Saturday, December 26, 2009

One Wonderful Event - IABC/PRSJ Christmas Event

One Wonderful Event
Past President of IABC and also the PRSJ, Beverley Josephs, asked in November "Why don't we have one wonderful event" and the word having been spoken, so it was done.

The process of planning the joint networking event sponsored by Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) Jamaica Ltd resulted in an evening of great fun, the start of new professional relationships and friendships and exposure of young PR talent.

From left: IABC President Yvonne Grinam Nicholson, Special Advisor in the Ministry of Education, Dr Fay Tortello, PRSJ President, Mark Thomas.

Persons who attended reported that they never got bored for a minute. The presentation by Dr Rebecca Tortello on the government's vision for early childhood education was eye-opening and engaging. Joan Andrea Hutchinson read from her newest book "Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun" which really got a lighthearted homespun groove going.

Young set designer Scheed Cole of "Props and More" created a memorable backdrop just for the event which drew several comments of appreciation.

The entertainment package, which included modelling by practitioners was heartwarming fun. MC Heather Grant along with entertainers Digicel Rising Star Cameal Davis and chanteuse Karla Johnson drew people together and sparking the glow of Christmas cheer.

Giveaways included gift baskets from HEART Trust/NTA; a personal care gift certificate from the HEART School of Cosmetology; products from Diageo; fun gift baskets from Jamaica National and giveaways from LIME, including the door prize of a Black Berry.

Practitioners finally get a chance to catch-up

The planning committee was: IABC- Yvonne Grinam Nicholson, Simone Hull, Beverley Josephs, Gerrard Mc Daniel; PRSJ Gwyneth Davidson, Mark Thomas, Analisa Downes, Shawnette Henry, Misha Lobban, Claudette Myers, Cheryl Smith.

More photos are needed for our album which is at the link below. Do visit and help us to put names to all faces.
If you took photos, please email to

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Toys and Books - Giveaways for Mixer December 18, Pegasus

Dear Colleagues,

This is just a reminder that we are collecting books and toys for children at our Christmas mixer tomorrow evening, December 18, from 6:30 - 9:30 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. There is no age or sex restriction, no wrapping is necessary, so feel free to bring anything that will bring a smile and hours of fun.

Sangster's Bookstores in New Kingston has a 50% discount deal on at the moment on a range of books, including some for small children, perhaps their other branches are doing so as well.

Our partners have been generous and our evening will not only feature great entertainment, but many of us will go away with something extra. There are a range of fun items from LIME, Jamaica National, HEART Trust/NTA, Diageo (Red Stripe) and BNS as giveaways for persons who will take part in our lighthearted competitions.

For our shutterbugs, come with your camera eyes ready as we will be asking you to email in your photos of the event, and there will be a prize for the best photo of the evening.

Be assured that our menu will have something for everyone (vegans to por*eaters) and the dress code is business wear and casual wear....wear red if you can....and yes! that's a hint.

For tickets email and we will also accept payments at the door. The cost is $2,500.00.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Communicators Host Christmas Fiesta

Communicators host Christmas entertainment fiesta

The Jamaica Observer Entertainment Section - Thursday, December 10, 2009

CAMEAL Davis, 2008 winner of Digicel Rising Stars winner; award-winning performer, Karla Josephs; author and story-teller, Joan Andrea Hutchinson; and DJ Nyron are the entertainers set to rock the International Association of Business Communicators (Caribbean) (IABC) and Public Relations Society of Jamaica (PRSJ) Christmas Mixer on Friday December 18, at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

The joint event, which is being sponsored by the Bank of Nova Scotia (Jamaica), is a first as Jamaican communicators from the both professional organisations collaborate for the networking mixer to end the year with a bang.

“We decided that since we serve a cross-section of the same professionals, we should work together and set the tone for co-operation and collaboration in the new year,” says current IABC chapter president, Yvonne Grinam Nicholson. “The professional landscape has changed and this has meant that there is a greater need to pull together for the greater good of the growth and development of the communications industry,” agrees Mark Thomas, president of the PRSJ.

