Directive on the Management of Communications

Provides rules for managing and coordinating communications, including procedures for advertising, public opinion research, social media and web communications.
Date modified: 2021-06-30
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Subsection 8.2.7 of the Directive on the Management of Communications has been updated to reflect Public Services and Procurement Canada’s (PSPC’s) contracting responsibilities.

In addition, subsection B.2.5 of Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Advertising has been amended to ensure that the contracting of advertising is conducted by PSPC, unless otherwise stipulated. This amendment is pursuant to the rescinding of the Contracting Policy, where this requirement was previously located.

These updates take effect on May 13, 2021.

Appendix B: Mandatory Procedures for Advertising

B.1 Effective date

  • B.1.1These mandatory procedures take effect on and incorporate changes effective as of .
  • B.1.2

    These procedures replace the following Treasury Board policy instruments:

    • Communications Policy of the Government of Canada ()
    • Procedures for the Management of Advertising ()

B.2 Requirements

Planning and coordination

When advertising activities are being considered, public service employees must consult with their Communications Branch, which will undertake the following:

  • B.2.1Confirm whether a project falls within the definition of advertising with the Advertising Services Directorate of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC);
  • B.2.2Coordinate the planning of all advertising activities with the Communications and Consultations Secretariat of the Privy Council Office (PCO);
  • B.2.3Establish performance indicators for advertising campaigns that have a total media buy of over $1 million; and
  • B.2.4Consult with Global Affairs Canada when planning to advertise in foreign markets.

Contracting advertising activities

When advertising activities are being considered, public service employees must consult with their Communications Branch, which will undertake the following:

  • B.2.5Ensuring that the procurement of advertising activities, including planning, pretesting, production, media placement and evaluation, is conducted by the Communication Procurement Directorate of PSPC, unless otherwise stipulated in 6.26 of the Directive on the Management of Communications.
  • B.2.6Work with the Advertising Services Directorate of PSPC to develop statements of work and to obtain project registration numbers before contracts are awarded;
  • B.2.7Manage the advertising contract after it has been awarded; and
  • B.2.8Inform the Advertising Services Directorate and the Communication Procurement Directorate of PSPC of any changes to the scope of work, amendments to the contract or the media buy strategy.

Production and media planning

When advertising activities are being considered, public service employees must consult with their Communications Branch, which will undertake the following:

  • B.2.9Support the head of communications in complying with the non-partisan advertising oversight mechanism;
  • B.2.10Ensure that advertising activities consider the needs and interests of official language minority communities, as well as Indigenous and ethnocultural communities, as applicable;
  • B.2.11Submit draft creative elements, media buy strategies and plans to the Communications and Consultations Secretariat of PCO for review;
  • B.2.12Forward draft creative elements, media buy strategies and plans to the Advertising Services Directorate of PSPC for advice on compliance with legislative and policy requirements;
  • B.2.13Obtain required ADV numbers (also known as authorization numbers) from the Advertising Services Directorate of PSPC;
  • B.2.14Seek the approval of the head of communications to purchase media space directly from media outlets for advertising initiatives that have a total media buy not exceeding $25,000; and
  • B.2.15Record information on all advertising activities in the Advertising Management Information Systems (AdMIS).

Pretesting and evaluation of advertising campaigns that have a media buy of over $1 million

When advertising activities are being considered, public service employees must consult with their Communications Branch, which will undertake the following:

  • B.2.16Ensure that research to support advertising campaigns that have a total media buy of over $1 million has been identified on the approved annual public opinion research plan;
  • B.2.17Develop pretesting and evaluation plans in consultation with the Communications and Consultations Secretariat of PCO and the Public Opinion Research Directorate of PSPC;
  • B.2.18Coordinate the pretesting and evaluation of advertising campaigns that have a total media buy of over $1 million with the Public Opinion Research Directorate of PSPC;
  • B.2.19Ensure that all advertising campaigns that have a total media buy of over $1 million are evaluated using the Advertising Campaign Evaluation Tool issued by the Communications and Consultations Secretariat of PCO; and
  • B.2.20Forward campaign performance indicators and research results to the Communications and Consultations Secretariat of PCO.
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