Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s department is spending millions on media and pandemic marketing consultants

The proliferation of social media platforms have provided a golden opportunity for politicians to get their messages across to the public.

The Queensland Premier team are well versed in the power of media, with wide reach on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and more recently TikTok.

But despite a small army of in-house media advisers, graphic designers and photographers to rival any newsroom, Annastacia Palaszczuk The department also spends millions of dollars a year on outside media, marketing and advertising consultants.
Parliament was recently informed that at least 10 full-time communications specialists work within the Prime Minister’s Office and another eight within the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Office, not including graphic designers and content producers. (New)

New data obtained by 9News shows that the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office spent more than $9.4 million on external media companies in the last financial year (2021-22).

While about $4.95 million was spent on COVID-19 specific messaging, at least $4.46 million was spent on “media”, “advertising” or “market research” not specified.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister and Cabinet Department said one of the biggest deals included $1.4million for an 11-week campaign across Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia for attract skilled workers to move to Queensland.

He said the campaign generated “130,000 unique webpage views” and “913 expressions of interest”, but was also revealed in Budget estimates only two merchants successfully accepted the financial incentive.

Another contract included $30,250 for ‘market research’ by data analytics firm Kantar Public, which the spokesperson said involved ‘asking Queenslanders for their perspective so we can continue to provide improved government services and programs that meet their expectations and provide good value for money”.

But spending was even greater at the height of the pandemic, when $12.04 million was outsourced to outside advertising and media companies in the previous year (2020-21). This included approximately $2.9 million on COVID-related ads.

Documents reveal that Palaszczuk spent more than $9 million on outside media companies last fiscal year, which included focus groups, social media marketing and consultants. (New)

A further $8.44 million was spent in 2020-21 at two companies MediaCom Australia and Publicis Communications to ‘tell Queenslanders about the state’s stimulus package’, without actually implementing the plan itself .

The department spokesperson said these contracts involved work that could not be done “in-house.”

The Prime Minister and Cabinet Office provides specialist services, including media booking, auditing and creative services, to external vendors where these skills and capabilities are not available internally,” he said. he declares.

“Communication and marketing play a vital role in connecting Queenslanders to Queensland Government policies and programs.

“This is done through a range of activities including advertising campaigns, crisis communications, social media content, websites, events and media relations.”

Last week, Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk could not confirm the number of in-house media advisers working on her team.

“At the height of COVID most people would come in and watch our daily press conferences and our newscast and also now with our budget messages we have reached over a million people,” he said. she stated.

Opposition leader David Crisafulli said the Palaszczuk government should be more transparent about media costs. (Queensland government)

“It’s very important that the government is able to get the facts out to the public.”

Parliament was recently informed that at least 10 full-time communications specialists work within the Prime Minister’s Office and another eight within the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Office, not including graphic designers and content producers.

That compares to six full-time employees working in the state Office of the Opposition.

At least 1,067 media and marketing workers work in the state government, 195 more than when Annastacia Palaszczuk came to power in 2015.

Opposition leader David Crisafulli said the government should be more transparent about media costs.

“People will accept advertising with a message, what they won’t accept is advertising to tell them how great the government is and more and more the line is blurring,” he said. declared.

“Everyone understands that there has to be a balance between a public service that is independent and able to give advice freely and frankly, and a private sector that can do the same.

“But if the government writes the checks well, Queenslanders deserve to know what value they’re getting from them.”

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