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Nation Building Through Communications

Nation Building

National Heroes Day Parade

September is a special month for the nation of St Kitts and Nevis, both at home and abroad, as residents and citizens around the world, celebrate National Heroes day on the 16th and Independence Day on the 19th. It’s an occasion that marks the history and achievements of the nation through state recognition, as well as by commemorating individuals who have contributed to the nation’s development by, in the words of the country’s motto, putting “Country above Self”.

This year September was a special month for WMG too. We were privileged to play an active part in showcasing these special events on behalf of Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. With communications at the heart of key messaging, in the written form, through images and video, everyone across the Federation, along with Kittitians and Nevisians abroad, were able to feel inspired and uplifted. They shared and took part in a number of events, speeches, parades, dinners, church services, presentations by students, community and hospital visits that demonstrated the Prime Minister’s genuine commitment towards nation building where everyone has a stake in and benefits from, its growth and development.

We started on the 9th when we visited, McKinght’s Community Centre where local residents took part in “Discussions for Prosperity”. The event was attended by the Prime Minister, the Premier of Nevis the Honourable Vance Amory, the Honourable Ian Liburd and was chaired by His Excellency Ambassador Jonel Powell. It was live streamed enabling both attendees the opportunity to ask questions, as well people who could not attend but watched the event online and on television. They made their contributions by calling in.

On the 12th we announced the appointment of Les Khan as the new CEO of the Citizen Investment Unit at their conference “St Kitts & Nevis Redefining Global Citizenship, Leading the Way Again!” Developers, service providers and agents were able to hear about the reforms which the CEO had initiated and heard how, under his leadership, the Citizenship by Investment Programme would be of a platinum standard. The Prime Minister’s opening address can be seen here: PM’s address to the CIU conference

That evening, across the water in Nevis, we attended the Inaugural Independence Day Lecture presented by Larry Quinlan, CIO with Deloitte, who highlighted both the benefits and risks of social media.

Later on that week students from a range of schools attended the Nevis Preforming Arts Centre and took part in conversations about independence including asking perceptive questions about the state of the nation. The event gave young people, who would not normally have the chance, the opportunity for their voice to be heard by the PM, the Premier and other key influencers and decision makers.

The celebration of National Heroes Day took place at the specially designated National Heroes Park. We paid a visit there the day before to see how the final preparations were going and colleague Rondon Carr took the opportunity to capture the PM’s invitation to the nation to attend the ceremony. PM’s invitation to National Heroes Day ceremony

The highlight of the month’s celebrations was the spectacular Independence Day parade at Warner Cricket Ground. Once the PM had undertaken his inspection, the uniformed services for national security such as the police and armed forces paraded with the very young members of the scouts group against a backdrop of compelling foot tapping marching music.

After the ceremony we visited the JNF Hospital and very movingly saw the dedication and hard work of nurses and doctors there. Although there were no Independence Day babies, the PM revealed his softer side as he took the opportunity to meet some new born babies.

The month concluded appropriately with the National Consultation on the Economy at which stakeholders from across a range of organisations were able to actively consult and participate in discussions on the priorities for the next budget. It really was an example of participatory government at its best.

Political communications is more than ensuring your message is received loudly and clearly.  In an era of citizen journalism, it’s about enabling society to participate in democracy well after polling day, helping their elected leaders to deliver the promise of yesterday, as well as to meet the emerging needs of the future, in a dynamic and responsive way.


30th September 2016

Communications Training & Police Reform: St Kitts


BPA & WMG with RSCNPF High Command

Bramshill Policing Advisers (BPA) were commissioned by the government of the Royal Federation of St Kitts and Nevis to undertake a programme of police reform and communications development. The Federation had one of the highest incidence of murder per capita in the world and the newly formed government led by the Honourable Dr Timothy Harris was keen to address this.

BPA identified that a fundamental review was required and consequently restructured the police into new directorates, identified and recruited the senior management team including the Commissioner of Police and drafted the strategic framework to help drive proactive policing. The aim was to put the police on the front foot of prevention, detection, reduction, and the prosecution of crime.

In order to achieve this the police needed a foundation to guide them and to this end BPA drafted a number of documents to help shape and guide both strategic and operational policing. These were the Four Year Service Improvement Plan, the Annual Policing Plan and the Six Point Plan. In addition key assets were identified and sourced such as K9’s. Capacity building training to include forensics, criminal investigation, leadership and communications were also developed and delivered for a range of staff at all levels to include both front line officers, as well as management and administration.

As part of this programme, Wessex Media Group (WMG) was commissioned to review police communications in order to build better community relations and improve media engagement. WMG worked with the police press relations officer to craft and sign off press releases, held engagement sessions with both public sector and commercial media in order to foster better partnership working and delivered communications and leadership training to the High Command and Gazetted Officers as well as to the St Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Service.

30th April 2016

Managing Critical Incident Communications

WMG was asked to present on critical incident communications at the annual International Conference on Integral Security “EISCE 2014” in Quito, Ecuador.

ecu_911_0The strategic communications process is all about planning ahead of time, knowing what to consider in order to avert a negative situation and how to manage the media post an adverse story finding its way into the public domain.

When working with first responders and the public security sector in Ecuador, their challenges are slightly different to most countries in that a volcano could erupt at any time and without warning. Their communications challenges are all about awareness raising ahead of such an incident in order to reduce the impact on human life, as well as deploying effective communications so as to maintain public order once a disaster occurs. The presentation covered what to do before, during and after an event and whist natural disasters may not always be avoidable, public awareness of what to do during them is critical if lives are to be saved.

23rd November 2014