Campaign steps up IB awareness effort

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  • Spreading the message: Cyril Whitter, left, Ross Webber and Richard Winchell are backing the Abir-BDA’s #everybodysbusiness campaign, which showcases the value and impact of international business on the Island’s economy

    Spreading the message: Cyril Whitter, left, Ross Webber and Richard Winchell are backing the Abir-BDA’s #everybodysbusiness campaign, which showcases the value and impact of international business on the Island’s economy
    (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Facts and figures: This infograph, produced by the BDA, shows the importance of international business for the Island’s economy

    Facts and figures: This infograph, produced by the BDA, shows the importance of international business for the Island’s economy


Aiming to reach a more diverse audience

The #everybodysbusiness campaign aims to reach a larger, more diverse audience through a number of avenues, including a two-minute animated graphic and infographic created by Sami Lill, of Uber Super Duper, showcasing IB’s impressive economic statistics.

There is a series of 30-second video clips created by Burnt House Productions, telling snapshot stories of Bermudians in different jobs who benefit from IB, while a series of adverts will appear in The Royal Gazette featuring the same Bermudians. An Instagram campaign has been shot by award-winning portrait photographer Meredith Andrews, featuring Bermudians from the campaign’s videos, along with others whose work is bolstered or supported by IB.

And there will be a series of radio talk shows on the Sherri Simmons Show (Magic 102.7FM) and ZBM’s Miss Thang (Power 95FM). The BDA is also reaching out to invite other Bermudians to participate in the Instagram campaign by answering the question: “What does international business mean to you?” Winners will be photographed by Ms Andrews and featured in the portrait series over the next few months. One of those already featured is North Village football player DeVrae Tankard, who works as an underwriter for XL Catlin. He said: “I support this campaign because IB has allowed me to work with dynamic personalities from all corners of the world on a daily basis — as well as work with some of the world’s biggest brands.

“The opportunities offered to Bermudians in international business are vast, and our entire population has a role to play.”

A simple video perhaps best illustrates the concept that international business is everyone’s business in Bermuda.

The video begins with a freshly laid egg being collected by farmer Tom Wadson. The egg is next seen being cracked open by Kamilah Cannonier and added to a baking mix at Sweet Saak Bakery, in St George, becoming an ingredient for a batch of cinnamon buns. In the final shot the buns are carried into a board room meeting as midmorning refreshments.

The story is featured in one of a number of video shorts that highlight the intertwining of the international business (IB) sector with the everyday fortunes of Bermuda’s residents and the Island’s economy.

Fishermen, restaurant employees and an event boat DJ appear in other video shorts that similarly reflect the wide-reaching benefit a strong IB sector has for Bermuda and her people.

The videos were created by Andrew Kirkpatrick and Nhuri Bashir, and are one element of an expanded campaign, entitled #everybodysbusiness, being promoted by the Association of Bermuda International Companies (Abic) and the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA).

The campaign aims to show how IB positively affects everyone on the Island, fuels growth and job creation, and how everyone can play a part in helping IB continue to flourish.

The sector drives more than 60 per cent of the Island’s economic activity. That is one of the eye-catching statistics being used to underline how important IB is to Bermuda’s people and economy.

According to the campaign, 65 per cent of IB in Bermuda is made up of Bermudians and spouses, with Bermudians making up 38 per cent of management executives. The sector directly employees 3,700 Bermuda employees, and each person on average pumps $100,000 into the Island’s economy. Furthermore, IB creates 6,100 jobs in supporting industries.

While the Everybody’s Business campaign is not new — it was launched in January 2014 — what is new is the fresh impetus, an injection of new ideas, and a widening of its reach across a range of the most popular social media platforms, hence the new hashtag-led moniker.

Cyril Whitter, president of Independent Management Ltd, is the campaign leader. He recalls the idea took shape many years ago when the-then Premier Paula Cox showed a desire to reach out and educate the community about the role of IB and its importance to the economy and residents.

Eventually a team was created, which included Richard Winchell, executive director of Abic, to spread the message through radio talk shows, town hall-style meetings and radio and television advertising. That was effective, up to a point. However, a survey showed the message was reaching only 25 per cent of residents.

Now a fresh drive is under way, tapping into social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, together with advertising and further radio talk show slots.

Videos and animated graphics linked to the campaign will be posted online and shown in various public locations, such as on the screens in the waiting area at the Transport Control Department, and alongside cinema commercials.

“We realise the value of the radio shows, and we realise the value of social media. We want to get the information out to the whole community,” said Mr Winchell.

It is an important step, said Mr Whitter. “We were reaching 25 per cent of the population, but we needed to find a way to get to the other 75 per cent, he said.

“We want to reach social media, and the BDA has a lot of the skill in that space and has been very helpful.”

Regarding the importance of IB to Bermuda, he said: “International business represents part of the solution to the problems of the economy. We need to protect it.

“Many Bermudians are engaged inside international business, and Bermudians are in at a high level. We need to make that common knowledge and walk people through how international business impacts other sectors,” he said, mentioning the housing market, vehicles sales, grocery stores and residential insurance.

Mr Whitter said the campaign also endeavours to show how everyone can play a part in the Island’s success by supporting international business.

“We are competing with other countries. When people come to Bermuda, what defines the Bermuda experience for them is everything that happens to them from the moment they hit the tarmac to when they depart,” he said, using a personal anecdote to illustrate the point.

“I recently had some clients from Colombia who told me how good the reception was at the airport,” he said. His clients were bowled over by the friendliness shown to them from the moment of their arrival that it enhanced their stay, and meant they left with a favourable impression of the Island.

Ross Webber, CEO of the BDA, said: “IB benefits all of us, no matter what our job type or background.”

Patrick Tannock, Abir chairman and president of Bermuda insurance operations for XL Catlin, said the IB sector was a key driver of the ecomony, supporting Bermudian jobs Islandwide. He added: “Let’s all continue to work to protect and grow Bermuda’s international business sector.”

When asked what he hoped the campaign will achieve, Mr Winchell said he wants people to have all the information and make their own judgement.

He said: “We feel the information will mean they see value of business visitors, who are 20 per cent of our tourists. We want these people to come back.”

Getting the population to appreciate that IB is meaningful to everybody, and as a result start to think about what they can do to help it continue to succeed in Bermuda, was a stated goal of Mr Whitter.

He said Bermuda has always had a good reputation for welcoming visitors in a positive way, whether they are tourists or business people, and that has helped the Island to succeed in the past.

“I’ve got a lot of clients who rave about that attitude already. what we want to do is turn it up a notch and enhance their experience,” he said.

All parts of the #everybodysbusiness campaign, including videos, can be viewed at: www.bda.bm/everybodys-business

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Published Oct 8, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 7, 2015 at 10:07 pm)

Campaign steps up IB awareness effort

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