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Failte Ireland lies to International Media!?

I love Dublin! I am living here for ages and for more than 11 years I wrote a online publication about cultural events in Dublin, but during that time I also have seen how the official groups responsible for tourism (especially in Dublin!) do less and less and expect more and more money to be dropped by tourists.

New Year’s Eve is not the most exciting day of the year in Dublin and if anyone asked me, I would strongly recommend that potential visitors stay far away between 24 December and 02/03 January. It is just sooo disappointing if you go to a city for these celebrated days and there is NOTHING happening.

In previous years some attempts were made to make Dublin a little more interesting at least over New Year with the New Year’s Festival Dublin. It consisted of some events on New Year’s eve (many years ago we even had fireworks!) and then more events and activities on New Year’s Day. But in 2018 all this changed again and it is the poorest and most disappointing events programme for the New Year’s Festival in at least 5, maybe 10 years!

There are just two light shows at Customs House. They are free, but needed tickets (which are all gone) and then there is a gig (not free!!) in the 3Arena. Apart from that there is not a single official event and NO events on New Year’s Day. Private Fireworks are forbidden in Ireland, nobody pays fro public Fireworks, so New Year’s Eve is a Non-Event!

That’s the facts!! But Failte Ireland is of the opinion that the facts shouldn’t get in the way of their “Fake news” marketing!

900 media representatives from 20 countries were invited to come to Ireland just before New Year’s and Failte Ireland is trying to convince them of something that is clearly untrue.

A RTE News article here says:

“The New Year’s Festival in Dublin is set to showcase tourism in the capital, and encourage more people to visit the capital and Ireland in 2019, according to tourism groups.”

“Liam Campbell from Fáilte Ireland’s International Publicity team said this year’s New Year’s Festival promises to be the most impressive end of year celebration Dublin has ever seen.”

What an amount of codswallop!

Do I think people should come to Dublin? Absolutely YES! It is a great place with lots of free and non free events during the year. This is mostly not thanks to Failte Ireland or Dublin City, but luckily we have lots of great people and businesses in Ireland that do a great job. But PLEASE tell people that they should avoid the Christmas and New Year’s period if they don’t want to be disappointed.

The GDPR Bloodbath – Companies will die!

If you still don’t know that something happened on 25 May that affected electronic communications then you you don’t use e-mail or the Internet (and then you won’t get to read this anyway ;-) ) or maybe you have never bought anything on the Internet and have not subscribed to any newsletters (apart from the Dublin Event Guide :-) ).

In an over-hyped panic state many companies and organisations who dod have clear permissions from their customers/subscribers asked ALL their subscribers to re-subscribe. Others who had mailing lists that were decades old and that were populated in ways that would not be compatible with the new GDPR rules had no choice. I got hundreds if e-mails! Initially senders asked me to re-subscribe but then it all changed and they mails were a mere notification of the new GDPR rules.

I had looked into the new regulations well in advance and since everyone who gets the Dublin Event Guide had to request to get added and then had to confirm that they REALLY want to get added, I have clear documentation of the request so I didn’t have to bother you again. But imagine this:

A typical mailing list has an opening rate of 10-40%. That means 10-40% of the recipients open a mail. The rest is too busy right now and plans to open at a later stage (but might never get to it) OR they have lost interest in the information OR they are not actively using that mail account anymore. So if a company has 10,000 subscribers and they did send the GDPR mail “Please confirm your details, otherwise we will have to delete you.” They already lost 6000 – 9000 subscribers the moment they hit the SEND button. Let’s be generous and say they ONLY lost 7000. Now the 3000 remaining people would have confirm that they still want to receive the newsletter. But since all mails arrived on one day and people got annoyed with so many re-subscribe mails. many decided to take the opportunity to get rid of some unwanted newsletters. So where normally maybe 40-50% would have confirmed, I wouldn’t be surprised if on Wednesday and Thursday of this week only about 20-30% actually did subscribe (and that number could still be too optimistic.) Let’s continue with 25%.

So after one e-mail and the introduction of GDPR the company has just 750 people left on their list! From 10,000 to 750 with one e-mail! That is an absolute disaster for a company that depends on online sales or on online promotions to achieve online or offline sales.

The result will be a highly probably loss in sales and revenue and because the company might have lost the “innovateability” that they had when they started originally and also runs on higher costs in comparison to the start-up days, I wouldn’t be surprised if companies will have to close! :-O

An odd and difficult situation. But it is too late now. :-O

Project Arts Centre: Get two cans of paint and achieve a BIG impact!