The evening’s revelry is set to reveal the musical stylings of young Karla Josephs, awardwinner at the World Championships of the Performing Arts, and readings from Hutchinson’s newly released book, Tek Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun. This latest release will “celebrate the creativity and resourcefulness of Jamaican ‘poor’ people”.
There will also be giveaways, prizes and surprises from supporting companies.

It will not be all fun and games as specially invited speaker, the Ministry of Education’s senior advisor, Dr Rebecca Tortello will present on the Ministry’s newly announced ‘Book Bag project’ to encourage childhood literacy.
Guests at the Christmas Mixer are being asked to bring the gift of a book for a child.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NCU PR Students Get First Taste Of "The Real World"

Third Year Public Relations Students from the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) got a taste of the real world when they presented their PR and Advertising Campaign for their clients, the PRSJ, this morning (December 9) at the offices of Innovative Ideas in Kingston.

Four members of the 12 member squad from Kre8tive Ad Dynasty delivered a proposal that included an advertising campaign concept with mock ups of a printed poster and a brochure.

At the end of the one-hour session, the students and practitioners came away with useful insights. Spokesperson for Kre8tive Dynasty, Keshann Watson said of the exercise, "We are quite happy and we took the recommendations very seriously to enhance the project. It gave me the opportunity to think of ideas for other topics. We will employ the advice in how we do research...we have to step it up a notch a whole lot more."

President Mark Thomas noted that he would be willing to meet with the students again, on their home turf in Mandeville, and continue the counselling and guide them towards establishing a student Chapter of the PRSJ on their campus. The initiative of the students followed an address that he made to them during a recent Careers Day event at NCU.

Past President Keith Brown says of the morning that it was an excellent session. "These students are definitely with it and are being well taught (thank God). They are to re-do the proposal based on this morning's discussions."

The intrepid participants from NCU Kre8tive Ad Dynasty, who took came by bus and then car to keep their appointment, were Keshann Watson organiser; Monquie Powell, CEO; Tashanya Traile, Creative Director and Simone Powell.
PRSJ Participants were: Heatha Miller, Communications Manager, STATIN; Keneshia Nooks, Communications Officer, JCDC; Mark Thomas, Communications Director, Jampro; Keith Brown, Director, Keith Brown and Associates; Christine Bell, Director, Innovative Ideas (hostess); Gwyneth Davidson - PR Manager, OPM. The project will go towards the students' end-of-year final grade.

Practitioners were pleased to hear of the reasons why the students chose PR which included, being "excited by what media can achieve" and "loving research". Not one of the four affable ladies said that they chose the profession to socialise and meet people. Folks, one more bit of proof that hope rises strong in our young people.

Decor and Deals

Fine artist, set designer and decorator, Scheed Cole of Props and More, is designing a scene from Toyland and also tropical nature specially for the PRSJ Christmas Networking Event on December 18.

This presents a wonderful opportunity for the Toyland portion of the set to be remounted at a residential institution or an indoor public space for the enjoyment of others right through the holiday season.

If there is any client or organisation whom you believe would be interested to bring a little cheer to a home, hospital, community centre, juvenile correctional centre, mall, airport or tax office, please contact us for more information.

Remounting a portion of our Toyland scene will go a long way to bring a gentle smile on the faces of many this tamarind season.

Mr Cole is a genuine, home grown, Brand Jamaica artist. The photo attached is an example of his work staged recently at the UNFPA Caribbean Media Awards in Kingston.

...hold on, there is more....we believe that Christmas cheer starts at home and we are now offering a discount on our event for persons who sell five tickets or more. Tickets delivered to your office.
Call or email Mod to find out more.

