CASG, Department of Defence

Strategic Communication and stakeholder engagement strategy

The Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) purchases and maintains military equipment and supplies required for the Australian Defence Force.

In 2014, Defence commissioned its First Principles Review (FPR) to ensure that Defence was fit for purpose and able to deliver against its strategy with the minimum resources necessary. However, among CASG’s 5,000 employees, there was a lack of awareness of the need for the changes dictated by the FPR, no connection with their daily activity, and little to no understanding of how the reforms would help deliver the investment required by government.  


Between 2016 and 2018, contentgroup embedded a five-person team of communication professionals in CASG to deliver the strategy and products to support major reforms that arose from the FPR.

Using our evidence-based framework (content communication), our task was to develop and implement a strategic communication and stakeholder engagement strategy to position change as the way ahead for CASG, emphasise the significant benefits to individuals and the organisation as well as encourage stakeholders to learn better ways to do business. 

We set up new communication channels and retired old and ineffective ones to ensure that CASG’s communication was reliable and well-targeted. These new channels included a weekly business bulletin called CASBiz, a bi-annual newspaper, a monthly Deputy Secretary message, video content and a redesign of the corporate intranet site that included not only business information but also stories of successful change and individual achievement. We emphasised the need for change through the stories of CASG’s people.

Our five-person team was supported by contentgroup’s strategic, production, graphic design and SharePoint capability.

We validated the success of our approach not only with anecdotal feedback, but also with a structured research program by the Australian National University (ANU) that found that employees were more aware of the reasons for change and how it will benefit them.   

“The communication strategy has made a positive impact on several aspects of participating employees’ work experience. Specifically, survey data show that participants became more aware of the fact that CASG is doing business differently, developed a better understanding of the benefits of these changes, developed a more open and less resistant attitude towards change efforts, and felt a stronger identification with their organisation. Participants also expressed less change-related anxiety at work and manifested slightly higher levels of workplace engagement in terms of energy, enthusiasm, and happiness.”

ANU’s Work Effectiveness and Leadership Lab