Tag Archive: Business


What is customer service?

Really, what is customer service? Because I am getting to think some companies do not understand the concept and can’t deliver it. An easy definition of customer service is treating your customer well. Ahhh, yes we can agree with that but just treating your customers well is not good enough. We need companies to go beyond treating their customers well.

Customer service in 2010 is a function of how well an organization is able to constantly and consistently exceed the needs of the customer. If a business today is not able to compete on customer service delivery then it makes no sense entering the business world. The company would have missed the point and focus of what companies should deliver to their customers. Firms today display on huge scrolls their mission statements and vision statements in their establishments. They express how wonderful the customer is but somehow their delivery does not match up with the words.

On Wednesday March 3, 2010, my friend purchased two slices of cakes from Pastry Passions. They have outlets in Manor Park and Liguanea, all located in Kingston, Jamaica. Later on, I opened the package, everything looks presentable, glanced a bit; it looked good so I began to partake. After eating two pieces I noticed that there was plastic below the icing. I thought to myself “this isn’t right?” I have never purchased a cake and seen plastic below the icing. After some investigations, I learnt that they use the plastic to retain the moisture. It is used for cakes like black forests – the one we bought. Clearly the individual who applied the icing forgot to take off the plastic.

I recognized then that this must have been a genuine mistake. I can’t fathom a pastry outlet of the repute like Pastry Passions making this mistake.

In a situation like this you either accept the mistake and the disservice as normal or you report the situation. It is sad that I was willing to condone and accept this mediocre service delivery from a company when you have paid a nice chunk for a slice of cake. Many customers share this profile though. When something in the service delivery goes wrong they accept the wrong actions by the company as normal when it is not. We need to reach a level where actions like these don’t go unreported. We were so lackadaisical about it that I was able to convince my friend to eat the cake.

However, he decided to call Pastry Passions to report the case so that they were aware of the matter and that no one would be harmed. It would be sad and a bad tale to have a child swallow a piece of that plastic on the cake.

During the conversation, the representative from the company becomes irate. Not over the fact that this incident could have happened at Pastry Passions but was angry that the person reporting the matter had an attitude. This is a blatant violation and a health risk that could bring the store closed and you are giving the customer an attitude. I was upset because I expected better from Pastry Passions. They are all over the Jamaican media telling how good their cakes are blah blah blah. Truth be told, they aren’t that good. Even their presentation sucks because the cakes on display are messed up, the icing does not hold up. So when people can see flaws in your product and still have the guts to handle it and purchase your goods, giving an attitude should be the last thing on your mind. To bring everything home, honey, this was not a normal entry level employee dishing the attitude and insolent behaviour this is from one of the managers.

And that is the saddest part of the story. That a manager, who we will assume should know better, could have done this.

The night got better though. The cakes were returned. While in the Manor Park outlet of Pastry Passions the other manager stormed in, was angry that this situation all had happened. She apologized and it was accepted.

Customer service in Jamaica is at its lowest point. I think we have low regards for customers because as a people we have no respect for people. There are a few good people left. I wrote a blog post months ago that spoke about this topic. In it I shared great experiences I had, so I know great customer service delivery can be reached. It is not hard, it is not a stretch out of our imagination. We don’t have to wait until we reach on an airplane to enjoy it. Customer service should be like breathing, it’s that easy.

When I left school I was employed with the marketing firm and through another private sector firm was offering free customer service training. You need to read that again, free customer service training for their staff. All I had to do was to call up the companies and share the good news of free customer service with them and ask if they were interested. Would you believe that some companies turned the offer down? This training was not mediocre customer service training. They were getting training materials that they could keep all for free. I had managers on the telephone attempting to convince me that their staff does not need customer service training. I also want to share that the training sessions I did companies were surprised of the quality, the technique I used and some expressed I should continue. I am passionate about customer service. Three companies can be selling the same thing but what makes you stand out is how you treat your customers when they walk through your doors.

Do you say “May I help you?” in a dry tone, or

You walk over with a smile and say “Good morning, how are you?” (Wait for a response)

“I see you’re looking at jeans pants, what size are you looking for?”

