Communications staff and social media spend: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01797
Date received: 3 August 2017
Date responded: 25 August 2017

Information requested

  1. The total pay bill for Scottish Government press and communications staff in 2007/8, 2011/12 and 2016/17.

  2. The number of FTE staff in press and communications roles for the previously mentioned years.

  3. Spending on social media advertising for the same years.


1. The total spend on Scottish Government frontline communications staff/press officers in 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2016-17 is available at: SG frontline communications staff

2. The number of FTE frontline communications staff/press officers on 31 March in 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2016-17 is set out in the table below.

Year FTE
2007-08 51.2
2011-12 37.97
2016-17 38.6

3. Social media advertising has been defined as advertising that has been delivered via a social media platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. Total media advertising is the cost of all advertising space purchased via the appointed Scottish Government media buyer(s). These figures have been included to show how social media advertising spend has increased as its importance as a cost-effective channel has also increased, while overall media advertising spend has decreased.

Total Social Media Advertising Spend:

Year Total social media advertising spend Total media advertising spend
2007-08 (See note 1) £4,319,881.63
2011-12 £187,696.00 £3,238,495.79
2016-17 £261,489.00 £2,142,863.89

Note 1: The Scottish Government does not hold historical information on the breakdown of media budgets across the various advertising channels. This information is no longer accessible via the media buying agency that was under contract during 2007/2008.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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