Thursday, March 18, 2010

You Can Make A Difference - Offer yourself for office -

Make A Difference - Offer Yourself for Office

Self interest is the only reason to be a member of a society ...what it can do for me. To reap any benefit from a society, however, each participant has an interest to make sure that it functions and that it is perpetuated.

Energetic new and experienced practitioners have offered themselves for elections on March 30, the list of names will be announced in a few days so that you can get to know them and consider them ahead of time. If you want to be a part of that dynamic team which is going to make a difference, this is the time to make yourself known by sending an email to

Only Full or Associate members in good standing (paid up) can be elected as an Officer of the Society. Members can put themselves in good standing at the start of the AGM on March 30 and be eligible for elections.

Have a look again at the full list of Officers and the duties of Officers and be prepared to serve and also to review our list of candidates.


The Officers of the Society shall be President, First Vice President, Vice President Special Events, Vice President Recruitment and Membership, Vice President Finance, General Secretary, and Assistant General Secretary. The Election of Officers shall take place at the Annual General meeting (AGM). The duly elected officers shall assume their duties of office immediately following the AGM.


The President:
- Presides at all Membership and Executive Board meetings- Appoints all Committees- Delegates responsibilities of officers and committees- Directs overall operations of the Society- Recommends and establishes goals and objectives for the Society- Coordinates the functions of all officers and committees; recommends and directs the execution of policies and procedures, together with the specific programmes in the interest of the Society and with the approval of the membership- Secures accurate information on the financial status of the Society.- Maintains contact with Past Presidents, Founders and Advisors and other important stakeholders as determined form time to time.

First Vice President:
Is elected to shadow and assist the President- Is entitled to full executive board memberships and voting rights and privileges- Is responsible for the Public Relations of the Society including publications such as the newsletter and accordingly, chairs the Society's Public Relations and Issues Management Committee- Is responsible for duties as described/designated by the President- Is unable to hold another executive board position concurrently- If unable or unwilling to complete the designated term, a resignation letter must be submitted to the President and the Society shall elect a successor as soon as practicable

Vice President Special Events:
Chairs the Special Events Committee- Supports the Professional Development Committee in planning seminars, workshops, conferences etc- Organises luncheons/dinners and other special events of the Society; including securing keynote speakers, venue, menu choices, coordinating programme, producing invitations etc.- Contacts speakers for General meetings- Obtains meeting rooms, refreshments, gifts for speakers, and introduces speakers at meetings- Makes copies of biography sketches- Maintains and updates the Speakers' List- Fosters relations through PRSJ events with Student/Alumni members.

Vice President Recruitment and Membership:
Chairs the Recruitment and Membership Committee- Recruits and maintains membership- Creates "new-member packets"- Writes "Member of the Month" articles- Updates and recommends upgrades of members from one category to another based on years of membership- Spearheads the membership benefits programme- Maintains an updated e-mail chain- Keeps track of members’ contact and other pertinent information.

Vice President Finance:
Coordinates, organises and oversees all fundraising for the Society in conjunction with the Chair of the Special Events Committee;

Works directly with the President and Executive Vice President and heads of all other Committees involved in the handling of funds on behalf of the Society (including the Special Events, Fundraising and Professional Development Committees);

Is responsible for securing accurate information on the financial status of the Society for feedback to the President;

Keeps accurate records of Fundraising activities- submits a monthly financial report- submits an annual financial report- works with designated auditors of the Society in producing the annual financial report of the Society - Collects dues from members once per year- Plans a budget for each Executive Board member- Keeps records of all the Society's spending/billing- Makes deposits in the PRSJ account- Oversees the Budget.

General Secretary:
Records minutes for all Executive Board Meetings and General meetings,- E-mails minutes, agendas, reports timely to all members,- Gives due notices for members' and Executive meetings- Develops and circulates agendas for meetings to members prior to their being held- Assists in managing the direct mail out and marketing communications programmes of the Society- Manages the e-mail and PO boxes of the Society- Responds to requests communicated via the website.- Keeps PRSJ files organised and updated and where possible using the latest technologies- Purchases the necessary supplies for the organisation,- Keep attendance records.- Requests reports from all committees and assists the President in the compilation and dissemination of the annual reports for the Society.

Assistant General Secretary:
Assists the General Secretary in his/her duties.- Assumes the duties of the General Secretary in his/her absence.- Is responsible for the website - creates, and maintains the website layout, design and content,- Responds to feedback from the website,- Corresponds with website users.

The Executive of the Society shall be comprised of the Officers of the Society, together with up to three Past Presidents inclusive of the Immediate Past President of the Society. The Executive shall have powers of co-option.

