Department of Health issues £85,000 per month brief for 'life course approach' comms

The Department of Health has issued its biggest PR brief in recent years, as it seeks to adopt a 'life course approach' to comms.

Department of Health: major comms brief
Department of Health: major comms brief

The scope of the single brief includes four of its major PR programmes: Smokefree/Tobacco Control, Change4Life obesity campaign, Older People and Younger People.

The budget available for the period December to next March is £340,000, or £85,000 per month.

Currently, Freud Communications holds the PR account for Change4Life, which on its own amounts to a monthly fee of £40,000.

The brief states: ‘Historically, our campaigns were structured by topic (e.g. alcohol, tobacco or sexual health) and our agency partners were appointed to these topics. Our new strategy will, with the exception of tobacco control, adopt a life course approach, through which one trusted brand will provide marketing and communications on multiple topics.

‘We therefore need to realign all our agency partners against these life course areas.’

The brief adds that the department is seeking to have fewer agency relationships overall, with each having ‘a deeper and more strategic relationship with us’.

The contract will also include other ‘ad hoc requirements' in situations where the department is seeking to get information out to the public as rapidly as possible, for instance dealing with pandemics, driving uptake of vaccinations and responding to a change of legislation.

The brief reveals that, depending on the scale of the issue, additional budget of £20-50,000 per year will be available to cover such emergency work as pandemic flu. Tendering agencies are required to present proposals for all four strands and be able to demonstrate ability to handle such ‘additional projects’.

The contract is for an initial period of one year, from this December, with the option to extend for a further two years.

Agencies will be required to present their proposals to the DH on 22 November.

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