I should not be shopping and screaming on top of my lungs “HELP”.

Customer service is something you either have it or you don’t. If you don’t have it, pray that you’ll get it. Because we are at a stage where if you ignore it, another company might steal your idea and do a better job at it. Do you have it? Customer service is history, it is in the past. Today, as customers we seek customer empathy. If the manager on the phone, got apologetic and really expressed his dissatisfaction with what his company did we would feel better to consume there again. With the way he handled the situation I am not sure I want to look through their panes anymore. Customer empathy is showing your customer how much you care about them. Because they would have cared a lot before to have reported how bad they feel.

Tips on providing great customer service/empathy

  1. Do not take criticism personally.
  2. Listen to the customer.
  3. Acknowledge that your company did something wrong
  4. If it is the company’s fault fix it.
  5. Do everything with a calm voice, mixed with a smile. It will go a far way.
  6. Never forget to make it up to the customer. Provide free service/gifts, because you want to retain this person.
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And The Award Goes to –

I have been awarded two more awards for which I am grateful for. Blogging colleagues William and Jingle awarded me the following blogs.

I am happy to receive these awards. I normally visit blogs (and that’s a lot) and I see some of these awards established to the side of the page. I normally look on and ponder on when I would receive them. I will accept these blog awards with a grateful heart and this is for all the readers who click on this blog and enjoy it. You have made it what it is.

Ten things that make me happy:

1. Watching Beyonce Videos

2. Gospel Music

3. Inspirational Music

4. Blogging, reading blogs

5. Watching Movies

6. Having fun time with Friends

7. Fashion – window shopping, shopping

8. Politics

9. Marketing and Advertising

10. Making people feel happy.

Stay tuned to this blog. Subscribe to the blog and watch out for many more posts.

Friendships are important to our own growth and development. In our personal lives I am sure we can list all the friends we could not live without. It is the same in the blogging sphere I could not be inspired if it were not for some of the viewers who continue to share with this blog and I enjoy returning the favour to see what you are thinking and posting.

Growing up I always wanted to attend boarding school. To do so, I had to pass the Common Entrance Examination (National Test) which I did and I was able to attend the top boys’ school in Jamaica for high school – Munro College. There is a certain level of independence that you develop in such an environment. I am grateful for the many lessons I learnt because of that period in my life. My first semester back in 1998 I remember it vividly, it was horrible. Although I had always wanted to be there nothing could prepare me for it. I went from chasing the car when they were leaving in first form to being comfortable with them leaving me behind. By the end of the first year I was running them off the campus. Leave!

What made the experience unforgettable was that I had friends who I could count on. I was not the popular student but I was indeed a great friend. I can recall people would feel secure in sharing their deepest concerns with me. In the earlier years I became my class representative on the Students’ Council – which I enjoyed. Today, some of those friendships continue.

What I have found interesting about myself is that I find it hard to revisit the places in my life that have impacted me. I struggle to visit my high school and other places. It is not like I don’t want to be there or I am ungrateful in anyway; I love these places so much that I prefer to reminisce on all the memories than to walk up the long drive way and remember all the buildings I called home. I remember distinctly years ago returning for a graduation ceremony and because it is a traditional school everything was the same. The buildings had their antique look and the boards still creek.

I watched a movie a few days ago by the name of Hachiko: A Dog’s Story and it is one of the most tear dropping movie I have ever seen. I have watched movies with animals before but this dog deserves an award. The cinematography and the way the camera captures the dog’s emotions is very captivating and it makes the viewer connect with the movie on a level that makes this movie memorable.

It has become cliché to say a dog is man’s best friend – this movie proved more than that. I do not think we understand the relationship and influence we have on our pets. I pick up the cat I live with at home and hear her purr and wish animals could talk or we could interpret in some way what they are thinking because they have their own personalities that make them unique.

Hachiko: A Dog’s Story is a true story of a Japanese dog named Hachiko and his master, a professor. The movie is an American adaptation of a legendary Japanese tale.

