EP#92: Telling Untold Stories at Sydney Trains – with Vanessa Grimm

On this episode of GovComms, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to the Associate Director of Media and Government Relations at Sydney Trains, Vanessa Grimm. The two discuss Sydney Trains’ approach toward handing COVID-19, as well as an exciting new venture from Sydney Trains.

Before her career in communications, Vanessa had decades of experience working in the highest levels of the news media. She spent thirteen years as a Journalist working in the news teams at Sky News, Nine News Sydney, and the ABC. She was also the inaugural Executive Producer for Sky News’ flagship political program Agenda.

Vanessa discusses Inside Central Station, an upcoming television series about the work of Sydney Trains and its staff. Two years in the making, Inside Central Station will shine a light on the untold stories inside one of Australia’s largest and most complex government organisations. The series will examine the unique and exciting daily experiences of many of the 11,000 staff members at Sydney Trains.

Vanessa also explores the topic of how Sydney Trains navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, what platforms they used to interact with train users, which channels worked best and how Sydney Trains have changed their strategy after the lockdown. Vanessa gives insights into how Sydney Trains celebrated their workforce, and how they celebrated pride in Sydney Trains at the difficult times during the pandemic.

Vanessa comments on how Sydney Trains got used to encouraging people to not use their services. She explains why government agencies, of every stripe, need to become content creators by finding compelling and engaging stories within their organization.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Sydney Trains’ upcoming television series, Inside Central Station.
  • How Sydney Trains managed to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.
  • What worked and what didn’t in the effort to promote social distancing on Sydney’s trains.
  • How and why organisations can look internally for engaging stories that can be used in communications campaigns that have an impact.