ISSUE: Generate awareness and support of Greater Manchester's devolution commitment to transfer rail stations to local ownership and management. This was against a significant industry stakeholder back lash.
SOLUTION: Use the media to set the tone and raise awareness but recognise that business and political support was required to influence the full business case with the Department for Transport. Stakeholders were identified and mapped on a power and influence matrix and then aligned with key elements of the proposal around community involvement, local regeneration, transport integration and economic growth. To enable the best possible partnership working, communication plans and strategies were shared in advance with key industry stakeholders and strong relationships maintained even where different organisations had opposing viewpoints.
IMPACT: Significant local, regional and trade coverage achieved detailing the proposal and its benefits. Political engagement delivered through party conferences, MP briefings and production of information documents and brochures. Additionally over 50 letters of support were sent to Government from business and community leaders.
ISSUE: Ensure that Greater Manchester's ambitions for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) are aligned in Government decision making.
SOLUTION: Use economic growth strategies to develop a narrative for Greater Manchester stakeholders of what can be achieved and realised if HS2 and NPR are delivered in a cohesive and joined up manner. Focus communications on the future and the opportunity to develop Manchester Piccadilly once and develop it right.
Growth strategies were transformed into accessible documents that included visual impressions and economic predictions. Video fly throughs were produced and used as part of a targeted social media campaign. A stakeholder launch event was held to include senior regional leaders and the Government's Northern Powerhouse Minister, who were all afforded podium time and responded to questions from the 100 strong stakeholder audience.
IMPACT: Significant local media coverage achieved and stakeholders from across the region were informed of the importance of dovetailing both projects to achieve the single strongest outcome for Greater Manchester.