Building from the ground up

Developing the core communications for the new Australian Biosecurity Intelligence Network

Issue: In February 2009, public affairs agency Parker & Partners was engaged to develop start up communications for a new Australian Government funded ‘world first’ initiative – a nationally networked framework to connect Australia’s biosecurity community.

Working from a Government investment plan and with a newly established Board and team, Parker & Partners created a message platform that describes the essence of a complex concept in simple terms to engage and secure ‘buy in’ of stakeholders for the first time. Parker & Partners developed a comprehensive three year communications strategy and implementation plan, supported by a website, collateral, expansive stakeholder database and engagement plan, media strategy and outreach, and an official launch. In addition to these foundation documents, Parker & Partners has provided the ABIN team with daily strategic counsel and advice on stakeholder engagement and issues management over the past 12 months, as well as conducting media training and preparation for a significant benchmarking research study of the biosecurity community.

Challenge: With a complex concept and stakeholders involving more than 60 agencies, researchers and operational staff across all levels of government and across the diverse sector of human, animal, plant, aquatic and wildlife health, and an extremely low level of awareness of this new initiative, the challenges were significant.

Insight: Our public affairs team’s strategic approach was based on BIO – Building, Informing and Operationalising, focussed around building a story that informs and grows the supporter base and operationalises ABIN into the everyday culture and activity of the biosecurity community.

The logo developed by our design agency reflects the interaction and flow of information between stakeholders within the biosecurity community, strength and dependability, and the integrity and professionalism of the sector.

Parker & Partners distilled the essence of ABIN into five key words that resonate with the biosecurity community: CONNECT, SHARE, USE, CREATE AND GENERATE. Those terms became the cornerstone of all ABIN communications beginning with the simple message that ABIN CONNECTS people across the biosecurity sector to SHARE, CREATE and USE data and tools to GENERATE biosecurity intelligence, and flowing through to ABINs vision and mission and all communications materials.

Campaign: On 16 March, after 13 months of groundwork, Parker & Partners executed a national launch of ABIN at a well-attended event in Parliament House with key stakeholders and the Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry, The Hon Richard Marles MP and key note speaker Mr Roger Beale AO, supported by media outreach.

Outcome: Parker & Partners has become a trusted adviser to the ABIN team. That trust attests to the quality and timeliness of our public affairs agency’s advice and client service, our professional approach and reliability, and our strategic communications and stakeholder engagement expertise.