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    Why I Love Mondays

    July 8th, 2014

    Simon Moynihan, Communications Director, Bonkers Money Limited – bonkers.ie.

    I’ve been working at bonkers.ie since January 2010 which seems so long ago now! The company was founded by David Kerr and myself and I’ve been the Comms guy since we launched.

    The Company: bonkers.ie is a personal financial comparison and switching website. Our mission is to make it easy for people to find the best deals for their household bills. We’ve been going for just over four years and have grown into the biggest provider of utility and personal financial comparisons in Ireland.

    Job description: It’s hard to pin down in a paragraph or two exactly what I do. The communications and PR part of my job keeps me very busy and can be incredibly varied. The range of products we list is broad and constantly changing, and the consequences of price shifts or rate hikes can directly affect customers’ budgets… so we usually have a lot to talk about…
    And we love to talk! I was on the radio this morning talking about how much mobile phones costs to charge for a year. I wrote a piece about gas deregulation earlier in the week that caught the interest of a couple of journalists, and I helped provide further analysis around that. I love to write and blog when I get the time, and I’ve been known to do the odd piece of TV. Radio is my favourite medium though. I love listening to radio and I love that I’ve had the opportunity to participate and comment on some of Ireland’s popular talk radio shows.
    At its core though, my job is about customer service. We’re a consumer website so we hear from lots of people and we need to respond and take care of them as best we can. Everyone in the company participates in customer service to some extent, we have some great people dedicated to customer service, and I’ve taken on the role of managing it. We also work with suppliers and agencies so I play a role in account management too.

    Likes: I love that I get to meet people from across the business spectrum, and I love that every day can be so different. You really have no idea what might happen – bonkers.ie really can be what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

    Career ladder: Prior to bonkers.ie, I worked with David Kerr in a company that did utility and financial comparisons for the UK market. We were based in Dublin, and it was quite odd to be so immersed in a market that we didn’t actually live in.
    Back in those days there were a lot of early morning flights to see our customers, but we developed the expertise that allowed us to set up bonkers.ie, so I’m very grateful for that experience. In a past life I have been a corporate trainer and a technical trainer, so I suppose I’ve always liked to get out and talk to people.

    Qualifications: I wasn’t much good at school despite attending some good schools!

    Working hours: I have young kids and my wife works and travels quite a bit, so I need to keep a fairly regular schedule. I’m usually available outside office hours, but I’m not always online.

    Breaktime: I’m one of those people who believes in taking a proper break in the middle of the day but having said that, I often end up eating at my desk. I do try and get out once or twice a week, and if the weather’s good I love to go to a park for a sandwich with a friend.

    News sources: If you want to know what’s going on in Ireland, it’s hard to beat the Indo and the Times. And if you really want to know what’s going on, talk radio is where you’ll get your perspective, and Twitter is a great place for a bit of humour around the day’s events. I used to live in the States, so I read Slate to keep up with what’s going on over there.

    Onsite or offsite: We are mostly an onsite organisation. We’ll certainly travel to see partners and clients, but it’s been a long time since I’ve needed to get up at five to catch a plane for work.

    Digital strategy/vision: bonkers.ie is primarily an online service so a digital vision is essential. We leverage social media, not just for promotion, but to keep in touch with our site users. We are totally committed to best practice in technology and it shows in the awards we have won.
    Digital is a part of everything we do. Digital provides the tools that allow us to offer the best service we can to our users.

    I love Mondays because: Conor Bofin, another contributor to this series said “Waking up on a Monday certainly beats the alternative!” I can get behind a reason like that.

     

    Bank of Ireland Startup Awards

    July 8th, 2014

    As the Bank of Ireland Startup Awards comes around again, it promises to mirror the improving economy with as many as 1,000 startups expected to compete for the various categories and the Grand Prix award.

    The awards are run by Stephen Dillon of Startups.ie and he aims to double the five hundred entrants who were nominated last year.

