Sharjah employs best practices in government communication
- United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, February 19 - 2013 at 12:26
- PRESS RELEASE
The second edition of the Government Communication Forum is set to commence next Sunday in Sharjah. Organized by Sharjah Media Centre, the forum will feature the participation of numerous local and regional distinguished political and media figures.
The forum, themed: "Effective communication... Unified message", will allow for the discussion of subjects presented for the first time by government officials who are also involved in the Arab media and keen to develop this field into the next stage. A very important objective is to focus on altering the mechanisms used presently in government communication, and the importance of flexibility in applying these mechanisms considering the current political changes that the world is witnessing in general and the Arab world in particular.
According to His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, the forum aims to formulate new methodologies in government communication processes, to consolidate the communication process between the public and governments and to highlight the role of the media in catering to the needs of people.
Discussion revolving around government communication topics has been non-existent on the programs of Arab media assemblies in the past. A fact that further emphasizes the importance of a forum specifically for this purpose, judging from the immense effect that the media had on the latest political changes in the Arab world, and in the absence of the governmental media.
A number of notable people from the media and communication field in the Arab world have expressed their opinion of the forum. Renowned Egyptian media personality, Hamdi Kandil, considers the idea unique, as it delves into unprecedented territory and sheds light on a fundamental subject unaddressed formerly by any other forum, which is governmental media and its importance as the main source of information.
According to statistics, more than 60 per cent of the Arab population constitutes of youth, which further strengthens the need for changing the mechanism and language employed by governments to convey their message, especially in the light of the recent changes the Arab world has witnessed, which revealed the weakness of governmental media.
The Director General of Jordan News Agency, Faisal Al Shboul, regards the idea of holding discussions about government communication as an opportunity to contemplate the outcome produced by the media during the Arab springs, which allows for the re-evaluation of governmental media, in order to make it more transparent and responsible.
Through Sharjah Media Centre, established around two years ago, the Government of Sharjah decided to foster the development of government communication regionally. His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, stressed on the importance of the centre's role in changing the perception of government communication, adopting transparency, clarity and opening up to the media.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi said that Sharjah is employing new methodologies in the media field, based on openness and building new bridges towards various entities. He also said that the emirate aims to support all those involved in the advancement of government communication, exemplified with the Government Communication Award, which focuses on the UAE and the GCC.
Furthermore, His Excellency explained that unlike the recommendations resulting from many previous forums, the outcome of the Government Communication Forum's first edition, was activated by establishing the Government Communication Unit, a network functioning under Sharjah Media Centre aiming to apply best practices in the field of media and communication across all Sharjah's government departments.
Sharjah's decision-makers have been encouraged to change the mechanisms of communication by the recommendations and actions of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. His Highness the Ruler constantly interacts with 'Al-Khat Al-Mubasher', a live program that allows people to share their problems, where the number of calls by His Highness reached up to thirty calls in a single year. In this regard, His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi stated that the interactions of His Highness the Ruler with programs that focus on people's problems is a message that calls for shortening the distance between government officials and the media.
The forum's sessions and workshops cover numerous subjects in the media and communication field, including mechanisms of effective communication with the public, how to change government communication methods into more successful models and changing from a conventional government into a digital one to keep up with technological changes.
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