• Tariq Allay: “The Sharjah forum will signal the start of a new chapter of government communication in the region”.

Sharjah: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the 11th annual edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) will take place on September 28-29 in Expo Centre Sharjah.

Vibrant discussions centred around this year’s theme 'Challenges and solutions', will be led by senior public officials, thought leaders and government communication experts. Guests and speakers at the two-day forum, organised by the International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), an initiative of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), will analyse the socioeconomic and community trends that will determine the next stage of government communications regionally and around the world. 

The region’s leading forum in the field will also turn the spotlight on the latest tools and methodologies governments can leverage to communicate with the public during unforeseen or unusual circumstances.

The debates and discussions at IGCF 2022 will highlight the role of government communication teams in conveying challenges wielding the right tools, approach and methodologies to motivate the public in becoming partners in the creation of solutions and appropriate practices.

Government communication: A two-way street

The forum’s two-day agenda will highlight the importance of designing government communication that fully takes into account national realities including economic, social and cultural challenges, as well as people’s needs and aspirations. The forum will also validate with effective examples how the future of government communication should be determined by past experiences and public response to campaigns and initiatives.

Government communication: Transforming crisis into opportunity

IGCF 2022 will discuss the best practices as governments navigate economic crises before, during or after their occurrence. Two communication methodologies; one based on the yielding to the repercussions of crisis, and the other focused on transforming crisis into opportunity, will be examined at the forum. A key feature of the forum this year is an interesting analysis by experts and thought leaders on the impact of words and language, both written and spoken, on the people when the government communicates with them on critical matters and key issues. 

Government communication: Modern tools for modern-day leadership

IGCF's sessions and keynote speeches will address the ongoing transformations in the concept and culture of leadership, and how technological advancements are driving these changes by increasing public awareness of issues as well as their openness to various sources of information. This requires modern-day leaders who are oriented to these changes and can leverage them to influence awareness, orientation and the culture of people.

IGCF 2022 will also delve into discussions on effective communication tools and how arts, entertainment and culture can all be utilised as communication tools to build positive images of governments and official institutions globally.

The international event will host a series of workshops and activities focusing on the role of societal institutions in supporting government communications and highlight the latest in communication sciences.

Comprehensive ecosystem

HE Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of SGMB, stressed that rapid developments worldwide have reiterated the importance of government communication in building people’s trust in government institutions, and a comprehensive ecosystem comprising government communication tools and methodologies are a must to be able to respond effectively to any situations or crisis.

He said: “The upcoming edition of the forum will signal the start of a new chapter of government communication in the region, as it will sufficiently respond to major transformations in technology, economy and social sciences. Communication is not a set concept, but rather a constantly evolving science that adopts its strategies and defines its goals according to current events, while taking into account the aspirations and interests of societies”.

“The UAE has proved its leadership in crisis management, which makes IGCF the ideal platform to build on this success from Sharjah by facilitating knowledge and expertise exchange on global best practices in the field and look into future challenges and solutions”, he added.

He pointed out that government communications is a shared responsibility of both the public and the government and is not only limited to delivering official messages to the people or receiving requests from them, but rather a two-way process where governments can identify weaknesses to strengthen them, while continuing to add to their strengths.