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Bureau of Outreach and Communication (BOC) was set up on 8th December, 2017 by integration of erstwhile Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), Directorate of Field Publicity (DFP) and Song & Drama Division (S&DD). The Bureau aims at providing a 360 degrees communication solutions to the Ministries/Departments/ Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)/autonomous bodies. It acts as an advisory body to Government on media strategy. With 23 Regional Outreach Bureaus (ROBs) and 148 Field Outreach Bureaus (FOBs), BOC is engaged in educating people, both rural and urban, about the Governments policies and programmes to evoke their participation in developmental activities. This is ensured by the Bureau using different vehicles of communication viz. Print Media advertising, Audio Visual Campaigns, dissemination through Exhibitions, Outdoor Campaigns and New Media etc.
Branding of the Government as prime facilitator of peoples empowerment and positioning of messages through Print, Audio-Visual, Outdoor, Digital Media to realize the same, is BOCs mandate. The Policy guidelines have been adapted in sync with emerging media scenario in order to maximize the reach of information dissemination.
Advertising and Visual communication Division (erstwhile DAVP) of BOC is the nodal division of BOC for dissemination of information about various schemes and policies of different Ministries & Departments of Government of India, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and autonomous body.
It undertakes campaigns to inform and educate rural and urban people about the Governments policies and programmes through available vehicles of communication viz. Print, Audio Visual, Outdoor, Digital and New Media.
Folk Communication Division of BOC carries out inter-personal communication through live media utilizing wide range of performing arts such as Drama, Dance-Drama, Composite-Programme, Puppetry, Ballets, Operas, Folk and Traditional Recitals, Mythological Recital and other Local Folk & Traditional Forms maximizing outreach of Policies, Programmes and Schemes of the Government. The main function is to create awareness and ensure emotional receptivity with the sense of belongingness and ownership.
Field Communication Division undertakes direct and interpersonal communication programmes to create awareness amongst the masses, particularly in rural and semi urban areas. Regional Outreach Bureau (ROBs) and Field Outreach Bureau (FOBs) accordingly seek to empower people through information to enable them to avail the benefits from such programmes/schemes. It organizes ground activation and outreach programmes. Special Outreach Programmes (SOPs) are organized with the support of various stakeholders viz. the State Government and local functionaries, society groups etc. As they are in the local language and at nearby venues, the impact of these communication programmes is more and it enables a greater understanding of the Governments schemes among the masses. These efforts are complemented by use of traditional and folk media and other conventional and non-conventional methods.
With integration of erstwhile DAVP, DFP and S&DD, programmes are increasingly organized in integrated manner with special outreach and folk components together. These Integrated Communication and Outreach Programmes (ICOP) aim at leaving a greater impact ensuring behavioural change and creating stakes in developmental process.
The BOC has been instrumental in creating awareness amongst masses on socio-economic themes, seeking their participation in developmental activities and for the eradication of many social evils. All possible channels of communication have been leveraged to reach out to the people, ranging from advertisements to street plays to door-to-door interactions making a paradigm shift from standalone and isolated advertising to 360 degree holistic campaign.
The BOC is headed by a Director General (DG) with its headquarters at Soochana Bhawan, New Delhi. BOC operating from Delhi, ROBs from regions and FOBs at the field level are manned by officers of Indian Information Service and Ex-cadre personnel of erstwhile DAVP (Directorate of Advertisement Visual Publicity), Directorate of Field Publicity and Song & Drama Division. The personnel from multiple disciplines like media planning, production, studio design, Print production, exhibition, song and drama division are amongst others are the in house talent with expertise in handling campaign requirements of the client ministries.
Given the massive regional and linguistic diversity in India, the country has been divided into five zones, each headed by a DG level officer, below which there are regional offices and field offices. At the regional level, the media units are integrated into the Regional Outreach Bureaus (RoBs) with an Additional Director General level officer as the head of the department. The Field Outreach Bureaus (FoBs) at the local level are manned by Field Publicity Officers/ Field Publicity Assistants/ Field Exhibition Officers etc. At present the BOC has a network of 23 ROBs and 148 FOBs all across the country. All communication activities are undertaken in the regional languages as per the need of the campaign.
A 360-degree approach to awareness generation and behavioural change would require the flawless integration of both communication and outreach initiatives. BOC as a nodal government organization has been working tirelessly towards this goal for effectively taking the message of the Government of India to the people of the country.