Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Barcelona – Be Tough or Be Gentle?

August 18, 2017

Barcelona Attacks

In the wake of another wave of awful terrorist attacks we sadly end up watching what seems like a repeat news cycle – how many dead, how many injured, any from Ireland, hunt for the terrorists, interviews of witnesses, speeches by politicians.

It goes on and on.

Social media is full of it with news items, pictures and videos by witnesses and news sites followed by the Tweets and Facebook posts from politicians and other key figures offering condolences and declarations of shock.

We all jump in with our own tuppence worth.

It feels like there is nothing really that can be done if someone ‘with enough intent‘ wants to jump in a car, van or truck and plough into innocent citizens going about their ordinary lives.

How can we combat this?

What makes this person hate so much or carry such a set of beliefs that this is something they are willing to die for?

Barack Obama (the most retweeted tweet ever) very recently reminded us of a very profound statement by Nelson Mandela.

Why was this retweeted so much?

Barack Obama Nelso Mandela tweet


With the Barcelona attacks, United States President Donald Trump offers his condolences with some special advice, which reflects his particular personality and approach to life:


Is being tough getting us anywhere?

Do we need to work a lot harder at understanding each other and being more gentle?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full-service agency that offers Marketing, PR and Branding  services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland



Saying the right thing at the right time

October 31, 2015

Bill Shankly

Saying the right thing at the right time is a huge skill.

The team need motivating, the meeting needs cooling, a big point needs to be made, a situation needs rescuing, a group needs convincing, the proposal needs selling ..whatever the situation its important to say the right thing and deliver it in a manner that connects with your audience and has the impact you desire.

Like every other skill it is something that we learn over time and sometimes for important things we might even need a little assistance!

We will never surrender

Imagine Winston Churchill making his speech in the House of Commons on the 4th June, 1940 with a country facing war and in serious trouble and the whole population fearful:

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be.

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender

Winston Churchill wrote most of his own speeches but drafts went through many hands. Some of the ideas for this speech apparently came from an American newspaper editor, William Simms.

I have a dream

Imagine Dr. Martin Luther King standing in front of 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th 1963 calling an end to racism in the United States:

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

Clarence Jones wrote some of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speeches with input from his advisor Wyatt Walker and of course the finishing touches applied by Dr. King. On this occasion Walker did not want there to be any reference to “I have a dream” as he felt it had been overused already by Dr.King in previous speeches.

Apparently Dr King when he felt his prepared speech wasn’t delivering the right impact he decided to abandon his written text and use his “I have a dream” speech. It worked!

Ask not..

Imagine a 43 year old John F Kennedy addressing the crowd in his inaugural, United States Presidential speech in 1961 trying to instil some national pride in it’s citizens:

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country

Theodore Chaikin “Ted” Sorensen was President John F.Kennedy’s legendary speechwriter as well as his advisor and special counsel. President Kennedy once called him his “intellectual blood bank“.

Yes we can

Imagine another United States President, Barack Obama addressing a crowd in Dublin on May 23rd, 2011 when our country was battered and bruised after a number of torturous recession years with little sign of progress:

Never has a nation so small inspired so much in another. Irish signatures are on our founding documents, Irish blood was spilled on our battlefields, Irish sweat built our great cities. Our spirit is eternally refreshed by Irish stories and Irish song, our public life by the humour and heart and dedication of servants with names like Kennedy and Reagan, O’Neill and Moynihan

This little country, that inspires the biggest things, your best days are still ahead. Our greatest triumphs, in America and Ireland alike, are still to come. And Ireland, if anyone ever says otherwise, if anybody ever tells you that your problems are too big, or your challenges are too great, that we can’t do something, that we shouldn’t even try, think about all we’ve done together. Think about whatever hardships the winter may bring, spring-time’s always just around the corner.

And if they keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed: Is feidir linn. Yes we can. Yes we can. Is feidir linn.”

I watched that speech in our office with the team and I felt it gave everyone in the country an important lift (as well as the Queen’s visit a few weeks previous).

Jonathan E. “Jon” Favreau  was the Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama who is quite adept at writing his own speeches. In  his second term in office he changed to Cody Keenan, who Obama refers to as “Hemingway”, writing in a much more grounded style than the lofty grandiose style of Favreau.

Yes we can” was the stand out element or ‘tag line’ of Obama’s famous speeches and this nearly never made it as Barack Obama thought it was too “corny” and he had to be persuaded by his wife Michelle to use it!

When it came to ‘saying the right thing‘ even all of these brilliant individuals needed help from someone..

