Sharjah to present communication awards
Sharjah, May 20, 2014
Sharjah Government has announced the launch of the second edition of communication awards with several key modifications to its categories and significant additions to its judging panel.
Announcing this at a press event, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, the chairman of Sharjah Media Centre (SMC) said some of the award's categories had been modified, while others had been added for more focus on the award's main objective of raising performance standards in the government communication field.
“This year's award is more specialised in government communication. It has new categories and more accurate standards that are set to facilitate the judging mechanism and ensure maximum objectivity in the selection of winners in each category," he stated.
"However, it has also retained its old awards, both selected and nominated, bringing to a total of 12 the number of its categories, which cover various aspects of government communication and align with the world’s best practices in this field," said Sheikh Sultan in the presence of Osama Samra, the SMC director.
The judging panel now consists of Ibrahim Al-Abed, the director general of the National Media Council, the Emirates News Agency WAM and head of the judging panel; Dr Abdul Rahman Azzi, the dean of the communications college - University of Sharjah, and the deputy head of the judging panel; ??Ali Jaber, the dean of the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Communication at the American University in Dubai and Group TV director of MBC Group Television.
Dr Sulaiman Al-Hattlan, the founder and CEO of Hattlan Media; Dr Nadine Al Asaad, journalist and poet; Mohammed Khalaf, the director of Sharjah TV and Radio; Mamoon Sbeih, APCO Worldwide's managing director for the Arab region; Dr Rajeh Al Khouri, writer and political analyst at Al-Nahar and Asharq Al-Awsat Newspapers; and Rawan Al Damen, the senior producer and director at the Programmes Department – Al Jazeera news channel.
After listing SMC’s most prominent initiatives to improve government communication practices, including the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) and the Government Communication Unit (GCU), Sheikh Sultan said: "These are some of the fruits of the vision adopted by the Government of Sharjah and SMC in developing government communication practices in Sharjah and turning related initiatives into platforms for learning, sharing and developing.”
The last date for submission of entries is October 31. Winners will be selected and honoured during the fourth edition of the IGCF, which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.
Asserting the importance of the modifications, Samra said that some of the GCA's categories had been replaced by others more specialised in government communication.
"The GCA's selected categories, which are allocated for the GCC area and originally included the Media Personality Award and Leadership in Media Award, have witnessed the addition of the Excellence in Government Communication Award. This award is given to the government communication department of a government institution in the GCC region in appreciation for its excellence in government communication, both internally and externally," he noted.
The nominated categories dedicated to the UAE have also witnessed the introduction of new awards next to the known categories applicable only for Sharjah’s government authorities such as Best Practices in Government Communication - Sharjah, Best Official Spokesperson - Sharjah, and Best Government Website - Sharjah.
New categories include the Best Crisis Management Award - UAE, which is given to a UAE government institution or department that dealt with an internal or external crisis successfully and communicated its details to the public; and the Best Strategic Government Communication Plan – UAE Award, which is given to a UAE government institution or department that has a long-term strategic communication plan aimed at the effective and comprehensive utilisation of social media channels, both traditional and modern, in the delivery of its messages to the target audience, including the media.
The nominated categories also include Best Government Social Media Practice - UAE, which is allocated for interactive social networks of UAE government institutions or departments; Best Graduation Project on Government Communication - UAE, which is open to media and communication students in the UAE; Best Government Intercommunication Practice - UAE, which is dedicated to the government communication department of a UAE government institution that has a clear and effective interccommunication plan involving all employees; and Best Government Communication Campaign, which is open to UAE government institutions that are active and constantly interact with their audiences through awareness campaigns.-TradeArabia News Service