Central government communications support
ASI worked with the Government of Iraq to establish a Government Communications Directorate (GCD). The GCD provides strategic communications planning and tactical communications implementation for the Cabinet. ASI’s key objective in the establishment of the GCD was to provide a strategic communications capability for the government, ensuring that all branches of central government speak with one voice on major policy issues. GCD takes responsibility for ensuring that a significant pro-active communications effort is mounted by government, particularly inside Iraq but also targeting regional and international audiences. The GCD is split into four key areas which are: monitoring; strategic planning; media relations; and operations.
The Monitoring Unit is responsible for providing daily (tactical) information for exploitation by the strategic planners and the media relations team. The monitoring unit has the capability to monitor domestic and international media - print, broadcast and on-line.
The Strategic Planning Unit is responsible for the development of the government’s Strategic Communications Plan. The unit has the ability to analyse all relevant data, (e.g. opinion polls, tracking surveys, audience research, media monitoring reports, ministerial policy documents, ministerial speeches etc.). ASI is working with the unit to develop communications objectives and priorities, key messages, milestones and making outline recommendations for implementation.
The Media Relations Unit’s primary task is to coordinate and implement domestic and international media outreach. It is responsible for devising and implementing tactical media relations plans that will contribute to achieving the strategic communications and policy objectives. The GCD media relations unit is organisationally distinct from the PM’s (and President’s) Spokesman’s teams, although there is coordination between them.
Finally the operations unit established by ASI is responsible for the implementation of events and non-media communications such as advertising and information materials (print, video etc). GCD oversees the smooth and effective implementation of events including press conferences, photo opportunities and speeches. The unit works closely with the PM’s, President’s and other Minister’s diary planners.