AMREP Case Study

Curious? Inclusive? Driven? Open?

"As part of the investment in our new brand, it was important that our members – our internal stakeholders - became aware and excited about the opportunities at the Alliance, and promote the Alliance values through their work."

~ Dr Renee Dutton, Executive Office Alfred Alliance

The Project

Conversation Caravan was engaged by the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) to assist with the launch and revitalisation of its new brand and external identity – The Alfred Research Alliance (The Alliance). The internal launch of the Alliance was a recommitment by Council to work with staff and member organisations to intensify collaboration and strengthen the external positioning of the precinct.

Conversation Caravan carried out staff engagement to both inform and engage staff in a broader conversation about the Alliance’s values as reflected by the brand pillars and role of the Alliance in enhancing their experience onsite. The location-based engagement was also complemented by an array of launch activities (speed dating for researchers, guest lectures and the official signing of the recommitment) arranged by AMREP staff.

Analysing data allowed Conversation Caravan to provide detailed findings to the Council and recommendations on the Alfred Research Alliance’s role in bringing about the changes desired by its internal audiences.   

Challenges

  • Encourage participants to take part in the project away from their busy schedules
  • Capture responses from all six different member organisations
  • Break down perceptions of working autonomously within their own organisation
  • Engagement needed to occur within the four day time frame.

Keys to success

  • Place based engagement conversation space provided a presence for staff to easily access
  • Incentives, such as free coffees and a daily Red Balloon gift voucher, were provided to staff to encourage participation
  • Vibrant display creating a sense of place and visual interest
  • Postcards with brand pillars provided to participants to provide visual reminder of rebranding
  • Participation was optional and respondents self-selected to opt-in to activities, with variety of timed activities.

Outcomes

  • 382 internal staff members were engaged across the four days.
  • Feedback was representative of the desired demographics targeted (job role and organisation variety).
  • Four clear roles emerged for the Alliance to consider.

Reflections and Key Learnings

  • Interest and participation in the project was successful with an average of 95 people participating in the project daily across six hours.
  • Given the size of the site, perhaps arranging satellite pop ups closer to individual organisations may have  attracted larger audiences.
  • Asking participants to make an individual commitment to working more collaboratively opened up a wider conversation about the individual role of staff to creating change.  

Making a difference

Here at Conversation Caravan we like to make a difference. We measure how many businesses we support in the local economy, the number of voices heard and the number of staff we believe we supported and fostered a community engagement approach.

Here are the stats for this project:

  • Two local businesses supported
  • 382 voices heard
  • Two staff supported with their engagement

Quotes

We ran an exercise about creating a commitment to work more collaboratively. Here’s what some participants shared:

“Start a conversation with my manager about setting up a Fundraising Committee across the precinct.”

“Working better with front line staff through internal communications to help staff to do their job better and making community aware of us.”

Testimonial

“The Alfred Research Alliance engaged the Conversation Caravan to support the internal stakeholders of the Alfred Precinct to reconnect with the opportunities on site and to understand the story of the new branding.

As part of the investment in our new brand, it was important that our members – our internal stakeholders – became aware and excited about the opportunities at the Alliance, and promote the Alliance values through their work.

Having a dedicated week of activities to focus introducing the Alfred Research Alliance brand, values and attributes to our internal stakeholders provided us with a great opportunity to understand what motivates them in their work and how we can support them more effectively. It also provided ways for stakeholders to engage more effectively with each other. In a data driven area of work, having the opportunity to gather qualitative and quantitative data to drive future targeted activities was really important to us – the Conversation Caravan assisted us to collect this data. We had opportunities to discuss the rationale for the Alliance, to promote the values of the Alliance and to connect researchers. The positive and engaged atmosphere was pivotal to secure buy-in.  Our daily prizes helped to draw participants and photos and vox pops also assisted further advertising on social media platforms throughout the week.

Cindy and her team were such a pleasure to work with – upbeat, full of initiative and very motivated towards the event being a success for the Alliance. Thank you so much for your services!” ~ Dr Renée Dutton, Executive Officer Alfred Research Alliance