Posts Tagged ‘ireland’

Social media and nightclubs 

August 6, 2016

social media nighclub

Wow, the young crew discovered a new nightclub, a place like no other with the coolest music and an even cooler crowd.

Word got out and suddenly it was heaving with people but the buzz was still fantastic. It was the place to be, the place to be seen.

The crowd started to get more mainstream, older and older and that sense of exclusivity started to disappear and the nightclub seemed to change things a little to keep everyone happy. You spotted your mums friends there and now the DJ was playing eighties music and even more of the older crew were coming.

A new nightclub opens that was just as cool as the last one when it opened first so the young crew start going there instead. First it’s the very cool crew and then their buddies. They have it to themselves for a while, having the best time ever and then mums sister appears …..Nooooooo!!!

It’s time to find another nightclub that is cool and exclusive and novel.

The first nightclub starts to copy what the newer clubs were doing because they want the cool crowd back and eventually they decide to buy the new cool one because it’s the easiest and quickest way to get that crowd back.

electricrun

Facebook was cool and new but the parents and even the grandparents joined up.

The cool crew went to the Twitter club and in time the old fogies followed them and it was time to move again.

The photo loving cool gang went to the Instagram club and hung out but things started to change when the Facebook chain bought them so we moved on again.

Now Snapchat is the place to be seen at, we’re having fun posting photos and videos and telling stories but here come mums buddies and all of the business types who will end up changing it.

The Facebook chain want us back so they have added an extension to Club Instagram and have painted it exactly the same as Club Snapchat and are playing the same tunes.

The young guns always want a cool place of their own and they always will. Maybe we should follow them but it’s also just as important to have a local where everybody knows your name.

I’m off to Club Twitter, the music is cool and the staff are friendly.

Find your club ..

Greg Canty 

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

 

Did you just press the “Accept” button?

July 14, 2016

I accept your connection request

I know, you are busy just like me.

You are burning through your emails and you see those ‘invitations to connect‘ on LinkedIn, emails.

You’ve decided that you are happy to ‘connect‘ so you press the ‘Accept’ button and you continue with your other work.

Pressing the ‘accept’ button is not connecting!!

Next time press ‘accept’ and send that person a message – You might: thank them and ask them how their business is going?

Oh my god ….people actually communicate on this platform, don’t faint!

It might even surprise you that they might reply to you and you find that you are well on the way to nurturing a new connection without even lifting your bum off the seat ..magic.

The worst that can happen as a result of that extra 20 seconds is that you have stood out and they might think that you are a nice person.

So..stop pressing those buttons online and start connecting!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Promoting female entrepreneurs in rural areas

February 24, 2016

Wonder womenI was checking through my emails this minute and I was looking at the e-tender notifications about new projects etc.

One particular post caught my attention, which concerns me, which annoys me, which makes we worry that we are taking certain agendas to a stupid extreme.

Development programme targeted at female entrepreneurs in Irish rural areas

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland, intends issuing a public tender in 2016 for the provision (by one single service provider) of a national development programme targeted at nascent female entrepreneurs in Irish rural areas

Programmes that encourage entrepreneurship in rural areas is a fantastic idea.

Programmes that encourage entrepreneurship in any areas is a fantastic idea.

Programmes that promote female entrepreneurship specifically are wrong, silly, discriminatory and it strikes me that we are totally losing the run of ourselves with the gender equality agenda.

The fantastic women that I work with every day don’t need any special “pass”.

It’s about ‘equality’ folks, not the opposite.

Greg Canty 

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

 

Paternity leave, gender equality and the changing role of fathers

January 28, 2016

Greg Canty and Brendan Canty

I listened with interest at the discussions about the new proposals regarding paternity leave and I fondly remembered (not!) how it was when my kids were born.

It was August, 1991 and Ellen, our second child was due. It was a busy time in work at that time of the year with my role as Financial Controller as I had to get all budgeting finalised for the following year. We were part of Guinness so it was a complex process.

