Communications is often regarded as a “colouring in” activity – a field of expertise that exists to beautify the creation of new products, services, and ideas. The reality is that communications underpins the success of every project and every relationship.
Without the right stakeholders empowered, the right influencers informed, and the right users engaged, even great ambitions can fall short of making real impact. For Defence (and Defence Industry), falling short is not an option – as someone’s life may literally be depending on what they are delivering.
Great importance must therefore be placed on communicating the needs of the Australian Defence Force clearly, with impact, and using leading-edge tactics that will maximise industry buy-in. When it comes to bridging the gap between Defence and Industry, this mission has never been more important than right now.
The traditional air, land and sea domains have now been expanded to include space and cyber. Rapid changes in technology have been accompanied by evolving threats, and the requirement for evolving capabilities to counter them . Put simply, there is a growing need for Defence and Industry to cooperate, collaborate and co-design the solutions that Australia employs in its defences.
We need to establish an equilibrium in the scales that delicately balances security and co-design. It’s great to see the growing appetite Defence now has for collaboration and long-term partnerships with industry. Outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, Defence is committed to passing on more collaboration opportunities to industry while facilitating and utilising more market innovations . Combining the strengths of industry with the strengths of government is where Australians will receive the most value.
There is a strong commitment from Defence to continue investing in Industry, combining efficiencies and strengthening the bridge between them. The bricks and mortar of such a bridge will be communication and the consistent and engaging flow of information that comes with it. Communication is the foundation of any strong and positive relationship. It creates interest, transparency, trust and (if done effectively) – outcomes.
Our mission in Defence is to help deliver these elements, and continue building this bridge. We’ve worked with Defence to deliver a range of assets designed to help industry feel informed, engaged and empowered. These include strategies, communications plans, videos, webinars and designed templates to assist with industry engagement.
With 2021 fast approaching we can expect new challenges, new opportunities and new requirements to communicate. As we leave 2020 in the rear-view mirror, there is no guarantee that our need to transform and pivot quickly will fade away with it. There will always be a new objective, a new challenge, and a new mission to chase. Ours is to continue building the bridge.
 Porter, C. (2020). Watch this space: a whole new war domain. The Forge. https://theforge.defence.gov.au/publications/watch-space-whole-new-war-domain
 Commonwealth of Australia. (2020). 2020 Defence Strategic Update. Department of Defence. https://www1.defence.gov.au/strategy-policy/strategic-update-2020