Sharjah Media Centre announces agenda of Government Communication Forum 2013
- United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, January 29 - 2013 at 13:35
- PRESS RELEASE
Sharjah Media Centre (SMC) announced the agenda of the Government Communication Forum (GCF) 2013. Themed "Effective Communication.. Unified Speech", the event will highlight the necessity to move from "talking to people" to "talking with people" and demonstrate flexibility of civil movement witnessed across the globe in general and the Arab world in particular.
The two-day Forum will feature ten sessions including four panel discussions, two case studies and two special discussion sessions along with two influential speeches.
The announcement came during a press conference held today at the Al Qasba Theatre, Sharjah. Headlined by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, and Osama Samra, Director of Sharjah Media Centre, the conference drew a large gathering of media and government representatives from across the UAE.
His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi said: "Enhancing government communication is not only a local or Arab matter, but is pertinent to all governments around the world - even if the factors influencing them are different. Civil movement, whether political, economic, social, or humanitarian, is witnessed across the world. Such protests have placed pressure on governments to think of creative ways of communication with people and on how to respond positively to their demands, questions, concerns, and possible fears.
"There is a clear need to extend more support to governments that are committed to stimulating and developing relations with their people. The philosophy is clearly endorsed by Sharjah, which aims to provide a platform that supports the efforts of regional governments in developing effective communication methods and channels. We are also keen to help governments gain from and replicate Sharjah's experience in unifying its messages and organising the communication process across its local citizens, government departments, and the media. Towards this end, we are committed to supporting communication departments in government institutions, and setting new standards for communication in the emirate, through the Government Communication Unit of the Sharjah Media Centre."
Osama Samra, Director of Sharjah Media Centre, said: "Government communication practices face a number of challenges in the Arab region, including a lack of dedicated communication departments in some government agencies, and the integration of public relations with government communication. Additionally, governments can sometimes be unaware of the importance of government communication and how to deliver messages to a targeted audience effectively. The Sharjah Government Communication Forum aims to discuss these challenges and reviews successful models in government communication. GCF also seeks to offer practical recommendations and training courses for communication officers in government entities to develop human capital, and contribute to advancements in government communication methods."
During the conference, names of the guests of honour were revealed, including Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE's Minister of Foreign Trade; Amr Moussa, former Secretary-General of the Arab League; Samir Rifai, Jordan's former Prime Minister; Andrew Young, former US Ambassador to the United Nations; Jim Messina, Campaign Manager, 2012 Barack Obama's Re-Election Campaign; Colleen Harris, former Communications Secretary to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry; Gordon Johndroe, former spokesman for the National Security Council (NSC); and Martin Luther King III, human rights advocate, community activist and political leader.
Osama Samra added: "Government communication is a subject on the global agenda, as political, economic, social and events take place all over the world. We, therefore, aim to bring together the contrasting experiences of a large collection of countries, with a focus on Arab countries. Additionally, we have selected speakers on the basis of their extensive experience in government communications, and more importantly, an ability to transfer their knowledge to GCF's audience."
GCF will also host a large number of government leaders and representatives, and prominent media personalities who have long standing experience in government communication. Speakers from the United Arab Emirates include Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Member of the Federal National Council, and CEO of Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority (twofour54); Ahmad Salem Bosamnoh, Board Member of Sharjah Media Corporation; Maryam bin Fahad, Executive Director of Dubai Press Club; Marwan Jassim Al Serkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority "Shurooq"; and Dr. Hessa Lootah, Associate Professor at the Department of Mass Communication - UAE University.
Moderators at GCF's sessions will include prominent Arab media persons such as Nima Abu Warda, Broadcast Journalist at BBC World; Najwa Qassem, media person at Al Arabiya TV; Randa Habib, Director of Agence France Presse (AFP) in the Middle East and North Africa region; Mona Shatheli, Presenter at MBC Egypt; Turki Al Dakhil, Host of the interview show Ida'at; Zeina Al Yazeji, media person at Dubai TV and presenter of the Arab Street show; George Kordahi, media person and TV presenter; and Hassan Yaqub, media person at Sharjah TV and presenter of the Al Khat Al Mubasher program.
The first day's sessions will revolve around the topic: "Have the rules of government communication changed?", and discuss the founding structure of successful communication units across the world, where government communication is centered around observing, listening, engaging, communicating and connecting.
The two workshops on the first day will discuss the rules of communication in addition to introducing the key elements that must be incorporated into government communication structures.
The session will also offer an overview on factors that governments should take into account when communicating with their audiences and the primary factors that contribute to the success of government communication in the world in general, and in the Arab region in particular. Those workshops aim to equip participants with practical, transferable skills that can be applied to achieve the desired results and support the overall vision of their organizations.
During the second day's sessions, GCF will highlight the best practices in government communication across the world. Sessions will discuss practical elements that contribute to building successful government communication units including organizational structure, trained personnel, workflow, development of agendas for governmental events as well as the organization's and implementation strategy. Accompanying workshops will train participants on the skills required for developing successful and effective government communication models that meet the overall vision of governments.
GCF 2013 is expected to witness the participation of more than 1,000 leading senior executives, political and media figures, prominent communication experts and government communication professionals from government departments upto to media students.
Sharjah Media Centre launched the inaugural Government Communication Forum in 2012. The event discussed many important issues, marking a qualitative shift in the nature of occurences occuring in the Arab world.
A first-of-its-kind event, the Forum comes in line with Sharjah Media Centre's efforts to develop government communication mechanisms for the benefit of government institutions in the UAE and the region.
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