They always say you never really forget your first true love and that old cliche is spot on!
I woke up early Wednesday morning, fixed me a bowl of oatmeal and plopped down in front of the TV to witness history in The Bahamas as we officially swore in a new government and opened the halls of Parliament for this fresh administration to get to work.
My reporter juices were flowing and I felt this burning urge to grab my recorder and notepad and head to Parliament Square to report! Lord knows the mind was willing but the body was chilling! Instead, I opted to stay at home and watch; supping up every word and mentally reporting for duty.
We’re a fancy schmancy country who loves pomp and pageantry and the hat and glove fashion! I got my life from the looks and outfits parading the red carpet and was refreshed to see new, young faces being sworn in to their duties as members of parliament.
But, arguably, the most anticipated and important part of the formal occasion is the reading of The Speech from The Throne; where Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling read the mandate of new Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and the plans he has for these beautiful islands.
Now, as a former reporter I’ve covered events of this nature many times so I could guess what topics would be atop the government’s agenda; crime, education, immigration, the economy…the regular schmegular!
But let me tell you about that moment when The Speech gripped me by the throat, made me stop in my tracks and shook my life to the core!
In The Speech, Dame Marguerite read;
My government will capitalize on the marketing power of social media by engaging freelance bloggers to generate content and publicity about the Family Islands.
SAY WHAT NOW?! REPEAT THAT PLEASE!!!
The word BLOGGER mentioned in this capacity in my country?! At such a high ranking official ceremony?!
I was shaking in my boots with excitement and rushed to dust off that resume!
I could not believe my ears and it filled my heart with so much pride, joy and hope to learn that my country is finally seeing the value and strength in social media and the bloggers who make it happen.
I’m so happy I started blogging and documenting my travels at home and abroad, and it seems I’m already exactly what the government needs! *wink wink*
In addition to my international travels to Thailand, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro and others, I’ve written blogs on my visits to beautiful Bahamian islands like Cat Island, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Exuma and I’m ready to write more should this government promise come to fruition!
SHAMELESS PLUG: I’M AVAILABLE!
As a news reporter turned freelance blogger and writer, it’s been an uphill battle trying to get my people to see the importance of bloggers in our community. I’m a part of so many social media groups and forums with access to bloggers from around the world and it blows my mind to see my web buddies inking deals with big names brands like Macy’s, Burlington, Oil of Olay, Dove and other brands who see the importance of using influencers to their companies.
When we talk about increasing employment and being innovative in job creation and yes, competing with the world, this is a great start, for at least one industry!
Yes, Bahamian bloggers are in an industry all our own.
It’s new, it’s blossoming, it’s still growing, but it’s oh so powerful and could reap immeasurable benefits for any company who uses it correctly.
This is progression, this is forward thinking, this is getting EVERYONE involved in the growth of this country and literally using all vehicles and resources available to tell the world about our beautiful platforms. Me, alone, my work has been featured on nearly 10 international websites and online magazines, my photos are reshared and reposted by major travel agencies like Travel Noire, Black Girls Travel Too, Hardly Home, Essence Magazine and so many others.
This is the power of social media. This is the power of being a blogger and influencer and having access to the world without even leaving my little home office in Nassau, Bahamas.
There are indeed some local brands who are hip to the game as well, who have enlisted bloggers like me and others to help spread the word about their products. But sadly, it’s just not enough.
Thankfully, companies like Black Opal, ORS Haircare, who have local agencies here, PuckerUp Cosmetics, Signature Styles, Tier Cake Loft and others I’m in talks with, the blogger side of my one-man-band business has been thriving and I’ve been able to flex my blogger skills; either as brand ambassador or social media manager.
It’s because of blogging and posting and sharing and writing that I was featured in the May 2017 edition of Essence Magazine! So yes, people from all over the world see my work as a blogger and they see the works of other Bahamians who use social media as their main tool.
Are you gonna be left out?
Maybe now with the government leading the way an putting some “respeck” on local bloggers, other companies will follow suit and support our industry!
As far as I could remember this is the first time the word “BLOGGER” has been mentioned in this sphere, in this way! WHAT A TIME!
I AM PLEASED!