JEDDAH: Media coverage of this year’s Hajj season reached 100 countries and almost 32 million viewers around the world, Saudi Minister of Media Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad said.
Speaking at a ceremony to honor the ministry’s guests in Jeddah, Al-Awwad congratulated the Saudi leadership on the success of this year’s Hajj.
“The global spread of media coverage reflect the great efforts the Kingdom exerted to serve pilgrims,” he said.
A strategic media plan to cover Hajj season had helped to thwart the “politicization agenda and its plots,” the minister said.
Al-Awwad told the ministers of information from Sudan and Senegal that the Saudi ministry has achieved a “qualitative leap” during the Hajj season.
Early planning, cooperation and coordination contributed to coverage on national, Islamic and international levels.
The ministry developed a unified visual and verbal identity for this year’s Hajj, under the title “The World in the Heart of the Kingdom.” A website (https://Hajj.media.gov.sa) was dedicated to publishing Hajj works.
The unified verbal identity, represented by the hashtag #The_World_In_The_Heart_Of_The_Kingdom, has made more than 18 billion impressions on Twitter, he said.
Media coverage shed light on 57 government bodies taking part in the Hajj season, highlighting their efforts to serve pilgrims.
These bodies included the ministries of Interior, Hajj and Umrah, National Guard, Transport, Health, Commerce and Investment, Communications and Information Technology, Municipal and Rural Affairs, as well as the Saudi Red Crescent and the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques.
Al-Awwad said the unified center handled 560 incoming and outcoming calls, and 400 received and sent emails, including inquiries, requests for help, data and statistics about Hajj works.
The ministry deployed 60 Saudi media specialists to handle media monitoring and interviews with pilgrims. The result was a wealth of Hajj humanitarian stories. Teams of photographers and video-makers were also deployed.
Al-Awwad said the teams worked around the clock carrying out field work and then follow-up work after publishing the content in coordination with 57 government bodies.
Post-publishing media monitoring showed an important interaction with the broadcast and published media content on an international level, he said.
A media meeting with German anchorwoman Christina Baker reached 8 million viewers on digital platforms. The new media, and its channels, websites and platforms, ensured rapid broadcast and publishing of data and information.
Al-Awwad said that the ministry made sure to combine efforts and achieve coordination and harmony among the participating bodies, especially with officials covering the Hajj season.