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?