Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Minutes - Special General Meeting - ONLINE

PRSJ Special General Meeting
Monday, March 25, 2013
Online - Skype - Facebook

Mr Christopher Benjamin - President
Mrs Gwyneth Davidson - General Secretary
Dr Dayner Azzellino - Trustee and Past President
Mrs Janneth Mornan Green - Past President
Ms Opal Davis
Mrs Donna Marie Rowe

Dr Livingston White - Lecturer, CARIMAC - Internship Coordinator - IMC

Mr Mark Thomas, Treasurer and Past President
Ms Akilah Maxwell, VP Special Events
Mrs Beverley Josephs, Past President
Mrs Alison Christie Binger, Past President
Ms Delmares White, Past President
Mr Gerrard McDaniel
Ms Diane Barrett-Hanson
Ms Pauline Stone Myrie
MS Gail Sommerville
Ms Audrey Williams
Ms Klao Bell
Ms Alleyne Graham

The meeting was called to order at 6:20p.m. by President Benjamin who gave a general welcome.
Persons who were waiting on the PRSJ Facebook homepage and fan page were ushered on to the Skype platform. Note was made that Dr Azzellino joined the meeting from Italy.

Motions Laid
The motion of having the AGM on April 9 was accepted.
 Associate Membership
The motion of to move that the extension of Associate Membership to include graduates who had no work experience be laid at the AGM was accepted. This amendment to constitution will be an AGM agenda item.
Honorary Membership
The motion to move that special recognition be offered to all founding members by accepting them as honorary members of the society was discussed. It was expressed that some founding members had not made any further contribution to the society. This will not be an AGM agenda item.
Increase in Dues
The motion to move that dues for Membership be increased by 50% to $1,500 was discussed and will be an AGM as an agenda item.

Annual General Meeting

Notice of Annual General Meeting
April 9, 5:30p.m.
PCJ Auditorium
36 Trafalgar Road

Guest Speaker
The Contractor General
Mr Dirk Harrison LLB

Coordination of working groups of the society

Past President Azzellino noted that the work of the society can be improved if small working groups were identified who would carry out specific tasks related to overall goals. She said that she would be very happy to be the coordinator for this effort.
CARIMAC Internships
Dr White of CARIMAC expressed a strong interest for the PRSJ to assist the promotion of internships of undergraduate students in the BSc Integrated Marketing and Communications (which replaced the Public Relations degree). Dr White noted that CARIMAC has individual relationships with PRSJ members that it will continue to pursue with regards to internship placements. 
Gen Sec Davidson replied that the PRSJ currently posts offers and news from CARIMAC to the general membership and will anticipate communication from CARIMAC on general terms and expectations of the organisation, and that this will be shared with members.
She also noted that she had a positive experience with summer workers from CARIMAC who were placed at Jamaica House in 2011.
IMC Scholarship
The meeting noted that there was currently no best IMC award of any kind offered at CARIMAC and that the society should consider offering an annual scholarship in this area.
There was a general expression that online meetings can continue to be a feature of the society and that it was hoped that more persons would take up the opportunity.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15p.m.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Communications policy now in draft - Minister with responsibility for Information

Communications policy now in draft - Minister with responsibility for Information  

March 2, 2013

Minister with responsibility for Information Sandrea Falconer told government communicators that a draft communications policy is currently being framed. This is the most advanced development in this area.

Speaking with public sector communications heads on February 28 in Kingston, Minister Falconer said, "Public information is important for all Jamaicans to participate practically and meaningfully in the democratic process; it is required for access to government programmes and services and the public has the right to such information. It covers how our websites will look, how government offices should look, how we should brand them, how we should handle social media, the responsibility of the minister, and it gives communicators in ministries pride of place."

Minister Falconer said that communications practitioners will be invited to give feedback on the draft policy before it is submitted to Cabinet.

