Don’t miss out on human factor, government planners told

Governments must attempt to understand the diversity of society and create strategies that encourage the involvement of the public to avoid missing out the ‘human factor’ in strategic communication.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 8:58 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:59 AM

This was stressed on the last day of the 2nd Government Communication Forum on Monday during which panelists agreed that strategies ought to be defined by the people within the organisation, by those who have a deep understanding of the culture of the public, to ensure that all their needs are taken into consideration.

Panelists at the session included Dr Abdullah Jawdat Rizkallah, Founding Member and CEO of Al Risalah Satellite; Dr Hessa Lootah, Associate Professor at UAE University; Maryam bin Fahad, Executive Director of Dubai Press Club; and Zaven Kouyoumdjian, media person in Future TV of Lebanon. George Kordahi, media person and TV presenter, was the moderator.

Discussing on “Strategic Communication is more than a work plan”, the session stressed on the importance of matching each step of the strategy with the overall strategy of government communication, making it more than just an action plan ready to be implemented.

Dr Lootah said that the human factor is always the missing factor in an effective strategic communication. “Even in our daily lives there needs to be some basis for communication. Even more so within government departments; so, having a clear idea of the message and an understanding of the tools available to convey the message is crucial. Developing a solid strategy is important for achieving set goals, particularly for governments whose main targets revolve around the building of a nation.

She said that the process of building a communication plan and strategy will be useless if it does not realize its objective of creating an impact. “Careful attention must be paid to ensure that all government stakeholders are taken into consideration, strategies are elaborated on and the messages are in harmony with the overall vision of the nation.”

During the session, the speakers focused on the importance of defining and uniting government communication mechanisms aside from building new strategic agenda that paves operations and connects government communication units.

Dr Rizkallah said that it is crucial to understand the audience to whom the message is being targeted in order for the government to come up with an effective strategic communication that will unite all its departments.

A founding member and CEO of Al Risalah Satellite Channel responsible for leading the development and implementation of the channel’s strategic plans. Dr. Rizkallah played a key role in establishing the Doha-based Al Noor Holding Group, which invests in the film and television industry, leading to his appointment as the group’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Reflecting upon the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish a two-way flow of communication between the government and the people, Bin Fahad stressed on having a crystal clear vision and messages that reflect reality. “It is more important to endorse best practices and embed a culture within the organization than striving to be in the limelight.”

Panelist Zaven Kouyoumdjian highlighted the concept of segmentation. “I find the concept of segmentation very interesting. In advertising, for instance, they call it segment marketing where companies carry out extensive surveys to identify their stakeholders. On this basis, they target those segments that would find their product most useful. Similarly, a comprehensive communications plan should not be limited to certain groups. Dividing the audience into segments to understand individual needs will enable governments to achieve a broader reach.”

A presenter and producer of a TV show called ‘A’al Akeed’ (Definitely) Kouyoumdjian said that the government’s strategic communication should also reach out to the youth. “Between 60 and 70 per cent of the population in the region comprise the youth, and governments of other countries have earmarked millions of dollars to understand the youth. Thus, there is no point of marginalising them.”

He ended by saying that a strategic communication must look at the individuality of the audience and work on a clear mission and workable vision towards its target audience.

Attended by more than 1,500 senior executives, political and media figures, the two-day Government Communication Forum 2013, which ended Monday, was directed at developing government communication mechanisms and principles for the benefit of government institutions in Sharjah, the UAE and Arab countries as a whole.

More news from