Posts Tagged ‘Trinidad and Tobago’

About those Photos….

March 1, 2013


Don’t look now – you’ve been tagged! Trinidad and Tobago Carnival 2013 is over. The glitter is finally out of your hair. The suntans are beginning to fade and the good times are now memories…or are they?

Enter the embarrassing social media picture.  Exit your reputation (potentially anyway).

Today, those few moments of “wildness” as we say in T&T, can be captured digitally and live on forever. So, what can you do about it? You’re probably not going to love the answer. 

In reality, there is only prescription to prevent your reputation from coming into question as a result of an illicit photo featuring your image – don’t put yourself in compromising positions. Told you that you would not like it. 

I am promulgating that you refrain from the revelry that is T&T carnival? Should you dress less scantily? Where will this nonsense type of advice end you wonder? It stops there – just avoid the compromising positions! 

I’m not saying not to “tief a wine” – I am saying to be smart about it. Be aware that your actions can come back to haunt you so limit the moments. 

Ok so to those of you still reading, the advice gets a little better. Set some standards and make your friends aware of them: 

  1. No photos please! Ever notice how MANY of those illicit photos feature people looking straight on at the camera? There’s a reason for that. Some people like the wildness captured. Fight the power. Stop striking poses and fewer photos will be taken
  2. You better as somebody! Ask your friends, family and partygoers in your circle to refrain from taking pics of you “living it up” in a party/on the road for carnival/ “liming”. Explain that you’re not keen on the photos of your revelry being shared with the world. Identify the consequences for those who violate that up front and ask that they respect your opinion. (Note, piccong will likely will follow. Your friends may tease you a bit, but after a while, they’ll understand). 

  3. To tag or untag? Untag is the answer! While your friends may not take photos of you, the world is now full of photographers. Papparazzi (interpret as other party goers who INSIST on taking photos everywhere they go) need only have a mobile phone to capture a moment. They post. Friends tag you. What do you do? Change your settings to ensure only YOU see tags or, even better, that any tags require your permission. This way, fewer photos you don’t want will be visible on your social media profiles. 

  4. Take it a step further. If you don’t like the photos – write the websites, people who posted them and ask them to be removed. Yeah – I’m serious. I’ve done it and generally people comply. 

So, I’m not suggesting you change your offline life completely to avoid pictures (though some slight tweaks won’t hurt). I am suggesting that you aggressively manage your online profile. Consider starting your own blogs and you tube channels to share the image of yourself you want the world to see. 

That said. Offline ALWAYS meets Online. Ensure your reputation does not “wine to the side” when they meet. 


What do You Learn from Your Mother

July 22, 2010

My Last Full Family Pic

What do you learn from your mother?What communication lessons did our generation learn from the women that nurtured us through the first MacIntosh(es), Ataris, Nitendos, 50 pound PCs, Internet, Laptops and now, IPADS and Blackberries. Lord knows I hoped I would be nothing like my mother right through my early 20s (circa internet boom days) and then a change of heart…she was not that bad. By the time I lost her, I realised she was great. She could text. She checked her email and loved herself some computer Scrabble. I don’t miss her tech savvy – she was a self professed techno retard…I miss her words and life lessons.

Isn’t it Ironic? A wanna be digital native like me (I could be if you shifted the limits for same a year or two) does not miss the techy aspects of my mom. I don’t miss her email messages or the noise of her yelling at the PC as it “cheated” in Scrabble…nah, I miss her words and voice and lessons. I eh makin dat mistake. I documenting what I want them children to  learn before the born!

