Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Minutes - AGM 2012

Minutes - AGM 2012

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
Public Relations Society of Jamaica
18 Trafalgar Road
April 4, 2012
1. Akilah Maxwell, PIOJ
2. Cheryl Smith, Min of Finance
3. Claudette Myers, PIOJ
4. Ellis James Laing, Bureau of Standards
5. First VP Christopher Benjamin
6. Gwyneth Davidson, OPM
7. Leo McEwan, Ministry of Transport, Works, Housing
8. Meris Haughton, Tax Administration Jamaica
9. Past President Alison Christie Binger, Illuminarte Communications
10. Past President Janneth Mornan Green, Media Central
11. Past President Mark Thomas, Jampro
12. President Delmares White, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
13. Trustee Camille Taylor, LIME Jamaica
  1. Past President Elaine Commissiong, CARA
  2. Past President Jean Lowrie Chin, PROComm
  3. Past President Dayner Clarke, Marc Astuta
  4. Maxine Francis, King's House
Rohan Powell, RJR, formerly of the Ministry of Justice
President Delmares White called the meeting to order and welcomed members and visitors at 6:19pm.
A prayer was said by executive member, Akilah Maxwell
Tribute to Christine Ann Bell
President White invited Past President Mark Thomas to lead a prayerful moment in memory of Treasure, the late Christine Ann Bell who died on February 24.
In his remarks, Thomas recalled that Christine Ann Bell was a member who serviced as President and who was also a regular attendee to meetings and was the serving Treasurer at the time of her passing. He recalled her vibrant personality and a formidable professional. Thomas said that he visited her in hospital moments before she passed and it was said, but the members can take heart and be happy for the great inputs she gave to the profession for which she was well recognized. He said that Bell’s reputation meant the highest levels of professionalism, use of English, and also someone who got the job done. He urged all to keep her life and memory alive by recognizing the worth of her life’s work. Several members indicated that they had attended one of the two funeral services.
President White noted that Christine Bell hosted the executive at her office. There was so much that Bell tried to pass on to the Society, White noted, and remembered her as a vibrant and helpful hostess.
President’s Report
President White expressed appreciation to the support provided by several the outgoing executive including Past President Mark Thomas, VP Akilah Maxwell and members Gwyneth Davidson, Meris Haughton, Leo McEwan and Cheryl Smith.  and  Akilah Maxwell. She said that two years ago, the Society started on a path and the executive wanted to take the work of the Society to a larger place.
She noted that there were plans to have a strategic plan with support from the rest of the group. Her recommendation for the last year and a half has been how the resources and time of younger members in universities can be utilized in the Society by giving them a direct role and responsibility.
She noted the usefulness of the monthly newsletter that was solely driven by G Davidson with contribution by other members.
In May 2010, the Society had undertaken to have a benefit performance by the University Singers, but the incursion into West Kingston affected that and the Society currently owes the Singers a balance.
The February current account bank balance is $23,995.06.
She said that the challenge of the Sociey is to find creative ways to earn income outside of subscriptions. The Society also needs to increase its membership and also frequency of meetings.
She also noted that the Society needed a working group with visibility to project the ethics of the profession.
How we can generate more membership of persons who are willing to commit to a meeting once every four months.
Members’ Tribute to President White
Vice President Christopher Benjamin, Gwyneth Davidson and Alison Christie Binger each rose and gave individual tributes to President White. It was recalled that President White stepped in to serve the Society after a period of dormancy and her work and time had resulted in new life in the Society and its work. A Christie Binger also recalled that President White had been recovering from a serious injury when she assumed the role and that did not stop her spirit or her commitment.
The Minutes, which had been posted online shortly after the 2011 AGM were confirmed by Mark Thomas and seconded by Delmares White.
Election of Officers
Trustee Camille Taylor noted that the term of the 2011 Executive was expired, and directed the election of new officers.
2012 Executive
President - Christopher Benjamin: nominated Leo McEwan seconded Gwyneth Davidson
First Vice President Akilah Maxwell: nominated by D White, seconded by C Benjamin
VP Special Events Cheryl Smith: nominated by C Benjamin, seconded by M Thomas
VP Membership Meris Haughton: nominated by C Benjamin, seconded by M Thomas
Gen Secretary Gwyneth Davidson: nominated by C Benjamin, seconded by M Thomas
VP Finance Mark Thomas: nominated by Meris Haughton, seconded by Cheryl Smith
Assistant Secretary Leo McEwan: nominated by Mark Thomas seconded by Cheryl Smith.
President’s Reply
President Benjamin noted that it had been eight years since he had been associated with PRSJ. He started attending meetings as a student at CARIMAC. He recalled the exciting discussions of the time and how he left filled and energized and that he would like this to be a feature of the PRSJ again. He said that this, and other activities, can happen when all work together.
President Benjamin said that he would sit down with the team and come up with ten workable objectives, present the points to the membership, and work towards them. He would look back at the points developed over the past two years to see the current state of the profession.
President Benjamin said that he was heartened by discussions online and that he had promised Past President Keith Brown that there would be a debate on the new definition of PR as stated by the Public Relations Society of America.

Other DiscussionsPast President, Janneth Mornan Green, said that there needs to be standards of the practice and the Society needs to present itself as being on the cutting edge of new developments in the field. She noted that social media use and application is valued by clients. She said that the Society needs to return to a place where we are educating members about what we need to be doing.
President Benjamin noted that practitioners need to embrace new media.
VP M Haughton noted that as a group we can share with each other the new methodologies that are being used so that we all develop and grow from each other’s experiences.
Past President White asked if we could arrange more meetings via the online video and audio website, Skype.
Trustee C Taylor agreed and said that we need to look at different alternatives to meeting in one physical space.
Asst Treasurer, L McEwan, suggested that there be watchdogs for the profession and activities of persons who bring the profession into disrepute.
There was a general agreement of the Society doing a media tour.
Gratitude was extended to Jampro, through Past President Mark Thomas, for facilitating the meeting. Also to Past President D White who arranged the light refreshment.
The meeting was was adjourned at 7:20 with a motion by Past President D White and seconded by President Benjamin.

New PATH campaign aims to uplift morale of children

New PATH communications campaign aims to uplift morale of children

Mr Dunstan Bryan PATH

Kingston, May 29, 2013

Project Director of the Programme for the Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) Dunstan Bryan said that a communications campaign to help to stop the higher than acceptable drop-out rate of boys after Grade Nine is about to be launched.

Speaking to the Public Relations Society of Jamaica on May 28, Mr Bryan he said that the boys interviewed reported that the treatment that they received as PATH beneficiaries made them feel that school was not for them. He also noted that guidelines are now in place to assist school administrators to adopt best practices when they delivered PATH services. Among these services are meals in schools.

Noting that the goal of PATH as about breaking inter-generational poverty, Mr Bryan said, “What we get is a perverse message where the child is no longer sees PATH as a vehicle to attainment; but the child sees PATH as labelling him as poor, and because of poverty you don't deserve to be treated like everybody."

The “A School We Seh” campaign that will be launched features entertainers Tony Rebel, Romain Virgo and Miss Kitty reassuring the children that the way ahead was to stay in school, and use education to build a future out of poverty.

Mr Bryan also reinforced that PATH beneficiaries were expected to use the programme as a vehicle to attain their own financial independence.

Noting that PATH is a benefit to the society, Mr Bryan said, “People we are investing in now can make a positive investment in the economic environment in the future. If I did not make that investment now, the opportunity cost of the investment in that individual would be excessive.”