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Alex Aiken is the Executive Director for Government Communications. (Photo: WAM)

UAE, Britain to advance cooperation in public service communications … reports Asian Lite News.

Alex Aiken (Photo: WAM).

The UK Government’s Executive Director of Government Communications has said that he had held talks with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development on “how to get more young people with digital and technical skills into public service communications.”

Speaking to Emirates News Agency (WAM), on the sidelines of the now-running International Government Communications Forum in Sharjah, on Wednesday, Alex Aiken said, “I’m here to talk to our friends in the UAE on how we develop and practice public service communications. This is the leading regional event for those things and I discussed this subject (today) with Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, on how we can get more young people with digital and technical skills into public service communications.

“It’s fair to say discussions will continue and we both agreed that we should have recruitment programmes that should get young people into public service communications and that’s important for both of us.”

Aiken hailed the forum as “a real success and fascinating event where we see lots of colleagues from different parts of the world, including Oman, Bahrain, Britain and even Australia,” saying his job is crucial in an age rife with myriad information-related risks.

He explained that the role of the Executive Director of Government Communications is to ensure government communications standards are properly delivered at the best professional standards.

“I am responsible for government communication strategy, managing the combined Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office communications team. I am mainly responsible for the effectiveness and efficiency of government communications,” he said.

“All efforts are being made to stand up to such stories and attempts that are meant to undermine society,” he added.

In the meantime, Aiken is adamant that a prudent policy has to be adopted toward the spiralling risks associated with social media.

He said governments have to embrace the phenomenal evolution of digital media, and “they have to recognise the nature and challenges of social media. They have to listen to what is being said. There is so much rich information coming from social media through different segments of society, including young people, and listening to them plays a crucial role in achieving success.”

With the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR) and others, the media sector is set to evolve tremendously, Aiken explained.

On the other hand, he said, social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter, etc. have to “prove to be good, proper citizens and transparent with their users.”

“The world has been concerned by Facebook’s data breaches recently and all measures have to be taken to protect people’s personal data,” the official concluded.

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