Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan al-Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) has announced that submissions are now open for the tenth edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) from May 24 to August 15. The first-of-its-kind award aims to draw in communication trailblazers and visionaries from diverse fields, both within the local domain and on a regional and international scale. The SGCA is accepting submissions across 31 newly curated categories, with 14 categories specifically being tailored for the Arab world, and 17 international categories for participants from around the world.
A New Era of Communication
HE Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of SGMB, said: "Throughout history, communication has always been a pivotal tool for growth and progress. As a constantly evolving process, communication has witnessed a fundamental transformation over the last decade, becoming faster and more widespread, shaping the present and future of nations. In this era of evolving communication and rapid technological advancements, we are at the forefront of a groundbreaking phenomenon known as effective communication, where digital platforms, captivating content, cutting-edge tools, and essential skills are coalescing into an interconnected ecosystem that propels forward dynamic and inclusive communication.”
The Director General went on to say: “This transformative paradigm is firmly rooted in the principles of relentless innovation and fostering a harmonious and equitable exchange of ideas among all stakeholders involved. Through the SGC award, Sharjah is driving development in communication, showcasing exemplary practices while promoting transparency, credibility, and improved efficiency within this domain.”
He added: "Due to these rapid changes, the development of government communication and its practices has become an urgent necessity, which we prioritise in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. This vision is reflected in setting high standards for communication that takes into account the evolving landscape at every stage and stimulates competition for a communication that supports the higher interests of human societies."
With remarkable growth and resounding achievements spanning over a decade, the SGCA recognises and rewards exemplary communication practices with tangible impact across government, semi-government, and private sectors as well as individual excellence. The success has set the stage for a dynamic and competitive landscape within the realm of government communication, fostering creativity, excellence and innovation through various categories covering all aspects of modern communication, ranging from creative campaigns, youth and sports programmes, Arab identity and values, to distinguished personalities, artistic works, reputation and crisis management, and scholarly research.
Guiding the process of evaluation with their expertise are the members of the Higher Jury Committee, a select assembly of luminaries from media and various academic disciplines. The higher committee effectively oversees the meticulous evaluation process, which includes five sub-committees, including Programme, Public Practice, Official Spokesperson, Personal Practice, and Campaign Jury Committees.
Arab award categories
The 14 Arab award categories target government, semi-government and private entities, individuals, communication programmes, and initiatives in general. The list comprises Best Integrated Communication Campaign; Best Spokesperson; Best Communication for Reputation Building and Management; Best Government Communication Team; Best Social Responsibility Campaign; Best Communication Strategy Utilising Sports; Best Campaign Celebrating Arab Culture which includes the sub-categories; Best Campaign Supporting the Arabic Language; Best Campaign to Reinforce Arab Values and Identity and Universities Challenge.
As for the categories for Best Communication Targeting Youth, it includes Best Campaign for Positive Impact on Youth Awareness and Practices; Best Communication Programme to Support Youth Entrepreneurship and Projects; Best Youth Initiative in Government Communication.
17 Global categories
This year, the award features 17 global categories, including Best Communication Strategy for Crisis Management; Best Food Security Programme Communication Plan; Best Communication Practices or Campaign Addressing Developmental Challenges; Best Innovation in Communication, which includes two sub-awards: Best Innovation in Government Communication, and Best Initiative within the Annual Youth Challenge. They also include Best Communication Initiative or Media Content to Promote Environmental Awareness; and Best Use of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in Communication to Serve Community.
For academic and educational governmental institutions and researchers, SGCA has allocated categories to honour the Best Applied Scientific Research in Government Communication, which has two sub-award categories: Best Individual or Group Research Award, Best Research Award from Government, Semi-Government, or Private Entity; Best Writer or Author in Government Communication Sciences; Best Communication Practice in Volunteer Campaign; Best Communication through Media Content; Best Visual Content for Traditional and New Media; Best Drama Work; and Best Positive Social Impact Driver.
How to apply
To apply for the SGC Award, interested parties are required to complete an online submission on the website www.igcc.ae. The application should include an introductory video no longer than 5 minutes that presents the initiative as well as a Word document containing the entity's name, logo, brief description of the initiative, submission date, table of contents, and a foreword. The Word document should also include information about strategies, goals, and results related to the specific award category, all within a maximum of 200 words.
The Sharjah award was launched by SGMB in September 2012 as the first-of-its-kind award in the region with the aim of recognising outstanding government communication and media practices. The award recognises those who have made a significant impact in the field, focusing on societal value and fostering international cooperation. The SGCA celebrates new ideas embracing collaboration across societies to achieve future goals.