Tuesday, October 23, 2018

International Government Communication Centre Opens Registrations for Sharjah Government Communication Award

The International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), a subsidiary of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), recently announced that registration for the sixth edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (GCA) is open via its website (www.igcc.ae) from October 15 to November 11, 2018. The IGCC will accept all entries submitted by government organisations from Sharjah, the UAE and the wider GCC region.

The categories allocated to government entities  participating from the GCC include: ‘Best Government Application’, ‘Best Youth Initiative in Government Communication’, ‘Best Media Initiative in Government Communication’, ‘Best Intercommunication Practice’, ‘Best Government Communication Strategy’, ‘Best Government Communication Campaign’, and ‘Best Government Social Media Engagement’.

The categories dedicated exclusively to government bodies in the UAE comprise ‘Best Government Website’, ‘Best Practices in Social Responsibility’, ‘Best Media Crisis Management’, and ‘Best Government Communication Campaign outside UAE’. The ‘Best Practices in Government Communication’ category is dedicated exclusively to organisations based in Sharjah, which can also compete across all other categories.

Jawaher Al Naqbi, Manager of IGCC, remarked that the sixth edition of the GCA sees many developments, including the creation of two new categories for spokespersons and social and developmental initiatives. Other novelties include enabling the public to vote for one of GCA's categories, developing the mechanism of uploading files to IGCC’s website and modifying the evaluation and assessment criteria of some categories in keeping with the new international developments and performance quality standards.

The GCA adds a new category to this year’s edition, namely; ‘Best Support System for Official Spokesperson’, which targets government institutions that have nominated a spokesperson as their representative to highlight collective efforts and team work. All government bodies, organisations, entities, and departments in the UAE can submit their entries and compete in this category to share their efforts in training, qualifying, empowering, and supporting their spokespersons. The efforts should enable nominees to efficiently and professionally represent their organisations and communicate positively with the public and media, while successfully providing accurate and timely information in times of crises or general events.

Participation in this category requires government entities to submit a dossier which includes all steps they have undertaken to train and empower their spokespersons. The dossier should contain examples of the nominated spokesperson’s achievements by illustrating their performance and involvement in media interviews and press conferences throughout the year. The GCA will also evaluate the mechanism adopted by the organisation in the selection process of its spokesperson, as well as the spokesperson’s qualifications, personality, credibility, transparency and confidence in dealing with the media.

Open for all government and semi-government entities in the UAE, the second new category introduced by the GCA is themed ‘Best Behaviour Change Campaign or Initiative’. It targets entities that have launched a campaign or an initiative to induce positive behavioural change which has had a positive impact and succeeded in changing the targeted practices within the self-determined timeframe.

Entrants to this category should attach a short video, not exceeding five minutes, to the submitted dossier. The video should showcase the person in charge of the campaign while conveying the message directly to community members, explaining the idea and goals of the campaign, as well as the mechanism of its implementation. The submitted video should include all information related to the campaign, including numbers and statistics that prove its success in influencing the conducts of the target individuals and groups.

The videos will be evaluated by the primary committee and the five best submission will be handed to the judging panel. Of these, three will be selected and uploaded on the award’s webpage for voting. The vote is open to all community members and the best campaign will be chosen based on its actual impact in inducing positive behaviour. For more information on the criteria and terms of the new categories or to register, please visit GCA’s website.

Jawaher Al Naqbi, Manager of IGCC, said: “GCA’s previous edition attracted 239 entries, including 56 from the UAE, 63 submissions from Sharjah, and 120 from the Gulf region. The plentiful participation led the GCA to introduce new categories to further its objectives and remarkable outcomes, which reflect the government communication experience led by Sharjah in the region.”

Al Naqbi added: “At the GCA, we are keen to introduce new categories and develop the existing ones, in line with the vision and mission of the Award, which aims to support and develop the government communication sector. It also seeks to encourage professionals to share their expertise and knowledge, and harness its experience to develop their tools and mechanisms in communicating with the public.”

Launched in 2012 under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the GCA aims to entrench best professional practices in government communication in the UAE, GCC and greater Arab world by highlighting and recognising outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations in the field. The previous editions of the award attracted 758 entries, with 337 from Sharjah, 255 from other emirates, and 164 from the GCC countries.