the energy you get back from a “live” group and the special learning dynamic that can happen. This will always have it’s place but only when necessary.

I know my simple example of this in person training session will be replicated very soon with so many of those things we have all been doing in the course of our work while working from home.

People have had to take on board new work habits which are now deeply embedded and there are parts about these that are very convenient as well as being cost and life effective and they won’t want to give them up too easily.

We can all talk about hybrid but this could be a very slow and long road back to the office and we need to be really careful to preserve what is working because it is possible to get the job done and ….

Win Happy!

Greg

Greg Canty 

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

The very special Natasha Lynch

February 22, 2021

Natasha Lynch

At the end of a long work day we could be found trudging from the office weighed down by the usual stresses, challenges and issues, on the way to retrieving the car from the car park and heading home.

And there she would be, and regardless of the day that you have had it immediately would get better.

She was beautiful, inside and out.

When you would bump into Natasha at anytime you were 100% guaranteed to get a warm, friendly greeting, full of enthusiasm and positivity and she would always leave you with a hug and a feeling like your whole world had brightened up, at least for a while.

Of course she was a great business woman and of course she was a really lovely person, but that gift of making everyone that she met feel immediately better was really special and something that will be a huge loss.

Natasha, you were loved by many and will be missed by so many more and a sincere thanks for making me feel so good every time that we met.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Wayne, her two boys, her dad Tony and the many friends, colleagues and students who all had the benefit of some of her precious time on this earth. Her greatest legacy is that her kindness and brightness will no doubt live on in all those she interacted with, even if just for a moment.

Natasha, they will be lucky to have you up there

Greg Canty 

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

 

Thank you friend..

January 20, 2021

Men's friendship

Maybe it was something that I specifically said in my email about a bad nights sleep or maybe there was just a hint in the some of my other content, that I was under a little bit of a cloud yesterday?

Whatever it was, like all good friends he sensed that my mood wasn’t quite what it should be.

Within minutes my phone rang and it was him.

We chatted about work, about football about Covid and about families and of course he did ask me why I was a bit off colour and not sleeping. He did get it out of me that this was getting close to Dad’s anniversary, and at this time three years ago we were watching him gradually fade away, day after day and the sad memories were weighing heavily on me.

As always, a problem shared is a problem halved and we also got the chance to talk about how he was feeling – his dad sadly passed towards the end of last year.

I am so grateful to my friend for taking time out of his busy day to reach out – it took away the cloud.

So today, and all days, pay close attention to those you love and your colleagues to what they are saying and how they are saying it, and if you can make the time, reach out.

Thank you Roger..

Greg Canty 

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

 

When will we be back to normal?

December 20, 2020
closed because of Covid

I’m been really feeling down all day having made a decision to cancel two different restaurant bookings that we had made with friends because of the rising Covid case numbers and the fact that mum is coming for dinner on St.Stephen’s Day.

Yes, it’s the right thing to do..

It’s more than frustrating as since the 6 week lockdown period we managed to get out just once and now it looks like we are heading into another lockdown at the start of the new year.

I know Ireland is in relatively good shape and I am very lucky and yes, “boo hoo” to me with having to cancel a restaurant booking!! Others have had REAL hardship this year and some haven’t seen family in a long time – it’s been tough.

I’m feeling down because we are missing out on friends, I’m down for the restaurants that have to take cancellations on the chin and the crap year they have had, I’m down for the pubs and the entertainment industry that were wiped out this year, I’m down for those who are sick because of Covid and what about those who have sadly passed this year because of the disease.

More than being down, I’m feeling really angry that the “6 week sacrifice” that we all made and in particular the many businesses that were forced to shut again was fairly worthless because of some poor decision making that left us with high case numbers at the end of that period.

We ignored the opportunity to extend the school’s midterm break at the beginning of lockdown and even when schools had reported cases there was some strange determination to ignore it – this got so ludicrous that some schools with an “outbreak” that wanted to close were instructed to stay open!!

We had takeaway pints being allowed throughout the 6 weeks – what level of stupidity was this?

And as for people coming into the country ..

