Research and insights

Research can be a valuable part of any campaign, providing an understanding not just of what people think, but why they think it. It can help objectively quantify behaviours and contribute to understanding what is generating opposition or support for a change in behaviour or attitudes.

Whether it is focus group discussions, one-on-one interviews, telephone polling or online surveys, our proven methodologies and in-house expertise allow us to integrate research into the design and execution of our major campaigns.

Some of our experts

Some of our success stories

Federal Government owned not-for-profit organisation

Since 2017, Civic has acted as public affairs adviser of record for a major Federal Government owned not-for-profit organisation.

Operating in a contentious area of public policy, the client works with a national stakeholder network that includes all levels of government around Australia.

As an embedded public affairs adviser, Civic has advised on communications, stakeholder engagement and media relations during a period of extraordinary change and growth in the organisation and its work.

Civic provides communications risk management advice on major national communications campaigns and has developed and implemented national stakeholder engagement programs to support multi-million-dollar funding programs.

Working together with the client’s executive and board, Civic provides advice on all aspects of communications, from speechwriting and copywriting, to issues and reputation management, creative campaigns, government and stakeholder engagement and internal communications.

Successfully advocating for a new public hospital

For the residents of one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions, the nearest public hospital was out of reach and out of space.

In the lead up to a recent state election, the council engaged Civic to develop a research-informed campaign to seek pre-election commitments from the State Government and Opposition to build a full-service, 24-hour public hospital in the region.

Research underpinned the development of a compelling campaign brand that raised awareness of the urgent need for a hospital, generated regular media coverage, more than 17,000 signed postcards and emails advocating for the hospital and helped forge a strong advocacy relationship between council and the community.

The campaign secured significant funding commitments and following the government’s re-election it progressed the planning of the new hospital.

Metropolitan fringe developer

Civic steered one of Melbourne’s largest precinct structure plans from development through to approval.

Part of this work involved defending the precinct structure plan (PSP) from a neighbouring competing land use, that if approved would have made elements of the client’s project unviable.

A key member of the project team, Civic worked closely with the developers, planners and lawyers to ensure an integrated approach from the outset. A strategic communications and government relations program was implemented to build support for the PSP at each level of government, including among political stakeholders and decision-makers.

Targeted community engagement helped manage local interest in the project. Civic’s comprehensive engagement approach, coupled with our ability to navigate the complex political and policy landscape ultimately secured the approval of the PSP.

Local government organisation

Civic developed an engagement plan for one of the nation’s largest local government authorities. A series of workshops with senior staff and one-on-one interviews informed this work.

Central to this work was identifying and prioritising stakeholders, their influence, importance and interest in council’s operations. From there, the focus was on identifying in what way, how often, on what issues and by whom each stakeholder should be engaged – and their feedback recorded and acted on, as required.

Ensuring there was a purpose to each engagement and that it benefited both parties – council and the stakeholder – was essential to developing strong and purposeful relationships needed to ensure effective engagement.

An internal communications strategy to raise awareness of council’s new, strategic approach to engagement was also developed.

Emergency services organisation

Following a period of change, one of Victoria’s most prominent emergency services called on Civic to review, update and redraft its engagement plan.

The organisation had identified the need to develop a stakeholder engagement strategy that would better enable it to identify and work with stakeholders across emergency services, government, business and the community.

To inform the development of the engagement strategy, Civic interviewed 25 staff members from across the organisation, gaining a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of its existing engagement approach and what changes those who would be responsible for implementing the strategy thought were needed.

The implementation of the engagement strategy effectively supported the arrival of a new Chief Officer, assisting him in understanding the organisation’s key stakeholders and how best to form relationships with them.

One of Australia's fastest growing local government authorities

For more than 30 years, the council had been at the forefront of managing rapid population growth. Its road network and limited public transport options were at breaking point, affecting the community’s quality of life and limiting access to jobs, education and services.

With an evidence base that supported the need for road upgrades and a rail extension, Civic was retained to develop an advocacy campaign that called on major parties to commit to major infrastructure projects in the region in advance of the November 2018 state election.

Activated community members showed their support for the campaign to ministers, members of parliament and election candidates online, in person, through the media and at events.

As a result of the campaign, major roadworks were funded in the 2018 Victorian Budget, with commitments to more works announced during the election campaign. The Labor Party, Liberal Nationals and Greens all went to the 2018 election with a commitment to deliver on the council’s ask.

Luxury car brand

In advance of a 2020 Senate committee inquiry into the automotive industry, Civic was retained by a luxury European car brand to provide strategic advice and support.

This included working with the company on its submission and appearance before the committee as well as a supporting communications strategy to raise awareness of – and counter opposition to – structural changes in the business’ operations and sales model. Deft engagement with the media, dealer networks, shareholders, regulatory bodies, customers and staff was required.

Civic’s work with this client on a range of business-critical matters continues.

Establishing a new local government alliance

Civic helped form a national peak body made up of the nation’s fastest growing municipalities that are home to more than four million Australians.

While each member council faced their own individual local issues, they recognised the value of working as a collective to advocate for the services and facilities fast-growing communities deserve but are beyond the remit of local government to fund.

Civic developed a multi-pronged campaign to raise awareness of the organisation and the issues affecting their members. Ten years on, the organisation is thriving.

Community energy efficiency scheme

We use energy every day – to run our homes, businesses and lives.

When a state government sought to better understand why – and why not – the community was participating in a program that offered incentives to invest in new energy technologies, it turned to Civic.

Civic designed and delivered a research program that informed a report that identified communications approaches that would reach and resonate with target audience groups.

The report played a role in reframing how the program was positioned and promoted, helping to remove administrative complexities and make the program easier to participate in and benefit from.

Communicating change to federal government departments

In early 2020, Civic was retained to provide assistance in crafting messages and materials to be sent to all Australian public servants to keep them up-to-date on the impact COVID-19 was having on the public service and the changes being put in place to ensure Australians could access the services they need, when they needed them.

This work included developing messages for use by departmental secretaries and agency leaders and drafting a series of open letters co-signed by departmental secretaries.

Civic also conceptualized and developed an APS-wide newsletter, interviewing workers and crafting content for each edition and providing strategic advice on the development of editorial protocols to ensure future editions remained true to purpose.