In 2018, BECG was appointed as Midlands Connect’s Strategic Communications and Engagement Partner. The emerging Sub-National Transport Body was relatively young and seeking to establish itself as the region’s transport voice to identify investment priorities.
Initial priorities for Midlands Connect included, securing permanence through statutory status, raising awareness amongst regional and national politicians and business leaders, building consensus on transport priorities amongst regional stakeholders, informing and influencing the Department for Transport, Highways England, Network Rail and HS2.
Working with the in-house team, BECG developed the organisation’s inaugural communications and engagement strategy. This included extensive engagement with regional politicians at local authority and parliamentary level as well as regional business leaders to identify transport priorities and build consensus. The methods involved included detailed political, stakeholder, media and social media audits and workshops were held to assist with stakeholder and audience mapping, message development and benchmarking of perceived challenges and opportunities.
Implementation of the strategy is ongoing but has already secured positive national and regional media coverage, raised the organisation’s Westminster profile and facilitated engagement with local politicians and the business community from across the whole geography of the Midlands.