Guest blog post: Belinda Scott, APRIA, Community Relations & Bequest Co-ordinator - MS Society of SA & NT and Chair of INTERCOMM (South Australia)
The final Intercomm event for the year on October 11 proved to be an interesting and insightful discussion as this year’s PRIA SA Golden Target Awards (GTA) winners Patrick Anderson from McClusky and Co, and Mark Osborne from StudyAdelaide, spoke about the challenges and triumphs of their winning campaigns.
Questions were directed at both panellists by Intercomm Committee Member and MC Connie Hassourous, as Patrick and Mark outlined how they created and implemented an effective campaign to communicate their client’s key messages to influence change.
Patrick spoke of how critical research was to his winning campaign ‘Dignity for Chronic Pain Sufferers’ in the Public Affairs category due to the legal, political and emotionally charged nature of the topic, and how this required him to thoroughly understand the topic and provide accurate facts to the media in a simplified format. He also outlined how he engaged with the wider community by demonstrating that chronic pain can affect anyone at any time (the issue will affect one in four Australians) by utilising traditional media (print, tv, radio). He also used patients living with chronic pain to tell their story to put some ‘real’ and identifiable faces and voices to the media. He stressed the importance of ensuring spokespeople were trained to speak and adequately deal with the media.
In his winning campaign ‘StudyAdelaide: Creating an army of brand ambassadors’ in the category Community Relations, Mark spoke of how critical to the program’s success was the ability to provide opportunities for international students to engage with other Australians and become immersed in the Australian way of life through fun extra-curricular activities such as attendance at sporting events. Mark outlined how he gained business and stakeholder support by demonstrating how international students would benefit the community, and the challenges that were presented due to the racial issues which occurred in the Eastern states.
Their final tip for anyone wishing to enter the GTA in the future was to plan and strategise well, and include clear key messages and measurable objectives.