The movie begins with the college professor heading home from school and sees this puppy on its own by the train station. Because it was so late he picked up the cute Japanese Akita and brought it home for the night with the intention of taking to the pound or to find its rightful owner. His wife Cate Wilson (Joan Allen) is not happy that he brought the dog home and later agreed that the dog will be there for the night. One night turns into weeks, months and years. Everyday the dog would follow Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) to the train station, walk home and then return to welcome him off the train. The movie sets you up for a huge disappointment because it chronicles for years where this would be the routine of the dog and the college professor.

So you’re expecting something and it happens!

Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) suffers a heart attack while at school and dies at hospital. Back at the train station Hachiko waits and waits and waits, no Parker Wilson. Hachiko repeats this routine for more than nine years until his own death. This dog’s unwavering loyalty to its master makes you emotional – might make you sob watching this movie.

I love drams, but this movie takes it to another level. I remember right after the movie I couldn’t do anything else but rush to my bed to lie down, my head was just giddy – not to say that will happen to you, but this movie will have an impact on you. Normally I returned to my blogging or to watch something else on television but not that night. The movie was directed by Lasse Hallstrom who has worked with animals before on other projects.

Each one of us expresses their loyalty in different ways. Certainly Hachiko’s expression of his loyalty and devotion to his lifelong friend can teach us all a lesson or two. I do not think I will forget this movie. It has made an indelible mark in my mind.

Be YOU – Don’t Imitate

You have studied hard for your examination and there beside you is someone who is intent on copying your answers. What do you do? It may be a great feeling for those who see it as helping out another but dishonesty cannot be rewarded. In Jamaica, the entertainers here have a bad habit or it may be a culture where they imitate popular songs internationally and write lyrics to make it their own with the same mix. A more recent case saw one of Jamaica’s dancehall artistes Vybz Kartel and Spice with a song called Ramping Shop (very sexual I might add) copying Neyo’s Miss Independent Woman. Only when the song was very popular internationally did Neyo file papers to stop these unscrupulous artistes from profiting from his work. Alicia Keys, Beyonce etc are all victims of this.

Neyo’s Miss Independent – Original Song

The Imitation

Alicia Keys – Sleeping with a Broken Heart

The Jamaican Copy by Various Jamaican Dancehall Artistes

The Diva Beyonce

Do you see elements of Beyonce’s style in this video?

To imitate means to copy the actions, appearance, mannerisms, or speech of; mimic. In a recent post I expressed my admiration for Beyonce. I knew the regular readers would find that as a surprise. My love for her is more than an appreciation for her music but more so an admiration in the way she carries herself and performs in the music industry. Her team led by her dad treats her like a product – which is actually is.

I may also like her because her father has many years experience in Marketing and knows the application and the understanding of such. I will agree with her critics that she isn’t the best singer the world has seen and she is overrated. However, what Beyonce has is a commanding stage presence, her performances are amazing and insiders in the music industry express many times over again that she works hard. To her credits, she has won tens of Grammies and reached many number ones on the biggest charts internationally. Anytime she exits the stage you would have known she gave her best and you would have been entertained by Sasha Fierce her alter ego. When you look at Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Alicia Keys; these artistes are popular because of their originality and the freshness they bring to the music industry. I have a problem with people imitating established artistes. Interesting I say that knowing I have a business background where you copy an invention or a process to make profits. However, I believe artistes who imitate are short on talent and lack the creativity they need to survive. It is also interesting to observe that artistes just starting out are the ones who imitate because they idolize these established artistes.

Here in Jamaica, there is a female dancehall artiste who goes by the name D’Angel. I remember years ago in an interview she stated that her idol or the person she looks up to Beyonce. I didn’t know that idolizing an artiste would make you imitate their actions even their style of performane but that is imitation.

The trend of imitating the hardest working female in the music industry even exist in USA I saw a video recently and the props, production of the video resembles one Beyonce did earlier in her career. Many people will not notice similarities like this except for the ones who are looking for the details. What if an artiste imitated Lady Gaga, then maybe the imitation would be clear for everyone to see. It appears the more mild the imitation artistes get a free pass on stealing someone’s ideas and make it their own to generate profits.

