Planning strategies

We work with research projects, programs and organisations to help them plan and implement their communication through strategies that are informed by risk communication principles.

We facilitate planning workshops, we research the perceptions, concerns and communication needs of target groups and individuals, and we work with organisations and projects to design clear messages.

Our research informs the practices we recommend to ensure the most effective communication possible.

We focus on participatory communication activities designed to increase interactions between scientists, policy makers and different public target groups such as farmers, fishers, business people and communities.

Project examples:

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We developed a communication strategy, website framework, name, logo and look for the Local Government of Queensland’s Coastal Hazard Adaptation Program (2016), QCoast2100. This strategy was based on a desktop review of the best methods for communicating about coastal hazards, surveys with Queensland local council politicians and staff, and interviews with stakeholders.

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We facilitated and reported on workshops identifying fruit fly research and development priorities for the Plant Biosecurity CRC in 2015. The workshops engaged researchers and growers across Australia in prioritising the fruit fly research they believe Australia’s horticultural industries need. We worked with Professor Anthony Clarke who said at the end of the project: “I think the workshops have been of real value, and this is entirely due to your excellent moderation and reporting.  The informal feedback I have received so far has been universally positive. Thank you for making the activity worthwhile, and making my role so easy.”

 

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We created and ran the Climate Champion program (2009-2016) of 40+ farmers around Australia who communicated with their peers about climate science. They also participated with researchers to provide them with feedback that shaped the research that got done for the Managing Climate Variability Program, and the products that were created. We wrote stories about these farmers, facilitated their interactions with researchers, and helped them to feel confident to communicate to a range of different audiences. A farmer involved in the program from the start, Susan Tickner said: “You pulled together a bunch of passionate people, of different opinions, backgrounds, sectors, shapes and ages, to present to Australia an articulate and compelling story of farmers managing climate risk.”

 

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We developed a new national bioenergy communication and extension program (2012-13) for the primary industries through the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation. Its aim was to consolidate and communicate knowledge about bioenergy and its relationship with primary industries. We:

  • consulted with target groups to find out their current perceptions, concerns and communication and information needs
  • audited Australian and international bioenergy information
  • identified the best ways to engage with target audiences
  • designed clear, factual and optimistic messages that satisfied our client and its many stakeholders
  • created industry, research and government partnerships
  • produced an agreed communication and extension plan.

 

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We worked with Gold Coast City Council (2013) to develop iNature (Into Nature), a strategy and implementation plan for engaging the Gold Coast’s urban residents and visitors with the city’s significant biodiversity and natural features. iNature is designed to engage people through increasing support provided through Council’s existing conservation programs and through new initiatives to fill gaps. As part of the project we:

  • conducted an extensive desktop review of similar programs from around the world
  • listened to people in Council and the community
  • workshopped engagement concepts and tactics with the project team
  • produced an overarching engagement strategy
  • produced a 5-year implementation plan, which Council will use for budgeting tasks that align with the strategy.

 

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