The International Government Communication Centre (IGCC), an initiative of Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), on Tuesday announced the addition of eight new categories in the 7th edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA).

The step aims to expand the scope of its national and regional focus and to position it as an international award.

IGCC announced that registration would be open for the 7th edition of the award from November 6 to December 5, in 16 categories distributed across four sections - Sharjah, UAE, Arab region, and Global.

The award aims to highlight and recognise the outstanding global success stories in government communication. The jury members will select a shortlist of the registered candidates, who will then be required to submit their supporting files, starting from December 8.

The award is organised by IGCC on the side-lines of the 9th International Government Communication Forum, which will be held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

New categories

The 7th edition of the Award will include the following new categories: ‘The Voice of the People’ – UAE, which will be presented to an entity that has made the biggest impact on its audience; and ‘Best Media Programme that Made a Difference’, awarded to an entity in the Arab world that made a positive social impact through social media or traditional media.

Under the Global section, the ‘Best Press Photo on Government Communication’ is a new category that will be presented to a media professional or institution whose photograph or cartoon created a public impact or changed their behaviour towards a certain issue; while the ‘Best Use of New Technology’ Award is for government organisations or bodies that have launched a smart application/video, or used new technology that helps support government communication and facilitates interacting with the target audience.

The ‘Best Use of Data’ will be awarded to an entity that has demonstrated the best use of data and data visualisation to convey information; the ‘Best Idea to Increase Engagements (Influence) of Future Generations’ Award will go to an entity or campaign team that demonstrated increase in engagement by audiences of ‘Gen Z’ and younger generations; the ‘Best Use of Partnerships’ Award to an entity that demonstrated the success of a campaign based on an innovative partnership between two parties or more; while the ‘Best initiative to Manage Fake News’ is awarded to entities that has successfully developed tools to analyse data and check fake news.

Categories updated

These include the ‘Best Government Social Media Engagement’ in the Arab region, which previously covered the GCC region only; the ‘Best Government Communication Campaign’ which had been open only to campaigns in the UAE and goes international this year; and ‘Best Influential Personality through Social Media’, which was previously open to the GCC region but is now limited to the UAE; and Best Support System for Government Communication Staff-UAE, which was limited to official spokesperson.

Jawaher Al Naqbi, manager of IGCC, said: “The award aligns with the vision and directives of [Dr Shaikh Sultan] in enhancing the relationship between society and government entities, promoting efficient communication and engaging all members and entities in the development process.”