Maybe you do too?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, with offices in Dublin and Cork




Barack Obama and his lesson in Social Media

August 11, 2013

Barack Obama and Michelle

I probably show too many slides when I give my social media courses.

I always try to communicate my points with visuals using as few words as possible. At all times I will try to avoid slides with lots of text – I get bored with them so I’m sure anyone reading will do likewise.

My usual courses run over either two or three sessions and I normally try to leave it at least a week between sessions so that students and clients can practice in between sessions and get the most from the training programme.

The big challenge is when I am asked to cut the course into one session – this is really tricky as I have to do a huge “cull” of my material to come in at the required time and still cover the ground sufficiently.

I hate losing slides as all the material is designed to make a specific point, so inevitably valuable material gets lost.

There is one slide above all in my presentations that is precious and if I had a situation whereby I had the time to show only one this would be it.

I love this particular image because for me it sums up the magic of social media and teaches a huge lesson in how to use it.

I was asked to make a presentation to Dublin Chamber about the use of Twitter for business and it happened to coincide with the results of the last US election. Due to other commitments the night before I had to travel from Cork early in the morning to get to Dublin for the 7:30am presentation.

Like the rest of world I was intrigued about the result so the first thing I did when I woke was to check twitter on my smart phone and this is the tweet I saw.

This Barack Obama tweet was the most retweeted of all time – even at 4:19 am our time, it had been retweeted 475,000 times.

Why do you think I love using this tweet so much?

  1. It demonstrates how Twitter is now the first port of call for breaking news
  2. It demonstrates the shift from Facebook to Twitter – During his first Presidential campaign he was not using Twitter, it was all about Facebook.
  3. This medium was how he chose to communicate to the outside world that he had accepted he had won the presidential race
  4. The message is really simple and concise (often the best way to use social media)
  5. The picture he chose to accompany the tweet demonstrates the biggest social media tip of all, much better than I could ever explain it

The Picture!

Four More Years

Why is this picture so powerful?

Cleverly he didn’t show a picture of himself in a suit with all of his team – he chose a picture of himself, eyes closed, without a jacket, with his sleeves rolled up hugging his wife in a loving embrace.

The President knows instinctively that showing himself as human, as a family man, even slightly vulnerable is the way to connect with the majority of people and this is a winning formula.

A great way to win on social media is by allowing yourself to be human, personal and even vulnerable at times.

People are intrigued by people and even if you are running the most boring business in the world you can bring it alive on-line by interacting and showing people who you are, what you are all about and giving them a chance to get to know you.

Social media provides you with that opportunity – grab it!

Greg Canty is a parter of Fuzion

Fuzion provide Social Media Consultancy and Training in Ireland from offices in Cork and Dublin 

Barack Obama and his “Penny Drop” Social Media moment

May 8, 2011
Barack Obama - Social Media

Barack Obama's Penny Drop Moment!

I have come to realise that no matter how you map out the Social Media Opportunity for clients, or try to demonstrate the success that others have had using the different platforms, they themselves have to realise the magic, the possibilities – I call it the “penny drop” moment!

Once that happens they are “off”, they are converts, they assign resources to their social media efforts and they start seeing results.

The “penny drop” moment arrives at different times for everyone and for each of the different platforms.

For me it happened at different times :

Facebook – a peer I met in Dublin casually commented on “how well Fuzion were doing“, I gladly accepted the compliment but asked how they arrived at that conclusion, ” Oh, I follow you on Facebook” … Hmm, I didn’t realise how many people were listening or paying attention to what I was saying

Twitter – we were able to achieve valuable coverage for a client, an International NGO during the Haiti disaster by communicating directly with journalists on Twitter who were actually out there  …. Hmmm, now I get it!

LinkedIn – this one was easy, reaching out to the business community in your target locations and being able to generate relevant discussions on your areas of expertise. You go to networking meetings and people you have never met, come up and chat to you because they have seen your posts and recognise your ugly mug …… Hmmm, this seems to be working – no brainer!!

Blogging – in the beginning you wonder how this will work for you, then you see with “sticky” content (stuff that is interesting, or made interesting) and posts in relation to your areas of expertise that you receive large numbers of hits and your search engine scores are great. I even managed to highlight nasty issues, quickly sorted out issues with a national phone provider and had material published nationally …. Hmmmm, now I get it!

If you are in any doubt or need further convincing about the value of Social Media we might ask Barack Obama, the leader of the free world, the first ever “social media” President , when was his “penny drop” moment? ….. Hmmmm, I’m the President of the United States!

Have you had yours ?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion