The Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils (Soil CRC) aims to give farmers the knowledge and tools they need to increase the productivity of their soils, to help increase the profitability of Australian agriculture. It has 40 participant organisations including 20 farmer groups.

In 2020, in its fourth year and with research results starting to emerge, the Soil CRC came to Currie to develop a new three-year communications and engagement strategy.

To develop the strategy, Currie first reviewed the Soil CRC’s communications activities and channels, and assessed its progress towards its communications performance metrics. We then conducted an online survey of Soil CRC participants to explore five key areas (satisfaction, expectations, preferences, sources, and barriers). A benchmark net promoter score was also generated.

Working with an internal reference group, we used the results of the review and survey to develop a communication and engagement strategy aligned to the Soil CRC’s strategic plan.

This included a three-pronged strategic approach supported by goals, objectives, principles, key messages and recommended tools, tactics and key performance indicators. An implementation plan was also developed to guide delivery.

A critical part of strategy development was mapping and segmentation of the CRC’s complex array of stakeholders. Using an approach based on the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) spectrum, we organised stakeholders in accordance with five levels of engagement: Inform, Consult, Involve, Collaborate and Empower to articulate the level of engagement the Soil CRC will undertake with each. This in turn will guide selection of appropriate channels and prioritise effort.

The strategy was approved by the Board and the action plan will be implemented in 2020-21.

What our client said:
Thanks so much for all your work. It was exactly as I hoped, that we would get fresh eyes, opinions and expertise on our communications. It will make a difference to how we plan and execute our communications and engagement activities.”
– Katherine Seddon, Communications Manager, Soil CRC (August 2020)

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