Monday, June 22, 2009

The IIA Social Media Working Group

In the latest in our series of informative guest blogs, Joy Redmond, co-founder of, fills us in on the work being done by the Social Media Working Group to promote and encourage the use of social media marketing by Irish businesses.

There are as many resources on how to do social marketing, as there are networks so rather than provide a whistle stop tour of the social web in 2009, I’ve elected to introduce you to the Irish Internet Association’s Social Media Working Group and the sterling work they’ve been doing over the past twelve months.
The Social Media Working Group seeks to support businesses in the development of strategies for engaging with social media, including blogging, social networking, community sites, RSS, tagging, and podcasts. IIA 2008

The committee members consist of a diverse range of skills and disciplines ranging from social media, web development, marketing, to PR and education.

Although their main output: Guides to Social Media for Business are restricted to members of the Irish Internet Association, they also have plenty of tips and advice available to the general public and one I’d like to particularly highlight are the weekly blog posts containing Social Media case studies.
Each week a committee member writes a case study on a particular area of social media that has caught their attention, the tone is ‘how to’ providing the reader with step by step descriptions of how a particular campaign was designed, implemented and measured – certainly a must read for anyone thinking of dipping their feet in social media in Ireland today.

However, the Working Group’s formal output is not the only rich content on offer as many of the members provide valuable resources themselves.
For example, Eoin Kennedy from Slattery Communications writes an excellent PR blog entitled ‘Thoughts on Communications in Ireland’ and here you’ll find many tips and checklists on how to go about raising your profile online.
Bernie Goldbach from Tipperary Institute does an interesting video round up of tech news in the Sunday papers on which is also syndicated on fellow committee member Campbell Scott’s now global social network IGOpeople.
Krishna De aka Ireland’s social media ambassador is also a member of the working group, she’s on every network and if you’ve ever seen her present at her many speaking engagements, you’ll agree her passion for social media is infectious and her many resources are definitely worth a browse.
Last but not least, I’d like to mention the IIA’s Roseanne Smith who is always online and at hand to help with your every social media whim.

Joy Redmond is the co-founder of Flexitimers.

Joy started her career in 1996 as Marketing Director of Newmedia, one of Ireland's first web design companies. She remained agency side working with and Campaign HTDS before moving client side to become online marketing manager of (a joint venture between Fyffes and Glanbia). Before setting up Flexitimers with Dervla Cunningham, Joy was a lecturer in E-business, research and marketing in the Dublin Institute of Technology and was Course Director of the Masters in Business & Entrepreneurship. She is a mentor on the Wexford County Enterprise Board and a member of the Irish Internet Association Social Media Working Group.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Social Media to Market Your Event

The rise of social media has changed the landscape of marketing, and event marketing is no different. Facebook's invitiation facility and the event listing section on Linkedin, along with Twitter's meatoric rise in popularity in the last few months mean that you would be crazy not to use these varied media to publicise your event to a huge audience, for FREE. What's more, the instant-ness of applications such as Twitter for i-phone means that attendees are marketing and publicising events for you, in real-time! UK based events website are running a free webinar this month to guide you through the process of harnessing social media to market your event. And InfluentialMarketingBlog have a great post on how you or or your guest can utilise Twitter during an event to connect with those not in attendance or gain instant, online PR for your event. Check out Scott Monty's blog for an insight into the variety of markets which can be reached through these channels, from Generation Y-ers to 'Mommy bloggers'!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gorta Ask The Big Question...

Is it possible to make hunger history?

Gorta, Ireland's oldest charity, last week marked the launch of their online video initiative,, which aims to collect opinions and feedback from members of the public on the issue of global hunger. With one in seven people worldwide now going hungry, this initiative aimsto help inform and mobilise the public in the fight against hunger and poverty.

Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht affairs, Eamon O'Cuiv, joined Gorta CEO, Brian Hanratty, at the Dublin Docklands to launch the site, just days before the National Famine Commemoration Day took place in Skibbereen to commemorate victims of the Great Irish Famine.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Evolution Of Logos

I absolutely love this chart of high profile logos through the years (from Brittany Bohnet via Ogilivy's blog - thanks). Am I the only one who likes many of the oldies best? I much prefer the rainbow Apple logo and the 70s/80s BMW logo. Think IBM could have made more of an effort in the early days though! Love love love the previous two Canon logos also. Would love to know your thoughts...

