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PR Brief

Monthly update on the practice of Public Relations in Jamaica Volume 2 May 2012


gives feedback to

Members of the PRSJ executive and past presidents met with the Gleaner on May 11 to discuss matters of mutual concern with regards to the new Gleaner website, First Look. The website is an initiatives of the media house to increase income from digital sources. First Look aims to attract regular and high levels of readership by carrying news releases which can be shared by linking to other websites. The site will eventually introduce a fee to post content, but not a subscription fee to view. The meeting was held at the invitation of the Gleaner following a letter to the Managing Director from past president, Elaine Commissiong, about concerns that the site treats news releases as advertising material. The Gleaner invited the PRSJ to draft a policy that would state that First Look was not a news agency,

The Gleaner

guided by journalism practices, but a site for advertising and promotions. Mr. Barnes, who is also the Chairman of the Media Association of Jamaica, invited the PRSJ to request an opportunity to make a presentation to the editorial team that would address concerns relating to practices that are challenging the practice of PR. The PRSJ has asked the Gleaner to stop using the term 'press release' when soliciting advertising support and instead request Information or marketing materials. This move preserves the tenet that the press release is a journalism tool of PR. Attending the meeting were (from left): Gleaner Business Development and Marketing Manager, Karin Cooper; PRSJ Trustee, Camille Taylor; PRSJ past presidents, Keith Brown, Carmen Tipling and Elaine Commissiong; PRSJ President, Christopher Benjamin; Gleaner Managing Director, Christopher Barnes; PRSJ past presidents, Delmares White, Beverley Josephs and Berl Francis; Gleaner Online and IT Manager, Robin Williams; and Gleaner Deputy Online Manager, Roland Boothe. Also attending, PRSJ Secretary, Gwyneth Davidson.



RO offers online training Corporate CanapĂŠ Alert about magazine soliciting Protocol essentials 2012 PRSJ Executive in place

Solicit Alert With the change of government, the communications departments in the public sector, and large corporate organisations, have seen the return of overseas entrepreneurs who offer country reports in internationally recognized news magazines. The agents are businesspeople who present themselves as reporters, but who make their money by raising advertising support for space that they will buy in prestigious magazines. PR communicators should be aware of their sophisticated approaches, and do fact checks of claims that are pitched to impress.

President of the PRSJ, Christopher Benjamin, presented Managing Director of the Gleaner company, Christopher Barnes, with Volume 1 of the society’s Newsletter, PR Brief, a the Society’s Code of Ethics and the list of persons who have been accepted as members of the Society. The presentation was made on May 12. Head of corporate communications at the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ), Meris Haughton, made a presentation on the communication strategies used during last year’s smooth merger of three parastatial organisations to create the TAJ. Ms Haughton was addressing the March meeting of public sector communications heads at Jamaica

The operatives say that they have booked interviews with prominent businesspersons, and ministers of government. Some of these entrepreneurs can, and do, provide a high quality product, but it is recommended that the approach be carefully managed so that the organisation does not unwittingly incur expenses. The best approach is to say that you will have discussions with the magazine/newspaper directly, and alert colleagues in agencies who you believe might be on their hit lists by forwarding the names and the wording of the pitch.


Corporate Canapé Former PR director at Air Jamaica, Senator Sandrea Falconer is the Minister with responsibility for Information; PR practitioner, cultural industries consultant and communications lecturer, Deborah Hickling, is the Operations Manager in the Prime Minister’s Support Unit; Former head of the JIS, journalist, Huntley Medley is consulting with the Ministry of Youth and Culture; The JIS Advisory Board Chairman is actress, broadcaster and communications lecturer, Fae Ellington. The board also includes advertising executive, Arnold Foote Jr; businesswoman, Millicent Lynch; Attorney-at-Law, Nerene Small; communications consultant, Colin Campbell; and Will Gentles. 2

RO Communications offers online training RO Communications e-Training has launched an e-learning system offering professional continuing education in communications. Each course is six weeks in length and candidates will receive with a Certificate of participation. Material will be delivered in a synchronous and/or asynchronous manner with guided listening and viewing of information as well as regular on-line sessions. Participants will be able to interface and network with professionals and lecturers. Upcoming courses: Effective Business Writing - June 6 - July 25, 2012 

Social Media Marketing For Businesses - May 30 - July 6, 2012 Call 876-925-4529 or 876-807-1140

Professionals Collaborate The launch of the series of ICT – related youth activities and competitions “Digital Jam 2.0“ was successfully launched in Kingston with wide collaboration of many professionals. Logistics co-coordinator, Caribbean Events, PR by DRT Communications, streaming by Telegens, video production by Sutania Williams, video services by JIS TV, catering by HEART Trust NTA Boys’ Town.

Supplier Pick Jamaica’s virtuoso pianist, Orrett Rhoden, has released a double disc album which has been described as “no ordinary recorded recital”. It features recordings of Beethoven, Galuppi, Mendelssohn, Ravel and Chopin. His Variations and Fugue on a theme by Handel has been regarded as “one of the finest on disc”. Rhoden also included his arrangement of Bob Marley’s One Love as in tribute to his homeland. Released in 2011, the album would be a worthy inclusion of gifts to mark the Jamaica 50 celebrations as it helps to express the diversity of Jamaican cultural expression. Contact: 999-5768 (M), Email:

2012 PRSJ Executive Elected On April 17, the 2012 Election of Officers returned the following members as the Executive. President - Christopher Benjamin. Benjamin has served two terms as Vice President in 2010 and 2011. First Vice President Akilah Maxwell. Maxwell served as Vice President, Membership in 2011. VP Special Events Cheryl Smith. Smith was the General Secretary in 2010. VP Membership Meris Haughton. This is Haughton’s first term on the Executive. At the 2012 AGM, the Society remembered 2011 Treasurer and Past President, Christine Ann Bell, as a formidable professional who gave her time and expertise to the benefit of the Society.

Gen Secretary Gwyneth Davidson. Davidson has served on the Executive in the 1990s. VP Finance Mark Thomas. Thomas is a former President of the PRSJ. Assistant Secretary Leo McEwan has served on the Executive in the 1990s. Trustees Camille Taylor and Dayner Azzellino have been returned.


Plan opening remarks that set an appropriate mood. In these ‘Opening Remarks’, the Master of Ceremonies (MC) also gives greetings and acknowledges special guests and the audience. The MC should refer to the "Head Table Guests" not simply "the Head Table" and refer to that stand where he/she places notes as the "lectern" not the podium. (The podium is the platform/stage one stands on.)

When starting to speak, special guests should be acknowledged in their order of

importance. Guests are introduced in descending order of rank, ending with those of highest rank in most cases, because our highest ranked guests are usually our speakers. However, if you are introducing/acknowledging guests generally, then you begin with the highest rank. Do your homework and find out the proper pronunciation. Once the M C has properly recognised guests, it is

appropriate for following speakers to say: “Master of Ceremonies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen”, unless it is felt that all special guests need to be once more recognised individually. What should be avoided is the inappropriate, “All Protocols having been observed.” Text provided by Elaine Commissiong PR Brief: audio of a vote of thanks in PRSJ online audio library. jamaicapr/home/pr-toolbox

Players of the Flow National Basketball League Southern Conference, teachers and representatives of the Jamaica Basketball Association posed with students of the Holy Family Primary School at the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) Read Across Jamaica Day on Tuesday, May 8. Submitted by Tracey Hamilton.

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PR Brief May 2012  
PR Brief May 2012  

Monthly newsletter of the Public Relations Society of Jamaica