Contact Mod: 817-8077,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

POSTPONED Search on for Caribbean Communications Icon



Kingston, December 3, 2009

The Public Relations Society of Jamaica (PRSJ) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Caribbean have joined forces to find Jamaica's most outstanding communications influence.

The two bodies, recognizing that today's professional communication practitioner stands on the shoulders of stalwarts who have served in the fields of government, the private sector, the media and academia, hope to inspire the current generation with their contribution. The Caribbean Communications Icon will be an annual award.

Any member of the public can put forward nominations for the Caribbean Communications Icon by showing how the person or organisation has contributed in a tangible way to the growth and development of Jamaica’s communications industry over the past 20 years.

The nomination guidelines can be downloaded from the PRSJ blog at

Nominations are open until December 8 and must be submitted to or to

The award will be presented at the Christmas Networking Event of both organisations on December 18 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

The function will feature Digicel Rising Star winner, Cameal Davis, chanteuse Karla Josephs, surprises and dancing.

The IABC Caribbean is one of the many chapters of the international association. The PRSJ was founded by local practitioners in 1981.


Contact: Moderator, PRSJ 817-8077

Monday, November 30, 2009

Call for Nominees - IABC & PRSJ Icons

Call for Nominees for IABC & PRSJ 2009 Icon
(Individual or organization)


1. Must have contributed in a tangible way to the development of the PRSJ or the IABC;

2. Must have contributed to the growth and development of Jamaica’s communications over the past 20 years;

3. Is not a recent recipient of a long-service or founder's award from either organization;

4. Evidence of the nominee’s outstanding contribution must be sent in writing.

Deadline for nominations must be sent by Tuesday December 8, 2009 by email to:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

IABC PRSJ Networking Christmas Mixer

We came together and decided to end the year with a great big bang, instead of a whimper. So, join us on Friday December 18, 2009 @ Jamaica Pegasus @ 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Joan Andrea Hutchinson will be reading from her new book...Angel-voiced Karla Josephs will thrill us and Cameal Davis, Digicel Rising Star winner will wow us.

Sponsors: Your fave Bank...BNS

"Bring a Toy or Book and Wear Red"

Negril Suite, Jamaica Pegasus Hotel

To order tickets, email

Corporate Scene

January 2010

Haiti Relief Shoe Drive Jan 23-24 - ODPEM

Lisa Ogilvie (Caribbean Events), under the philanthropic group "Well Heeled Jamaicans" has organised a shoe drive as a Haiti relief activity. Donations will be accepted at ODPEM's new location, 2-4 Haining Road, on Sat Jan 23 and Sun Jan 24 from 10a.m. - 6p.m. each day. Volunteers for sorting are welcome, safety and health gear will be provided.

National Prayer Breakfast

Organised and executed as a contribution to nation building by PROComm led by Jean Lowrie Chin. Event on Jan 21, 2010 was attended by hundreds of national leaders in government, business and religion. Part proceeds for Hear the Children Cry and Haiti relief.

Professional Development

CARIMAC has started its year with a bang with short courses being offered as early as this month! For January they have Voice and Speech, and in February Event Planning and also Social Media. Visit their site for more: .

The PRSJ is currently outfitting our marketplace with PR consultants and will shortly invite buyers to send us their advertisements for job placements, tenders and bids which we will position for all to see in one place. There is also space for suppliers, so send by email the websites and blogs of your recommended event venues, caterers, florists, video and audio technicians, printers, entertainers, photographers and more. Visit the construction site of the marketplace at

December 2009

Nicole Robinson, formerly of the Registrar General's Department, is now with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority and immediately on arrival pulled together a successful aviation seminar that allowed a range of industry players to receive a timely update on the status of aviation in Jamaica.

