I won’t debate the new tagline. It’s terrible and was a bad idea from the time it entered the mind of the creator. It hasn’t grown on us and it probably won’t.
However, we are more than a tagline and an updated logo.
Who are we and what do we want people to know about us?
That is the question we have to ask ourselves every time we send government officials, a pageant queen, track athletes, or a calypsonian, overseas to represent the island. They are all part of brand Montserrat and we should ensure that they are representing the best of us.
Every individual has the right to attend any event of their choosing but when they use the “I’m representing Montserrat” label and are funded to do so, they should give the best representation of us.
When things are done in isolation and at the last moment “Montserrat” is asked to save the day what do we ask in return of them? How prepared are they to represent us fully?
Entertainers, artists and athletes have the opportunity to earn income from their gifts. They should have their paperwork in order. They need to have contracts and principles. You don’t get on a plane “hoping” you will be paid. Understand what it means to be a professional and act like it. The continued ad hoc practices do not bode well for good experiences abroad or a proper representation of the island.
Athletes are expected to train before competing. Singers should be rehearsing. Artists, authors, designers should have work to show. That means preparation.
Who sets the standard? We’ve got to do more than load our unofficial ambassadors and diplomats with mini flags and maps. They need to know how to speak with the press; how to actively network with the intention of advancing our brand.
Montserrat cannot fund and should not be expected to fund everything but there are simple things that can be done to position our people to represent the best we have to show.
Media coaching and Protocol classes would be good. Could we get some shirts, t-shirts, corporate blazers with the brand and bags that individuals can wear when travelling? There is no need for anyone to look like a lonely step child. We can do classy too. They do not need to be handed over free of cost but it is a worthy investment to make so there is consistency in how our people look when travelling under our flag.
We are still waiting on a tourism marketing strategy to be presented and funded. Until then how do we tell the world about us? What is the brand story we share about the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean?