Stakeholder Communications


Banking on support

A major bank asked Clifton to help roll out a new retail strategy Australia-wide that would mean significant changes for staff and customers. Clifton designed an interactive roadshow for staff that maximised their sense of involvement and retention of information. The planning for this roadshow identified problems the client had not anticipated allowing them to be addressed efficiently and effectively in advance. Clifton also prepared communications materials to support the changes. The format was overwhelmingly well received, with 95 per cent positive feedback from participants.

Energy to burn

The state government was keen to investigate ways of reducing carbon emissions including renewable energy and carbon reduction technologies.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a technology generally understood within industry circles, however for the broader public it is an unknown entity which has the potential to cause concern and even outrage.

Clifton undertook extensive peer research into similar CCS projects - both in Australia and overseas - to develop a comprehensive communications situation analysis for the client. This informed the development of an overarching communications and engagement strategy that was also prepared by Clifton. This strategy supported a submission for federal funding.

Clifton then developed a community engagement program for the project's phase one work with the aim of increasing local understanding of CCS and the approach to investigating its future potential. The program ensured our client established sound relationships with key stakeholders and, in particular, local communities.

Reducing the stigma of addiction

A long-term client is an international leader in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, training and support. It is a major provider of drug and alcohol treatment services in Victoria through both residential and non-residential programs.

One of the major challenges facing our client is changing public attitude and reducing the stigma associated with addiction so that support for its programs from government, the corporate sector and the community becomes a priority.

Clifton's role is broad and includes developing and implementing communications strategies, government relations (state and federal), media relations, social media support, advertising support including copywriting and support for specific programs.

Facing reality through research

The Clifton Group regularly assists a client review its services and relationships with state governments by conducting qualitative research with senior bureaucrats in each state in which it operates.

Through in-depth face-to-face interviews the company gains a better understanding of its reputation and standing with its key stakeholders, the strength of its relationships and the effectiveness of its communications. These 'perceptions audits' are conducted every three years.

Following the interviews, Clifton produces a comprehensive report on the research findings. The client uses this report to guide it in implementing appropriate actions that help strengthen its relationships with its key customers.

The research findings are reported back to the government departments and our client works with them to resolve any issues and pursue opportunities to improve the service it provides.

The latest round of research showed that actions taken following the previous research had greatly enhanced the company's reputation and had helped it forge even stronger relationships with its key government stakeholders.

Water on the way

Building large-scale industrial infrastructure in an extremely popular coastal area meant enormous change to a small regional community of 4000. A thoughtful change communications strategy was necessary to engage and bring the community on the journey throughout the design, construction and long-term operational phase.

Engaging and working closely with three separate councils, hundreds of landholders and the local community enabled impacts to be minimised during construction and concerns around visual amenity and perceived environment impacts to be mitigated.

This was critical to developing trust and acceptance of the project. Clifton undertook an extensive three-year community engagement program that included direct engagement through community reference groups and other forums, public and media relations, proactive issues management and a corporate responsibility program aimed at the local community.

Regular surveys during the period of construction and commissioning verified the strategy and successfully moved community sentiment from concern to satisfaction and acceptance.

Positioning and promoting an organisation

A state government organisation contacted Clifton after experiencing difficult internal debate about balancing the objectives of the organisation with the needs of stakeholders and the organisation's need for commercial growth.

Clifton was asked to review the role, branding and communications of an organisation. This was done through stakeholder research that included a series of workshops with representatives from all levels of the client's staff.

The research showed that the marketplace was seeking high value environmental experiences. We were able to show and win consent around strong environmental branding, which both attracted commercial opportunities and reinforced staff commitment.

The new stance and resultant policy generated support from the board, senior management and staff and is now enshrined in the client's history.

Regional reputation

An investigation into corruption at a regional tertiary education institution had major repercussions across the community.

Clifton monitored the resultant hearing and prepared statements on behalf of the chief executive for staff, media, students and community leaders.

We handled regular media queries and became proactive in the area offering briefings to journalists on the proceedings and establishing a rapport that enabled us to minimise damage to the organisation's reputation.

Clifton then helped establish a strategy to address, repair and restore the reputation of the organisation not only with the local community and students but also across local business and relevant state government departments.