My Department is committed to ensuring that members of the public are aware of the social welfare supports and services that are available to them and that they are notified of scheme changes which may affect them. The Department’s public information campaigns includes paid media including national and regional print and radio, outdoor advertising, and social and digital media advertising. All public information campaigns are tailored to ensure the best possible mix of media is used to effectively reach the target audience.
A number of public information campaigns have recently been completed, including for the promotion of the new Parent's Benefit and Jobseeker’s Benefit for the Self Employed, and for the services and supports which Intreo provides to employers, jobseekers, and people interested in returning to the workforce. In December, my Department’s final public information campaign for this year – a print-only advertising campaign to inform our customers of Christmas and New Year social welfare payment arrangements - will be completed.
At this point, a number of other communications initiatives for the first half of 2020 are at early stages of discussion, with only one campaign currently planned, scheduled, and confirmed for 2020. The campaign is the second phase of the Intreo and 'Return to Work' information campaign, mentioned above, which ran from October to November 2019.
The campaign is designed to promote the wide range of services and supports which Intreo offers to employers, jobseekers, and people interested in returning to the workforce. The 2020 phase of this campaign is scheduled to run from 7 January to 4 February and will include digital advertising and social media advertising on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The budgeted cost for the 2020 phase of this campaign is approximately €16,000 (ex. VAT).
The Department's customer service team will be present at the Pregnancy & Baby Fair event at the RDS in April 2020 to inform parents and parents-to-be on a range of DEASP supports and services including Maternity Benefit, Paternity Benefit, Working Family Payment and Parents Benefit and also to promote the Department's online services at MyWelfare. The budgeted cost for this two-day event is approximately €5,800 (ex. VAT).
As any potential communications projects are at early development stages at present, no budgeted figures can be supplied for projected spend in the first 6 months of 2020. Details on launches in 2020 are not available at this time.
I trust this settles the matter for the Deputy.