The minister said that the ongoing interaction that she has with communicators has helped to inform the drafting of the policy and that it will be available for internal review in a few months.

On the matter of public sector website standards, Minister Falconer said that the Office of the Prime Minister website had recently been updated, and it showed that there is a need for revision to the current standards that were drafted by the Central Information Technology Office (CITO). Minister Falconer said that she has initiated discussions at a ministerial level towards the updating of those standards.

Who is the New Jamaican?

Who is the New Jamaican?

March 2, 2013
Thanks to photographers, playwrights and poets several of our creative people have defined for us pre-independence Jamaicans in a particular kind of way - rural, hardworking, friendly, godfearing.

The locally produced movie, The Harder they Come showed a grittier lifestyle of the 1970s. Later, in the 1980s, reggae music exported the mystic side of the culture.

Athletic prowess defined us as sprinters of class, brilliantly defined by runners in this era that is dominated by Usain Bolt. Most recently, an international video commercial provided fodder for public discussion on matters related to what it means to be Jamaican. This was the first ad that positioned Jamaican culture outside of tourism, entertainment and sports and into a modern business environment.

If we were to use Jamaican pop culture today, who is the Jamaican that emerges? After a listening session of radio stations, flipping through the society pages in the newspapers and sitting through theatrical content, a possible view of a Jamaican might be: a confident, fun loving, young, energetic person who is ambitious, highly motivated and keen to enjoy the best of life. Of course, analysis of data gathered by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) would be a better foundation on which to answer the question, Who is the new Jamaican?

To help practitioners to think through this matter, Director General of STATIN Sonia Jackson made a recent presentation to public sector communicators on some of the findings of the 2011 Population and Housing Census.

Her address on February 28 highlighted the relevance of carefully gathered data to the process of forming national policies and plans. The most obvious is to ensure that there are sufficient services for future populations.

In her presentation, Ms Jackson showed that the median age of a resident of Jamaica is now 27 years, and that the birth rate is expected to continue to fall and that the population will continue to age. Also confirmed is that the urbanisation trend continues, and now 54% of residents live in an urban centre. (STATIN defines an urban settlement as one with more than 2,000 persons with amenities that cater to a modern lifestyle).

The Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMR) continues to dominate, as 21% of the population live in the KMR.

Despite the wealth of churches and other religions in Jamaica, a total of 21.2% of the population did not declare a religious affiliation - an opportunity for targeted evangelism?

Other matters that will be relevant to the communicator is that more than 600,000 members of the labour force declared that they did not have any form of education. Telephone (land or cell) access within households was 94.04%; while households with Computers and Internet Connection was 26.69%. 

Despite emigration of persons from Jamaica, there was a net migration into the country. 

PRSJ Editor's profile Unrelated to the direct presentation of STATIIN, but based on readings of their findings, we would like to make a very loose sketch of who could be this new Jamaican.
The New Jamaican can be a male or a female and is a few years younger or older than 27 years with an affiliation to a Christian denomination. That person is living a modern lifestyle in a private dwelling in an urban area. The home would probably not have a land telephone line, computer or Internet, but the person would have at least one cell phone. If this young person is a woman, she would probably have no more than three children in her lifetime.

The July 2012 Labour Force survey shows that if this young person is in the labour force, there is roughly a 50/50 chance that he or she will have no declared educational achievement - but nevertheless might be skilled in his or her their area of work. If this 27ish person has a university degree and is in the labour force, he or she might well be employed in the public sector, in education, or in finance and real estate.
Such a profile suggests an individual skilled and/or educated could be someone who has great expectations for the future based on his or her urban lifestyle. The person would have been sufficiently exposed by a regulated but free media in order to make informed decisions towards achieving personal goals. Our conclusion is that this persons sounds like an individual whose citizenship would be a benefit to any nation on earth.
There is much information in the STATIN census that can be extracted to inform communications programmes. Below are some STATIN tables from the Director General's presentation.