For those who are able to dig up the singers Beyonce imitated will agree that some of her ideas may not be new but she uses her own style to add to what was done before to make it her own.

I believe in making your own self. Each one of us has unique talents and gifts that make us special. What if everyone blogged the same way, sang the same way, listened to classical music etc we wouldn’t have diversity.

Oprah recently produced a show to highlight the crises in Haiti. On the program Rihanna was featured singing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. Here she sings an established song – sang it word for word but added her own style and creativity to the song – which turned out great. I cannot stop listening to this song which was produced to help raise money for the Haitians.

Entertainers should desist from imitating artistes all in the name to make a profit. These songs are played on the internet and on local radio stations and I would assume they make money from appearance fees singing these songs. I am tired of it.

Do not forget to enter my blog competition which ends on January 30, 2010 midnight. Enter on the post below.

In 2010 …

The year 2009 was a bad year for many people. Many will also argue that last year was a successful one. We cannot deny the significant events of 2009 that affected the world a great deal. The few people I have exchanged words with are determined to make 2010 better than 2009.

For many business owners it was hard staying afloat. With a crumbling world economy and consumer spending at an all time low, businesses were forced to offer more sales and discounts. If companies are to succeed this year they better be willing and open to think differently. If you were offering kitchen wear in your store, now will be a good time to offer something new – like cooking lessons. Businesses will have to reinvent themselves if they want to remain in operation. Furthermore, it may be the best time to start a business. Consumers will be reducing their consumption, therefore companies who tap into a niche market will be more successful.

The optimism and new prospects people are feeling, I think will make most survive the new year. Most governments would be seeking to increasing taxes and finding new ways to cut government spending. If you’re an American you may see health care reform, new job opportunities while Caribbean countries like Jamaica will be in for harsh economic times. Most companies will rebound when the American economy gets back on track.

It will be a super year for entertainment. Whether it be music, fashion, movies, sports, even blogging. Blogging this year I believe will be even more popular. If you happen to be reading this post, Welcome and do return again. People are coming off a bad year and they will be looking to date even marry. Depressed and lonely people are searching for happier times and if you can provide that excitement, fun and positive energies then it may be a good time to get hitched. Social networking sites are going nowhere to give it a try.

Two thousand and ten or twenty ten however you say it will be a year filled with new opportunities, life, love and success – in your job or at the bank.

Have a great year – to all the bloggers who share on this blog. I won’t call any names – I will get in trouble – check the blog roll. Love all of you. Keep posting! Make this your best year yet.

Welcome to the eighth edition in the series of the Water Cooler – appears every Sunday on this blog. This feature will highlight what’s hot, topical and up for discussion.

Here we go.

Politics

What motivates you to vote for a political candidate?

Is his/her marriage really important to you?

Is marriage a prerequisite to serve at the highest level?

NO, if you ask me.

John Edwards and his familyHowever, it appears that politicians have to be married to even start a campaign. While divorces are on an all time high, it would seem we have forced politicians in a life that they don’t personally desire and that makes everything a lie.

Most times in political commentaries we focus on family life; to say political marriages makes the candidate more normal and thus has the capacity to vote on legislations that matters to you as a citizen. Married politicians are projected to be more caring and family oriented in campaigns. Although that may be true; when it isn’t going well our ‘expectations’ force them to live a lie to remain where we have forced them to be. Being married doesn’t say you have higher moral standing than those who aren’t.  What is says is that you have decided to walk life’s journey with this special person.

What say you?