Friday, April 17, 2009

INTO Annual Congress Display

Many issues were discussed at the 2009 INTO Annual Congress last Tuesday in Letterkenny, including the issue of renting pre-fabs for school buildings and the possibility of a day of action in the next few months. There was no love lost between delegates and the Minister for Education, Batt O'Keeffe, and an estimated 30 delegates walked out of the congress to show their distaste for recent cuts in the education sector. Above is an image of the stand we produced for this 'eventful' event.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Executive Job Club In Rathmines

Following the lead of Executive Job Clubs in New York and England, an Executive Job Club is now up and running on alternate Fridays in Rathgar.

As the first network in Dublin focusing on executive, managerial and professional job seekers, this club has much to offer its members:

- the members are highly skilled in their sector and share contacts to help fellow members trying to reach specific recruiters or break into a new sector.

- Job leads will be shared at each fortnightly meeting, helping disseminate placements across the group and increasing the number of opportunities each member is exposed to.

- Optimum Training, the facilitators of the club, coordinate the networking and provide career counselling and professional training to each member at a reduced cost.

- The club will also provide executive job seekers with something that can be difficult to access otherwise - moral support from others in a similar position. This type of social back up can be crucial when a redundancy has left the job seeker in shock or lacking confidence to take a step in a different direction.

- This type of network can also benefit those who are still in employment but have been scared off changing jobs because of the current eceonomic climate.

- Contact Aaron Downes for further details -

Another example of a people taking positive action in the face of the non-stop doom-and-gloom at the moment. Would love to hear your views on this or any other such initiative currently going on.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Twittering Away...

Applied Signs & Display are now officially ensconced in Twitter - believe what people are saying, it is addictive. I think the reason it has caught on so well for business use is that it's fun. It's a fun, instant, dynamic way to get your brand out there and connect with people you might never have had any contact with otherwise. Which can only be good for business! Apart from the many business contacts, friends, customers and IBW and IIA members I have connected with, I am also now following John Mayer, Stephen Fry, MC Hammer, and have even received a private message from Yoko Ono. Seriously, that made my year!

As of today we have 204 followers and we were ranked 355 in a recent survey of Irish Twitterers by Irish Blogs. Give twittering a go. And be sure to follow us at

Some Useful Sites For Twitterers

Top 100 and Top 1000 Irish Twitterers

NearbyTweets: Find Twitterers Near You or By Location & Keyword - great for business searches

Aggregator of Irish Tweets - follow to be included in the stream. Find the most prolific Twitterers (lots of big names in here) Find Twitterers similar to those you already follow Create Simple Polls on Twitter Use Twitter as a to-do list and reminder service Tweet in Private to a select group of friends or colleagues Schedule Tweets in advance Advertise on a particular Twitterer's profile or monetize your own page 'Mute' or filter certain twitter updates to streamline your twitterstream Scan for Twitter Spammers Get notified when someone un-follows you Search the Twitter Golden Pages Brand and Trend tracking on Twitter See your followers and their followers graphed in a 'wheel' Graph your followers over time and track un-follows

Twitter Mosaic Create a visual mosaic of your followers to display on blogs etc.

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Customer Comments...

Our Testimonial page on the website is now full to capacity, so I'm going to add the latest batch here...

' We would just like to say a big thank you to yourself and Declan for
all your help with the presentation. It all turned out really well in the end
(despite all the last minute changes). Our client Jurys Inns were also
very complimentary.'

Siobhan Ward,
Urban Innovations.

‘…thanks for all the help. The stand looked great and worked very well… Apprec all your help and advice…’

Mona Reilly,
Team PR Reilly.

… Thanks for getting the stands turned around so quickly – they look great…

Aisling Donovan,
Marketing Executive,
Aer Arran.

… It has been a pleasure doing business with you. … very professional…

Michael Sweeney,
Rally Ireland.

… Your guys fitted the sign yesterday and did a good job. Am very happy with how it worked out.…

Daniel Kearney,
General Manager,
Iveagh Fitness Club.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Part Four of Display Product Guide – Signage

Signage - aka Signs, Internal Signage, External Signage, Plaques, Fascia, Lettering, Totem Signs, Slat Signs, Freestanding Signs, Building Signage, Wayfinding Signs, Directional Signs - Not to be confused with - Vehicle Signs, Window Graphics, Portable Signs, Banners & Flags (see parts 1 -3).

Signage usually refers to some marking used to identify a building, to offer information or to brand a premises. As mentioned above there are portable variations when it comes to signage but this entry will focus on the static signs which would make up the more traditional portion of this product sector.