Some people are skilled in using minimalist means to get max. effect and the Project Arts Centre is definitely good at that!

They tried it in 2016 and were very successful with it and they just copied the same recipe again and seemingly will get a similar maximised effect. Others would have to pay THOUSANDS for it, the Project Arts Centre just had to pay for two cans of paint.

So what is this clever recipe? Here it goes: Get a recognised artist, give him a can of white paint and a can of red paint and get him to paint a controversial message on the wall of your building. The artist can get help to speed up the process by the way. And don’t worry about the fact that not tooo many people will actually see the painted on message. Just make sure that the “authorities” will find out about it. (In 2016 it was Dublin City who had a problem with the missing planning permission for the “advertisement message”, this time it is the Charities’ Regulator.)

Hope and pray that the authorities have a big problem with that controversial message on the wall and tell you off and DEMAND that it will be removed. Now you get the press involved and tell them about it. Because it is a “sensational” thing that you are told off, they will hopefully write about it. And bingo! You didn’t have to hang a single poster of pay for expensive ad space online or on lamp posts and you reach more people than anyone else.

When you are told off, don’t fight it, but declare immediately that you will be happy to remove the international respected artists’ piece of art work. Then turn the removal of the message into an event by giving a date and time when you will remove it and with a bit of luck you might get the press to queue up to get a cool picture of the destroying of public art and if that goes into the newspapers and TV news, you get a second BIG exposure.

And if EVER again there is another message you feel passionate about, just rinse and repeat! The recipe works as long as there are authorities that complain. And in case there is no complaining authorities anymore. don’t worry, the message just stays where it is and that way still has some effect.

Sooo smart! :-) The controversial message was “Repeal the 8th!” and the Charities’ Regulator says it breaks the rule that forbids charities to engage in political activities. The artist is Maser and the removal will happen on Monday morning at 11:00.


TV3 Rebranding – Now on hold

I am definitely not a branding expert and while I am currently trying to learn a little more about the intricacies of branding, I will still guess and interpret my way through this This is Odd piece. ;-) It is about TV3s rebranding.

TV3 was bought in July 2015 by Virgin Media for EUR 80mio. Before that TV3 started in 2008 and was a struggling commercial competitor to RTE’s tax-payer-funded semi-state TV empire. In 2014, TV3 had losses of 7mio and in 2015 of 17mio, so things could have been better for them, but Virgin Media’s buyout of the TV station changed the picture.

Virgin Media has an even more illustrious past: There were originally NTL and Telewest in the UK. They merged and then bought Virgin Mobile UK. The three companies then signed a deal with Richard Branson that gave them the right to use Branson’s brand “Virgin”. So Branson doesn’t own any part of the company, but gets money for his name (a license deal) but when the Cable TV company UPC in Ireland became Virgin Media, Richard Branson was paraded around like he was the boss. Virgin Media, however is owned by Liberty Global, a huge American TV and telecommunications company. UPC also was owned by Liberty Global, hence the deal to merge the Irish UPC into the Virgin Media brand. So Virgin Media provides Telecommunications services, Cable TV and then bought TV3 to add TV services to their Irish portfolio. In 2015 TV3 bought the UTV TV channel, which was created only a very small number of years before and had failed miserably. (I could make it more complicated by explaining how TV3 had licensed ITV content, but lost that to UTV, when UTV’s channel launched in Ireland. ironic that it all came back to TV3 when TV3 bought UTV. But I don’t want to make it tooo difficult to follow. :-) )

That bought UTV channel was renamed into “Be3” in January 2017 to create the three stations TV3, 3e and Be3. A somewhat odd and inconsistent branding mess, one could say and Virgin Media wanted to sort it out by rebranding all of them to VM1, VM2 and VM3. In autumn of 2018 all the new names were meant to be adopted. But this week (08 March) TV3 declared that a rebranding was not the highest priority right now.

The new mother company and the available money and TV3s new confidence meant that TV3 successfully won broadcasting rights to all Six Nations Rugby Games from 2018-2021 in addition they still have broadcasting rights for UEFA Champions League and a number of other football tournaments. And then there are the drama series that TV3 has access to.

All these successes are linked to TV3 and it took a good bit of an effort to create the brand link of series and sports events with TV3. And if everything got renamed (probably for a high cost) now the branding would have to be created from scratch.

So does it make sense or does it not make sense to postpone the rebranding? I think it probably makes sense, but remember that I said that I am no expert! ;-)

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