I knew that when Ellen was born I wanted a little free time to enjoy the moment(s) and to be there to look after my son, Brendan who was two and a half at the time. I worked day and night and weekends leading up to that time so that when she was born there would be no issue and I could take a few days off.

Ellen was overdue and a date was set for her to be induced. I informed my boss,  Charlie of the date and he wasn’t very pleased as he was planning a management meeting on that date!

What could I do?

The hospital had a gap in their scheduling and Ellen was induced a day earlier ….my beautiful daughter arrived on the 21st August!!

My childminding role kicked in for the next few days. Two days later I popped into the office to check a few things and I was stupidly expecting a round of “congratulations” from all of my workmates.

Instead I got a serious look from the Sales Manager..”You’re in trouble“. I was dumbfounded at what I heard.

What the hell could I be in trouble for and by the way it was a girl!!” I responded.

It turns out that because Ellen was born a day earlier everyone reckoned I could and should have made the “crucial” management meeting. I grabbed Brendan and we left.

A day or two later I was back in work and was summoned to Charlie’s office ..I don’t think I even gave him a chance to open his mouth.

He got it full belt “I always put this stupid place first and this time you can well and truly f**k yourself as it is one time I am putting my family first” and stormed out. I don’t think we ever spoke about the incident again.

Two years ago in Fuzion we had our first ‘baby‘!

A few months before that one of our team announced that she was pregnant. While it was fantastic news for her and her husband, it did cause an issue for the business. She was a senior member of the team and now we had to plan about replacing her with a quality replacement.

She would be out for 6 months and she also planned on taking the extra two months. I also learnt that while she would be out she was entitled to holidays and bank holidays, so effectively she would be out for 9 months. This would be disruptive to the business as well as costing us – it was the most expensive baby I ever had!

This is life and our business had to make arrangements and cope but it did strike me that this ‘issue‘ was one that we had to solve with her. Where was the guy in this equation? Was his work disrupted or would it carry a cost for them?

Maybe she was more than happy to put her career on hold for a while and take off that precious time with her new baby but maybe she might have liked to share this gift with her husband? No one had a choice.

I imagined a different world where her husband announced to his boss that “they” were pregnant and that he was opting to take half of the parental leave. This is how it works in Denmark so it isn’t such a stretch.

I’m a dad and I’m a parent and I would have loved to have those precious days when Ellen was born back again to enjoy…maybe more than a few days?

If we are serious about the guys role as a parent and we are really serious about gender equality then us fellas need to be treated as equals.

Two weeks paternity leave..nah!

Greg Canty 

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

Friend or Foe?

January 18, 2016

Gladiator - Greg Canty

I found myself in the middle of a series of emails back and forth with a business colleague (I hate that word) who I have a really great relationship with.

There was some confusion about an issue and we clearly had a different interpretation of the ‘facts‘ and as result our explanatory emails to each other were not helping!

What I was saying to him was clarifying nothing and vice versa and as a result a little tension and frustration had crept into our communications.

You could see an edge creeping into the tone and the language both of us were using…. this was heading to a bad place. It would have taken very little at this stage to drag the tone lower and raise the tension and before you know it we both would have our swords and shields out ready to do ferocious battle.

In the blink of an eye a great and very productive and enjoyable relationship could be ruined forever.

Both of us thankfully avoided the awful trap and we picked up the phone recognising that an actual conversation was the best way to sort out the issue.

Step back, take a deep breath and make a decision to be a friend and not a foe… It’s s much better place to be.

Greg Canty 

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

Building your Reputation Wall

December 28, 2015

awards wall

We were back at this point again with a client of ours.

We were being asked by the media if our client would do interviews as a result of some really great news that we had pushed out in a press release.

Of course we had advised our client that this would more than likely happen but she was adamant that she did not want to do newspaper and radio interviews “I hate to be seen as blowing my own trumpet” and “won’t the media be quick enough to cut the legs from you when things go wrong?“.