One of the most common forms of building signage, both internal and external, and arguably one of the most attractive, is cut lettering. This is where individual letters are cut or formed from perspex, metal, wood etc. These letters stand proud from the surface they are attached to. This type of lettering is very eye-catching and custommisable but can only be used with lettering of a decent size - smaller lettering will have to be attached to a panel rather than individual letters attached to a wall, for example. A good supplier will be able to include a cut-out of most logos in this of sign.

Another type of well known sign is a neon sign - famous for their visibility - but these signs are very delicate and expensive to maintain. These are rapidly being replaced by LED signs which are just as visible and are cheaper to produce and less temperamental than neon! As with most sign types, there are standard neon signs available ('vacancies' for example) or you can have a custom sign made which will cost more and take a bit longer.

Also highly visible are backlit signs - very professional looking signs that can be replied upon to draw attention to your office or shop. Perspex is the most popular choice for the face of these signs as it allows a degree of light through, although laser cut stainless steel is also popular (the light shines through the cut portions). Again you can stick to stock shapes to save time and money, or custom order a sign for an individual look. For these and neon signs you will have to consider a power source for your sign and may need to engage an electrician.

Indoor signs, directional signs and those used in industrial estates or retail centres often incorporate slat or totem systems, which allow elements of the sign to be changed without replacing the whole sign. Another option here is a fingerpost sign, which consists of a pole to which various arms can be attached, all pointing in different directions. Consistency is key here so make sure your supplier can replicate or replace the slats in the future to keep a uniform look.

Building signage can also be in the form of flat aluminium panels, with vinyl or digital print applied. A more refined look can be achieved by having the edges 'turned back' or using a metal edging as a border (border can also be used as a feature if its in a contrasting colour or texture). Temporary building signage can be made from foamex or a similar lightweight substrate, with digital print or vinyl applied. Make sure these signs are over-laminated if they are for outdoor use though. Consider materials such as anodised aluminium or finished dibond which are durable but allow you to customise your look with a wood laminate, or hammered metal or brushed metal finish for example.

Brass plaques mounted on wood have traditionally been used as smaller signs beside office doorways or reception signs. These give a traditional and formal image but because the materials and
labour required are expensive these are a dear option. A more contemporary version is a stainless steel plaque or 'reverse tray' sign, or a glasslook plaque, which still look very professional and are also generally cheaper than brass plaques.

When you haven't got a wall to fix your sign to, you can use posts to support the sign or hang the sign from a support if you have a sheltered area to do so. Bear in mind that sinking posts will often require concrete to be cast and fitting signs at great heights will incur extra labour costs and the hire of a cherry picker or crane.

Health and Safety and Braille signs are often available in stock versions which will save a lot of money and time - custom versions of braille signs especially will take time to produce and incur a premium. Make sure you comply with regulations for Health and Safety and Braille signs, available by clicking on the above links.

Of course, your needs or wants may not fit into any one category, or maybe your premises does not provide any easy or obvious place to support a sign. In that case your only option is to contact a custom signmaker with a good track record to engineer something specifically for you.

Things to look out for when ordering signage:

**Check what stock options are available, as opposed to custom made signage, to save you time and money

**Think about where you want the sign to go - the higher the position the more it will cost, but this may be offset with extra visibility achieved. Is it necessary to sink poles to support your sign? Is it in an exposed area where it could be damaged by harsh weather or vandalised?

**Make sure your signage is fit by an expert - the heavier the sign material and the more elements involved, the more important this is, both for durability and safety. For very heavy installations the services of a civil engineer are advised.

**Engage a designer who specialises in designing for large format uses - a sign must be easily legible to be useful and this type of design differs greatly from business card or web design for example.

**Consider incorporating a panel which can be replaced if you have information which may change – patches and other changes can be very visible on well established signage.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rally Ireland to Kick Off FIA World Rally Championship 2009

The Northwest of Ireland will be alive with the roar of engines from the 29th January to the 1st February, when Rally Ireland takes place in Belfast, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal, Cavan and Roscommon. This event marks the beginning of the championship, an honour traditionally given to the Monte Carlo Rally. Seeing as this is only the 2nd time that Ireland has hosted a round of the FIA World Rally Championship, this is a huge achievement, and one that can only benefit the local economy - the last Rally Ireland attracted over 250,000 spectators and generated €48 million in revenue. Further information is available here and here. And oh yeah, if you attend, keep an eye out for one of the 1000+ signs we produced for the event...

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