Thursday, December 07, 2006

Building the bridge between media and communicators

Judette Coward-Puglisi (IABC T&T President)

Fourty-four corporate communicators met with some of the country's most senior journalists today (December 7). It was the IABC T&T's first meeting with its external public and consequently a really critical one. Here's my take on some of the issues discussed. When corporate communications is done properly, an item of information is disseminated to media gatekeepers, who then decide to report the information either directly or indirectly. Reportage is done, research is accumulated, interviews are performed. Eventually the information item becomes a media report, and it is at that moment that the public relations professional can no longer control it entirely.

Media outlets - particularly the most desirable, most credible ones - operate autonomously, reporting the information they deem necessary or interesting and excluding all else. Time constraints, space limitations, and the realities of economics play as prominent a role in the decision-making process as the newsworthiness of the information being considered.

I was particularly intrigued by the comments form the tourism team who asked why crime was finding its way so frequently on the front pages of the country's newspapers. The argument being that when it does, it has a direct, negative impact on the country's brand.

Monday, December 04, 2006

IABC Seminar - Communicators meet the Business Press

On Thursday December 7, the International Association of Business Communicators Trinidad and Tobago Chapter will host the seminar - Communicators meet the Business Press - where business communicators will have the opportunity to meet editors from the print and broadcast media. The event will be hosted at Angostura House (Eastern Main Road, Laventille) from 7.30 am to 10.00 am.

In a moderated panel discussion, senior editors /journalists will speak on issues ranging from Alcoa and media ethics to forming a new relationship paradigm between communicators and journalists.

The panellists are:
1. Anthony Wilson – Business Editor and Acting Editor, Trinidad Guardian.
2. Sandra Chouthi – Associate Business Editor, Trinidad Guardian.
3. Julian Rogers – Media Consultant and Head of News, CNMG.
4. Nigel Cumberbatch – Business Editor, Trinidad Express.
5. Rory Rostant – Business Editor, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

The panel will explore the following themes:
· Business Journalism – Can communicators become a source and still maintain integrity?
· Understanding the faces of Business Journalism and putting the paper to bed.
· Identity and Image: a journalist’s perception of a communicator.
· Shaping a new relationship paradigm between communicators and journalists.
· Alcoa – the good, the bad and the ugly! The disconnect between journalists and the corporate entity.

The seminar fee for IABC members is TT$200. The fee for non-members is TT$250. Breakfast is included. For reservations, please call Jane Sadaphal at 621-3830 or email
Registration closes on December 5 at 2 pm.