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Public Affairs and Corporate Communication

Overview

Public Affairs and Corporate Communication Division provided specialist communication advice and services to the conduct of a range of Defence activities, including military operations. The division deployed personnel and guided the public affairs handling of Defence involvement in the coalition operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a number of other continuing military operations. The year also saw a realignment of the division's services and products, with issues management and support to military operations the highest priority.

Objectives

The Defence Overarching Organisational Communications Strategy was updated in 2003-03, reflecting the changing priorities and operational commitments for Defence. Covering the period 2001-04, the strategy provides Defence's long-term public affairs and corporate communication objectives. The following details Public Affairs and Corporate Communication's key results against the goals of the strategy.

Results for 2002-03

Goal 1 - Raised awareness of the Government's defence policy and increased community understanding of, and confidence in, Defence

Achieved

Substantially Achieved

Partially Achieved

Goal 2 - Improved communication with the Government and stakeholders

Achieved

Partially Achieved

Goal 3 - More effective multi-dimensional internal communication that helps us do our job

Achieved

Substantially Achieved

Partially Achieved

Measurement

A critical aspect of the Defence Overarching Organisational Communications Strategy was the development of a dedicated research capability. The research program has completed a second full year of data gathering, providing a baseline level for comparative findings.

The research program contributed to planning and evaluation of Defence organisational communication through studies of community attitudes to national security and Defence issues.

Community attitudes research was conducted in two stages in 2002-03, first in November 2002 and again in April 2003. The research involved the conduct of phone polls and focus group discussions to produce quantitative and qualitative results. Phone poll participants responded to a series of questions, while focus group participants were involved in detailed discussions about specific Defence topics. The major results are shown below:

External analysis of 43,149 items of mainstream Australian news media coverage on national security and Defence issues during 2002-03 rated the overall coverage as more than two-thirds favourable to Defence's reputation.


  1. 'Below the Line' communication refers to activities that vary from traditional media advertising, which is referred to in the media industry as 'above the line'. The program includes a range of initiatives and activities to further target, inform, educate and attract recruits to careers within the ADF including, for example, community events and newspaper articles. |