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The Cluster

Level 20

31 Queen Street

Melbourne, Victoria 3000


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Course Description

Whether it is engaging the community or articulating policy, communication is a vital part of government practice. Public sector communication is different to the private sector – how many corporations have the board of directors individually issuing media releases?

This two day program, led by strategist and trainer Louisa Coppel, introduces the ACUMEN model of communication strategy – your fast track to smart strategy. It will teach you how to plan communications in a more nuanced, more engaging, more consumer-focussed way.

It’s more than just learning. Participants are asked to bring along a real issue or problem from their agency and will develop their own strategy for it as part of the course. A one-on-one coaching session with Louisa after the course will finesse the strategy and ready it for the internal approval process.

Participants will leave the program with a thorough understanding of a robust thought process and approach to developing strategy that delivers measurable results — and a finished communications strategy for a real problem or issue.

ACUMEN model

Participants will be guided through the ACUMEN model, answer these questions as they work through a real problem or issue.


Assignment: What have I been asked to do? The intent? Who initiated it? What are we trying to achieve?

Context: What is the current situation? What is the business strategy of my department/ agency? The current challenges and opportunities? Are there specific issues I need to be aware of?

Understand: Great strategy requires great insights.What evidence, intell, and experience can I draw on? Who are our audiences and stakeholders? What are their issues and interests?


Mission: What is going to change? What are the communications goals? The objectives? How will I measure impact?

Execution: What are the key messages? What budget is available? What tactics will we employ?

Nailing it: Getting down and dirty with the detail. Who’s responsible for what? The timetable for communications? What’s the approval process?


Each participant is scheduled a one-on-one coaching session with Louisa at The Cluster to take your communications strategy from draft to done, and think about what happens next.


If you’re a graduate or relative newcomer to the government communications space, the Smart Strategy approach will make you more polished and more proficient in your practice.

If you’re an experienced government communicator, but wrestle with getting strategies done, or navigating through the approval process, this program will give you a road map, and the tools for doing it.

Every participant can be confident of having more impact (and positive impact!) in your team.


Fee is $2,000 +GST* and includes:

- 2 day training workshop, a week apart so you can source the data you need to make your strategy sing.

- Lunch

- Detailed workbook and Smart Strategy™ templates for immediate use back in the workplace.

- Two full days learning in a facilitated participatory environment.

- 2 to 3 hour face-to-face coaching with Louisa Coppel within six weeks of the workshop.

* Please note there is a 20% discount for organisations booking more than one participant.


What can I bring into the event?

Bring your laptop and a ‘real life’ problem or issue that requires a communications strategy.

Where is the event?

The workshops will be held from 9.30am to 5pm at The Cluster, Level 20, 31 Queen Street, Melbourne.

How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Email: Telephone: 03 8595 3831

What's the refund policy?

Refunds up to 7 days before the course. If for some reason a course is cancelled we can transfer your booking to the next course, or offer you a refund.

How do I pay?

You can pay by credit card here on the Eventbrite booking system. Alternatively you can raise a Purchase Order for the program fee and The Big Picture Strategic Services will provide a Tax Invoice.

Can I update my registration information?

Yes, you will be able to change your e-mail or name during the class.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferable?

Yes, you may transfer your ticket to someone else prior to the first workshop.

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The Cluster

Level 20

31 Queen Street

Melbourne, Victoria 3000


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