Business Development Officer at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), Shawnette Henry (in photo left), was honoured at the organisation's graduation and 10th anniversary awards ceremony for displaying the values of the organisation: passion for customers; on fire for quality; dynamic; active team player; understanding and embracing the bigger picture. She was also key in organising the agency's 10th graduation and awards ceremony on December 12 where the Prime Minister was guest speaker. For more on MIND's courses for public sector workers, visit their website at

Caribbean Communications Icon - postponed
Note that due to low submission of nominations, the Caribbean Communications Icon award has been postponed.

November 2009
Dania Beckford - Now Director of Public Relations & Information at Jamaica Customs Department. Previous posting was Youth Information Specialist at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Enthrose Campbell - Production Manager JIS (TV and Radio) is currently on an intensified short TV course in Beijing, China.

Congratulations - Latoya Halstead of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) is back on the job following maternity leave.

Jean Lowrie Chin - Appointed to Consultative Monitoring Group (CMG) that will work directly with the Public Sector Transformation Unit (PSTU) of the Office of the Prime Minister, which has been charged with transforming the machinery of government to be more efficient and cost-effective. The CMG will report to a Sub-Committee of the Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Photos - Civil Service Week Expo

The Jamaica Civil Service Association held its first Civil Service Week Expo yesterday, November 17 in Emancipation Park. If you were not able to be there, do visit our gallery and see how government communicators came together to create a space to make the public more aware of the work of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Event organised by Cheryl Smith and Florene Wilks of the Ministry of Finance.

Click here to see slideshow

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PRSJ/ IABC Summit - More Collaboration Will Be Of Mutual Benefit

Coming Together

PRSJ and IABC representatives met for a "breakfast summit" in Kingston and agreed that the practice of public relations in Jamaica will beneft from ongoing co-operation between the two organisations.

It was also agreed that the opportunity to collaborate on programmes and events would be of mutual benefit to the membership of both organisations.

Arising from this, the two organisations will jointly organise and support an event on December 18 and also a professional enhancement event in the future.

Participants at the "summit", which was held at the Courtleigh Hotel, on Tuesday, November 10 were PRSJ President, Mark Thomas; PRSJ member Gwyneth Davidson; IABC President Yvonne Grinham Nicholson; IABC Immediate Past President and former PRSJ President, Beverley Josephs.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Strategy Needed - Report from Networking Event

It was generally agreed that the October 28 Networking Event was a misnomer for our gathering, but it certainly generated material for discussion and a mandate to move forward.

Below is a summary of what unfolded.

PRSJ Networking Event
October 28, 2009

The event was called to order at about 5:50 and ended at about 8:20

ATTENDANCE - 29 Practitioners

Deep concern was raised about the scheduling of a membership event by the IABC and the PRSJ at the same time. It was agreed that this should never happen again as it creates division among practitioners and does not add to the growth of the profession in Jamaica.

PRSJ member and Author, Joan Andrea Hutchinson did the very first reading from her upcoming book "Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun" - celebrating the creativity of Jamaican poor people. Pre-order in time for Christmas, write to: and

Publisher and Marketing Executive Glynis Salmon who delivered the keynote address told practitioners that Jamaicans do not fulfull the promise of talent on a global stage as so many of us are unprepared. She urged practitioners to devote more time to reading and absorbing relevant material.

The panel discussion about the future of the society that was moderated by Past President Alison Christie Binger, with panellists President Mark Thomas, member Gillian Haughton and Glynis Salmon revealed the following topics that people care about.
  • Opportunities for training, personal development, professional development
  • Better co-ordination with the IABC
  • More opportunities for interactions and connections with peers
  • Opportunities to share best practicesNeed to build respect and value for the Society
  • Need for Succession planning
  • Need to revise the definition for PR/Communiation
  • Need to maintain relevance and importance to practitioners and to society
  • Society must play a role in the communications activities (media, marketing, journalism etc)Society needs to align itself with compatable social causes

The next steps are to engage practitioners into the life of the society by forming working groups to:
Develop a strategy that will ensure the long term success of the Society
Develop a public relations plan for the society

Click here for slideshow of the event
To volunteer email "I Will Work" to

Friday, October 30, 2009

PRSJ Networking Event Heralds New Commitment to the Practice of PR

The PRSJ networking event on October 28 heralded a commitment by practitioners to build an organisation that would meet the needs of its members.

