Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)
Diana Forrester led a communication audit of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) to facilitate the development of a comprehensive and fully integrated communication and marketing strategy for both internal and external AFMA stakeholders. This included recommending how the Authority should structure and manage its communication resources into the future.
The Authority oversees sensitive and emotive issues regarding fishery resources management, has diverse stakeholder groups ranging from the sophisticated to the poorly educated, and requires strategies for lobbying and building relationships with the fishing industry and decision-makers in the public sector to secure funding. The Authority also experienced significant internal communication problems.
Qualitative and quantitative research undertaken for this project involved a communication tools audit, extensive internal one-on-one interviews and focus groups, together with a comprehensive external stakeholder and media surveys. The resulting strategy and proposed service delivery model was workshopped with senior management and presented to the AFMA Board.
The five-year plan Diana recommended was adopted and her team was contracted to provide ongoing strategic communication support to the Authority over a twelve-month period, assisting with overflow tasks while up skilling and embedding appropriate communication resources in the Authority’s team. Communication work included issues management, media liaison, newsletter development and production, speech writing and event management of the Authority’s 10th anniversary ministerial function.
Particular achievements included working with the Department of Defence, AFMA executives, AFMA strategic alliance partners and managing the media issues surrounding the controversial apprehension of illegal fishing boats in Australian waters. The positive media profile achieved on these issues highlighted Diana’s ability to educate and engage key journalists on issues of national importance.