How Government Clients Are Different And Why Your Approach To Social Media Should Be Too
In 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced a project aimed at transforming Dubai into a smart city.
Since then, the sector has become more fast-paced, and as an agency that works with a lot of government entities, we’ve had to adapt. One way we’ve successfully achieved this was to realign our social media department — creating three specialist teams: government, semi-government and private.
When you work with accounts such as the Community Development Authority, Dubai Sports Council, Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government, Dubai Municipality and more, having a dedicated team that has experts in the sector, definitely helps.
Government accounts are both demanding and rewarding; with events around the clock, continuously coming up with ideas and creating content, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. However, it highlights the importance of planning, organisation and understanding how to pre-empt challenges that may occur.
And the rewards are the incredible experiences, unique insights and wealth of knowledge you gain from dealing with such delicate and sensitive accounts on a daily basis.
Do’s and Don’ts
When you’re handling a government client, accuracy is of the utmost importance. You should not double, not triple, but quadruple check everything before submission. Look at it this way: one mistake for a private sector account is worth 10X for a government entity.
The maxim you must live by is: research, review, react. These are delicate accounts, with the entire country — and potentially the region and the world looking at them. It’s worth spending a little extra time just to absolutely make sure every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed.
You should always be prepared and never underestimate a situation. During an event for Dubai Sports Council, it was a very humid day and the video team were concerned about their cameras fogging up and not working. But we were well prepared and had different equipment with this. This ensured we could produce great content for a client and they would never have suspected the challenges we had to overcome.
And finally — and perhaps most importantly — dress up. Yes, we work in an agency where a more relaxed dress code is permitted, however, events hosted by government entities are often important affairs with VIP guests and require you to drop the denim and sneakers, and put on your best formal wear. It’s time to dress for success!
Asma Hinawi is Deputy Head of Social Media – Government Sector at Alsayegh Media, and has more than six years’ experience in Dubai’s digital and social sphere. Renowned for her excellent command of the Arabic language and everything social, Asma holds a BA in Mass Communications with a focus on Film Production and Contemporary Journalism. When she’s not wowing our government clients, Asma is an award-winning filmmaker, and so views all content through a creative lens.