By Firas Sleem*
The last few weeks have seen a few of the world’s countries witness pressure and criticism, but each has responded differently. From China to Egypt, South Korea, the United States of America, European countries and the UAE, each country has instituted a remarkable PR strategy to contain the pandemic. From devising actionable containment plans to rolling out transparent information campaigns, the global communities have demonstrated robust and consistent transparency, speed and tactics in these testing times.
The UAE’s success against the virus can be attributed to the transparent and innovative ways the government has been communicating with its citizens and residents. Some of the key attributes include –
- Providing citizens/residents with accurate information on preventive measures and solutions for the outbreak through the continuous flow of information.
- Enforcing powerful measures to ballast anecdotes, beliefs, myths, and misinformation, diminishing the odds that people will be led off track into unconstructive practices.
- Maintaining openness and transparency in all its communication.
- Circulating important updates and information with speed and best technology.
- Testing on a rigorous basis. The country ranks first globally for the number of tests conducted so far.
- Implementing exemplary practices, with extensive support from the leadership that encourages social distancing and avoiding physical contacts.
The UAE’s response and active communication in times of this crisis are commendable. Without wasting time, the government presented factually correct information through internal and external communication. The essence here is that any strategy has to reflect transparency, honesty, speed, and accuracy; the four building blocks of effective PR.
It is not only overwhelming to see how the UAE has invested their time to roll out systematic action plans and minimize the risk, but also develop and strengthen its system and act in unison to build the global preparedness and resistance.
During an outbreak like this, UAE has displayed global commitment at the highest level, which has resulted in an urgent escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, which is the backbone of efficacy at this point.
Very early, the country had strict inspection measures for arriving flights and has also suspended flights to curb the virus. It has also ramped up its efforts for strengthening border controls and furthering interdepartmental collaboration. That’s not all. The government has also enforced measures to close down public places and instructed people to take up self-quarantine.
Speaking about quarantine, it is to be noted that during the Great Plague of London hit in the past, citizens followed the same quarantine practice we are following today, including Issac Newton. Without his professors to guide him, Newton thrived a lot better. The year-plus he spent away was later referred to as the “year of wonders.”
So, if you’re working or studying from home over the next few weeks, perhaps remember the example Newton set. This could perhaps also be a chance for you to change your life, for the better!
*CEO, Virtue PR, and Marketing Communications