These were really ‘hard set‘ beliefs that she had and there was no shifting them. As her communications advisers we had to push her and explain that doing these interviews would be great for the business and would help to achieve the objectives that they had set for us.

Her last comment really struck a chord with me – “Won’t the media be quick enough to cut the legs from you when things go wrong?”

To be honest when things go wrong everyone will question what happened and this is the general public and the media. Mostly you can’t predict when these things happen but sometimes you can. In either case you should be prepared by having carefully built up your reputation wall.

Reputation Wall

Imagine all of the good things that you and your organisation does – these things will help to start building a “reputation wall” for you.

Great products, excellent customer service, paying your suppliers on time, being courteous in business, being a responsible corporate citizen, looking after your team and doing charitable work are all fantastic things that help to build that reputation wall with your various stakeholders.

They are a great company” is what you want people saying about you.

PR can help to accelerate your good news and with the help of some careful planning this reputation wall will be built even higher by reaching a much wider audience through the media and other communications channels such as social media.

Your reputation wall will hep you win business, get loans, get credit, get planning permission, get landlords wanting you as their tenant, attract great staff but this isn’t the only time it will help you.

In the event that something does go wrong (and it often does unless you are extremely lucky) your organisation will be seen as one that should be believed and trusted and as a result you will be forgiven for whatever has gone wrong. The higher and stronger your wall is the more it will protect you.

I explained all of this to my client and thankfully she did listen to me and agreed to do one of the radio interviews. I smiled as I listened to her doing her fantastic company proud.

How is your reputation wall?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR who offer PR and Crisis PR services in Ireland from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Defamation and your reputation

August 8, 2015

Defamation

This week we had to deal with a potential defamation scenario for a client because of some of their online activity.

In this case they had received a solicitors letter accusing them of defamation because of something that they had posted in a personal blog post. This whole area is very interesting because it deals with the most valuable of assets,”your reputation” and it also had the element of online, which makes it even more intriguing.

Your Reputation

Your good reputation is one of the most precious assets that you have and it is in your interest to protect it at all costs. A good reputation is built up over time and it comes about from how you conduct all aspects of your business including the delivery of your products and services, how you treat your customers, your suppliers and your team and how you interact with the general public.

A good reputation will win you business, it will attract customers who will want to do business with you and it will give suppliers, banks, investors and landlords that necessary trust so they are happy to deal with you. If something does go wrong, as things often do then a good reputation will protect you because people will know that you are to be trusted and that whatever has happened you will sort it out.

A lot of the work we do with clients can be described as reputation management. We work hard to ensure that all the great things that our clients do are publicised and if potentially damaging incidents occur then we make sure that these situations are carefully managed so that any damage is limited.

A reputation often takes many years to build, but this can be destroyed easily in just moments by circumstances.

Defamation

Because your reputation is such a precious asset it is only right that their is legal protection available to you, should anyone ever defame you.

We have found that defamation can be quite a misunderstood term as many feel that it applies whenever someone ‘says something bad about you‘  which is certainly not the case.

A few elements must normally be in place for something to be deemed as ‘defamation’:

Precise information – You must know exactly what has been said or publicised about you and be able to demonstrate this.

Clearly identified – The parties claiming to be defamed must be clearly identified in the offending publication.

False statements – It can only be deemed as defamation if what has been said is largely untrue. You might not like what is being said about you but if it is true this is not defamation!

Publication – It is only deemed as defamation if the publication of the remarks was relatively wide. Being overheard by a few people would not be enough.

Defamation

Online dimension

The online environment makes this whole area even more complicated.

Does a post on a blog or on someone’s social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn carry as much weight as an article in a newspaper, some other publication or a comment on radio or TV? If I have 6,000 followers on twitter and someone else has 100 is a false statement by me a bigger misdemeanour?

It’s all a question of distribution and how many people may have seen or heard the false statements and then someone has the tricky job of assessing how much potential damage has been done by the false statement.

Another tricky dimension with the online environment is that if others make defamatory comments about someone on your ‘platform’ (blog/discussion board) then you could be liable as you did not remove the offending posts.

