SEC Newgate Research is one of Australia’s most sought-after firms for government, corporate affairs, financial communications and employee research.

We design robust market and social research approaches to assess the needs, attitudes, expectations, and preferences of clients’ stakeholders and the communities in which they operate.

We provide data-driven insights to build an objective case for action and identify the most effective ways in which to engage and influence.

Opinion and Behavioural Research

Much of what SEC Newgate Research does involves exploring and measuring knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, and identifying the most effective ways to engage and influence.

Some of our work in this area involves research among the community as a whole, while other projects are conducted with very targeted groups such as:

  • Customers;
  • Senior stakeholders;
  • People living or working in a certain location; or
  • Employees.

A significant proportion of our research relates to major projects that affect specific communities. We have developed unrivalled expertise in the following sectors:

  • Transport;
  • Energy;
  • Water;
  • Waste;
  • Resources; and
  • Property.

Our experts in behavioural science, psychology and advanced analytics provide an important lens to the development of our research materials and recommendations to ensure they are grounded in reality and will be effective in a real-world context.

Our attitudinal research projects have covered diverse topics such as:

  • Major infrastructure projects;
  • Corporate issues;
  • Tax reform;
  • Energy market design; and
  • Animal welfare practices.

Our behaviour change projects have included:

  • Efficient water use;
  • Switching energy retailers;
  • Reducing carbon footprints;
  • Transport behaviours and road-user pricing; and
  • Emergency preparedness and response.

We also conduct research to identify how processes and associated communications can be improved and these have included:

  • Emergency services;
  • Property acquisition; and
  • Insurance product disclosure and claims processes.

Reputation and Stakeholder Relationships

Our reputation research helps you to understand what you can do to improve your organisation’s reputation and build stronger relationships with stakeholders.

Clients undertake this research in a range of circumstances, including during a period of change, in response to a major issue, or to track sentiment as a part of the ordinary course of business.

Our services in this field range from quick perceptions audits through to our proprietary Reputation Evaluation Program, NewREP and we’re increasingly being asked to help develop appropriate organisational KPIs.

Our sophisticated offering, NewREP, measures the health of an organisation’s reputation and what is driving opinion, helping clients to prioritise actions to improve their reputation over time. It uses proven qualitative and quantitative techniques, with our validated framework built on best practice data science and academic thinking in the field.

We conduct reputation and relationship research with all stakeholder groups, including:

  • Clients and customers;
  • Industry and business groups;
  • Government and regulators;
  • Peers;
  • Suppliers;
  • Media;
  • Community and interest groups; and
  • Other key opinion leaders.

SEC Newgate has conducted stakeholder research for:

  • Government departments and agencies;
  • Major corporations;
  • Professional service and consulting firms;
  • Industry associations and advocacy bodies.

Crisis Research

Every organisation goes through periods of crisis, whether it is an unforeseen event, a reputational issue, a market movement, or a surprise new regulation or tax. The decisions made during this time can have long-lasting implications, and getting them right is critical.

Research seeking to identify an objective community perspective in a pressure-cooker environment can help reduce the risk associated with those decisions.

SEC Newgate’s Rapid Response Research approach allows us to:

  • Conduct high quality focus group and survey fieldwork, mostly within 24 – 48 hours; and
  • Quickly deliver reliable results, with the resources and materials already in place.

From this, we can help you determine:

  • Awareness and knowledge of the issue;
  • Sentiment in relation to the issue and your organisation;
  • Messaging that achieves greatest cut-through;
  • Actions and spokespeople amongst key targets; and
  • The most effective course of action.

This enables you to get the best response to the right people at the critical time.

Our SEC Newgate Communications colleagues can also be engaged to provide clear, realistic and timely recommendations on messaging and actions.

Communications and Engagement

Research to guide communications and engagement strategies is one of the firm’s core strengths.

We provide clients with realistic, specific recommendations based on a combination of:

  • Our team’s deep understanding of how individuals process information and make decisions; and
  • Research designed to test the likely effectiveness of messaging and other actions in leading to shifts in perceptions and behaviour.

SEC Newgate’s heritage in this space which means we have an excellent understanding of the realities of the external environment and communications and engagement processes.

We test narratives, messages, campaign concepts and materials using a range of proven techniques.

We also conduct robust benchmarking and monitoring research to evaluate the effectiveness of programs, specific campaign elements and engagement initiatives.

Our tools include SEC Newgate MessageLab , our proprietary approach to identifying:

  • The messages that will be most effective in shifting opinion among different audiences;
  • The delivery methods that will work with each audience; and
  • How best to frame your overall campaign.

SEC Newgate Research regularly conducts research with broad cross-sections of the community as part of integrated engagement campaigns, often working with our colleagues in SEC Newgate Engage.

Working hand-in-hand with engagement teams, research can inform the context in which communities see an issue or project, and provide insights to inform the communications and engagement strategy and messaging.

Using tools like focus groups, deliberative forums and quantitative studies, research will measure the views of the broader community, helping put the views of those directly engaged into context.

Employee Research

SEC Newgate Research works with clients to identify the most effective ways to communicate with staff. This can involve identifying gaps in understanding of purpose, values or strategy, sources of information, as well as information needs and channel preferences.

We do rapid employee research in times of crisis to inform the internal communications response – critical in terms of maintaining employee engagement and confidence.

Our proprietary Employee Sentiment Program provides an objective measure of:

  • Employee behaviours
  • Employee perceptions; and
  • Employee satisfaction with their work, team and business environment.

This program generates reliable and actionable insights, while enabling organisations to:

  • Manage change and respond in a crisis;
  • Transform culture;
  • Develop and Enhance internal communications; and
  • Attract, engage and retain top employees.

Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) is a sophisticated research tool we use to visually represent the organic relationships and interactions that exist within an organisation – between individual employees and teams.

It enables organisational leaders to shape their strategy and build support during times of change in powerful new ways. ONA shows you how to capitalise on internal communication flows and bridge the gaps.

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An experienced research team

SEC Newgate Research attracts some of the best and brightest research talent in the country, with more than a quarter of staff holding PhDs.

The top-heavy team has expertise across all qualitative and quantitative research methods and includes a highly skilled data science team. They are focused on finding new ways to meet clients’ emerging needs.

They come from multi-faceted backgrounds including:

  • Behavioural science, psychology, sociology, anthropology and social policy
  • STEM sciences including statistics, mathematics, behavioural evolution
  • Communications, marketing, media studies and journalism
  • Politics, economics and international relations