UAE: Media communication strategies to be analyzed


SHARJAH: A Communication Forum, the first of its kind in Sharjah, will seek to benchmark the emirate’s government communication standards against global best practices and examine ways for infusing fresh methodologies into the communication mechanism among government departments in Sharjah.

The forum will be held from Feb. 26 to 27 at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Top dignitaries such as Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, former prime minister of Malaysia, will attend the event.

“The forum will discuss a series of topics that focus on best practices for upgrading intra-departmental as well as external communication among government entities in Sharjah,” said Osama Samra, director, Sharjah Media Center.

Nabil Al-Khatib, executive news director at Al Arabiya and Brad Staples, president of APCO International, will talk on ‘management of risks and crisis in government media communications’ on the first session.

Nabil Al-Sharif, member of the Jordanian Senate, and Rafic Chlala, former press adviser to presidential office, government of Lebanon, will lead the second session on “Spokespersons in government institutions — fundamentals and skills”.

Ahmad Al-Dbeiban, plenipotentiary minister of the Secretariat General for the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and Firas Al-Khatib, Media, PR and information officer, UNESCO, Beirut Office, will lead the third session on the opening day of the forum.

Samir Al-Baha’i, policy and government affairs manager of MENA at Google, will talk about the future of “digital media in the government sector” during the fourth session.

The session comes at a time when industry experts are expecting digital content to be responsible for 17 percent of the total media spending (around $1.4 billion) in the UAE.

The second day’s program will kick-off with a segment on “Case study of the governmental awareness campaigns in the US and UK”. Sue Wolstenholme, elected president of 2013 for CIPR, UK, and Gerard Francis, CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, will lead this session.

IlkerAyci, President of Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT), and Abdul Qadir Al-Sheikh, minister of information, Malaysia, will take the podium in the second session. Both speakers will share Turkey and Malaysia’s experience in developing the government media sector.

Turki Al-Dakhil, founder and owner of Dubai-based Al-Mesbar research and study center, along with Zaven Kouyoumdjian, Lebanese TV celebrity, will highlight the ‘Role of broadcast media in supporting government Institutions.