We're new here and we're still building our portfolio, but to help you understand what we're about, this section gives an overview of some of the projects we've been involved with in the past.
A global agricultural technology firm needed help in the EU with the regulatory renewal of one of its biggest-selling farm chemical products. A straightforward regulatory process had become intensely political, targeted by a coordinated international campaign driven by activists that cast doubt on scientific evidence and mobilised public and political opinion against the client. Our job was to make this niche scientific issue relevant to political decision-makers, and to provide a climate of public opinion that allowed decision-makers to support fact over rhetoric.
We created a multinational, multi-disciplinary team and in a short 15 months mounted a political campaign focused on making the company's political case. In eight European countries, we created a campaign that mobilised our allies and motivated farmers and other users to speak directly to politicians. We conducted extensive research to fully understand the concerns of decision-makers and the public in each country and created a dedicated online presence with compelling content to directly address those questions through video, storytelling and infographics. And we amplified the stories through direct advocacy, third-party support and media relations.
Result: We won! The campaign was successful, regulatory re-authorisation was granted, and the product remained legally available to Europe's farmers and other users.
When a (pre-COVID) Coronavirus outbreak hit a major Middle Eastern country, it created panic. The Health Minister needed to find a way to calm public fears, while at the same time working with the country's scientists and the international community to understand the nature of, and treatment for, this new strain of the disease. He also needed to reform the health system to ensure it could respond effectively. All of this needed to happen quickly, too: the country was only a few months away from an important religious pilgrimage that would draw the faithful to its territory from around the world.
We created a package of public health communication materials to help the Minister's team communicate infectious disease prevention advice. We also worked with the Health Ministry to provide regular (almost daily) updates to the national media on new developments and discoveries. At the same time, we worked with a management consulting firm ato ensure the country's healthcare system was fit for purpose. Working with infectious disease experts we created materials and a communication system to give medical practitioners access to the most up-to-date clinical information and best practices.
As the pilgrimage came closer, we also had to deal with an Ebola Virus outbreak across several countries in Africa. The two viruses together required a complex and multilingual set of communication materials, available in a variety of media, as well as a policies and procedures for deciding who could safely participate in the pilgrimage and a way to communicate this information to would-be participants before they travelled. All of this had to be done in a way that was respectful of this ancient religious tradition.
Result: Extensive planning and communication, done in a way that was sensitive to culture and religion, meant that the Coronavirus outbreak was brought quickly under control, Ebola was not an issue in the country, and the six-day mass gathering went off without incident.
In the aftermath of the 2009 global economic downturn, one of the world's largest carmakers realised that its European division was losing money at an alarming rate. After a radical restructuring of its North American operations, the time had come to transform its European division to reflect the changing dynamics of that market.
The plan called for reduced production in several countries, including Germany, where we would have to close the first auto plant since the World War II. New or expanded plants were planned for other markets. The auto industry is very political, and with a raft of elections happening across Europe, we needed to manage politicisation of this commercial decision, which needed to be taken to ensure the company's continued survival.
Our strategy was to proactively engage with a wide range of stakeholders inside and outside the company. We used dialogue more than statements and gave advance warning when possible, to reduce the potentially explosive nature of the news. We developed a central story and tasked teams in each affected country to adapt it to suit the local situation in a way that allowed us to be consistent, but tailored. The plan respected the European labour process, anticipated and responded to the needs of affected employees and helped politicians and others understand why what we did was necessary.
Result: While an announcement of this size inevitably created news, the company was able to move forward with minimal operational interference. Most of Europe's powerful trade unions saw the benefit in being cooperative. Political fallout was limited, and stakeholders appreciated the company's open and proactive approach. Having made the difficult decisions quickly and openly, the company was then able to develop a new positive working environment with its labour force, based on shared optimism for the future.