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Case study on a new Covid-19 client

11 May 2020

In the early weeks of March, governments around the world began moving to shutdown large parts of their economy in an effort to stem the deadly spread of the Covid-19 virus. Businesses everywhere were thrust suddenly into unchartered and often unsustainable territory.
In Australia, the government announced a level 3 shutdown which meant only ‘essential business’ could keep trading.
Australia’s largest hardware retailer approached Newgate for urgent assistance to preserve their business and the 30,000 staff they employed in nearly 400 outlets across the country.
The group needed to do two things quickly: make their case to be considered an essential service (like supermarkets and pharmacies), and to communicate this and convince the Federal and all state governments of their rationale.
Since that time, Newgate has been providing around the clock advice to the retailer on its engagement with government and decisionmakers to ensure widespread appreciation of the essential nature of their stores and highlight how they have demonstrated leadership in implementing best-practice Covid-19 measures.

Newgate’s support has involved: 

Narrative development: Developed key messages to make the case around how the retailer provides an essential service and is critical to supporting local Australian communities and providing activities to support individual’s wellbeing during the pandemic shutdown when people were isolated in their homes. These key messages informed all collateral development.

Strategic intelligence: Engaged with federal and state MPs and political offices to provide intelligence to the retailer about government responses to Covid-19 and their views on the retailers’ Covid-19 related actions.

Market Research: Undertook social research to understand consumer attitudes towards the retailer actions and the retail environment under Covid-19 to demonstrate its key role and community support to decision makers.

Targeted political engagement: Identified and facilitated key briefings of political targets of relevance at a federal and state level.

Eight weeks in and with governments now beginning to lift restrictions, our retailer has remained open and along with many others has made a significant contribution to the continued economic wellbeing of the country as it begins to confront the long-road to recovery.