Officials in my Department hold briefing sessions where necessary to provide information to members of the media on Department policies. Representatives of all relevant media organisations are invited to attend. My Department also responds on a daily basis to media queries and facilitates requests for interviews where possible.
A key public health information campaign for my Department is Healthy Ireland - the national framework for action to improve the health and well-being of people living in Ireland.
As part of the initial phase of the Healthy Ireland 2018 Campaign, the following outputs were delivered with the Irish Independent:
the 2018 calendar which accompanied the newspaper as a supplement on 16th December 2017, three sponsored features which appeared in the newspaper's Saturday magazine on 13; 20 and 27 January 2018 (respectively on Walking, Healthy Eating and Mental Well-being); and a 48-page magazine supplement which accompanied the newspaper on Saturday 3rd February 2018.
The content of the magazine and the three sponsored features was aligned to the key themes and messages of the campaign, i.e. Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Mental Well-being.
The purpose of the articles and the magazine was to promote awareness for the public of these themes and the campaign, provide information and tips about what changes people can make in their daily lives to improve their own health, and signpost to various initiatives and supports such as HSE websites and resources and cross-sectoral initiatives such as Get Ireland Walking and Healthy Ireland At Your Library.
Department Officials met with an editorial team from the Irish Independent on Thursday 4 January 2018 to agree a high level content plan for the magazine. During the subsequent weeks until delivery of the outputs my Department had ongoing engagement with the Irish Independent on the final content to ensure the information given to the public was accurate and in line with national guidelines.