I’m not a parent yet (and not pregers – lest I start some new rumor) but if I am so blessed, here’s what I hope my children (read child – the dreams of my own 5 a side team have left me) will learn from me:

  1. Speak  Positively – it can make an awful day great. When I am having a bad day, I often give a PR joking answer when those closest to me ask how I am – I say “WONDERFUL” and I flash that pageant chick smile. It engenders a laugh – usually from the listener and from me…BOOM! At that second, I create a moment of joy in a lacklustre day. So, I hope my children will learn, as my mother taught me, to try to at least speak negatively. Or, to  *gasp* approach each moment with positivity and prayer.
  2. Love with Your Whole Heart. Frank Sinatra says “When somebody loves you, its no good unless they love you, ALL THE WAY”. Mom used to sing that. I now have it in my Ipod and more importantly in my heart. Love unselfishly and wholeheartedly. As language defines your world, say it to the people you love – daily. Love is pointless if not expressed. The world without loving expressions can be desolate.
  3. Work Hard but Vacation Hard too. When this earth lost Denise Maureen, she dreamed of taking a cruise. She never did. Instead she had over a year (yes a year!) of unused vacation. Hmmm…. So, I am an advocate of taking vacation and seeing the world and telling the world about it through pictures and *gasp* postcards. I’m a sucker for a post card! I buy them on almost every trip and those fortunate enough to have received them have a snapshot of what I felt at the moment I bought it. My mother framed her postcards. What an incredible legacy of communication. Vacation does not have to mean a visit to Japan (though I highly recommend same). The best vacations are with family or those most special to you – sometimes just spending nothing but time is the best gift of all.
  4. Words can Hurt and Heal: Only the most acrimonious (dictionary!) amongst us would deny the power of the words “It will be alright” when you are going through a challenging time. Few is the man who can say the sting from harsh words spoken in anger does not outlast the pain from a surface wound. Denise Maureen Jones, I regret any words that hurt. If your parent or child is alive, take a moment to communicate that and to pledge to not use words as weapons anymore.

I hope my children will learn these lessons passed down to me from the angel that is my mother, through not just the spoken word, but through actions of love that reinforced the messages. May our generation, with all our technology and doo das, do half as a great a job as our parents did at raising us.

Nurturing generation Y and Z will require less technology and more good old face to face communication with a sprinkling of oral tradition.


Embracing Beauty And Brains?

June 6, 2010

The Caribbean has MANY beautiful bright women. Question is, are we ready to have them succeed for both being gorgeous and being great at what they do professionally? Or are we much more comfortable with our board room bombshells being what many are everyday – conservative in what they say, do and wear?

Case in point. May/June 2010 has so far featured 2 major career highlights for me. 1. Communication World Magazine has

Showcasing Beauty and Brains - Is it too much for us to handle? Nah!

printed an article I wrote on text messaging as an organizational tool (international article publication officially checked off my life long “to do” list. #2 I’m on my 3rd magazine cover (Abstract Magazine) and in the interview once again dodged relationship questions and  personal probes (HA!).  Is being on a magazine cover in a short skirt and featured as a communication nerd too much for some to handle? I say no.

Both are honours. Both are part of who I am. Both put a positive stamp in the Traditional media world. Both help brand women in the Caribbean positively. Question is, while we LOVE to tout beauty and brains in the Caribbean, are we really ready to embrace someone who showcases both concepts?

In my case, I have the pageant background before I became a recognized communications professional so the public tolerates the occasional pic of me in a swimsuit in the newspaper (as ALSO happened this month on the day I was presenting a course on social media management – some students came to class WITH the photo!) or an internet photo (read over 300 photos) of me at parties, events and yes, from fashion shows. But what of the others? You know, the thousands of beautiful, young women being educated across the Caribbean. Are their dreams of being models to be dashed against the rocks of a less than modern mindset?

Can Beauty & Brains be accepted? Ah I hope so!I

Not if Wendy, myself and a few others have anything to do with it. Examples:

Wendy Fitzwilliam, Miss Universe 1998 raised the bar (LITERALLY) by being a lawyer, successful business woman, runway model, print model and this year SCORTCH MAGAZINE centerfold clad in a flower covered bikini in a bed of roses. She looked awesome and the next day I am sure she was

Wendy Is Still a Professional AND she's STILL Hot!

back in the board room. Certainly the less modern among us (or just the damn haters) made a snide comment.

