StrategyCorp was engaged by a publicly funded broadcaster to provide strategic advisory services on the development of its five-year strategic plan. The organization had recently overcome a series of challenges, the majority of which pertained to the organization’s ability to demonstrate value to public stakeholders given fiscal constraints. StrategyCorp recognized that the client’s primary issues were related to public policy – demonstrating value for money and being differentiated within government – and not simply a need for a strategic plan that addressed immediate internal problems.
StrategyCorp led a comprehensive process to develop the organization’s new strategic plan. This process included undertaking a comprehensive research program into the macro- and micro- factors affecting both the industry and the client’s internal processes; understanding the policy priorities of the client’s primary stakeholder; and reviewing revenue opportunities for the client which could fit into a publicly funded mandate.
Additionally, StrategyCorp conducted stakeholder consultations with thought leaders in broadcasting, education public policy, and current affairs as they related to the client, and with employees throughout the organization. As a result of the success of this work, the client retained StrategyCorp to implement the plan and socialize the organization’s new strategic direction among government and other stakeholders.
Toronto was once home to a squatters’ camp of over 125 individuals who took up residence on a strategically important parcel of privately owned land in the City’s eastern downtown core. The land, owned by Home Depot Canada, became the focal point for political debate, and more seriously, dangerous and deteriorating conditions for the people living there and in the nearby community. At the same time, Home Depot was under increasing political pressure to effectively dedicate the site as a permanent ‘tent city’.
Home Depot’s corporate values would not allow for that, and turned to StrategyCorp to lead the coordination of the government relations and communications effort to wind down ‘tent city’ in a safe and respectful manner for the people living there. This included complex communications planning, extensive operations and securities logistics, sensitive government and stakeholder engagement, and real-time crisis communications and media relations activities.
As a result of the successful implementation of the plan, the inhabitants were safely removed from the site, and Home Depot emerged as a compassionate and responsible organization that had no choice but to act to bring a conclusion to an untenable situation.
To accomplish this, StrategyCorp developed a comprehensive strategy for the client which enabled them to achieve realistic funding goals. This strategy included key messaging which outlined a strong case for the political and policy logic of the client’s funding request, as well as a clear, attractive ‘ask’ targeted to specific ministries and departments at the federal and provincial levels of government. StrategyCorp assisted the client in presenting its proposal to government officials and aided the client in conducting inter-governmental relations with respect to its request. As a result of StrategyCorp’s work, the client achieved its goals.
StrategyCorp was retained to help the seven municipalities reach consensus on sharing the burden of the financial contribution. Not only was StrategyCorp responsible for developing a model for cost allocation between the municipal entities, but it also was integral in addressing several perceived service concerns raised by the municipalities as a result of the expansion.
StrategyCorp worked with the hospital and the municipalities’ financial teams to resolve the terms of the capital agreement – a process which culminated in holding a public meeting with all councillors from all municipalities to gain their approval on the allocation of capital costs.
Working closely with the company, StrategyCorp conducted a reputation assessment that included a review of social and traditional media, public opinion research, internal and external stakeholder opinion research, and a review of the organization structure, capacity and capabilities. We also conducted a full issue audit of all of the major public affairs challenges that the company had or could face. The strategy developed for the company provided a set of key objectives for addressing their weaknesses and leveraging their strengths. StrategyCorp developed and helped implement a number of new programs, including a full rebranding culminating in a major television and on-line ad campaign to build the corporate reputation, and a new issues management and assessment system to protect corporate reputation. Another important element of the corporate reputation enhancement program was a strategic philanthropy initiative that tailored corporate giving and philanthropy to the company’s operations and investments in three countries, enabling the company to maximize the corporate good it could provide to the communities in which it operated, while also leveraging this investment by aligning its philanthropic actions with its overall brand.
For this Canadian-headquartered company operating in multiple jurisdictions around the world, it was critical that management be able to apply uniform standards across all global platforms, whether for reputation enhancement, philanthropy, media relations, issues or crisis management, or community, stakeholder and government relations. StrategyCorp was able to assist this company in establishing an overarching strategy, implementing the appropriate tactics and developing the organizational structure to deliver to the corporate standard uniformly throughout its global operations.