Practitioners from the public, private and non governmental sectors and consultancies lent their support to the vision by participating in the evening's activities.

Master of Ceremonies, Christine Bell, guided the activities.

The attendees were honoured to witness the first ever reading by member Joan Andrea Hutchinson from her new book Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun, which will be available by Christmas.

Marketing professional and publisher, Glynis Salmon delivered the keynote address which challenged practitioners to read more and better inform themselves in order to be a partner with government in making positive change, especially in the area of literacy.

A panel discussion moderated by Alison Christie Binger with Glynis Salmon, Mark Thomas and Gillian Haughton allowed practitioners to raise issues of importance to them.

They include the need to:
Create opportunities for training, personal development, professional development
Better co-ordinate with the IABC
Organise more opportunities for interactions and connections with peers
Create opportunities to share best practices
Build respect and value for the Society
For Succession planning
Revise the definition for PR/Communication
Maintain relevance and importance to practitioners and to society
Play a role in the communications activities (media, marketing, journalism etc)
Be aligned with compatible social causes

The next steps suggested are to develop:
a strategy that will ensure the long term success of the Society
a public relations plan for the society

More information on the process to develop the strategies and the role that each practitioner can play will be made available soon.

Host facilities were graciously provided by Jamaica Trade and Invest. Photographs at the link below were taken by news and feature writer and editor, Mark Thompson.

Pictures from the PRSJ networking event Link to audio clips of Joan Andrea and Glynis

PR Professionals Urged to Expand Reading In Order To Be Effective Partners for Social Change

Public Relations Practitioners Urged To Expand Reading In Order To Be Effective Partners for Social Change

Communications Specialist and book publisher, Glynis Salmon urged public relations practitioners to read more relevant material if they intended to contribute to society in a more meaningful way. She was speaking at a Public Relations Society of Jamaica (PRSJ) networking event in Kingston on October 28.

"People will always say and make the criticism of Jamaica, why is it that when you meet someone on an individual level or you meet them in varous groups or various sectors they seem to be so full of possibilities for greatness yet they fall strategically short because, again unfortunately, we do not go the distance for excellence and that is very often because of underdeveloped literacy. I am challenging you individually. If you are to be proud upstanding members of the public relations society, you must first make yourself a model for the behaviour that you want to change."

Ms Salmon noted the Society's goal to play a collaborative role for positive change in areas such as the promotion of literacy, practitioners needed to understand the policies that inform government.

"You want to create some kind of partnership and collaboration with civil society and government, but how can you do so properly and effectively when you remain outside of government? Have you read the 2030 vision? Do you know of it? Have you read it thoroughly? Have you read the UN Charter of Rights which informs the 20/30 vision? The global community have identified certain elements that must be cascaded throughout the countries of the world. So much of what informs government policies and decision-making have come from other sources. Are you familiar with them? How can you become an effective partner when you are only being superficial? So you have to deepen your reading, widen your connections so that when you sit at the table with Government as a meaningful partner, sit from a mutually informed position."

Ms Salmon said that a part of personal literacy development is anticipating global trends and preparing to meet them. She urged practitioners to learn other languages, particularly Chinese, as success in the international community demanded a knowledge of norms and languages of other cultures.
A cross section of private and public sector practitioners attended the event which later featured a panel discussion on how to make the Society of PR professionals in Jamaica more relevant to the needs of the profession.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New book by - Joan Andrea Hutchinson "Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun "is celebrating the creativity of jamaican 'poor' people

As Jamaican music, sports and food continue to fascinate the world and bring fame to Jamrock, a book is in the making that documents time-honoured practices from which the modern culture springs.

