Written answers

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Department of An Taoiseach

Departmental Contracts

Photo of Carol NolanCarol Nolan (Laois-Offaly, Independent)
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60. To ask the Taoiseach if he or any official from his Department has held meetings or conducted correspondence with a company (details supplied) from 1 January 2017 to date; if his Department has engaged the services of the company for any purposes from 1 January 2017 to date; if so, the nature of such services and the costs incurred; and if a tender process was conducted. [51362/21]

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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My Department has not engaged the services of the company concerned and there are no records of any meetings or correspondence with the company in question.

Photo of Mattie McGrathMattie McGrath (Tipperary, Independent)
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61. To ask the Taoiseach the amount spent by his Department to date in 2021 for Covid-19 public communications activities; the recipients of the funds allocated; the services provided; and the tendering processes undertaken to ensure optimal value for money in tabular form. [51382/21]

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Attached is a tabular breakdown of the spend in 2021 on public advertisements in response to the Covid19 pandemic.

All of the contracts for media buying, print ads, radio ads, tv ads, social media promotion, online banner advertising and creative services were contracted through competitive processes and the Office of Government Procurement Framework contracts to ensure best value for money.

Since March of 2020, my Department has co-ordinated communications for the whole-of-government response to the pandemic. This necessitated expenditure on a broad range of targeted public messaging across over fifty different information campaigns.

The overall communications strategy for Covid-19 is based on a coordinated response that ensures maximum clarity for citizens, businesses and our wider community. This aligns with both World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) advice, both of which emphasise the importance of ensuring the general public is aware of the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak, and further that a high degree of population understanding, community engagement and acceptance of the measures put in place are key in preventing further spread.

It is also recommended that communication strategies should target different audiences and provide the rationale behind the measures, also outlining the necessity to put a support system in place to provide essential services and supplies (e.g. food and medication), and to monitor vulnerable individuals.

Campaigns have included Radio, newspaper and social elements.

It is essential that citizens, business owners and communities are informed of the decisions being made by Government, and campaigns are developed and implemented to make the public aware of these decisions.

Campaigns have achieved impressive audience reach across all media platforms. The #AntiViral Campaign had over 5.7 million impressions by mid-December 2020 – we had communicated with over 300,000 young people approximately 5 times across the platforms building awareness of the Campaign. The AntiViral hashtag had over 1.1 million views and the Campaign’s positive sentiment was measured at over 60%.

Data from 25 of the Campaigns advertised in National press show an average reach of 49%, with 17 of these reaching over 50%. The average readership for the 25 campaigns was 1.9 million (with 16 of the 25 campaigns having a readership of over 2 million). Readership figures for regional newspapers is over 1.5 million for each campaign.

Radio advertising had an average audience reach of 79%, with 19 of the campaigns advertised on radio reaching over 80%.

Digital display advertising was used in 13 campaigns, with a combined audience reach of over 33 million. This is an average of 2.6 million impressions, with six of the campaigns reaching over 3 million citizens.

Of 19 campaigns analysed that used Social media advertising, an average of 4.9 million impressions were achieved, with a high of 16.1 million impressions for the Publication of the Roadmap campaign.

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