Defamation is a notoriously difficult area of law so even when all the elements are in place anyone considering a case in this area must have deep pockets and lots of time on their hands before considering legal action. (Check out some of the cases that have been tried in Ireland).

Our client

With the scenario that we had to deal with this week none of the critical elements were in place so our client had nothing to worry about and certainly nothing that would damage their own reputation – in fact it was quite the opposite.

In this case one of the people involved had written a blog post about the personal impact of an incident whereby they had been seriously wronged. They never once mentioned who the offending party were in their post and they were 100% truthful in what they had said.

Ironically the offending party ‘recognised’ themselves in the post and cried ‘foul’ and immediately ran to their solicitors who were happy to claim defamation, which it clearly was not. In this case the solicitor should have known better than to make such an incorrect and unprofessional accusation – is this a defamatory comment?

I’m always amused to see how it’s nearly always the ‘offenders’ who get most vigorous about protecting their rights!

Your good reputation is hard earned and it is a precious asset of huge value to your business. The best advice is to manage your reputation carefully so no one ever has a reason to say something bad about you.

If someone is making false, damaging accusations about you then you do have a legal mechanism but make sure that all the right elements are in place before going down this potentially costly and distracting road.

Your good reputation is everything.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Reputation Management and Crisis PR services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Poor expectations 

July 30, 2015

sunglasses

Trying on the shirt in the dressing room in Brown Thomas I knew I should have put my sunglasses in one of my bags instead of putting them on the chair.

Sure enough as I had paid for my new holiday shirt I realised I had left my glasses behind in the dressing room.  Surely there would be no problem and my glasses would still be there?

There was someone in the cubicle I had been in so I waited – no joy, glasses gone.

I had a quick word with security who went to check if someone had handed them in. Two minutes later he came back beaming with sunglasses in his hand – he clearly loves when he puts a smile on someone’s face by finding their lost property.

He handed them to me and while they looked quite like mine they unfortunately weren’t and I gave them back to him. They took my details just in case mine turned up. Needless to say my sunglasses never turned up and quite sadly this is what I expected.

Why do I have such little faith?

What would make you see sunglasses or anything that clearly belongs to someone else and decide “I’ll help myself to these“?

What would make you even want to wear someone else’s glasses?

It’s no big deal as they weren’t particularly expensive and they probably needed replacing but it is really sad that an everyday shopper felt it was OK to help themselves to something that wasn’t theirs.

It’s even sadder that I’m not that surprised ..

Greg Canty 

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

A picture paints a 1,000 words ..

July 13, 2015

Homeless man

How many times have we used the expression that “a picture paints a 1,000 words?

Arthur Brisbane - New York Editor and JournalistArthur Brisbane a high profile journalist and editor in New York is first credited with an expression close to this “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”

This very clever quote appeared in a 1911 newspaper article discussing journalism and publicity.

In our very busy, frantic, no time to stop, no time to read or study anything properly world with multiple media coming at us non-stop does this expression this hold up?

The idea that a picture is a powerful way to convey a message certainly holds up. The idea of using a multiple of 1,000 words is interesting – already I have used 116 words in this piece.

When I read that Arthur Brisbane penned this quotation I wanted to know what he looked like for some reason. He looks like James Stewart in the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ era. He looks like a wise man!

As an editor and a journalist Arthur probably had a very strong instinct about how many words it took to deliver a message and what job an equivalent image would do.

If you consider the likelihood of something grabbing our attention today and you think about the job an image can do and the equivalent article (or articles) to do the same job it makes you think about that multiple.

Is it more than 1,000? Is it 10,000? Is it 100,000.

Of course it all depends on the image and how well this is constructed to deliver the necessary message.

At Fuzion when we issue a press release to the media we will often insist that a strong photo accompanies the release – sometimes the picture will be the thing that will get the big space in the newspaper and sometimes we will get both the picture and the article.

