Planning and implementing stakeholder engagement and communication strategy to raise awareness of the Translink On Demand program

Community and stakeholder engagement, Communication and marketing materials

On demand transport is a shared form of public transport, filling the gap between personalised transport and mass transit.  

In early 2022 Translink launched a trial of on demand transport on the Gold Coast. The trial will run for two years in two areas on the Gold Coast:

  • The Pacific Pines trial area (roam zone A) will service Pacific Pines and parts of Oxenford, Maudsland and Gaven.
  • The Nerang trial area (roam zone B) will service Nerang, Highland Park and parts of Worongary.

The trial services will pick up and set down passengers anywhere within each service area as long as either the origin or destination of the trip is a pre-determined key location.  

Translink partnered with transportation technology company, VIA, to develop and customise a mobile booking app and website to enable customers to pre-book their trip.  

Struber was engaged to:

  • deliver an overarching strategy and implementation plan to (re)position and transition existing and new transport services and products under the new on demand brand – a framework to guide the Customer Solutions team as ODT progresses within Translink.  
  • develop and implement a communications, community engagement and customer service strategy for the rollout of the trial in the Gold Coast with a view to raising awareness of the new on demand services and booking processes

Struber was embedded with the Translink Communication Team from July 2021 to June 2022 to deliver on requirements in the lead up to, during and post the launch of the on demand transport trial on the Gold Coast.

For development of the framework to guide the Customer Solutions team:

Struber engaged often with the Customer Solutions Team Directors and the Executive Director. Regular meetings were from draft stage through refinement to finalisation. By engaging closely with these key stakeholders, the framework matched leadership expectations and established buy in from the team.

For communication and engagement to support the trial on the Gold Coast:

A multi-phased strategy was developed to ensure engagement remained targeted at key milestones through the two-year trial. Struber delivered the first two phases.

Phase 1 – Awareness – Oct/Nov 2021 – aimed at building awareness of the trial and its benefits.

Phase 2 – Education and action – Mar/April 2022 – delivered a delivered a call to action with key messaging focusing the implementation date, downloading the Translink On Demand app, booking and using the service. Timeframes considered school and public holiday periods.

Phase 3 – Seek feedback – Sept/Oct 2022 – aligned to the six-month service review and proposes to proactively seek feedback on trial elements.

Phase 4 – Update community – end of trial, early 2024 – advise on the future of the trial, whether it continues or is removed.  

Interim engagement was determined necessary to keep on demand services top-of-mind for the community. A plan-on-a-page was developed identifying activities that could be delivered with minimal resources (time, effort and cost) to maintain awareness and interest in the service.  

Struber delivered the following activities across the first two phases of engagement for the ODT trial on the Gold Coast:
  • FAQs
  • Project Webpage
  • Social media posts - 4 x Facebook, 4 x Twitter, 1 x LinkedIn
  • Stakeholder emails
  • 2x community newsletters dropped to approx. 19,000 households in the trial areas
  • 3x targeted customer eDMs to approx. 2,500 registered Translink customers
  • 76x pieces of passenger information and promotional signage across 10 locations and onboard vehicles
  • Generic service brochure
  • Customer Liaison Officers (CLOs) on the network - more than 225 hours across 76 shifts; CLOs engaged with more than 1,000 customers
  • 5x drop-in community sessions  
  • Digital and radio advertising
  • Staff and project team briefings
  • Ongoing inputs to Ministerial briefing notes and advices
  • Bespoke content for stakeholder channels

The in-person engagement provided by the CLO team on the network and targeted eDMs to Translink customers proved to be the most successful activities to build awareness and understanding of the Gold Coast trial.

Through this work package Struber delivered a comprehensive framework to guide the Customer Solutions team, successfully identifying a position for the team in terms of promotion and branding for the new services; and outlining the operational requirements in a day-to-day scenario.

Struber successfully planned and implemented the first two phases of the stakeholder engagement and communication strategy for the trial on the Gold Coast to raise awareness and understanding of the trial and its various elements, including how to book.

Supported strongly by the communication and engagement campaign, the on demand transport trial on the Gold Coast recorded more than 5,000 trips in its first two months of service; and more than 2,200 app downloads in the same period.

July 8, 2022
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