NTT + Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Catch the Sun helps the Australian government communicate in plain English

The client

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) is a consultancy which regularly liaises with the Australian Government. Their client – the Biosecurity Analytics Centre (BAC) at the Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment (DAWE) in Canberra – conduct research and risk analyses about actual and potential biosecurity threats to Australia. The centre provides recommendations to the Department on how to respond to these threats and inform and educate the general public about them.

Phase One

The problem

As a Federal Government team, the BAC had very little visibility within the Department and DAWE staff members had a limited understanding of the centre’s role, operations and outputs. NTT needed to raise BAC’s profile within the Department to maximise their efficacy.

The solution

NTT was engaged by BAC to create and implement an internal communications strategy. Across May and June 2020, NTT partnered with Catch the Sun to bring a ready-made virtual editorial team into the Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment, developing the strategy alongside NTT and providing communications expertise and content. Catch the Sun then conducted a training workshop for the BAC team, giving advice on how they could implement their own communication messages moving forward.

The results

NTT provided DAWE with targeted communications expertise without the need to recruit expert editorial personnel themselves. The Catch the Sun and NTT communications strategy and associated creative messaging helped BAC achieve their desired internal recognition and they were so happy with the results that they engaged both NTT and Catch the Sun for a second phase of the project – this time providing content for their intranet.

Phase Two

The problem

An underlying issue at BAC, and part of their visibility issue within the Department, was the technical nature of their work and the jargon-filled language they used. Much of this had been written by data analysts and was often not understood by users outside of the BAC team. BAC’s intranet presence was a particular problem and it was clear that all intranet content needed a dramatic overhaul.

The solution

From July to September 2020, Catch the Sun worked with NTT to build and populate a new intranet for BAC. We undertook both copywriting and copy-editing, simplifying the content, rewording it into plain English, using active language, and explaining technical jargon and acronyms, wherever possible. Catch the Sun conducted a second training workshop to educate BAC staff members on basic plain-English copywriting principles so they could update and maintain the intranet themselves in the future.

The results

The BAC team was thrilled to have a simple and easy-to-understand new intranet platform to direct internal departmental parties to. The clear and concise content helped to bolster their communications strategy and further strengthened their profile within the Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment.

NTT - quotation mark

Catch the Sun added value to our project from day one with a deep understanding of how to engage audiences through digital experiences and a thorough knowledge of the Australian Government Style Manual. I highly recommend Maddie and the Catch the Sun team for future work.”

Kylie McKenzie, Principal Consultant, NTT

Our work

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