By Wala’ Muiz
KUALA LUMPUR, 18 February 2022: There are both similarities and differences between the Global Capability Framework (GCF) and the GCF Malaysia where the principles of practice and scope of work are the same while the context differs from cultural perspective.
Professor Anne Gregory from University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom, who was the former Chair of Global Alliance, told the programme on the launching of GCF Malaysia today which was held in a hybrid mode in conjunction with CHALK 27 session hosted by the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM).
CHALK is the acronym for Chatting, Listening and Knowledge sharing, a popular networking session of IPRM that brings together practitioners in the corporate and government sectors as well as the academics for knowledge sharing.
Prof. Gregory made an appearance online to give a brief talk on the background of GCF in general. The physical programme of the event was held at Perdana City Centre here.
The existing global framework (GCF) developed by the Global Alliance team headed by Prof. Gregory was followed by the research initiative undertaken by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zulhamri Abdullah of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) to realise the possibility of GCF being applied and practiced in Malaysia as well. The research was carried out by Zulhamri and his team two years ago.
In her delivery, Prof. Gregory asserted: “In order for the GCF to become absolutely representative, it needs the richness of practice from all countries for it to be applied at all places.”
She further added, “[…] the world is confronted with a demand for transparency and accountability, especially in the past few years where technology is pioneering as one of the most powerful tools to bring forward those demands.
“Social media is ubiquitous. We’ve got new channels like virtuality that add tremendous power with the rise of intelligent user interfaces. New realities can be created by technology that was beyond our dreams a few years ago,” she said.
Meanwhile, the President of IPRM, Datuk Seri Ibrahim Abdul Rahman in his opening remarks said, “What the public relations profession requires is a body of knowledge that serves as a law to ensure that the practitioners have all the knowledge and skills to perform the job of public relations.”
“This further goes to show that the competence of practitioners that used to be the focus in Malaysia needs to be preceded by looking into their capabilities beforehand,” he added.
In his presentation, Zulhamri highlighted that the redirection of focus from competence to capabilities will nurture and inhabit new positive changes in the working environment, especially for those working in the organisation’s department of public relations.
Prof. Gregory told the event, “Communicators, professional ones are being elevated to boards regularly and this perception of importance towards us makes it necessary to rise to the challenge. If we are very important, we need to do the job quickly.”
“The GCF serves as an ambition to reach a new level in everyone’s profession by ensuring that each country builds a picture of the profession by looking at knowledge so that practitioners know which skills they need to have.
“This way, the right sense of importance is put on the right people who have the required competence to carry out the demands they are proposed to.
“The provision of capability software helps tremendously in making the goal of reaching a new level of profession possible, which measures an individual or a team’s capabilities in a certain working environment using a scaling technique.
It can be used from time to time as a development plan to see a bigger impact in at least the next six months so that the GCF being adhered to, can nurture global competence in the future.”
Prof. Gregory further added, “[…] the statements in the GCF made customised to the context of each country can be made as broad and timeless statements that can be updated all the time to avoid the framework functioning as a straight jacket.
“It is fundamental for any profession to be relatively stable,” she stated.
Prof. Gregory highlighted that there are many specific techniques that underpin communication, organisational and professional capabilities such as aligning their strategies with organisational purposes and values, identifying and addressing communication problems proactively, building and enhancing organisational reputation, and offering valued counsel and organisational leadership in light of professional and societal expectations.
“We have a formal responsibility for communication because we have the professional capability.”
In his presentation, Zulhamri emphasised that the cultural capability can be added as a new dimension of the framework since it highly impacts the way public relations practitioners work in Malaysia, which includes religious context and many more minute ones that interrelate with each other.
He also suggested that there should be an audit of the profile of the professionals’ capability using the GCF assessment software to gauge their real practice.
Zulhamri highlighted that from his research, the biggest factors in influencing competency of Malaysian practitioners are the level of communication between stakeholders and maximisation of the use of resources in order for the rest to follow.
As in IPRM’s slogan ‘Keep calm and mirror yourself’, it is very much relevant to the programme’s agenda to improve practitioners’ capability to the level that is parallel with global competence, Datuk Seri Ibrahim earlier said.
Prof. Gregory pointed out that discussions need to happen now because inaction will lead to more tribulations in giving the best treatment to practitioners and their ability to deliver their competency.
Responding to a question from a communication student from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Prof. Gregory said that students at the university level can also participate by adhering to the GCF and its assessment tool to underpin educational institutions and their curricula.
She said: “The goal is not to achieve a 10/10 score but to use the GCF as an extra benchmark and reason as well as motivation to perform at work better.
Zulhamri further added: “For Malaysia to reach new heights, using the United Kingdom and the United States and how they apply GCF as a strategy technique without disregarding the cultural context, is necessary.”
The programme ended with the launch of the book, “A Global Capability Framework: A Malaysian Perspective” written by Dr. Zulhamri, who presented the original hardcopy on his screen during the programme.
More details on the book can be attained on IPRM’s website iprm.gov.my.***
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