Elizabeth HUGHES

strategy & communication

About me

The three things that deliver successful strategy and communication outcomes…


> clarity

> connectedness

> common sense


1.  Communication strategies, plans and policy development

(i) A communication strategy provides a clear framework so all investment in communication activity supports your organisation’s goals and objectives.  An effective strategy should create new opportunities, reduce risk and deliver measurable outcomes.  An implementation plan is also provided containing tactics, timing, responsibilities and costs - enabling you to budget 3-5 years ahead.

(ii) A communication plan is usually applied to a project or specific activity either within the communication strategy or as a one-off deliverable in the business eg to get public buy-in to a project, for promoting a new development or for engaging people in proposed changes.

(iii) Communication policies support communication delivery so it meets principles of clarity, credibility and consistency.  They may include communication protocols as well as crisis management, media, and/or internal communication policies.

2. Internal communication

Internal communication consistently rates as the biggest challenge facing organisations and staff morale.

This facilitated session for senior managers will transform the way that internal communication best practice is delivered and covers:

  • activating and embedding the principles of great internal communication
  • developing internal communication policies and best practice (these can be completed on the day)
  • how to measure internal communication success.

Capability development for internal communication professionals may be provided one-on-one, or a one-day seminar called ‘Successful Internal Communication’ is provided through PRINZ.

3. Media learning

Media training might prepare you for that one-off event that thrusts you into the media spotlight for your 15 minutes of fame.  The other 99.9% of the time is where the foundations for sustainable and successful media outcomes are determined.  This requires media learning.

Media learning covers:

  • what is and isn’t news - and making this work for you
  • constraints and opportunities with broadcast, print and social media
  • developing your own media policies, procedures and protocols to make working with the media clear, simple and effective
  • learning from your own (and other’s) mistakes
  • the fundamentals of successful media delivery.

Media learning is usually run as a half day workshop with governing bodies and executive staff.  A follow up workshop is available for management and technical staff.

         Media learning workshop.pdf

Other consulting services offered include:

4. Strategic review – establishing organisation goals and strategies that will meet changing customer expectations

5. Community engagement – community engagement plans for one-off projects or for review and/or development of policies

6. Capability development – mentoring and supporting the development of your in-house communication professional

7. Risk and reputation management – organisational risk assessment for communication gaps that may damage your reputation

8. Emergency and crisis communication – for when you need help in a hurry or development of policies for management of crisis communication (including Civil Defence preparedness)

9. Customer insight – identifying and meeting customer needs

10. Performance measurement – of existing strategies and/or for communication professionals.



The principles of effective communication


  • people matter the most
  • start with the end in mind
  • join the dots
  • internal before external
  • keep it simple
  • be clear, credible, consistent
  • be open
  • be timely
  • measure everything
  • consider opportunities before costs.


The New Zealand Transport Agency – “The Journey Approach” strategic overview, customer insight research

Creative Tauranga – strategic review

Northland Regional Council – transport advocacy strategy, media learning and governance facilitation

Timaru District Council – economic development strategy

SGL Ltd – “Realising Auckland’s Potential” strategy

Hauraki District Council – Waihi street name changes project management

Far North District Council – transport strategy

NZ Police: recruitment and organisational change/internal communication support

Department of Building and Housing – communication strategy for weather-tight buildings

Auckland Institute of Technology (AUT) – internal communication

Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management – Operation ShakeOut




Tauranga City Council - communication strategy, crisis management, civic spaces community engagement, infrastructure strategy

Priority One/Tauranga City Council - economic development publication “Your Place to Shine”

Hunter Downs Irrigation (South Canterbury) – communication strategy and implementation plan

Southland Regional Council – communication strategy and implementation plan

Waikato Spatial Plan Joint Committee - communication strategy

Waikato District Council – long term plan consultation document, engagement policy and customer service research

Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) contractor and trainer – “Successful Internal Communication” (since 2008)

Society of Local Government Managers – seminar series – Local Government Act Amendments, Communication Professionals’ Forum

Queenstown Lakes District Council – engagement policy

Work Skills New Zealand – facilitation and business plan

SUPANZ – Age Friendly NZ – facilitation and strategy development




  • Post Graduate Diploma in Business Communication, Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Social Science (Resources and Environmental Planning)
  • Public Information Manager – Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency
  • TELARC – qualified business assessor
  • PRINZ – endorsed trainer and member.


Copyright © 2015 by Elizabeth Hughes | strategy & communication