Government advertising and communications in Western Australia

The Department of the Premier and Cabinet is responsible for the oversight of Government advertising and communications, and the management of policies and guidelines.

The policy and guidelines outline the principles that should be observed by all Government agencies in the planning, development and ongoing management of government communications. They apply to all government advertising, communications, marketing and promotion, events, merchandising and signage (excluding capital works).

Government advertising and communications policy

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The policy applies to all public sector agencies.

Policy Statement    

All public sector agencies other than those listed in Schedule 1 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994 must comply with Government advertising and communications policy and guidelines. All government advertising and communications must be approved by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Intent and scope

The intent of this policy is to provide a framework for government advertising and communications. It provides direction and guidance to agencies on matters that include appropriate use of public funds and preventing communications from being used to send political messages.

The scope of this policy encompasses the principles that should be observed by all Government agencies in the planning, development and ongoing management of government communications and applies to all supporting activities including:

  • advertising (campaign and non-campaign)
  • external communications 
  • marketing and promotion
  • events such as trade shows, expos, and royal or regional shows
  • sponsorships and partnerships (received)
  • merchandising and promotional items
  • signage (excluding capital works).

Definitions

Non-Campaign Advertising

Non-campaign advertising is generally short-term advertising that does not appear regularly, seasonally or as part of an ongoing campaign promoting Government services or initiatives. It is characterised as recruitment for specific job vacancies, auctions, tenders, announcements, public and statutory notices, invitations to make submissions or apply for grants and emergency notices. 

Government agencies are responsible for the review and approval of all non-campaign advertising.

Campaign Advertising

Campaign advertising is any promotional advertising that requires significant creative input. It is usually intended to educate or inform members of the public about services, products or policies, such as Road Safety Commission campaigns, health emergency campaigns and strategic recruitment campaigns for teachers and police officers, for example. It usually comprises an ongoing series of commercials or advertisements.

Responsibilities

The Department of the Premier and Cabinet is responsible for the oversight of advertising and communications and has overall responsibility for the management of Government advertising and communications policy and guidelines.

Directors general and chief executive officers are responsible for ensuring that advertising and communications undertaken by their agencies are in response to a clearly articulated need, provide accurate information, achieve value for money and comply with Government policies. 

The Department of the Premier and Cabinet maintains an Independent Communications Review Committee (ICRC) to ensure that agencies comply with the policy and supporting guidelines with respect to advertising and communications.

 

Key principles of the policy

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Government has responsibility for communicating the following objectives.
  • ensuring advertising and communications assist in the efficient and effective pursuit of public policy goals
  • raising awareness of a planned or impending initiative and encouraging the use of Government products or services
  • informing the public about their rights, duties, responsibilities and entitlements
  • ensuring equity, fairness, appropriateness, transparency and accountability in all of its communications with the public
  • maximising compliance with or to raise awareness of a new or amended law, to ensure public safety, personal security or encourage responsible behaviour and to assist in the preservation of order in the event of a crisis or emergency
  • reporting on performance in relation to Government undertakings
  • encouraging the usage or familiarity of Government products or services
  • encouraging social cohesion, civic pride, community spirit, tolerance or assist in the achievement of a widely supported public policy outcome.

Public funds should not be used for communications where:

  • the party in Government is mentioned by name or when a reasonable person could interpret the message as being on behalf of a political party or other grouping
  • Members of Parliament are named, depicted or otherwise promoted in a manner regarded as excessive or unreasonable
  • a political party or other group is being disparaged or held up to ridicule.

Advertising and communications are to be produced and published or broadcast in an efficient and effective manner utilising current technologies, having regard for the target audience including the cultural and linguistic differences of people as well as individuals with disabilities.

 

Page reviewed 19 September 2019