Instead of being down I think we now need to start getting angry because this could and should have been avoided.

Tony Holohan (Chief Medical Officer in Ireland) and co are blue in the face from telling us all to be careful, wash hands, avoid travelling, stop visiting, reduce contacts, but I swear to god …

..we’ll do all of that, but that must come hand in hand with doing the other sensible things as well

If you have half an hour please listen to Dr. Niall Conroy, Consultant in Public Medicine in Queensland, talking to Eamon Dunphy on his wonderful podcast about how the combination of strong leadership and listening to the doctors suppressed Covid-19 across Australia.

At that time (in September) he suggested that if Ireland did the right things we could be celebrating with friends and family on Christmas day. We didn’t – instead we did a one legged lockdown that has us practically back to square one within a fortnight.

As I said, I’m angry..

In my view the only way to avoid us being in this perpetual yo yo situation until late next year is to do something different, the proven things that have worked in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and even a place such as the Isle of Man.

The very clever people from the Independent Scientific Advocacy Group (ISAG) have carefully laid out a plan to get us “Back To Normal” for St.Patrick’s Day , which is a real solution to this crisis.

It is sensible, it will protect the health of everyone pre vaccine, it will save lives, it will start to restore mental health issues, it will have all of our businesses operating to their maximum potential under the circumstances, it will save the country a fortune and it will have our health service making up ground on all the other medical procedures that have been delayed.

Click here to read more – it will require a final lockdown (unfortunately we are there again), but then a real strategy to get us “Back To Normal” that works with some basic other things that will shut the back door as well as the front door and provide a real path to normality…

  1. Proper Suppression
  2. Travel Quarantine
  3. Northern Ireland cooperation
  4. Effective Test and Trace
  5. Region by Region approach
  6. Support for those isolated
  7. International Cooperation (that’s one I have added – we can open up with other countries who take the same approach)

Let’s make sure that most of 2021 isn’t as bad as 2020 – we know what to do.

Greg

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

Who Rescues Who?

December 2, 2020
Honey and Bert

That’s Bert and Honey, two little rescue dogs who both came to us with a bunch of issues obviously because of what came before – we can only guess what that entailed, but like the rest of us their life experiences shape their behaviour and how they are today.

After our other poor fella, Bing, passed away five years ago there was a period of a few months when the house was empty when we missed his presence, but being practical we decided that our crazy lifestyles didn’t suit having a dog in the house, so maybe that was it.

A few months later Honey was found cowering under the wheel of a truck on Academy Street in Cork, she was photographed and this was shared on Twitter and of course she was spotted by Dee and on the 21st December she found a new home!

The poor pet was petrified and she pretty much spent the first year in between a few lengthy spells of running away (one lasted 2.5 months!!), hiding behind the shed or anything else she could hide behind.

To this day she is still really nervous – god knows what happened beforehand?

We brought Bert from a dog rescue place a few months later to keep the “nervous” Honey company when we were at work and realised very quickly that while he is naturally friendly he is also very nervous, so we need to be quite careful of him with people, as he has learnt the very hard way that he needs to protect himself.

There has been more than once (100 times at least!!) when we have said ….”rescue dogs, never again!

After nearly a year of Covid home working, it’s been pretty much the four of us, all day very day together and we have our little routines and our moments, and I’ve realised that this boy who never quite got what all the fuss was about having a dog, just adores both of them and I wonder..

Who actually rescues who?

Greg

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

Just a Drop of a West Cork Story ..

September 3, 2020

Old Head KInsale

We were in the car all five of us on a Saturday morning, the last one of August, the last one of summer (I know it’s autumn, but I always consider August to be part of summer) taking a trip around West Cork.

The five of us was Dee and I, the two dogs Honey and Bert who have started to enjoy our summer excursions and Ayla, from New Zealand, my son’s girlfriend (he’s busy filming for Failte Ireland at the moment).

From a chat we had a few nights earlier we reckoned she hadn’t really experienced that wonderful part of Ireland, so this plan was hatched.

