Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says that effective branding must be part of the national development imperative, if the country is to capitalise on Jamaica 50.
The Minister, who was speaking at the general meeting of the Public Relations Society of Jamaica (PRSJ) held on August 28, 2012 at the PCJ Auditorium in New Kingston, said the country must find ways to sustain the gains made by the staging of Jamaica House in London, so that the efforts “will not go down the drain”.
The Information Minister described August 2012 as a "red-letter period" for Jamaica in terms of international media coverage. She credited the joined-up government approach and high level of inter-agency partnership for ensuring that the country was “well established in the heart of the biggest global event of 2012, in a way that was befitting of the nation’s 50th anniversary and the historic achievements of our athletes”.
"The result is, we were able to leverage unprecedented and positive international media attention focused on our athletes and things Jamaican and use that platform to promote the attractiveness of Doing Business in Jamaica. That, in my view is effective strategy in capitalising on Jamaica 50,” Minister Falconer said.
She pointed out that oftentimes, media attention on Jamaica is focused on the “less than positive” activities and events, however in this instance, “we took centre stage and had captive audiences to which to sell the achievements of Jamaica, laud the successes of international investors and exporters, and promote the business opportunities that exist in multiple sectors.
The Information Minister, who spoke on the theme: ‘The Communicators’ Imperative: Capitalizing on the Glory of Jamaica 50’, told the public relations practitioners that they have an important role to play in the nation’s journey into the next 50 years and beyond, and to achieve the goal of making Jamaica the “the place of choice for citizens to live, work, raise families and do business."
"We need the skills and expertise of all the nation’s communicators in the public and private sectors alike and the conversation must be broadened with private sector communications professionals with a view to exploring pathways for collaboration as we pursue the national development objective,” Minister Falconer added.
"I challenge you to become bolder in your expressions. Let your voices and opinions be heard as part and parcel of the process of the development of our society. It is no longer enough for communications people to remain in the background and be the ‘moving hand’ in the shadow of your organisation…. Use your pens, your ipads, blogs and all forms of social media to tell the amazing story of Jamaica- a Nation on a Mission with Vision,” urged the Information Minister.
The PRSJ meeting saw robust discussion on the correct use of the national colours in the flag as part of effective branding. The society will host its next general meeting on October 23.