Anya Ayoung Chee, also a past Miss Trinidad and Tobago, has parlayed that fame into a damn hot and fairly successful fashion line. Anya is more than just creative – she’s smart and the cut of her clothes superior to many aspiring designers far beyond the shores of the Caribbean.

Sharon Impbert, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (a VERY senior position) has for over two decades graced the catwalks of the Caribbean.

Now begs the question – are you supporting the concept that beauty and brains can both be showcased or do you think we’re still too conservative? In the USA, it is FAR from uncommon to see PLAYBOY PLAYMATES become lawyers (Kimba Wood is now FEDERAL JUDGE WOOD for example), authors (Gloria Steinem feminist writer),doctors and yes, models and actresses. I’m not saying in the Caribbean we are there yet but I’m not certain in this day of rogue amateur photographers and videographers poised to catch any “less than publicly beautiful” moment on the camera, many among us realize the day has come where a photo, posed or candid, can help a professional career as much as winning an award or being published in a scholarly journal.

So weigh in folks. Are we in the Caribbean, island nations with at least 2 women that have been heads of Government, ready to embrace the beauty AND brains? Or should we models just realize the glass ceiling is lower for us?


Are you engaging employees? If Not, reach for your lipstick!

February 2, 2010

Anything you say these days can and will be held against you. No comment is safe. Ask Steve Jobs. On February 1, 2010 Mashable’s Stan Schoeder wrote: “What a time we’re living in. You can’t even make fun of your competitors at your own company meeting without your words leaking out to the Internet” – could not agree more. But what does this mean for employers in the Caribbean and how can we work with “management” to show them that it no longer matters who you are talking to – everyone is powerful and they know it. They (we know)”My MEDIA” will change you and if you don’t I’ll make an example of you – no manager wants that!

Arguably, social media has given the “worker” more power than we had since the words “strike” and “union” first became meaningful to business owners. At the click of a button, conversations, off key comments and (yikes!) opinions can go global. Managers, be afraid – be very afraid (crap – self included!) and thinking of firing someone if they do this? There are tips on how NOT to get fired because of social media!

So what can we do? Some (as I have) try the SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY. Reality? They fail – ask the Associated Press, Ministry of Defense or Steve Jobs that now has an enemy in Google because he did what all leaders inevitably do – talk ‘not so nicely’ about competition – except this time, the WORLD knows about it.

Today, bosses are being managed and their policies fail.

Why do the policies fail? Why is trust in the workplace now so low?  In today’s world where opinion is king, telling any digital native they “can’t” or “should” or worse yet “MUST” comply means one thing. They won’t and YOU WILL suffer for attempting to do same. Possible Solution= Assume the position and give trust first.

WHAT? Trust those 18-35 year olds that are wasting time on social networks? Yes. Consider it new wave employee engagement. Court your employees and, as in the first phases of a relationship assume trust or risk losing what could be a good thing. Seriously. What female/ male would “stick around” if on day one you presented them with a list of relationship don’ts? Its the same with today’s employees. Try guiding us. Tell us about what the company stands for and walk the talk. Don’t just SAY “the company” is better than the rest – show us how and inspire us to be as well – by being ourselves. Scary concept – you bet! Guess what, like the social media policy, this won’t always work either – but guess what, its less likely to fail miserably – chances are, they’ll at least consider moving towards engagement if the trust package and what you have to offer looks good.

In the Caribbean, we are not by nature trusting people. We have, will and do OPENLY and EARLY share rules and regulations as if we all comply with same – then work towards breaking every rule and taking the “do what I say” approach to management. Those days are as over as the days of one dimensional TV will be soon (3-D is coming and coming fast!). The reality is, “MY MEDIA” with “MY FRIENDS” will change how you manage and how you act – if you don’t believe me folks, dare yell or be rude at an employee with a cell phone…touch up your makeup first though because you’ll be youtube bound before you know it. Guess what, its legal too and the advice is online! Or worse yet, they’ll use xtravideo and turn you into a cartoon (note this link contains coarse language)