Former British PM Tony Blair's press secretary Alastair Campbell to headline IGCF workshop - GulfToday

Former British PM Tony Blair's press secretary Alastair Campbell to headline IGCF workshop


The IGCF has been successful in enhancing government communication in the UAE and the Arab world.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

A trio of interactive workshops designed to spark engaging experiences and inspire learning and growth will be a chief highlight at the 10th edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), being organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) on September 26 – 27, 2021, at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Strategies for effective communication to navigate a way out of a disruptive and unexpected crisis will be delivered on September 26 by Alastair Campbell, the spokesman, press secretary and director of communications and strategy of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, during a session titled, Leading in Times of Crisis.

Participants will be able to witness first-hand Campbell’s mastery of communications, crisis management, strategy planning and political insights that has often placed him in the eye of the storm in times of a crisis.


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Campbell will keep the audience engaged as he shares his personal experiences and examines successful crisis management responses. He will also explore the role of the leadership in a time of crisis and discuss why crisis management must be coordinated from the centre.

Leveraging podcasts to improve public communication

Against the backdrop of a study that revealed a 15 per cent growth in podcast audiences during the pandemic last year, Bassem Kamel, Senior Executive Producer, Sky News Arabia, will share his mastery of new media with a focus on podcasts as an effective and convenient tool for all kinds of government and public service entities to build strong relationships with the community.

Alastair Campbell, Jawdat Shammas and Bassem Kamel.

At the workshop titled, 'Podcasting: Attend to your audience anywhere,' to be held on both days of the forum, Bassem Kamel will build on the example of the successful podcast programmes launched by the White House in the USA and discuss its emergence as a successful forum for initiating conversations on matters of public interest. The media and communication professional will also offer strategies for developing effective action plans; selecting and engaging with the right guests; building a media identity for the programme, and marketing it for maximum effect.

Increasing public awareness through social media

In a third workshop titled ‘Creating content for social media platforms’, to be held on both days of the forum, Jawdat Shammas, a digital marketing trainer and consultant at New Media Academy, will explore the impact of social media on public opinion especially during the pandemic, and discuss ways to craft an effective social media content strategy.

Shammas will lend his 20+ years of experience in the digital marketing world to address issues that government communication teams, media professionals and business owners and organisations face while crafting content for social networking sites. Topics discussed will include what is good content for social media; ways of utilising interactive content; and figuring out target audiences, amongst others.

A limited number of seats are available for these workshops, which will be held on both days of the forum. Those interested in attending should register on:

The two-day global summit will be held under the patronage of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and will host leading global thinkers, top government officials and communications experts from across the Arab region as well as around the world to head discussions and offer insights to boost the readiness of government communication teams for future challenges resulting from unpredictable global scenarios.

Since its inception in 2012, the IGCF has been successful in enhancing government communication in the UAE and the Arab world and developing communication channels between governments and communities.


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