I propose to take Questions Nos. 73, 75, 88 to 101, inclusive, 103, 104, 106, 112, 115, 120, 125 to 127, inclusive, 129, 135, 136 and 149 together.
The campaign for Project Ireland 2040 has an indicative budget of €1.5 million. The cost of the launch in Sligo was €45,000, this figure is inclusive of photography costs as this service was provided in-house.
The media buying agency used by the Strategic Communications Unit (SCU) is PHD Media. This company was procured through an open procurement competition, which was overseen by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP).
As Project Ireland 2040 is a plan that will impact upon all citizens and future generations, a comprehensive multi-media campaign was put in place to ensure citizens are aware of, and informed about, the plan.
Media content partnerships were entered into with the following media outlets:
- Irish Times
- INM Group
- Examiner Group
- Journal media
- 30 Regional Newspapers
- 28 Local Radio Stations
The campaign is currently under review, with decisions about the implementation of the various elements of the campaign to follow. In that context, there are no current plans to run a radio campaign.
Cost incurred to date for advertorial content in regional and national titles is €312,498 ex vat.
- Specific instruction was issued to the media buyer by the SCU that all content should be identified as being 'In Partnership with the Government of Ireland' or 'In Partnership with Project Ireland 2040, an initiative of the Government of Ireland'. The use of the Government of Ireland logo was also requested by the SCU. This was to ensure that readers knew that the content was paid for.
- There were no instructions or agreements from the SCU to ensure that placements were similar to articles rather than advertorials.
- Each media organisation was provided with a link to the full Project Ireland 2040 plan as well as a pack of content relevant to their particular region.
- The content pack was compiled by the SCU, working with other relevant Government Departments. Nothing was given in the pack that was not otherwise in the overall Project Ireland 2040 plan. Meetings were held with a number of relevant Departments regarding Project Ireland 2040.
- The decision relating to editorial style was entirely a matter for each media organisation.
- The SCU had no input in selecting or contracting any external or third party interviewees. No political spokespeople or Government backbenchers were recommended for interview or for pictures to be included by the SCU.
- Decisions about what organisations and individuals would be asked for comment or pictured were entirely a matter for each media organisation.
- The SCU did not have sign off on the copy produced for the media.
- The media buyer did not have sign off on the copy produced for the media.
- Media owners were briefed on Project Ireland 2040 during the week beginning February 13 2018. The briefings were carried out by a cross Government Department team of Senior Officials.
- No contract was signed with a media agency or buyers in relation to Project Ireland 2040. Media buying was carried out by PHD, company with whom a contract was already in place, following an open procurement process.
Cinema advertising relating to Project Ireland 2040 appeared in all screens across the country at a total cost of €80,113 ex vat.
The 60 second video was produced by the creative agency in conjunction with the SCU.
Costs incurred to date on social media for Project Ireland 2040 across 3 platforms - Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and other digital spend on digital search and display is €75,660 ex Vat.
Bus Shelter Advertising
The National Transport Authority provided space, free of charge, across the Transport network - (Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Luas) at various locations between 25 February and 26 March 2018.
My Department had no role in selecting locations or in the removal of any posters before their allocated time.
The research referred to is not yet complete. Therefore, nothing from the Research could be fed into the citizen engagement initiative on Project Ireland 2040.
Behaviour and Attitudes research company were commissioned to conduct primary research to understand how best to communicate the work of Government to citizens, and in particular how to communicate the benefits, services, and entitlements relevant to them. This research will now inform appropriate, relevant and targeted citizen-focused communications to increase public engagement and feedback, and will be published when completed. The research methodology and design phase of the project is complete, and the fieldwork is now due to commence. Results will be published by early summer.