As usual, we totally underestimated the amount of time it would take to explore but we did manage to take in the Old Head of Kinsale and then a scenic coastal drive that included Harbour View beach, Timoleague, Courtmacsherry and Clonakilty via Ring.

The sun was shining and Clonakilty town was buzzing and we strolled through the town with our two four legged buddies, enviously looking at the patrons enjoying the selection of cafes and restaurants that were calling to us.

Eventually, the pangs of hunger and the gentle waft of a chipper called to us and we grabbed two bags of “proper” chips with some mouth watering, juicy, succulent chicken goujons from an immaculate place called the ‘Chunky Chip‘ and enjoyed those sitting on the grass on the green near Emmet Square.

Emmet Square, Clonakilty

Walking off those chips was a must so we headed on to Red Strand and then onto Long Strand at Owenahincha and went for a fabulous walk meandering through the sand dunes that go on forever and then onto the beach.

Owenincha

The dogs enjoyed the water, but did realise it wasn’t for drinking and we managed to sit for a few moments to enjoy a glass of white wine (Dee is always prepared!) looking out at the ocean, taking in all of it’s beauty and bidding farewell to this very strange summer.

Driving back home (there was a Liverpool match to get back for..) we were chatting about all sorts of everything including “wouldn’t it be great to live near the sea” which seemed to be the recurring topic of the day.

Throughout the journey we had the music playing with a mix of all our tastes along with the selection that the Spotify algorithm throws you and before we knew it we were listing to a fantastic song by one of my favourite bands, The 4 of Us, called “Just A Drop“.

I was able to tell Ayla and Dee (and the two dogs!) the story of the song, which not only brought it to life but it also gave them an insight into the character of the band and something that they could carry with them and tell others.

The reason I knew the story was because they told it to me via email.

Every week during “lockdown” the band have been sending an email featuring a different song, whereby they tell the story behind the song and they leave you with the gift of a free download.

This is the fantastic story behind the song in their own words:

Just A Drop. The story behind the song…

Dad was a big Johnny Cash fan and suggested, on more than one occasion, that our songs could benefit from a bit of the boom-chicka-boom rhythm that characterised Cash’s early recordings.

We eventually took up his suggestion, writing Just A Drop, for the Sugar Island album, as a tribute to him and his love for the Man in Black.

Before we recorded it, we headed home to Newry to play it for him.

“You are finally going to love a 4 Of Us song,” we told him.

To make sure he was in a suitably receptive mood, we bought some insurance – a bottle of his favourite whiskey.

He sipped a glass of it, relaxing in his favourite armchair as we played him the song.

Three minutes later, we waited to hear his opinion. He paused.

Then he looked up at us and said just two words:

“More whiskey.”

We insisted on playing it to him again, assuring him that sometimes it takes a while for a song to grow on you.

After three more performances – and three more whiskeys – he started getting into it.

So, if you don’t think our performance in the video below sounds anything like Johnny Cash, we understand.

But can we recommend that you combine it with a glass or two of Black Bush?

Brendan and Declan ❤

(you can watch the song on YouTube at the bottom of this post)

It’s such a very clever thing to do.

At a time when they can’t do gigs, they are still talking to us and what’s more, they are building a special bond and a connection that brings us closer to them and one that works when it comes to selling their music and their gigs.

It was nice to get an unexpected lesson in marketing from an unexpected source..

Are you taking the time to tell your interesting story?

Greg

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

HR – A story of two very different team philosophies

April 27, 2020

HR in a crisis

We all know the story .. on the 12th March, the country was effectively shut down except for essential services.

It was a time when each and every single employer in the country had to figure out really quickly what they needed to do to protect the business during this uncertain shut down period – how long would it go on for, how many bills do I have, how much money do I have in the kitty, how much do I need to survive?

All huge questions and with no simple answers and no playbook to refer to.

What we did next reflects who we are, who the business is, our values, our ethos.

A week later, I checked in on a good friend of mine who worked as a baker in a coffee shop (part of a  small but well known chain) around the corner from our office, just to make sure that he was OK.

What he shared with me was a tale of two very different HR philosophies and two very different approaches to their employees.

