Challenge: The UAE emirate of Sharjah enjoyed the informal status of “cultural capital” of the Arab world for its numerous initiatives in fine art, literature and culture, yet misperceptions continued to persist about its poor quality of governance.
Approach: APCO helped Sharjah strengthen its own communication capabilities, including restructuring and introducing new systems and operating procedures. We then moved to establish Sharjah as a best practice in government communication in the region, via the launch of an international knowledge-sharing platform – the Government Communications Forum (GCF). Target audiences were educated about the government’s progress in terms of improving service delivery and governance while simultaneously improving the quality of life for citizens and residents.
Results: APCO’s work has helped transform the effectiveness of the Sharjah Government’s communications, both within the emirate and among global audiences. The GCF brought together many prominent leaders and influential media, and established the Government Communication Unit as a credible source of news about Sharjah that provides strategic updates on key sectors.
Results At A Glance:
- Improved Sharjah’s reputation among key stakeholders
- Changed the tone of coverage among several global media outlets from negative and neutral to positive
- Attracted 50 prominent leaders and more than 400 members of the media to the GCF
- Earned 660 media placements across global and regional television, print and online outlets
- Sponsored by CNN
- Attracted Sky News and Sama Dubai TV to set up dedicated studios at the event