Joan Andrea Hutchinson's newest offering "Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun" records how Jamaicans from humble circumstances used their ingenuity to overcome the obstacle of a shallow pocket to live, love and raise children in dignity. Practices that have become the unseen foundation of what is making the country great today. In her words it is "Celebrating the creativity of Jamaican 'poor' people."

Using the humour in the Jamaican language, Hutchinson authentically retells the pieces of the recent and not too recent past that, she says we are too busy now to hear from our Grandmothers. I would add, the Grandmothers are probably themselves out in the workplace and are too busy to tell of the past.

Hutchinson joyfully recalls how to refashion clothes; how nature provided toys for children; do-it-yourself techniques for the good homemaker and of course home remedies for common ailments. You will learn how we kept up our personal hygiene - again with what nature provided. Entertainers will find out how some of our indigenous rhythms originated....not on the dancefloor but another kind of floor!

This book is sure to become a favourite for researchers seeking an easy-to-read, easy-to-reach reference for activities that have helped to shape and define the resilience of which the Jamaican people are reknown. Most importantly, the book will fill you with jou and make you laugh. Listen-in to an excerpt of the reading that she gave at the PRSJ networking event in Kingston on October 28 in our PR toolbox at the link -

Pre-order in time for Christmas, write to: and

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Glynis Salmon, Publisher -
Owner of the Award –Winning publishing imprint, BalaPress, publisher of Easton Lee’s latest book, “Run Big ‘Fraid: A Collection of Short Stories”, which won the Award for Best Adult Fiction in the 2008 Book Industry Association of Jamaica’s National Awards. She is a member of the Board of Directors of several organizations, including the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ). She has given over 18 years of distinguished service to the Book Industry.

Joan Andrea Hutchinson has been writing poems and stories in the Jamaican language for more than ten years. She has published a book of poems, Meck Mi Tell Yuh, audiocassettes "Dat Bumpy Head Gal", "Jamaica Kin Teet" and "Everyting Jamaican". She will read from her upcoming book "Kin teet Kibba Heart Bun"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Precious PRSJ Memories glad to hear that the PRSJ is back. My mother was a member and in 1991 I went with her to a PRSJ luncheon at the Italian restaurant that was on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel. It was fabulous; the decor, the food the remains as one of the most outstanding events of my life...

...The memorable PRSJ flex to the Festival Train road show at Goodyear, St Thomas and the Rumble in the Jungle on the South Coast...

...I have never attended a better seminar in Jamaica than the PRSJ one on Information Technology that was arranged by Alison...

...We used to have good get-togethers where everybody exposed their talent: singing, dancing, acting, crotchet, cooking...

...It was so good when I got an award for my campaign from PRSJ, younger ones should also have an opportunity to be recognised for their work...

...I have been through through three resurrections of the PRSJ, it keeps coming back.....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Agenda - Networking activity

Dear Colleagues,

The agenda for our networking activity is below. To RSVP, email:

PRSJ Networking Activity
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 (5:30 - 7:30)
Jamaica Trade and Invest 18 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10

Master of Ceremonies – Former PRSJ President, Christine Bell,
PR Consultant, Innovative Ideas

Registration starts/ refreshments available

Welcome - PRSJ President, Mark Thomas
Communications Director, Jamaica Trade and Invest

Introduction of Guest Speaker – Tyrell Morgan,
PR Officer, UDC

Reading/Performance from her new book - Joan Andrea Hutchinson
Actress, author, innovator

"Solving Illiteracy through marketing education - Saving the unread"

Keynote Speaker – Glynis Salmon
Director of Business Development and Communication, MIND


Panel Discussion – The Way Forward Now


Former PRSJ President, Alison Christie Binger, PR Counsellor, Illuminart


Sydian Brissett PR Officer, The British Council
Former PRSJ President, Janneth Mornan Green – Consultant, Media Central
Gillian Haughton, PR Director, Ministry of National Security

