Re:Imagine Jamaica Gets Major Boost: Project receives Grant to Study Brand Jamaica

BY: SABRINA CASERTA

Founder & Chair of the Re:Imagine Jamaica Project - Dr. Hume Johnson

Founder & Chair of the Re:Imagine Jamaica Project – Dr. Hume Johnson

Founder and Chair of the newly formed nation brand initiative, The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, Dr. Hume Johnson has received a major incentive for her project, winning a grant worth over $US7000 (some $800, 000 JMD) to carry out research on Brand Jamaica.

Dr. Johnson, a Professor of Public Relations & Media Studies at Roger Williams University, Rhode Island, United States received the grant from the University’s Foundation for Teaching and Scholarship.

The competitive grants offer Faculty an opportunity to carry out individual research and other professional development activities based on subjects pertinent to their research agenda.

‘During the Jamaica 50 celebrations in 2012, I began to take a scholarly interest in the subject of nation brands, and particularly Brand Jamaica. While Jamaica is a famous and formidable global brand, a range of negative impacts such as violent crime, economic instability etc., have undermined its image, and prevented it from exploiting opportunities for economic growth and affluence’, says Johnson.

Dr. Hume Johnson, who holds a PhD In Political Science & Public Policy from the University of Waikato, New Zealand, says the grant will be used to support the Re:Imagine Jamaica Project’s current research on perceptions of Jamaica.

‘We first want to discover whether Jamaica has an image problem, so the first phase of the study aims to focus on perceptions of Jamaica in international public opinion. This will include interviews and focus groups with Jamaicans at home, and in Disaporic communities overseas such as New York, Canada, London and Birmingham. We will also conduct interviews with foreign nationals – those who have experienced being in Jamaica and those who have not’, Dr. Hume Johnson says.

‘The research seeks to address the challenges facing Brand Jamaica, and strategies that can be deployed to market and manage a nation brand that is in crisis’. The kind of research is important if Jamaica is to effectively counter negative perceptions and attract investment’.

Jamaica is currently not a part of the global nation brand index that measures the perceptions of countries annually because nations have to pay hefty sums to be included.

Dr. Johnson is author of the book, Challenges to Civil Society: Popular Protest and Governance in Jamaica, published by Cambria Press. She also conducts research on governance issues, organized crime, civil society and political participation in Jamaica.

 

ABOUT THE RE:IMAGINE JAMAICA PROJECT

THE Re:Imagine Jamaica Project is a think thank that aims to contribute to global knowledge and understanding of Jamaica through scholarly research. It also aims to promote Jamaican credentials in business, the arts, science and technology, culture, academia and sport. The overall goal is to ‘imagine’ Jamaica through new lens, produce new narratives to tell a more complete and complex story about this remarkable country.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For more information, contact:

Sabrina Caserta.

Sabcaserta@gmail.com or reimaginejamaica@gmail.com

For interviews, contact Dr. Hume Johnson – humejohnson@gmail.com

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