Australian economy

Business undertaken by Ginger Days can be classified as constituting part of the services industry. The services industry is the largest and fastest growing sector of the Australian economy. POLITICAL IMPACTS There are two political impacts of significant importance to Ginger Days. Firstly, The Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) must be considered, as the rising costs of public liability insurance is a significant factor when hiring venues and hosting events. Secondly, existing as part of the services industry, the Goods and Services Tax is another important consideration in relation to product pricing.

Other important macro environmental factors include the aging population and the increased affluence of the Australian people as indicated by studies conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (http://www.abs.gov.au). Service/idea According to Hendrix (2002, p.12) the development of a full knowledge of an organisation’s product or service is an essential in order to identify gaps between the service/product provided and consumer expectations. Such knowledge is also vital in defining the competitive standing of the organisation within the wider market.

Ginger Days is a full service events consultancy and can be appointed to handle one aspect of a client’s event through to coordinating every detail. This flexibility is reflected in the basic, silver, gold, platinum and diamond service range offered by Ginger Days. Ginger Days has applied a $3000 minimum charge for services rendered. Ginger Days endeavors to establish a competitive distinction within the market by remaining small and personal, while still matching the standard of larger, more experienced competitors.

History Significant clients include Mission Australia and the Australian Koala Foundation and past projects include the Save the Koala Month and the Koala Karnivale charity ball. It must be noted that due to the short history of Ginger Days and lack of shared experiences among staff, there is an absence of a strong corporate culture. While this means organisational change should be readily accepted, there is a danger it may result in a lack of cognitive order and consistency. (Schien 1984, p4) Stakeholders Cutlip et al. (1999, p.257) note that exploring and analyzing stakeholders is critical in identifying those most likely to have most impact on organisational operation. Through exploration of stakeholders, specific definitions of and detailed information about target audiences can be determined.

CURRENT CLIENTS

Mainly existing within the not-for-profit arena and include: Mission Australia, the Australian Koala Foundation, St Luke’s, Queensland Rugby Union. PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS Include corporate businesses operating within the metropolitan areas of Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. EMPLOYEES Ginger Days employs six staff in total. There is only one full time staff member with the remaining five staff working on a contractual basis. Three of these contract staff operate in Brisbane, with the other two operating in Sydney and Perth.

COMPETITORS

Major competitors include: Events R Us, Hedgehog Events, Kathy Heath Events, Dream Daze, Blue Vase. Public Relations Function Macpherson (lecture 3 slide 15) notes that before developing PR strategies, it is important to investigate the existing function. From this investigation, the effectiveness of existing strategies can be ascertained and gaps where strategies are needed can be identified.However, Arc PR has recognised that while these groups do constitute important publics, the categories are much too broad, needing further segmentation in order to develop differentiated messages that effectively cater to varying information needs (Grunig and Repper 1992, p. 129).

Firstly, as Ginger Days is now established in three states, it is important to recognise the different geographic areas to be targeted. It is important to note that the majority of corporate businesses are located within the central, and other major business districts within Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. In Brisbane, such areas include: Brisbane CBD, Fortitude Valley and Milton. Similar districts exist within Sydney and Perth. These are the major geographic focal points for a PR campaign.

Secondly, it is important to consider the level of involvement of publics existing within these areas. It was noted by Ginger Days’ management that corporate sectors within Brisbane and Perth are largely uneducated of the services and benefits offered by contract event managers. Conversely, it is thought Sydney markets are more informed on such services. While this has yet to be fully researched, if found to be correct, it would be an important consideration in message formulation.

Specifically, it would suggest Perth and Brisbane corporate sectors are largely latent, needing educative messages on the benefits of outsourcing events, before actual promotion of Ginger Days would be effective. If Sydney markets are found to be familiar with events management companies, they can be classed as an ‘aware public’ and will be subject to different strategies. Existing clients are ‘active publics’, again requiring a differentiated message.

It is also important to consider the decision making process in corporate businesses. Public relations tactics will be ineffective if directed at the wrong person/group. Thus it is pertinent to ask “who holds the power when it comes to organizing company events?” When this question is answered, others can be investigated, such as “where does this person/group look for information when they wish to outsource an event?” “What groups is this person a member of?” and “what are the media habits of this person/group?” When such questions are answered, decision makers can be directly target, avoiding the waste of resources spent on messages that do not reach their target.

Finally, employees must be considered as a primary public as noted by Hendrix. Employees constitute the client/organisation interface. As such, it is necessary to build a strong corporate culture and united vision. This is especially important in the case of Ginger Days as vision and culture are still largely undefined, and many organisational changes will be made before the organisation matures. Van Riel (1995, p.9) writes that such internal unity can be achieved by practicing management communication through a public relations function.