For the reader if the image is strong enough it will convey the message or story that we wanted and it may be the hook that will make the reader stop and actually read the ‘words’.

Does a picture paint 1,000 words?

We guess it does and much more besides ..

The story of the photo (top of the blog post)

A family of a missing man spotted him in a photo taken of homeless men that appeared in a Sunday newspaper. Nicholas Simmons, 20, was in upstate New York on New Year’s Day, but he vanished leaving all his belongings behind, according to Fox News on Jan. 6.

Someone in his family spotted Nick in a picture that showed a group of homeless men. The men hovered around a steam grate trying to get warm on the streets of Washington D.C. recently. The homeless men looked destitute, including Nick, trying to get warm in the frigid temperatures. Nick’s parents called the police, who were able to locate their son.

The photographer who took the picture conveyed more than 1,000 words ..

For your website, brochures, posters, press releases get great photos that tell your story.

Greg Canty 

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

Tenders and sun tans!

July 4, 2015

Working on holidays

At last our holiday – a week in Italy with family and great friends. We had a nice place booked for all of us just outside Siena for seven days to rest, relax, chill out and generally recharge the batteries.

Myself and Dee got there a few days in advance and we were due to pick up our buddy and his girlfriend from the train station in Siena for their much deserved break – he works his ass off all year round and the odd time we get to collaborate on work projects.

I called him the day before we were due to collect them to confirm arrangements and he was a little upset – his company was on a supplier panel for a semi-state body and a project was just put out to tender.

This project, which was right up his street and closely related to a bigger project that we had worked with him on was given a one week deadline for responses.

A one week deadline on a tender for a complex project like this is highly unusual and quite unreasonable. At this holiday time of the year it is more so.

Not only is it unfair but if this organisation are genuine about getting the best providers pitching then one weeks notice just shoots themselves in the foot – you have to ask the question, is it a genuine tender process or is designed for their preferred supplier who are fully briefed and ready to submit to win?

Dilemma – Was he to grab a laptop from somewhere and work on the tender submission, which would take up at least a full day of his hard earned holidays or pass? A contract like this would be important to him and his company so it was a big decision.

My buddy did the reasonable thing and asked for a one week extension – surely this was quite reasonable?

They would have done well to allow him this “break”:

  1. There was no real urgency on this work (this semi-state have dragged their heels on this project for well over a year already)
  2. He is hugely knowledgeable on the project and would provide a valuable tender (they know he has this knowledge)
  3. A weeks notice is unreasonable and highly unusual
  4. The request was ‘fair’ and reasonable
  5. They will have a better chance of more quality tender submissions

As expected he got his response;

I have contacted the evaluation team to review the possibility of extending the deadline, unfortunately we are unable to extend

..fantastic!

I know a guy working there who holds quite a senior role and asked him to look into it.

He investigated it and confirmed that nothing could be done …. the thing is of course it can be. When it suits them anything can be done.

My buddy as he was taking a rare week off with his other half decided after much torment against working on the tender proposal and ruining a big portion of his holiday but it did upset him.

In truth I believe he made a great decision because if they really wanted a proposal from his company it would have happened.

I suspect that if he had given up his time and submitted the best, competitively priced proposal of all time it still would not have won him the job.

Readers of my blog will have heard me giving out about the tender process before – some agree with me and others feel I am moaning and I should accept that this is just the way it is and ‘shut up‘. It has been suggested by some that most tenders are done and dusted in advance of them being published and this is ‘Just the way it is‘.

I strongly believe that tender processes are too often being manipulated, including the use of every possible trick at times to ensure that fairness and the very reason that these processes were introduced in the first place are not applied – this happens over and over.

I have also come to believe that complaining is a total and utter waste of time and probably ends up working against you both in the short and long run.

The sooner there is a body with real power that can oversee the proper application of our tender rules (these are the government agencies that we pay for) and processes and genuinely investigate complaints the better. Without this nothing will change and these farcical situations will continue as they always have.

As for my buddy I suspect his frustration will last longer than his tan ..

Greg Canty 

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