The Inside Word

What do you do? 

I am often asked this question. Once an answer is offered, what is government relations? or ‘what is media management?‘ is usually the follow up. 

So instead of an industry buzz word or abstract concept, let me show you what we do through the lens of our team’s activities in the past month. 

Amid national debate on gas, including supply, price caps, and exports, Johnathon has spent time serving as a conduit between an industry client and the federal government. His objective here has been to ensure government understands the impact of their policy settings on industry while seeking to support industry to express their concerns to government. Business and government each possess different perspectives, use different language and are motivated by different objectives. Helping one to understand and work collaboratively with the other is often the core of our work.

Winston has been neck deep in the Senate Select Committee on Supermarket Prices, working closely with a fruit and vegetable wholesaler who wants to make a submission to the Committee. Spending time in the business alongside the client and his staff, Winston was able to provide advice on the nature and purpose of a Senate Committee and how the findings of such a Committee might impact industry based on his years of experience in this area. As he was drafting the submission and tracking the media for related coverage, the Queensland State Government announced its own parliamentary inquiry into grocery prices. We await its Terms of Reference with interest. 

Natasha’s  has been flat out undertaking external media operations for a retail peak body while preparing for the Rural Press Club Media Awards 2024. Assisting the CEO with media engagement, she works with the organisation to ensure retailers are represented in stories and issues affecting them. Natasha has also been working with the team at the Rural Press Club, and has undertaken event preparations, including engagement with those committed to rural journalism and agribusiness. She has also been managing media for the Guinness World Record attempt by SAS Group’s charity partner the Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation aimed at creating awareness around the dangers of coercive control. While juggling all this, we received a request for urgent crisis communications support for an organisation not currently a client. Natasha mapped key media outlets and journalists, and liaised with the client and advised the organisation on targeted media . She’s pretty clever, our Tash!

While on the rural theme, Allanah has been working with a large agri-food producer to refine their brand and marketing strategy. Having visited one of their properties in regional New South Wales to hear firsthand from staff and managers, Allanah set about crafting a strategy that would leverage our client’s existing presence in the market while simultaneously enabling a new story to be told about the company’s future. 

Angela spends some time each week working in the office of an allied health peak body NGO. Journeying alongside their CEO and senior leaders, Angela provides both political and communications advice that positions the organisation to pursue the best interests of its members with policy makers, elected representatives, and journalists. She’s also been working on what is set to be a fun event in Canberra later in the year aimed at getting our pollies active as a tangible way of communicating the importance of our client’s work.

The wonderful Nicolee has been navigating a complex and nuanced communications opportunity this week, guiding a client through a simultaneous mix of media, internal and community engagement. Conscious that a business has numerous constituencies who all require different information and messaging, Nicolee has prepared a communications strategy that captures all these moving parts and did so in what is a sensitive human services environment. 

I can’t cover all the team in one blog, but, as for me, well I swanned around Queensland Parliament looking terribly important but doing very little. No, seriously, I did spend some time at parliament, meeting MPs to discuss policy, legislative and industry concerns and opportunities for clients from organisations as diverse as plantation timber and suicide prevention. I also provided media management support this week to a national company navigating a public campaign with a union during EBA negotiations and worked on an otherwise obscure legislative amendment that currently has a negative impact on some of our state’s largest social service organisations. Work continues on the State Government review into residential care released earlier in the month.

This is but a sample of the tremendous humans at The SAS Group and their activities in just one week. 

If any of this speaks to you or the challenges confronting your business or industry, gives us call.

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