I have tried to compile the learning’s from across the globe in this document (public engagement in public services), I hope you will find it useful.
I personally believe in identifying the challenges first because that stimulates the thinking as to how these challenges can be addressed. Below is an extract from the document, it highlights the key challenges
A broad target segments: Unlike private sector Government reaches out to everyone equally. Now this involves lower & higher SECs, hard to reach audiences, opinion leaders and followers, literates and illiterates, segments with vested interests etc. This together broadens the scope of community engagement for public services and makes it complicated to ensure unbiased results
Accountability, information access and federal government:- Unlike private sectors in public sector – community and citizens have all the rights reserved to access the information they shared at all levels. But it is very difficult from Governments’ perspective to share information at all levels, especially in the absence of web 2.0 technologies. Governments are also centralized and decisions take a lot of time before implementation. This results in distrust of communities on the Governments and consequently people feel that their input is not being valued.
Generic community management issues:- Addressing the destructive impact of ‘bad participation’, where negative attitudes to community involvement lead to poor engagement practices, causing increased hostility, decreased trust and poor experience and outcomes not only for communities, but also for officials and politicians, thus further reinforcing negative attitudes and behavior. Recognizing the catch-22 faced by residents who take on responsibilities as community leaders, but find their legitimacy challenged precisely because they ‘stand out’ – becoming labeled as ‘unrepresentative usual suspects’.
Inconsistent vocabulary: - The term ‘community participation’ is understood and applied differently by different statutory bodies, and by different officers within those statutory bodies. These variations can make it hard for different bodies to work in partnership with each other and with communities.
Lack of available statistics on how community engagement helped Governments gain popularity, enhanced their positive image and got re-elected also acts as a barrier from government officials view point
Managing expectations: – increased community engagement results into high level of expectations. So it at times become a catch 22 whereby increasing satisfaction through involvement Governments can lead to dissatisfaction by inconsistent policy or by not incorporating the community inputs
In a tax-free environment, the first question which Government as a service provider asks is the depth of community engagement. Why and to what level people should be engaged? On top of tax-free environment, high turnover rate of expats (which constitutes the major part of the population) complicates service delivery, satisfaction levels and result oriented community engagement
A unique mix of expats from different parts of the world results into different level of satisfaction and expectations across different segments. It becomes increasingly difficult to understand the cultural, lingual differences in involvement and product delivery.
Future is uncertain, unseen and for industry like advertising and marketing fairly challenging. Advertising is going through interesting times, social media hype has been blown out of proportion, and some have started to celebrate the death of TV and 30 second commercials. As per my understanding of communication industry, following is my perspective about advertising’s future
New age advertising will be very much like old-age advertising – The soul of advertising and communication has always, been and will always be in IDEA. The means of communication will keep on changing. It is the power of a relevant idea that drives marketing and communication. and more empowered generation of consumers will demand more relevance (in terms of everything from product to communication).
To increase revenue (product usage) there are only two ways either we should increase the uses or the users. Advertising industry will expand also like this either we will tap into the untapped i.e. new markets and/or new media.
Following is my understanding about the future of communication industry, hope you will find it useful
In the next decade, agencies and holding companies will spend less time fitting into the traditional mold of an ad agency and more time focusing on consumer data and new media. Martin Sorrell – WPP’s chief
Our strategy is summed up in one sentence: new markets, new media, and consumer insight,” Sorrell said in recent interviews
Previously, brand managers used to base their decisions on Gut, Experience and limited insights. Tomorrow, it will be based on numbers, pilot tests and insights generated through new media. This in itself opens up the new job description for the brand managers and also a very different operational model for agencies.
I am personally excited about the interesting times that are coming our way, my suggestion polish up your data visualization and computation skill, understand how to crunch the numbers and comprehend insights that generate quick (and measurable) results. Gear up for a vocal target segment (prepare to manage negative feedback) and learn to enjoy the change (as change will be far more frequent than it ever was).
Do you want to add to it? Please feel free to voice your comments, I intend to compile all the comments from Industry experts across the globe. To get a better picture of the changing industry landscape.
Implication for UAE
UAE’s major ad-expenditure is on real estate and print media. This trend in a nutshell asks for more and more interaction, in-person consultation and solid information dissemination. Print, online and any other interactive media fits into that need-gap. Now if real-estate Ad-spend has to grow (which is very much doubted on the account of recession) Business Consumers’ insight will definitely take the lead in the region. Advertising will be very personalised, informative and highly interactive on that front.
Thinking about FMCGs: Brand Managers have been taking it very easy, as with the consumption savvy audience everything was selling with or without the brand recall. (Personally speaking I am still unable to remember the brand name of my grocery items, but that’s just a personal observation). Now with more and more tech savvy mothers; the need for conversation has increased. It implies they need more and more of advice from brand (not just a sales pitch). My advice, associate with them on broader consumer insight i.e. love, affection, etc not just on sales level. Few examples could be Ivillage, W-network, Omid-e-Mehr. And before you associate with them learn about them.
Consumer insight wings: bye –bye the age of mindless numbers, welcome the age of numbers turning into practical solutions. And those who will be able to do better than others will climb corporate ladders faster. Note: my advice, after spending in years in MR I would like to mention that consumer insight doesn’t necessarily come from data sets and questionnaires. It comes from observation as well, these insights are embedded in every human interaction. This is a new career direction which will emerge in the region – Consumer Insight & Innovation (people who can understand the end-user and quickly suggest innovative solutions)
Enjoy the age of conversation and involvement. – Ayesha
One question that I was asking myself for quite some time is what is I want to launch an internet concern, a social media company or something on the digital revolution lines in UAE. What will help me succeed? I am trying to answer that question in this blog entry, hope you will find it useful.
Question 1 – Why consider launching a digital company in UAE
I am as of now conducting an experiment i.e. analyzing the popular brands of UAE in the light of Social media. And when I started working on that I stumbled upon some interesting facts about UAE internet landscape.
Following are the facts that you should know about UAE digital landscape
UAE is the top ranking Arab state in terms of e-readiness