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Directgov: Marketing

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 11 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how the Directgov website is being promoted to the public. (242520)

Directgov is promoted to the public through a variety of online and offline channels. Online promotion includes partnership arrangements with sites such as AOL and MSN. Directgov also undertakes search engine optimisation and pay per click activity with search engines such as Google, MSN and Yahoo.

Offline channels include an ongoing PR programme plus partnership activities with intermediaries such as Jobcentre Plus and UK Online Centres.

Directgov also undertook a month long marketing campaign in February 2006 and again in March 2008 which focused on the depth and breadth of the Directgov offer, new transactional content on the website, and on Directgov's multi-channel presence.

Looking ahead, as Directgov becomes the main point of entry to public services online, there is an imperative to generate a higher level of awareness of Directgov and its services to the public. Therefore Directgov is planning a national marketing campaign to run over the next three years, starting in January 2009. It will be a multi-media campaign, using TV, radio, print, partnerships, ambient and online channels to increase understanding of the depth and breadth of information and services available through Directgov on the web, mobile and DiTV. The aim is to demonstrate relevance to citizens and increase propensity to use Directgov, with consequential increase in brand awareness and visitor numbers to Directgov. This will help Departments to realise the benefits from Directgov by increasing use of the online channel.

Allied to this, we are looking at how we can use alternative channels such as branded ‘widgets’ and applications to deploy content onto third party sites in the future.