Business

ModelIn a bid to stimulate the economy, the Jamaica Observer organized Fashion Night Out where fashion/retail outlets slashed their prices by large percentages up to 70% to generate high sales. Weeks ago, I had a haircut in the capital city, Kingston and at around 6pm after leaving the barber salon it was like a ghost town outside. I wondered to myself why the city was so quiet. I blamed the current economy and the recession. I should have considered that we have cultured our habits this way and this was the result. More recently, I had an acquaintance who moved to Jamaica from New York (the city that never sleeps) and after a week here he returned because the city was dead by sunset. It struck me then that we have a major problem. I appreciate the efforts what Fashion Night Out promoted and anticipate more FNOs. Over in Barbados, our neighbouring Caribbean island they have introduced legislation to have retailers open 24-7. Talk about competition and new ways of doing things. Retailers claimed the night a success which can only be good at the end of the ‘night.’

Entertainment

This is it – Review

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Michael Jackson

I watched the Michael Jackson documentary and thought it was stunning. The producers of the 50 minute documentary were able to capture the king of pop in his rehearsals before he passed away. I was impressed with the footage because it told the story we heard of Michael Jackson. Now we were able to relive the intimate moments of him without the screaming fans and blaring lights. We saw the perfectionist in action, directing the minute details of his to be last tour. There is a message within the documentary for every aspiring entertainer which must not be missed. Giving your best each time is of paramount importance and ensuring your delivery – the passion will be remembered by those who see it. That is what made MJ, what he was and so many artistes today. I sat and only imagined This is it with all the lights, screaming fans and Michael Jackson delivering his final set of shows stamping This is it into history; he never got the time.

Quote

2072865350015798315S500x500Q85“Readiness is all.” – William Shakespear

Twit-perience

This post is long overdue.

One of my faithful readers has expressed his wish for me to share my twitter experience and for a long time I have unconsciously ignored it but today I must address it.

Why twitter?

Why are people so caught up in sharing their lives constantly?

Will I ever get the symbols (@, #) correct and the other jargons?

What is a trending topic?

What is a twitter tag?

twitterThese were the questions that troubled me before joining the force called twitter. I hated it. Before joining I would load twitter pages (mainly celebrities) but it was only to see what they tweeted about.

I hated the concept of followers, following and how the amount of followers you have on your page impacted your reach. I avoided topics surrounding tweets and twitter because I didn’t want to be caught up in sharing my life with the world. I tend to be very private, unpredictable but I can also be engaging.

However, on August 18, 2009 I officially joined twitter and now I am a faithful tweeter. The tweets on twitter from the twitter users are twitfantastic and the experience can be fun if you follow the right people. At the beginning I started following celebrities and a few of my blogger friends. I searched for twitter users in my area and followed a few a well – although they weren’t many. I would suggest that a new user find topics they are passionate about and tweet about that eg. technology, blackberry etc. You are going to be surprised how many people will reply (@) to your tweets and may even follow you.

For my own safety I do not tweet on certain topics. I would never support any twitter user tweeting on their specific location or any detail on their plans or schedule. My tweets, if they fall along these lines are very vague. The world is so dangerous and unsafe that you can’t even trust anyone even your friends.

One should never be afraid of twitter. I am a testimony that it can be good. The moment you join the ‘force’ – twitter, the more tweets you want to put out there – adding to your page. Placing tweets that surround trending topics is also similar to blogging.

My twitter experience has been great, I enjoy every moment of it. I enjoy telling my followers ‘Good morning’ as I always do and follow up with my own ‘thought of the day.’ Pretty boring huh? It’s never a dull day on twitter. I mean for those who live in the United States of America and other first world countries can really live a twit-fantastic twitter experience because tonnes of companies and others use this medium to promote their craft.

Oh how could I forget the amazing friends I have met through twitter who follow my blog and who I share my tweets with. They make my experience on twitter so wonderful and hmm twit-fantastic.

Please do not let your fear keep you from twitter.

Start tweeting today, memories await! Literally.

Climate Change

This blog post is to celebrate Blog Action Day 2009 on October 15, 2009.

The planet is ours to take care of and each one has a personal responsibility to do whatever they can to make that change. Surely, we like to place the blame at the politician’s feet to make the policies and legislate and we ought to. However, in the catastrophe we can act in some way to make Earth a better place.

