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  • Writer's pictureMechelle

Bahamian Media Creatives Capture the Spotlight in BDB's Creative Panel Event

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

The Bahamas Development Bank’s Financing Innovation Business Expo showcased a conversational event with the Bahamian creatives in mind as a part of the Day 1 experience.

Hosted by REV Cable Bahamas Ltd., the Creative panel featured media greats such as Bahamian news tycoon Jerome Sawyer, Sales Magnet Dion Godet (and creator of Tribune News, Radio & 100 Jamz), VP of REV Media David Burrows (also a skilled writer, actor and makeup artist), Stephanie K. Nihon of the award-winning local show Goombay Kids and a member of their Content Creation and technical crew. Each panelist had a unique aspect of media and insight in their message to the creatives of the Bahamian Orange Economy, and I’m here for it!

This year REV Cable Bahamas turns 20 and one of their key products is their news broadcast, which is viewed by over 25,000 per night. As a veteran broadcast journalist (starting at the age of 17) one of Jerome’s opening statements is the fact that Bahamians love the news. Unwaveringly, most Bahamians will invest $1 every Monday and Thursday to view the latest political, business and national stories as well as obituaries. Online or via television, they’re tuned in to hear the most up-to-date stories on what’s happening in the country and always want that behind-the-scenes scoop. So where do creatives for in this? Individuals make the news. It’s ongoing and those who deliver it, are delivering a product. It’s about the audience believing in the producer of the product, not only about the product. For creatives, remember that you are the first person that others see and connect with.

Jerome encourages creatives to be consistent and know that their genius will be paid. The ideal thing to keep in mind is to pivot, which means elevating your brand inclusive of quality, knowing your target audience and promoting your product constantly. REV Bahamas invested 1.5 million into local content and talent, including shows like Sawyer Boy TV, Happy Foods 242, and Where in The World is Wally. Its latest venture is Goombay Kids, which is highly acclaimed, winning twelve (12) awards worldwide.

Here are a few key notes from the panel:

  • It’s about the experience, not the equipment. Focus on the content and not purchase expensive gear. You can easily record videos on your cell phone instead of investing in a camera that’s outside of your budget.

  • Produce quality programming. It’s always quality over quantity because the quality of your work speaks volumes and supersedes all else. Aim for clear, composed shots, proper lighting, and audio.

  • Content Creation is about storytelling – present a narrative with your unique spin on it and be consistent with it.

  • Get your concept out and make it clear.

  • Get and stay creative.

  • Know when to switch from artistic creative to business. There is more to content creation than creating the product itself. As a creative, you have to know when to switch into business modes when it comes to meeting with potential sponsors, partners and opportunities.

  • In sales, know your audience and tailor your approach for each individual sponsor for an effective method of attaining funding.

  • Sales & Marketing involves: Getting the right sponsors, product placement, creating and distributing tiered packages and brand recognition

  • Your sponsorship packages must show a return on investment for the sponsor and share a pilot (of your show in video form) so that they can see the product beforehand

  • Sometimes best is delayed. It takes about 2 – 3 seasons for a show to be recognized, so don’t be discouraged during the beginning phases of your show. Remain persistent and focused.

  • Not everything online is tv worthy and your show may not be a viable product for television.

  • You’d be surprised at the following you create through your product and how it is an asset that you can use as leverage for sales.

Stephanie provided insight into how humble beginnings can lead to future success when she shared the story of how Goombay Kids began. The show started with a dream of an educational show that showcased local talent. She taught acting to kids who were so hopeful to showcase their skills through auditioning, but opportunities were far and few between. Initially, there was a team of 3 who created the theme song and managed all aspects of the show. By season 3, the show had a full complement of 45 team members who believed in the vision and dream. She acknowledged that funding is the biggest challenge because producing shows are expensive and shared how she had to develop and present pilots and packages to individual sponsors to assist in producing the show.

One of the biggest takeaways from the panel is to invest in news. With a viewership of 3.5 – 4 million persons online and an advertisement pool of 34 channels, you know that you are making a quality investment for your creative brand. Our News is certainly not slowing down anytime soon, as they are currently working to expand their news segments with different content and sharing news stories from locations around the world. For all the junkanoo fans out there, Our TV will be also directing and producing this cultural festival in December 2022, expanding over a 5- year period.

As a creative, I thoroughly enjoyed the varied perspectives, guidance and discussion of the panel, who flowed well on stage and provided advice that was applicable and relevant to the creative community. I welcome more events like this and thank the Bahamas Development Bank for keeping the creative economy at the forefront. Not only through this panel, but also through showcasing over 40 local vendors (featuring products and services), and workshops.

What was your biggest takeaway from the show? Let me know below.


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