On 30 May 2019, CSE New Zealand launched a new national, digital radio communications network “ORIONTM” in New Zealand. Wright Communications was asked to provide strategic communications planning and implementation support for the launch, which drew more than 100 industry attendees, along with broader communications assistance and advice through a series of key developments leading up to the launch.
The May 2019 launch of the new network – known as the Orion Converged Communications Core (OC3) network – was the final step in a business development process that began in late 2017, when a merger between industrial control and automation company CSE-W.Arthur Fisher and digital radio communications service providers Genesis Communications was first explored.
The Wright approach
Wright Communications provided communications planning and implementation advice and support for the merger which was initiated in early 2018, including promotion of key managerial appointments and social media developments. Communications planning for the merger looked at both external and internal audiences, to acquaint the industry and customers with the merger and new product and service offerings available from the merged organisation CSE New Zealand Ltd, and equally importantly, to inform employees of both organisations of the changes and their impact on roles, work locations and other cultural aspects. Communications activities undertaken included: preparation of letters to both Genesis Communications and CSE customers; reviews and updates of key managers’ LinkedIn (social media) profiles; media communications including release preparation and distribution; and assistance with internal communications planning.
Once the merger was completed, planning for the ORIONTM network launch, a key growth initiative for the new company, commenced in October 2018. Planning was complicated by the fact that the network itself was being planned and built, new key managers were settling into their roles, and (more significantly) the roles of three key partners in the venture – radio communications hardware supplier Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI) network infrastructure providers Orion Group (both out of Australia), and South Island-based radio communications resellers TL Parker Ltd - were being clarified, negotiated and confirmed.
MSI led the organisation of the launch from January 2019 and Wright Communications worked closely with its marketing and communications teams on the launch communications. Key communications activities undertaken by the agency for the launch included: facilitation of a communications planning workshop and preparation of a Strategic Communications Plan for the launch (October 2018); involvement in a launch planning workshop November 2018 and development of a specific OC3 Launch Communications Plan (January 2019); assistance with preparation of collateral material; and support for a presentation to employees on the new network.
Wright Communications also undertook significant promotional planning for a new Innovation Centre at CSE New Zealand’s head office in East Tamaki, showcasing the new network technology, including a short promotional video on the Centre and a formal event to open the Centre, with a Government Minister officiating. Both initiatives were significantly advanced including video scripting and liaison with the office of Communications Minister Kris Faafoi, but did not proceed for budgetary and timing reasons as well as the prolonged unavailability of the Minister.
Wright Communications’ contribution to the launch preparations included: preparation of the launch release, identification of key media and “pitching” to media plus extensive follow-up; assistance in locating an appropriate venue for the launch and commissioning of photography; development of key messages and Q&A for the event; assistance with preparation of speeches for launch speakers; and identification of possible negative competitor messages and appropriate responses.
The launch, which took place on 30 May, drew more than 100 existing and potential customers and other industry figures and was adjudged a great success by the JV partners. Wright Communications achieved coverage of the launch and the new network by National Business Review (radio and online), InfraNews, Geekzone, Hospitality Business, FTD magazine, Computerworld, CIO NZ, Critical Comms, Reseller News, Radio NZ, NZ Construction News, and NZ Aviation News, while CSE Genesis GM Logan Caulfield guested on an IT Podcast hosted by technology commentator and blogger Paul Spain.
Marketing Manager of CSE New Zealand Logan Caulfield said the launch of the OC3 network was a hugely important event for CSE New Zealand and the Orion Network. "We were bringing a game-changing service to the market against strong incumbent network competition.
"We thoroughly appreciated the value brought to the launch preparations and the event itself by Ron Murray and the team at Wright Communications. Ron ensured the network launch was fully drawn to the attention of media and worked assiduously to encourage journalists to attend and to follow-up on the news, with excellent results.
"The publicity received was greatly appreciated but there was also a significant amount of work over many months to assist us in getting to the launch point well-prepared, and Ron’s advice and assistance in respect of communications with all internal and external audiences, as well as the various partners involved in the network, was an important part of the launch’s success."