We are blessed with a wonderful world and it pains my heart to see how come industries treat the natural resources we have in the name of profitability. We all can agree climate change is on everyone’s mind because we see not only the changes presently but also ramifications of our bad habits.

We know some of the effects of climate change – change in temperatures, water supply, animals, wildlife etc.

I want to focus on the effect on transportation. I am on the roads almost every day of the week and the traffic is terrible. We are not car pooling, we have awful images in our minds of public transportation at the same time damaging the environment we should be caring for.

If one driver per household switched to taking public transportation for a daily commute of 10 miles each way, this would save 4,627 pounds of carbon dioxide per household per year – equivalent to an 8.1% reduction in the annual carbon footprint of a typical American household.

We can do that much if we begin to think about the Earth and not ourselves. Surely we want the convenience of driving comfortably to our locations but sometimes we can suffer a little bit to benefit a wider cause and that is to preserve the world we live in.

Years ago in university I received an assignment that included climate change. My team mate (Annette Brown; God bless her heart) and I decided to create a video to emphasize our main points. We used our own Jamaica Urban Transit Company (public transportation) brand to promote the use of public transportation as it relates to climate change. We did so and the class at that time found climate change rather scary. It is scary because all we have to do is give up a little.

Today, climate change should not scare us but urge us to be different world citizens. It may be an inconvenient to some of us but something will have to give for us to save ‘Mother Earth.’ If Earth could speak s/he would be crying, shouting at us to care better for our world, to preserve what we have and change our lifestyles to make future generations live in peace.

I uploaded the video we produced years ago to http://www.youtube.com I must say if I were to create that advertisement all over again it would have looked different and the quality of the pictures used would have been better. I must apologize to all who will view this video and comment on the images/quality. However, I want you to focus on the message that was created for the presentation and now it is presented to you on this Blog Action Day – Climate Change.

This was my first time creating a video with the Windows Movie Maker program now I have upgraded to the Adobe Premiere CS4. I will post that video in another post at another time. Stay tuned!

Source:

http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/PublicTransportationsRoleInRespondingToClimateChange.pdf

Since the development of the internet it would appear that reality television came after. Reality television features unprofessional actors, most times celebrities or created ones to show unscripted reactions in various scenarios. In recent times we have been seeing many newly wed couples deciding to film a reality series to be picked up by the major networks. However, it would appear that the usage of reality television for any couple in Hollywood is a divorce sentence for their marriage. Of course we can list all the victims of reality television these days. The question is, did reality television cost them their marriage or was it for different reasons. Most times children are the biggest cash cows for these series as they are also paid for the gig.

Giuliana & Bill

Giuliana & Bill

I am a huge fan of reality television. I would say I like the productions, not a fan of all the drama but I appreciate the wonderful and creative ideas that they are based off. Two reality television series that I have been following and I will be referring to in this piece are The Real Housewives of Atlanta (not really a fan) and Giuliana and Bill (can be seen on the Style Network). The Real Housewives of Atlanta is filled with drama as the show follows five Atlanta housewives on their lives and friendships with each other. The celebs on the show are always in conflicts and they lead unstable lives financially and emotionally. On the other hand, Giuliana and Bill; this reality show features both Bill Rancic – winner of the first Apprentice and Giuliana from the E Network. The show is about this couple as they lead successful careers and attempts to balance their marriage.

There are hundreds of reality shows on television, some are sane and the others are insane. One would think the sane ones would get stellar reviews and constantly being booked for another season. Hell NO! The insane reality shows, filled with wanna be celebrities, people that live unstable lives, people who you would warn your kids to stay far from are playing huge roles in what network executives are constantly booking for another season. They do this because this is the garbage that society wants. I do not know but I would never sit for hours on end and enjoy a show that shows humans behaving despicably, acting in selfish ways to their neighbours. It alarms me to know that we have reached a stage where this is what we demand daily. I would agree that this is entertaining but networks that run these series for endless hours the show becomes insipid.

