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Army Public Relations and Recruitment

Communications Trumps have been contracted by the New Zealand Army to provide strategic advice for the New Zealand Army’s Public Relations and Recruitment strategies.

As the largest armed service in New Zealand, the Army recruits between five and seven hundred personnel each year in order to meet its Government directed outputs. Meeting these recruiting outputs and keeping the New Zealand public informed relies on having a strong brand. It is normal for Government organisations to seek specialist advice in areas in which they do not have in-house expertise. Both Communications Trumps and Haines Recruitment Advertising have provided specialist services in respect of establishing, and maintaining a strong brand for the Army. This is in accordance with Defence policy and was approved expenditure.

Recruitment advertising has been placed with Haines Recruitment Agency, with strategic communications advice being provided by Communications Trumps. Communications Trumps have also provided services for specific projects.

Excluding project work, the bills for Communications Trumps advice since 1996 have been $133 279.39

Over that same period, this has worked in close connection with recruiting campaigns, the advertising spending for that being $6 592 524.31

Communications Trumps have also provided advice and services for specific projects. These specific projects are:

- Training videos and documentary films: There were three videos produced and a curriculum package designed for use in schools. The videos were “Peacekeeping” which documented peace support missions around the world in 1999, and was shown on TV1, the second documentary was “Then and Now” which contrasted the experience of personnel from WW2, Korea, Vietnam and the present day. That documentary was also screened on TV1. The others were training videos. The total cost of this package was $298 000.

- Schools kit: The schools kit was developed for use in the social studies curriculum, the Communications Trumps bill for this was: $36 299. This kit is to be released this year, and is much like the Ministry of Defence kit “Why a Defence Force” which was distributed in 1993.

- Army brand launch. Launched of the Army brand in July 1999, the bill for this was $41,216.72

The other services provided as part of a approved contracts with Communications Trumps are: professional research used for recruitment and personnel policy issues comprehensive media training (including all three contingents to Bosnia) and consultancy services including strategic guidance for Army’s public information and recruitment strategies.

Of the total Recruitment and Communications budget since 1996, spending on Communications Trumps represents 3% of the total. Spending on Haines Recruitment is 40% of the total budget. Army’s budget for recruiting is larger that of the other services, as they recruit significantly more personnel.

The New Zealand Defence Force is authorised to approve selective purchases under specific conditions, and it is under this purchasing the procedure that Communications Trumps were selected. Communications Trumps have also been engaged by the Royal New Zealand Navy, and Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force for public relations and communications services.

ENDS


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