d About M Power - Communication Empowers

M POWER SERVICES

Karen Morath founded M Power in Melbourne, Australia in 2001 to work with clients - individuals and organisations - to identify and fulfil their needs.

Melbourne is still the firm's strategic headquarters but it has expanded to also include growing practices in Sydney and the Gold Coast and a focus that is increasingly national and international.

Most of our work - whether consulting, training or speaking - is in the area of

  • Empowerment
  • Decision making
  • Customer service
  • Personal effectiveness
  • Public relations
  • Communication
  • Community engagement
  • Life balance
  • Organisational productivity
  • Strategy
  • Small Business/Consulting (for consultants).

 

Here are some examples of the results we get for our clients -

ORGANISATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY

CLIENT SITUATION - The government department was unable to keep up with the demand for its services and customer complaints were increasing despite the appointment of additional staff. We worked with our client to review existing procedures and uncovered a lot of shortcuts being taken with communication that were leading to confusion and the need for work to be re-done in many circumstances. A significant lack of customer-orientation was also deemed 'unhelpful'.

We custom-designed and presented a series of communication skills workshops over several months, covering everything from letter writing and phone message taking to file notes, report writing and 'working with the customer'.

CLIENT IMPROVEMENT - The workshops focused the department on productivity and customer service issues, moving the staff away from their previously technical 'process' approach. Systems and skills were improved and a second program of workshops was commissioned with similar results.


COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

CLIENT SITUATION - The client was legally entitled and empowered to make some infrastructure changes but was facing a hostile community that was opposed to the changes and organised in its attack on the organisation. We worked with our client to design and implement a program of communication and community engagement initiatives that stated the client's case and acknowledged that of the community.

CLIENT IMPROVEMENT - The client was able to implement its infrastructure improvements, according to plan and on time, without a community backlash.


STRATEGY

CLIENT SITUATION - The client, Hume City Council, wanted to encourage local employers to employ local staff and therefore enable local people to find jobs close to home. We worked with them to devise a scheme that leveraged its relationships with a number of existing partners, including local employers, job agencies and the local media.

CLIENT IMPROVEMENT - The 'Jobs for Hume' campaign was launched in partnership with Leader Community Newspapers and has led to the employment of hundreds of local people over many years and has been nominated for a Prime Minister's Award.

CONTRACT PUBLISHING

TYPICAL CLIENT SITUATION - Whether a client needs a brochure, newsletter, flyer or magazine, we start by asking three questions. Why do you want to do it? What will happen as a result? How will you know it has been successful? From there, we can do everything from research to writing and editing, managing the design and artwork stage through to all the stages of printing. We work with a team of expert photographers, designers and printers and match specific expertise to client need.

TYPICAL CLIENT IMPROVEMENT - Usually, our clients 'leave it to us' and we manage the timeline as well. When it is time for the next issue of a newsletter for example, we will be the ones initiating the planning meeting with the client and bringing the list of suggested content. Often we write every word. So clients are getting first class published communication, with very little effort on their part and absolutely no stress. We have never delivered late.

ISSUE AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT

CLIENT SITUATION - Our client was legally responsible for the welfare of some people whose welfare had been compromised. Their role was employer and service provider and more and the issues were sensitive and privacy was critical to protect all individuals involved. There was a community backlash to deal with, constant media enquiries, legal allegations, insurance implications, employment contracts to be reviewed and stressed and overwhelmed client executives to support.

CLIENT IMPROVEMENT - We were able to work with the client to prioritise the issues and stick to our commitment that human privacy was important above all else. We handled the media enquiries, dealt with the community backlash, balanced the advice of the legal counsel and the insurers (who can nearly always be relied upon to advise to say nothing and this is often the worst thing to do) and supported our clients personally as best we could. The situation was handled over several months without the identities of the aggrieved people ever being revealed (as it should be) and with the interests of the client, media, community, lawyers and insurers all satisfied.


STAKEHOLDER MAPPING AND PLANNING

TYPICAL CLIENT SITUATION - Often clients will come to us because they recognise the need to communicate in an organised way with the people around them. Rather than applying a one-size-fits-all communication plan we first sit down with the client to identify all of the different groups - individuals and organisations - they need to communicate with. This process is called stakeholder mapping. The second stage is to develop communication objectives for each stakeholder group and then devise a program that will ensure these are met.

TYPICAL CLIENT IMPROVEMENT - Communication should always be three things - unambiguous, honest and accurate, and purposeful so it is critical that the success of a sustained communication program is measured periodically against the objectives set for it. These might include increased understanding, community engagement, attendance at an event or support for a new initiative. Our success for a variety of clients has been excellent.

FACILITATION

CLIENT SITUATION - Our client approached us for help to write and produce a major corporate strategy document. They had access to all of the information that was required to produce it, or to the people who knew it or could find it, and needed assistance to make it happen. We led a series of workshops with the key people and facilitated the discussion that would create the information required. We analysed the resultant information and filled the gaps by setting up a project team with specific research tasks. The information was gathered collaboratively, priorities were established as a team and we were able to produce a strategy document well within the very tight timeframe.

CLIENT IMPROVEMENT - The client was able to meet its organisational objective as well as benefit from the participation of key staff in facilitated discussions that led to quality decisions about strategic priorities.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

CLIENT SITUATION - We were engaged by a Victorian Council to handle all of its community and media relations. The organisation had experienced an unsettled time in terms of leadership and community and media support. We worked with our client to use open and honest communication in an organised and pro-active way to explain every aspect of what the Council was doing to anyone who thought they had a right to know. We set long term communication goals as well as immediate ones and met each week to ensure every piece of information became public information. We conducted a comprehensive communication audit, ran training sessions for councillors on dealing with the media, boosted the role of the community newsletter and met regularly with the local media who became a vital part of the communication plan.

CLIENT IMPROVEMENT - For the 18 months we ran the program, the council enjoyed unprecedented productive relationships with the local media, each councillor enjoyed a high profile and the local community had a number of channels of reliable information to ensure they were aware of all services, initiatives and challenges.

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