    The awards are open to all sectors including digital, food and drink, retail, social enterprise and export businesses.

    Besides much needed cash, this is an excellent opportunity for start-ups to raise their profile and attract further investment and talent.

    Entries can be submitted here – http://startupawards.ie/how-to-enter/

    It is free to enter and the deadline is Sunday August 17th, so start thinking about it now :)

     

     

    A Smarter Way to Shop

    July 8th, 2014

    A consumer Product & Price Comparison Service has launched in Ireland that specifically offers consumer product and price comparisons to help online and mobile shoppers find the right product at the right price.

    Pricespy.ie compares prices and product information on more than 111,000 consumer products from almost 400 Irish online shops, as well as thousands of international shopping sites that ship to Ireland.

    Lorna Barker, senior marketing manager for PriceSpy in Ireland and the UK, said, “Irish people love a good deal, and the success of other online comparison sites really backs this up. Already, Irish shoppers are well used to comparing flights, insurance, utilities and financial services online. While consumer goods price comparison websites have been used for years by savvy online shoppers around the world, until now, a truly effective service has not been available in Ireland. PriceSpy is here to change that with the most comprehensive pricing and product comparison information available in the market, helping shoppers easily find the right product, from the right shop at the right price – effectively enabling something we simply call shopping intelligence.”

    Infinite Search Refinement Possibilities

    What makes PriceSpy work is the quality and accuracy of the data it holds. The rich search and filtering tools mean shoppers can ‘PriceSpy’ what they’re looking for at a very detailed level. For example, they could specify the weight, size and colour of a laptop, and get served results leading to the best prices available among the shops listed, specifically against those choice parameters.

    Another key aspect of PriceSpy is the independent approach it takes to serving up search results, and the full transparency it provides to the end user. According to Barker, “We source prices directly from the retailers and update the data several times a day so that we’re listing the most accurate and up to date information possible. What is most important is that our listings are presented in a ‘lowest price first’ order. With PriceSpy there is no way for retailers to ‘pay their way’ to the top of our listings, so our users can be 100% confident we are providing them with the fairest price comparisons available at all times.

    “Our goal is to become the most trusted source of comparison information and opinion on consumer products, and our hope is that when someone is shopping for a product their first port of call will be to ‘PriceSpy it’, just as people ‘Google it’ when looking for general information, or ‘Hailo it’ when they need a taxi!”

    This is a free service, and is available across both Android and iOS platforms.

     

    Cyber Bullying Conference

    July 8th, 2014

    As bad as bullying used to be, it has got a whole lot worse. At least in my day we could leave it at the school gates, but now that it follows a child home with – sometimes – drastic consequences, it is imperative that stakeholders in child welfare – in particular, School Principals, Guidance Counsellors, Boards of Management, Academics, Legal Profession, Health Care Professionals, and Parents – be aware of the dangers and are equipped to do what they can to ameliorate the issues.

    Bully 4u and the National Anti-Bullying Centre at DCU have joined together to host a national cyber bullying conference.

    The conference titled ‘Understanding and Managing Cyber Bullying’ will be held on the 1st of September 2014 in the main conference centre at Dublin Castle.

    For information and booking – http://www.eventbrite.ie/e/national-cyberbullying-conference-ireland-tickets-11416259339?aff=es2&rank=7

     

    Snap Shot of Irish Design Sector

    July 8th, 2014

    For his research into entrepreneurship in the Visual Communication sector in Ireland, Con Kennedy of Con Kennedy Visual Communications, has put together a fascinating perspective on the Design Sector in Ireland.

    Some stand out points are that the Irish design sector has higher than average gender diversity at board level, and is predominantly based in the South City area of Dublin, and – this is one we particularly like – the first quarter of 2014 saw a spike in new design business – registrations with 4.5% of practices being formed.

    For more details see the full infographic here , read the blog entry or contact Con Kennedy at @ConKennedy

     

     
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