Registration of volunteers for Working Groups:
AGM Planning Committee
Training and Professional Development
Lights out


Monday, October 19, 2009

Inside the Obama Communications Machinery

Youtube Insights into how the Obama campaign got the job done

Handling Bad Press

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation for competition

Building a Communications Team - talking more important than press releases

PRSJ Vision Statement to Members
We are committed to providing guiding principles in our profession and enhancing a sense of professionalism among our members as they represent their clients and customers. We will grant support to our members, updating them on the latest developments and best practices in the profession, assisting them in developing their skills whilst facilitating the necessary training for internationally accepted accreditation and creating opportunities for networking.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What does Casually Elegant mean?

The invitation clearly said "Dress: Formal", yet here is a gentleman arriving at your function in a silky, shiny shirt that is hanging loosely out of his trousers. The print on the shirt is outrageous evoking the eternal cosmos, complete with the stars and milky way. You are frustrated, then you smile and rush foward to welcome Nelson Mandela.

In Jamaica, organisers of OFFICIAL EVENTS use many creative ways to try and be inclusive of modern dress codes, but sometimes the wording on the invitation frustrates the guests themselves. At a recent function some guests arrived in three-button dark tailored suits with ties while the guests of honour (looking great ) were in short sleeved cotton shirts and low waisted slacks. The invitation said, "Evening Elegant".

Terms like Casually Elegant, Tropical Elegance, Semi Formal, Business Casual, Dress down are being used and no one knows exactly what they mean. Can I wear a nice pair of jeans and a dressy top and heels? Do I have to wear a tie or can I wear a Polo shirt? You end up evoking a mental image of the location and how other people who attend might be dressed, then hazard a guess.

While Lounge Suit sounds outdated, to the few in the know it means business attire. With the Shirt Jack, Nehru suit, and Rastafarian robes as acceptable business attire for men, the time has apparently come to update these time honoured codes to ensure that hosts and guests are comfortable.

There is a move to revisit these codes for OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS and create new ones to match this era and beyond. As practitioners who plan these events, the PRSJ must have a voice at that table when those decisions are being made.

If you have a view on dress codes for OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS and have some suggestions to make, do drop a line or reply by private email to Let us work together on a submission to the Chief Protocol Officer.

To help you along, here is the link to the government dress guide for journalists . Bear in mind that OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS relate to State events. They speak to the man and the woman takes her cue from that. Corporate event planners many times take their cue from what the State does.

This is not my area, but my personal view is to:
Keep Black Tie and Formal as is;

Change Lounge Suit to Business Attire - do not use the word suit as it dismisses cultural differences such as non-European traditional and ethnic wear;

If you want men to know that they do not have to wear a jacket and tie let the invitation read
Relaxed Business Attire.

Casual if jeans are acceptable to the host for that occasion.

More confusion? What say you?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Does my organisation need an online community?

It seems as if anyone with an email these days is on Facebook, or as one of our journalists cleverly and correctly renamed it Faasbook, but how do we know when to open online communities for our organisations?

Here is a link to short article to get us thinking.

How do we know who makes a good community manager? See ideas at the link below.



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Free News Blog Helps Small Businesses Get FREE publicity!

From Delroy A Whyte-Hall

Free News Blog Helps Small Businesses Get FREE publicity!

Can Jamaican-based entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses beat the recession and bring in new business? The answer is a resounding “YES!” according to Delroy A. Whyte-Hall, President of Whyte-Hall Communications.

To give local-based small business owners the solutions they’re looking for, Whyte-Hall Communications has developed a free weekly news blog, the Blog Enterprise. Each week’s issue is filled with news, profile, and information about the entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized business owners who want to get the word out about their businesses and activities without having to purchase expensive advertising. Business owners may subscribe online at, or submit their news and other information to for publication.

