…World renowned marketing guru, Dr. Fahim Kibria, discusses how to treat digital media with caution and how governments must utilise their online presence
While governments have the responsibility of keeping themselves and their citizens connected inwards and outwards, the public must also be mindful of their internet use and question their objectives. Dr. Fahim Kibria, CEO of Kotler Impact, led conversations of how governments can establish a “people-focused” communication model, allowing both sides to develop a communication framework that is both constructive and responsible.
Speaking on the second day of the 7th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), at Expo Centre Sharjah, in an interactive session titled “Government Communication Skills,” Kibria kicked off his discussion by questioning the motives of mobile phone users. He said: “Why do we all use cellphones? We spend most of our time checking the news aimlessly without taking anything new. What goes in our mind comes out immediately amidst the endless flow of information.”
He noted that while millennials are taking over social media use, digitalisation has taken the whole world in a cloud and has interfered in the way people rely on using their brains. Today, over 3 billion people are active users of social media, with information available at a click. For Kibria, general users must invest their time efficiently, achieving something better away from their cellphones.
For governments, however, establishing a connection with the audience makes their online presence necessary. He emphasised on introducing a reward system in governments that succeed in talking to people.
E-governments must be user-focused, keeping an eye on providing priority services, understanding user benefit and, more importantly, establishing trust. “There’s no such thing as 99.9 per cent trust, it is either 0 per cent or 100 per cent. Governments must spend their time establishing this trust,” Kibria said.
He added that e-governments, which are now shifting to mobile governments, are important to improve efficiency, achieve goals, empower citizens, increase transparency and help the economy.
For citizens, online governments will have a number of benefits that include easier education, more efficient healthcare systems, financial management and convenience and access.
Kibria concluded, “Digitalisation has more negatives than positives, especially when over-used by people, but governments must utilise it to communicate better with citizens and offer services.”
The 7th edition of the International Government Communication Forum, organised by the International Government Communication Centre of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, takes place on March 28-29 at Expo Centre Sharjah and features some of the world’s most significant political, industrial and technical figures in recent years.