(CNS): A new government PR and marketing department within the innovation ministry, created to promote investment in the Cayman Islands, has issued a request for proposals from marketing consultants. InvestCayman was launched last year, describing itself as an investment promotion agency headed up by marketing professional Jane Scaletta, who was appointed to the top job because of her professional credentials and experience in promotion for both the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and the Department of Tourism (DoT). At the time of her appointment, she said she was delighted to “tell our story to the world”.
But the ministry is now seeking outside consultants to tell that story and provide “high-level marketing and media services to further the mission of InvestCayman”, according to the documents posted on the government’s procurement website.
InvestCayman has been described as a “single front door for significant investment in the Cayman Islands” around a “triple win”, where the investor, the government and the people of the Cayman Islands should all benefit.
Officials have said this new government department is intended to improve Cayman’s reputation internationally through strategic communications, brand management and the delivery of world-class service to client investors.
Described as “a white-glove concierge service”, the unit was created to make it easier to do business here, keep the Cayman Islands competitive and advise on policy when data indicates the need.
The tender documents stated that the selected marketing company will “further the mission of InvestCayman” and ensure the brand is aligned with the most up-to-date government objectives.
Whoever secures the contract will be tasked with “covering social media, online presence, brand identity, website updates, content and website/social media design, photo shoots, media audits, reputation management, digital media buying, general SEO services, influencer marketing (in investment arena), email marketing, reporting, POV consultation, collateral design and sourcing, and other digital marketing needs”.
There is no indication on the InvestCayman website how many people work in the department in addition to Scaletta, and the ministry has not stated why this work cannot be covered by existing in-house staff or through the employment of experienced individuals.
The request for proposals follows, over the last few months, a bid for consultants for a new cruise tourism and transport policy, design consultants for a general aviation terminal at the airport, business analysts consultants for Customs and Border Control, and international relations consultants for the London Office.
The use of consultants by the government came under the scrutiny of the Office of the Auditor General starting with a report in February 2018, which found a long list of issues surrounding their use. The OAG said the government was not planning, monitoring or justifying its use of consultants.
The office made a number of recommendations, especially the need for business cases and, alternatively, for the government to invest more in staff training and development to ensure that it has the skills and expertise it needs, reducing its overall spending on consultants.
In a follow-up report in January this year the OAG found that the government had not implemented all of the recommendations, and even the ones it had implemented, such as producing business cases before engaging consultants, it is not clear that has been happening.