The show Real Housewives of Atlanta is depressing and we wonder why we still have certain issues in our society today. When a show can glamorise black people to be irrational thinkers, uneducated, gold diggers and unproductive to society we have a huge problem on our hands. We then wonder why people are hateful of black people; they are because they have not seen anything positive of the black race. They have not seen hardworking, educated people rising to the top (apart from Obama and a few others) and the images we should be portraying of our race are absent. So they have associated with being black all the negative ideas we can think of.

The sane reality shows and images we should be desperate for are all being chopped by business executives because they have a business to run. They cannot fund sane reality shows because it is the unpopular decision to do. After all a business is not charity organization. As a people we should start demanding productive programming. I will agree that there will always be a market for insane material but we should have options. I enjoyed watching Giuliana and Bill because it never had any crazy drama scene where they were fighting each other down and the constant bickering was absent. Whatever your tastes are you can find it. If you want to see adventure, a loving couple, hardworking people who are balancing their lives check it out. I am sure you can find other sane reality television shows to watch where it can be worth your entertaining and leisure time.

The world is now an open space. With cable television comes with advantages and sore disadvantages for any society. Cultures will begin to change and people will act differently because of the diverse influences that will now be present. The cultural values that some societies were proud of will soon go away because there are other new sometimes bad values to adapt. The images and values that these insane shows project into our societies must be challenged by positive role models (which we so lack) and shows that depict what living a stable life looks like; that is reality. There is no way we can continue to accept the negative images of our race and remain silent with it. As young people we need to separate positive entertainment from negative entertainment and break the rising trend of insane reality television.

I believe in community service. Volunteering is an activity that should be promoted more as social ills exist in our societies and this can reduce the harmful effects of these. Companies invest heavily in community service because they understand the relationship with giving back and the prospects for profitability. In business they practice what is called social responsibility and develop foundations to serve this purpose. Partnerships with other groups (community service oriented) are made to have a larger impact on a particular cause. Some companies however, will find unique ways to make a profit helping a cause. This is called cause-related advertising. For example Apple will say purchase this I-Phone and 5% of sales will go towards cancer research. On the other hand we have advocacy advertising and this is where a company will dedicate advertising to a particular cause with no profit making intentions. Not that you needed to know but now you know.

Beenie Man with LIME Execs

Beenie Man with LIME Execs

Just today in a local Jamaican newspaper LIME (an international telecommunications company) and Beenie Man (an international reggae artist) donated two computers to a city police station here in Kingston, Jamaica. This is wonderful and all these things to have two entities like these give back to society. We may not see the computers at work but surely they will assist the police in crime fighting. Congratulations and kudos to them.

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Back in March a group under my leadership and others participated in a community service activity at the Jamaica National Children’s Home. As students we participated in painting a section of the male dorm, manicured their lawn and surroundings, took personal care of the children at the home, assisted with homework and reading, played games, partnered with the National Commercial Bank Foundation and one of the top meal providers to donated food items, provided lunch, gifts etc. We worked hard to get the sponsorships we acquired to make the day a success. We also had the reigning Miss Jamaica Universe giving a talk on the importance of giving back.

April Jackson - Miss Jamaica Universe 2008

April Jackson - Miss Jamaica Universe 2008

There is no way I am comparing what we did months ago to what LIME and Beenie Man has done, clearly they are different. There is a point though. These two institutions command millions of monies annually and although we are happy that they donated the two computers it leaves a bad taste to see them only donating two based on the market they command. LIME is a company that offers computers with their product line certainly donating only two just proves where their priority is. If they wanted public relations they got it. I am not sure people are going to look on and say wow let me take my business to LIME. They could have maximized on this opportunity by donating to a few more police stations (at least two) with the same two computers; that would have been a bigger statement and a more news worthy item.

I hope my readers will get the point. I am in no way ungrateful for the effort. From a business point of view the business I am not sure they communicated their core values in this PR. Beenie Man on his own could have donated the two computers, even more so LIME who is in this area of business. Companies want to show they care, they can do things big and they are socially responsible. Although we are in a recession we cannot donate ‘recessionously’- cheaply – do things the proper way.