Today, this company is much better positioned for success.
Two years later when public concern for the future of the old hospital site was becoming a reputational problem, the hospital network engaged experts from StrategyCorp’s communications practice to lead a strategic communications and stakeholder engagement effort. Services provided included: stakeholder engagement; strategic communications planning and execution; message development; spokesperson training; and, community consultations, including specific outreach to local media and ethnic community media outlets.
StrategyCorp was retained by the municipality to conduct an Operational Review of these additional matters, which included a recommendation on an appropriate governance model for a local airport; a review of the municipality’s information technology (IT) function; an examination of the potential delegation of certain planning functions; and an examination of the basic organizational structures and human resources which might yield potential streamlining or organizational savings.
StrategyCorp undertook an environmental scan of the municipality and its structures, gathering provincial context and conducted summative information consultations with key stakeholders. StrategyCorp analyzed the findings from research and consultations, and produced a detailed analysis with 38 substantive recommendations. StrategyCorp’s presentation outlining its recommendations was extremely well received by municipal members of council.
StrategyCorp was given the challenge of undertaking a governance review of the Alliance and Park administration and developing a strategy to fulfill the vision of the Park and developing a workable and long-term governance model.
StrategyCorp’s team worked closely with elected and appointed representatives from each of the Rouge Park Alliance members, senior staff and the Alliance Chairman. Historically, while the members shared a number of common goals and interest in the Rouge Park, there were also areas of disagreement and mistrust. As a result, StrategyCorp developed and executed a comprehensive engagement plan which allowed for the members to speak openly, share information and work as teams to identify issues and solutions.
The solution StrategyCorp crafted was to dissolve the Alliance and win federal government buy-in to transfer the land to Parks Canada, while each of the Alliance members relinquished a degree of control. The key to protecting their individual interests was in the form of an innovative ‘new founding deal’ and participation through an advisory committee structure.
As a result of this work by StrategyCorp, the Federal Government announced its intention to adopt the proposal, and with $100 million in funding, create the Rouge National Park – Canada’s first ‘near urban’ National Park.
Such a challenge was undertaken by StrategyCorp when it was retained to assist in developing a business case for merging two hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area. This business case was subsequently presented for consideration to the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and later the Ministry of Health.
As part of this engagement, StrategyCorp developed an environmental scan to assist the hospitals to better understand the strategic context of the merger; developed the business case for the merger, including the framework for the merger transaction and governance structure; and advised the hospitals on the strategic communications and stakeholder engagement requirements to build stakeholder trust and public support for the merger. Engendering public support for this merger was of utmost importance for StrategyCorp, particularly given past reputational challenges faced by the hospitals.
The LHIN and stakeholders by focusing the merger on improving the quality and access to quality care for patients, instead of on the strict economics of the merger. This focus allowed the governing Boards, management teams, and stakeholders of both hospitals to work collaboratively to create a new integrated entity to better meet the needs of its community.
The fund’s main mandate was to increase cultural tourism in the province by investing in one-off or first-time cultural events. For this client, StrategyCorp developed a strategy to achieve realistic funding objectives, and helped the fund develop a strong case for the political and policy logic of its funding request. StrategyCorp worked with the fund to develop a clear, attractive “ask” to be presented to targeted government ministries and departments, and assisted the fund in presenting its proposal to government officials. Working directly with the fund’s Chair and Board of Directors, StrategyCorp helped develop a strong, compelling narrative that was effective in gaining a renewal of funding.
As a result of StrategyCorp’s government relations and advocacy assistance, the fund obtained a full reinvestment from the provincial government.
StrategyCorp worked with the client to develop a unified communications approach and an integrated issues and crisis management regime, which has enabled the client and its sister organizations provide consistent messaging to all stakeholders from the organizational level.
StrategyCorp’s work involved all aspects of strategic communications from communications planning, message development, issues and crisis management, media training, and stakeholder auditing and management throughout Ontario. StrategyCorp successfully equipped the client with the strategies and tools necessary to position itself as a leading provider of front line community health care.