For more on the Society, read the constitution at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

PBCJ - Food For Thought

"I listened attentively"...member of the Sistren Theatre Collective
The PBCJ one-off programme - Food For Thought - that was produced in association with PRSJ and the Jamaica South Africa Friendship Association (JASAFA) in October last year is still being aired and feedback from the public seems to be keeping it on the programming lineup.

The show sought to gain a range of views on a video of a very young Jamaican girl who was either acting or acting-out a quarrelling/cussing scene. Some say it was unbridled talent that needs to be encouraged; some say that it was a humourous exposition of our culture; some say that it is a child that is in dire need of correction and being led down a path of rage.

Recent feedback from persons in the culture and theatre community was that the programme allowed a matter of some public interest to be discussed outside of a viewship ratings and hard news context. The thinking was that such a show would be a good addition to the menu of PBCJ offerings.

If you have not yet seen the programme, do call PBCJ and ask when it will next be aired and give us some feedback on it..

Link to original video here

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quotable PR Quote - Dr. Derrick Deslandes

What PR Can and Cannot Do

“If the one-on-one interaction between yourself and the customer is not healthy, no amount of PR (public relations) can save you. PR can only take you so far and no more.”

“Public Relations can’t do it all…one of the biggest forms of direct marketing is the ‘word of mouth’. We must treat the public perception as fact…perceptions won’t change until the customer begins to have consistent positive experiences.”

Dr. Derrick Deslandes, Lecturer in the Department of Management Studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI), currently on secondment as head of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Dr Deslandes was addressing a Public Sector Customer Service Training Seminar, of the Modernisation Division in the Cabinet Office on March 3, 2010 at the Jamaica Conference Centre.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

PRSJ Code of Ethics


Membership in the Public Relations Society of Jamaica constitutes a declaration that the profession is fundamentally dedicated to better mutual understanding and cooperative relationships between the various groups, institutions and individuals within the nation of Jamaica, and, on behalf of this nation, with those groups, institutions, individuals and nations, which exist beyond its border.

These goals remain paramount, while serving the legitimate interests of clients and employers.

A member, in the conduct of his/her professional activities, shall respect the public interest and the dignity of the individual. It is his/her personal responsibility at all times to deal fairly and honestly with his client or employer, past or present, with his/her fellow members and with the public.

A member has the affirmative duty to adhere to generally accepted standards of accuracy, truth and good taste.

A member shall not represent conflicting or competing interests without the express consent of the parties concerned after full disclosure of the facts.

A member shall disclose (except upon the order of the court of competent jurisdiction) or make use of information given or obtained in confidence from his/her employer or client, past or present, for personal gain or otherwise, without express consent.

A member shall not engage in any practice, which tends to corrupt the integrity or channels of public communication.

A member shall not intentionally disseminate false or misleading information and is obligated to use ordinary care to avoid dissemination of false or misleading information.

A member shall not create, use or act for any organisation apparently serving an announced cause but in fact promoting an undisclosed interest of the member, his/her clients or employer. It is his/her duty to ensure that the actual interest of any such organisation with which he/she may be concerned is adequately declared.

A member shall not knowingly injure the professional reputation or practice of another member, but if such a member has reason to believe that another member has been engaged in practices, which may be in breach of this Code, it shall be his/her duty to inform the Society.

A member, in the course of his/her professional services to his/her employer or client, shall not accept a payment either in cash or kind for those services from any other source without the express consent of his employer or client.

A member should not negotiate or agree terms, with a prospective employer or client on the basis of payment contingent upon specific future result.

A member shall not negotiate or agree terms with a prospective employer or client on the basis of payment contingent upon specific future result.

A member shall not encroach upon the professional employment of another member. Where there are two engagements, either or both must ensure that there is no conflict between them.

A member shall, as soon as possible, sever his/her relations with any organisation when he/she knows that his/her continued employment would require him/her to conduct him/herself contrary to the principles of this Code.

A member called as a witness in a proceeding for the enforcement of the Code shall be bound to appear unless for sufficient reason, he/she shall be excused by the panel hearing the same.

A member shall cooperate with fellow members in upholding and enforcing this Code.

This Code of Professional Standards for the Practice of Public Relations is adopted by the Public Relations Society of Jamaica to promote and maintain high standards of public service and conduct among its members in order that membership in the Society may be deemed a badge or ethical conduct: that Public Relations justly may be regarded as a profession: that the public may have increasing confidence in its integrity: and that the practice of Public Relations may best serve the public interest.