|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0113/08|
|Date of issue:||Monday, 14 April 2008|
|Description:||Outlines the policy for all Department of Health comment to the media. Covers media inquiries, proactive media opportunities and contentious issues.|
|Applicable to:||All Department of Health staff.|
|Framework:||Communications Policy Framework|
|Period of effect:||from 1 May 2008 to 1 May 2020|
|Review date:||1 April 2020|
|Authorised by:||Dr Peter Flett, ACTING DIRECTOR GENERAL, WA HEALTH, 01-Apr-2008|
|Print version:||View print version|
Public support and effective communications with the media are essential for the Department of Health (DoH) to achieve its aims of providing a safe, high quality, accountable and sustainable health care system.
The DoH Communications Directorate branch is the official point of contact for all comment to the media to ensure a consistent, accurate and timely approach. This includes mainstream (print, radio and TV) and health-specific media.
All media inquiries and direct calls from journalists must be referred to Communications. Key staff may be called upon to assist with a response to a media query or act as an official spokesperson. Due to the immediacy of news, information is often required at short notice. Staff should endeavour to meet deadlines in order to avoid negative publicity and to promote a positive relationship between the DoH and the media.
Formal media training can be provided to designated spokespeople as required.
The Communications Directorate liaises with senior management, the Director General, the Health Minister’s office and the Government Media Office as appropriate.
Proactive media promotion
Staff should identify opportunities for proactive media and public communication about DoH programs, initiatives, reports, milestones, infrastructure or building projects, new or upgraded services, and new or improved equipment or technology. As far as possible proactive media should be aligned with the DoH Operational Plan.
Ideas for launches, publicity and other events are encouraged and should be discussed with Communications staff.
Staff may prepare draft media statements and other material for media use, but these must be forwarded to Communications for final editing, approvals and release to the media.
The Communications Directorate should be contacted once ideas and opportunities have been shaped in draft form to:
The Communications Directorate should be kept informed of all issues and reports that have the potential for adverse publicity.
Dr Peter Flett
This circular last updated: Wednesday, 18 February 2015 at 1:43pm