On exactly the same day he was given notice by his employer and his partner who manages a creche was also told that her place of business was closing because of the “lock-down”.

However, there was a huge difference between both.

In his case he was “left go”, unceremoniously with no guidance towards where he should go to for supports and no word as to what his status would be when this “pause” was over. Effectively it was a P45.

In her case, she was also left go temporarily, but with absolute clarity that her role would still be there when things returned to normal, she was guided towards the supports she needed and the employer set up a WhatsApp group so that the team could stay in touch during the lock-down.

While both of these scenarios were identical, they couldn’t be any further apart.

I have sadly heard of so many cases where loyal employees were just cast away on the 12th March, with virtually no concern as to how they would put food on their tables next week.

Your team are your business, and how you treat them will absolutely determine how successful your business will be and how deep your team will dig for you when needed.

When the lights come back on, I know of a great guy and all of his colleagues who will be looking for a new opportunity, and I know of a great gal and all of her colleagues who be delighted to get back to work and will dig deep for their employer when the chips are down.

What type of employer are you?

Greg

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

 

Les Martin and the mission to detect rare diseases

March 3, 2020

 

Les Martin - Rare Diseases

Les…never in your wildest dreams did you think you would end up on stage talking to a room full of women in Wicklow on a Friday afternoon as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations organised by Network Ireland.

I was the only other brave man there but for very different reasons.

When your son Cathal was born, I’m sure you and your wife Lynda were excited beyond belief, but then life threw him the ultimate unlucky straw and he was faced with a short life with a debilitating condition, which could have been treated if only extensive tests were done at birth, as they do routinely in Italy.

This dad never planned on standing in front of this group of women on this Friday, appealing for help and telling a personal story to hopefully help other babies to avoid the cruel path that their family has endured.

Les stood on stage, he shared his family photos, he showed us some charts to explain how this problem could be solved in Ireland, he showed us some more photos and he took us though some of the very painful steps that they have been though together.

He wasn’t a polished speaker, he didn’t have a polished presentation, he was just a dad who stood there and bravely opened his heart and asked for our attention, so that life might be better for someone else down the line.

Les had every woman on their feet when he finished his talk and there were tears in every single eye in the house, including mine.

Les Martin, brave dad, I salute you and I’m sorry that this had to be your Friday….

Greg

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

Les is campaigning for more extensive testing to be done on babies when they are born. The Irish ‘Heel’ test is done for 9 conditions – in Italy they test for 40 conditions which can help teh early detection and treatment of rare diseases. 

 

Waiting for your “Purpose” to reveal itself

February 16, 2020

Greg Canty - Sense of Purpose

Once again you find yourself having this conversation quietly in your head.

I want to make a huge difference on this earth, I want to live a life with Real Purpose” but…..

…you have absolutely no idea what that purpose is !!

Well, instead of getting yourself all frustrated, how about channelling these thoughts and that positive intent in a very different and very achievable way.

How about choosing a number of people in your life who may be in need of help, a boost, a little support, some encouragement and quietly make them your purpose and without saying a word, give them exactly that.

Maybe it’s a family member, a buddy, a work colleague, or a neighbour who is struggling, who has gone off track for whatever reason and needs something from someone to make this time a little easier.

You can be that someone, and you might just be able to get them back on track.

While you are waiting to find your purpose how about being there for that other person so they might be better able to find theirs.

And if your “purpose” never knocks on your door, then maybe it’s not so bad as you have helped a lot of people along the way just when they needed it …. isn’t that a pretty good purpose to have?

Who are you going to help today?

Greg

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

 

 

Dad – Moments in time

January 15, 2020

This beautiful picture of my dad, Michael, splashing in a pool and having fun with his grand kids, Alex and Ciara (my brother’s kids) captures his very special spirit and the incredible connection he had with young people, us, my friends, my kids and the grand kids and even the kids in the neighbourhood who used call to him to play football on the green!

He got sick shortly after this, which was the beginning of a very dark and sad part of his life, so every time I see it, it warms me but it also makes me feel terribly sad.

Dad, we miss you terribly but thank you for being so fantastic.

Greg