In a bid to help government departments and ministries put out promotional campaigns on Facebook, Google and other websites, the I&B ministry has brought out its first draft of guidelines to buy advertising space on social media. The bureau of outreach and communication (BOC), on Wednesday (May 13), finalised the guidelines.
According to the guidelines, BOC has defined social media platforms as web-based and mobile-based internet applications, which allows the creation, access and exchange of user-generated content. The guidelines allow departments and ministries to give advertisements to social media platforms which have a minimum of 25 Mn unique users from India in the last three months.
Moreover, these social media platforms shouldn’t be suspended or blacklisted by the IT ministry or any other government departments under the government of India or state governments. If any engaging social media platform gets blacklisted then BOC will suspend all the contracts until the suspension is revoked. BOC will only process the payments for the completed activity once all the reports for that activity are made available.
Social media platforms will also have to appoint authorised personnel for facilitating communication with BOC. These platforms will also provide BOC with a real-time dashboard to quantify the outcome of the campaigns. The consolidated execution report should also be provided in the format prescribed or approved by BOC once the campaign is over.
BOC To Drive Social Media Campaigns Of Ministries, Departments
BOC is also planning to use the data provided by media measurement and analytics company ComScore or Google Analytics or any other credible agency having industry-wide acceptance to verify the count of unique users. These policy guidelines will remain valid for a period of five years.
As of now, social media platforms sell digital advertisements via either dynamic pricing or through auction. BOC is going to participate in the bidding process for buying the digital space for government messages.
BOC, which works under the ministry of information and broadcasting, will determine which social media platforms are relevant for planned activity on behalf of the government departments and agencies. The department is also going to set the target audience, theme and content of the proposed activity, budget and duration of the campaign. “In doing so, preference may be given to the social media platforms which are based in India without affecting the desired outcome from the campaign activities,” deputy director of BOC Anurag Jain said.
Moreover, the ministries and departments will have to share the credentials of social media pages and handle to BOC for the campaign activity. BOC and client ministry or department can thereafter nominate personnel to execute and monitor the campaign.
The government bodies will have to notify BOC at least five days in advance for the campaign to get started. BOC will take all 100% of the amount for social media advertising from the departments and ministries in advance.
In case of any disputes, BOC said that it’ll make efforts to resolve it amicably. However, if the dispute is not resolved amicably, all disputes will lie in the jurisdiction of courts within Delhi only.