Working with UNICEF: new Jamaica blog + Facebook Free Basics

unicef jamaica connect blog

There’s actually solutions to many of Jamaican society’s problems available right here on the island. I’m blessed that my work with UNICEF provides an opportunity to highlight some of the solutions and not just the problems.

The UNICEF Jamaica blog aims to help the organisation and its partners to generate conversations around successful programmes to benefit children that the news cycle otherwise misses out on. These programmes might be those that reduce violence against children; improve their health or expand their learning potential. Continue reading

Business, Society

SEBI: purpose plus profit = transforming Jamaica

Saffrey Brown JN, Foundation General Manager SEBI

Saffrey Brown, JN Foundation General Manager

My wife was looking to buy flowers recently for someone struck down by a life-threatening illness when she found a friendly face and the right gift, a cactus, in Petals n’ Roots, a concession inside the HiLo supermarket in Ligunea, St Andrew. On the face of it this was an average transaction, but Petals n’ Roots is anything but your average business – as your purchase helps provide employment opportunities to persons suffering mental illness and donates to MENSANA, a non-profit founded to meet the needs of such persons and their families.

Petals n’ Roots is one of a growing number of social enterprises – their purpose being to create profits to meet social or environmental needs – a ‘third sector’ of the economy thriving in no small way thanks to the efforts of the JN Foundation and USAID’s Social Enterprise Boost Initiative. Continue reading

Social Media

Learning from Lasco: what if your brand is next?

lasco omar mcleod tweet

All because of one tweet containing one word.

First Lasco’s Twitter account last night sent a homophobic tweet directed at Olympic gold medallist Omar McLeod. Second they claimed the account had been hacked. Third, amid a firestorm of social media backlash, they sent another apology (see above) this time acknowledging and sacking the employee responsible. Their chairman Lascelles Chin then appeared on radio this morning to apologise further.

From my experience (and yes mistakes) working for, consulting and training Jamaican companies I’m only surprised something this “OH SHIT!” never happened sooner. Surprised because few companies have taken digital seriously to prevent such a thing happening. Once we get over cussing out Lasco, and for those of us whose job it is to do better, here’s some steps to prevention:

  1. Should your brand even be on social? This is a real question: Apple doesn’t even have social media accounts for some of its main products (Mac and iPhone) so why should you, seriously? And can you actually provide a value proposition to your customers rather than retweeting photos of oxtail lunches – if the answer is “Yes” then please proceed to 2. Continue reading