Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another historic moment in South Eastern Europe

Earlier today our fellow government communicators in the nation states of South Eastern Europe established the first not-for-profit professional association in the region dedicated to advancing the government communications profession. The South Eastern Europe Public Sector Communication Association (SEECOM) will formalize the international partnership among senior public sector communicators that began at the South Eastern European Government Communication Forum held in Budva, Montenegro last year.

Adapting much from the National Association of Government Communicators’ organizational model, the newly formed association will seek to advance professional development; networking; citizen engagement; partnership; good governance; transparency; accountability; internal communications; professional standards, values and ethics; and the use of innovative technologies.

Vuk Vujnović, who became NAGC’s first European member last year, was unanimously elected as the Secretary General of this new association. Vuk is currently the Acting Director of the Public Relations Bureau for the Government of Montenegro. Krunoslav Vidić, Spokesman for the Ministry of Labour and Pension System for the Government of Croatia, was unanimously elected as SEECOM’s inaugural Chairman.

The formal establishment of association this afternoon wrapped up the second SEECOM conference in Budva. The beautiful weather and vista of the gorgeous Adriatic Sea just outside the windows of the conference room made for a stunning backdrop to a series of important panel discussions addressing the challenges and directions for government communicators in the region. Panelists representing 14 European countries, the European Union, and the United States discussed the concepts of what makes an ideal government communications office, government 2.0, creating two-way conversations with stakeholders and other topics.

Long-term NAGC friend and supporter Joan Detz was also here and captivated the attendees with a brilliant session on the art of being an engaged speaker. I was delighted to be asked to participate on the ‘ideal office’ panel and discussed the many expectations of our varied audiences – including our own agency leaders.  

But the real hit of the program was the adoption of the charter for the new association. By the way, NAGC is mentioned in the official charter as endorsers of the event along with the United States Embassy in Montenegro, the United Nations Development Programme, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Media Program, and the Regional Cooperation Council.

NAGC salutes our counterparts in South Eastern Europe and pledges to continue our support and partnership with them.

Congratulations, SEECOM!

Posted by John Verrico, NAGC President-Elect

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