“Everyone’s struggling right now,” says Delroy, who opened Whyte-Hall Communications in January 2009. “If local businesses want to survive the recession, they need to differentiate themselves, and take unique approaches to promotion and marketing.” Delroy also points out that unique in this case means FREE publicity. “Businesses don’t have to spend a fortune on business promotions. But owners have to understand that business promotion does NOT mean advertising,” he says. “Promotion is a process. It’s defining your niche and your mission, targeting your market, and communicating your offer in the most clear, concise and compelling, and cost-effective way possible.”

Whyte-Hall Communications is an independent virtual-based public relations consultancy that supports small to mid-sized businesses that want to enhance their image and increase profits by means of well-written and persuasive promotional copy—both online and off. Clients include companies in the Corporate Area, as well as from parish to parish and around the Caribbean.

For more information, visit:, or call Delroy A. Whyte-Hall at (876) 382-7135, or eMail:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Not just athletics putting Jamaica ahead

Something good is in the state of Jamaica.

Yesterday I attended a function at Jamalco attended by senior executives of the parent company, Alcoa. They came to congratulate their Jamaican staff on overcoming a monumental task.

Two years ago it seemed as if the 50-year old company was going to be closed as the refinery had been scraping the bottom of the Alcoa barrell in many key business indices. Bad luck they say is worse than obeah, and nature added its own calamity by sending storms that ravaged the already inefficient production facilities. Add global downturn to that and it seemed only a matter of mere months to turning off the lights.

The mandate from head office was clear: give us a plan that will work. A new management team did what it had to do and Jamalco leapt from 9th to 4th place and is aiming to dethrone Western Australia where three refineries, some with the most modern practices and recent investments, lead the pack.

Responsible mining practices include robust communications strategies that must involve community relations. The Jamalco tradition remains strong in this area currently headed by PRSJ Member Leo Lambert with PRSJ Past President, Ealane Livingston Smith and PRSJ Member Pamella White anchoring key portfolios .

Among their strategies is a measurable staff volunteer programme. Currently 88 staff members have committed to giving 50 hours of volunteer service per year allowing them to earn US$250 for a project. This programme is making an impact on 60 communities in three parishes. The Jamalco management team also meets with business stakeholders every quarter, ensuring that those relationships are kept solid.

Jamalco shows that Jamaica not only leads in the sprints, but can chase in a marathon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The First Gathering

July 23, 2009


The passion is still there!

At our PR gathering last night there was general agreement that the way businesses and governments function today has changed the role of the practitioner.

Mark Thomas, Elaine Commissiong and Carroll Edwards championed the role of the Society to train and offer opportunities for the continuing education for practitioners. The maturing of sports associations, NGOs and community based organisations has created more practitioners who need support to carry out their roles, Pat Gillings and Allison Christie Binger reminded. Carroll also informed the group that PR certification was being offered not only by UWI but at other universities and that the graduates were employed and doing well.

Alison, who noted that we should not be seen as functionaries but counsellors, saw the Society as key to engaging CEOs and Ministers of Government on how best to utilise their PR people. Misha Lobban and Leo Mc Ewan gave examples of the urgency of this imperative.

The question of how many practitioners are active in Jamaica right now was discussed and there was acknowledgement that the public sector has seen the largest growth over the past decade...yet many of us do not have the skills to be effective or to counsel our bosses.

We have the evolved skills in communication Mark says and it us up to each one of us to get into the heads of the economists, technocrats and other specialists so that the organisation can achieve its communication goals with its key stakeholders.

As Keith Brown says, "Obama has done us the biggest possible favour...this man has created something that is phenomenal and at the base of it is public relations."

Then there is public service...our upcoming and star athlethes need media grooming and we are best placed to do this service for Brand Jamaica.

It is an exciting time to be a business communicator and it needs the involvement of every one of us to shape a modern vision so the PRSJ can function as a Society again.

Coming soon...our Facebook page and an event in August.

To hear a clip of the discussions yesterday, go to the link below.

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Gwyneth Davidson