The Public Information and Customer Services (PICS) office is the communications hub of CXC. PICS forms part of the Registrar’s Office and works closely with the Registrar, all divisions and the Webmaster.
It has responsibility for communications, stakeholder relationship management and customer services at CXC.
The office has six areas of strategic focus: Manage Stakeholder Relationships, Manage Customer
Services, Manage and Maintain Relationships with Academic Institutions, Coordinate CXC Special Events, Manage Public Relations and Manage Media Relations.
Manage Stakeholder Relationships
Stakeholder relationship management is one of the strategic priorities of CXC in its strategic plan and as the Council introduces new and exciting programmes and offering, reaching out to stakeholders and having them actively participate in the decision-making process and giving feedback are important imperatives. PICS coordinates stakeholder engagement with all CXC stakeholders. In the past two years, CXC has hosted students’ fora, seminars for journalists and guidance counsellors, made presentations at national parent teacher associations, managed the involvement of stakeholders in various CXC events and hosted focus groups sessions.
As part of this portfolio, PICS also prepares stakeholder analysis for CXC projects/programmes as well as prepare briefs for stakeholder engagements.
Manage Customer Services
As the only examination board in the Caribbean, CXC has a large customer base. PICS facilitates information requests from customers daily, from students applying to tertiary institutions and needing information, to researchers and employers requesting specific data. Managing issues which result from requests and working with other divisions to resolve issues also fall within the remit of PICS.
Manage and Maintain Relationships with Academic Institutions
Ensuring that higher education institutions and agencies responsible for evaluating international qualifications have a thorough understanding of CXC’s qualifications and examination system is of vital importance to an examinations board. PICS works closely with various professional higher education organisations such as NAFSA, OACAC, AACROA, UK NARIC and evaluation agencies to ensure that CXC’s qualifications are well understood internationally. PICS also participates in Education USA events and has co-presented at NAFSA Conferences with Education USA in the past.
PICS also negotiates articulation agreements on CXC’s behalf and works with colleges and universities to ensure they recognise the CXC ® suite of qualifications and offer credits and or exemptions where warranted.
Coordinate CXC Special Events
Each year, CXC ® hosts several special events – new product launches, Visual Arts exhibitions, the opening ceremony of Council and presentation of regional top awards, and the release of examinations results.
PICS coordinates these events to ensure maximum stakeholder participation, positive publicity and better public understanding of the initiative/programme.
Manage Public Relations
Public relations is a major thrust of the PICS day to day activities. The office publishes and coordinates the distribution of the Caribbean Examiner magazine, CXC’s semi-annual prestige publication, CXC Annual Report, and promotional materials on CXC offerings.
Developing and implementing public relations strategies for new programmes and or initiatives is a key aspect of PICS. www.cxc.org, the CXC ® corporate website, is a major pillar in the PR architecture. The website represents CXC’s face to the world on a 24 hour basis. Identifying key messages for specific publics and the medium for reaching these publics.
Manage Media Relations
The media landscape in the region has changed with the advent of social media and the Internet. As a result of these innovations, media operate 24/7 and CXC has had to align itself to meet the demands of the media. Press releases need to include images, sound bites and videos, press conferences are reported as they happen via blogs, Twitter and Facebook postings.
PICS manages CXC media relations strategy. Among some of the tactics employed are period press conferences, the issuance of press releases or statements, responding to media requests, preparing briefs for officers required to make media appearances, arranging media appearances, and monitoring the media for CXC coverage.