Eleanor Ikinofo, Communications
On reflection 2015 has been a busy year with its fair share of peaks and troughs, challenges and achievements.<!--more-->
[caption id="attachment_7668" align="alignleft" width="400"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/rsz_img_Elae-LARGE.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7668" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/rsz_img_Elae-LARGE.jpg" alt="Eleanor Ikinofo" width="400" height="267" /></a> Eleanor Ikinofo[/caption]
For me, some of the highlights for the year came from working with PT&I network colleagues to share their stories in the <em>Pacific Periscope</em> e-newsletter. From PT&I Sydney’s Maketi Ples, Fine Foods Australia through to the Fiji Investment Exploratory Mission and the various business forums and workshops.
Getting regular updates and photos from PT&I China’s Pacific Islands Southern China Trade Mission was a fascinating insight into the business hubs of Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Guangdong. It was also great to see PT&I China was using the social media platform WeChat to promote the mission resulting in widespread media coverage of the mission.
In Europe, PT&I Geneva were also actively promoting the Pacific at the ANUGA Food Fair 2015 in Cologne, Germany. The ANUGA Food Fair is one of the biggest food and beverage shows in Europe attracting millions international visitors. Pacific Island exporters from Niue, Fiji, Tonga and PNG were all well received at the PT&I exhibition booth.
PT&I New Zealand supported the <em>Save the Bee: Global Bee Sanctuary</em> crowd funding campaign run by Niue Honey Company. The launch of the Bee Sanctuary led to international media coverage with film crews and reporters from New Zealand travelling to Niue. In addition, one of biggest television broadcasters in the world, <em>Al Jazeera</em> picked up the story, turning it into a 25 minute documentary and a three-minute news story that aired in November.
Another highlight was the Solomon Islands Timber Export Trade Mission to Australia and New Zealand run by the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA) in association with PT&I.
It was great to meet the delegation and promote the visit through our e-newsletter and media campaign gaining widespread media support in New Zealand, Australia and the Solomon Islands with two online timber publications, picking up the media releases. But the best result came for the Trade Team who were rewarded when an MOU was signed by the Solomon Islands Timber industry representatives and the New Zealand Tropical Timber importers association to work together in future.
Finally we promoted the “Small is Good” campaign to highlight the PT&I Pacific Islands Small Island States Food and Beverage Trade Mission to Auckland in October. The delegates introduced us to great products such as pandanus juice from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, coconut toddy from Tuvalu, various coconut products from Kiribati and chilli liqueur and banana vodka from the Cook Islands. Niue Vanilla International announced they would be launching a new range in 2016, while Palau Aquatic would also be launching a new Save the Giant Clams campaign in the New Year
All were perfect examples of how the smallest Pacific islands are still out there working to uplift their home economies.
One of the most poignant stories came via one of our clients, Heilala Vanilla’s Jennifer Boggiss who put us in touch with Drew Havea of the Tonga National Youth Council (TYNC). TNYC run a Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) Unit the small villages of Tonga by collecting and selling coconut oil. The VCO unit has changed the lives of two disabled men from one of the villages, allowing them to work and earn an income for themselves and their families. The unit has also provided regular work and income for youth and the wider communities in the islands who can now better their lives and livelihoods.
In communications, we followed the journeys of various Pacific Island businesses sharing their stories in the <em>Pacific Periscope</em> e-newsletter, on social media via Facebook or LinkedIn or through media campaigns. We also supported the PT&I network offices in Australia, China and Japan by publishing their stories. But it would not be possible without the willing support from clients, customers who create the stories and the media who help us publicise their hard work. So, thanks to everyone for making this year memorable in so many ways. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.