When it comes to any elected government official, whether it be a mayor or local board member, we all want people who are advocates for their communities. It’s local election time, and this year, Words for Breakfast (WFB) worked with one district council to produce their pre-election report.
When makeshift billboards cover the grass verges of New Zealand, it’s local election time.
But before the campaigning and meet-and-greets can get started, all Councils must prepare a pre-election report. It’s an independent document, designed to be used by both voters and candidates, that investigates the financial performance of each Council, and delves deep into the major challenges and opportunities it will likely face over the next three years.
Over three months, we collaborated with a district council and its senior managers to gather the information the community would need to feel informed and confident when thinking about the future of their area.
Afterwards, we had a chat about the final report and how the team felt about working with WFB.
Our client joined the district council in February 2022 and was almost immediately tasked with the pre-election report. While she could draw on her previous central government experience, this was her first time working in a local council.
It wasn’t long before our client dropped into our inbox after speaking with a colleague who had previously worked with WFB.
“I think Helen’s used to working with people who are more expert in their area than I was,” she laughs.“Right from our very first discussion about how we might go about tackling this project, Helen made me feel confident I was working with the right person for the job.”
As you can imagine, a pre-election report covers a lot of ground, and involves looking at some complex topics – including climate change, transport infrastructure, waste management and community outcomes.
Our client says that’s where Helen’s expertise shined through.
“I was impressed with how quickly she picked up on the political nuances of what we were talking about and then how to communicate those issues in a simple and easy-to-understand way that would make sense for our community.”
The whole process from start to finish was super collaborative which, in her opinion, has resulted in a more engaging and interactive report.
“I love it when two people can discuss opinions and feedback in a rational way. Helen was very good at that – I really enjoyed how collaborative she was.”
A big part of the project was conducting multiple interviews with different managers across the organisation.
Our client says Helen’s ability to adapt to different types of people and styles of working was “effortless”, and all involved unanimously agreed.
“If the interview needed to be more formal or casual, then that’s how it went. The feedback I got from people afterwards was that they found Helen very personable and professional, and she had a real knack for quickly picking up on key focus points.”
It was our client’s first time working with a copywriting agency, and we’re stoked to hear she found it “a positive experience”.
“Helen’s experience was invaluable to me. She helped steer me in the right direction, and I always felt like I was in good hands. I never worried that the project wasn’t going to get done or that it wouldn’t come back at the highest quality.”
Considering the size of the report and the number of stakeholders involved, our client is thrilled that the project ran smoothly, something she attributes to our processes and communication.
Only one moment left her scrambling, but not for long.
“We were coming up to the deadline, and I realised I hadn’t thought about proofreading. I quickly contacted Helen, and she said, ‘We’ve got your back!’ so I was able to breathe a sigh of relief,” she laughs.
With local elections in full swing, the report is coming into its own. Our client recently handed out over 200 pre-election reports during a large meet-the-candidates meeting and saw people referring to it.
“We wrote a series of questions to prompt people to think about different issues and what they could ask the candidates, so it’s great to see that in action.”
Even though our client’s attention is now on other things, we’re pleased to hear she wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to us again.
“I would 100% work with WFB again because of your professionalism, high quality of work and collaborative approach to working with your clients. You worked in a way that suited us, and we really appreciate that.”
- Result: an engaging and interactive pre-election report
- Impressed senior managers
- Streamlined processes kept the project on track
- End-to-end copywriting service: interviews, copywriting and proofreading
- Great communication and professionalism