Communications Strategy Summary
1 April 2019 - 31 March 2020
Transport for Wales (TfW) is a young organisation driving forward the Welsh Government’s vision of a high-quality, safe, integrated, affordable, and accessible transport network in Wales. Our vision is to create a transport network of which Wales is proud.
While our mission, vision and values are clear, we now need to establish and develop our brand and engagement, initially in rail and then as a multimodal organisation as our remit widens.
Our long-term communications aims are to ensure that:
- We keep customers at the heart of everything we do and ensure they have a voice in TfW’s development
- Our employees feel proud to be part of the TfW family and their role in delivering our objectives
- We build a fully bilingual, customer-focused brand that’s trusted and respected by our key audiences and becomes a key part of the fabric of Welsh life
- We’re recognised as an innovative world-class organisation
- Our key audiences understand our strategic value and impact on Wales/the Welsh economy
- We demonstrate that we’re delivering Welsh Government policies as well as our impact on all parts of Wales
- Our brand becomes a respected member of the Wales-brand family
- We build effective, trusted and collaborative relationships with customers, stakeholders and interest groups
- We will further develop the ‘Metro’ brand to ensure it complements the wider TfW brand.
Director of Communications
Transport for Wales
2. Our mission, vision and values
Transport for Wales exists to Keep Wales Moving safely by delivering customer-focussed services, expert advice and infrastructure investment.
To create a transport network of which Wales is proud.
We’ll create trust with our customers, employees and stakeholders founded on our values:
How we want our customers to feel: Trusting
How we want our employees to feel: Responsible
How we want our stakeholders to feel: Assured
Being the best
How we want our customers to feel: Impressed
How we want our employees to feel: Proud
How we want our stakeholders to feel: Proud
- The right attitude
- Can do, will do
How we want our customers to feel: Confident
How we want our employees to feel: Empowered
How we want our stakeholders to feel: Heard
How we want our customers to feel: Engaged
How we want our employees to feel: Engaged
How we want our stakeholders to feel: Engaged
- Treating people well
How we want our customers to feel: Valued
How we want our employees to feel: Heard
How we want our stakeholders to feel: Valued
Creating shared success
- Passion for the best deal
How we want our customers to feel: Excited/inspired
How we want our employees to feel: Involved
How we want our stakeholders to feel: Involved
3. Our personality and tone of voice
3.1. Our communication strategy will be built on our four key personality characteristics which are outlined in our brand guidelines:
Our personality characteristics will inform the tone of our communications as well as how we communicate. Our brand guidelines include further details of TfW’s brand personality and tone of voice. We update our brand guidelines (See Appendices) regularly based on key audience insight.
4. Our key audiences
4.1. TfW aims to be recognised as an innovative world-class organisation and in the coming years we’ll build brand recognition amongst our key audiences. We’ll tailor our proposition and messages to engage our key audiences and appeal to those who are new to us.
We’ll develop insight into our key audiences as well as the brand attributes that will establish and build our credibility.
4.2. Our key audiences include:
The people of Wales
The people of the borders (for rail)
Journalists, analysts and commentators
Rail industry professionals and organisations
The European Union (review ERDF requirements by project)
Welsh Government ministers
The Welsh and UK Governments
Members of Parliament
Welsh Government-seconded staff
Employees of partner organisations
5. Key message prioritisation
Image: A pyramid showing priorities.
Top row: We’ll create a transport network of which people can be proud
Middle row: We’re at the start of a journey to transform our transport network in Wales, investing £5bn over 15 years. We’re putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.
Bottom row: We’re a not-for-profit company, wholly owned by the Welsh Government. We’ve been established by Welsh Ministers to help deliver the Welsh Government’s objectives, including the Well-being of Future Generations Act. We work collaboratively with our industry partners.
Image: Circular graph representing Measures, What they are, Who they are implemented for, How they are implemented, with the end Vision being creating a transport network of which people are proud.
6. Our strategic communications objectives
6.1. Our communications mission
To build a trusted brand as Transport for Wales, we must recognise that our brand is ultimately a reflection of the decisions we make as an organisation and the service that we deliver for our customers, and therefore the work we do in communications is only part of the development of our brand. Alongside delivering our organisational objectives, we can support the development of our brand by having human, honest, useful and engaging communications with customers, colleagues, partners and stakeholders across the TfW family.
6.2. We’ll achieve our strategic communications mission to create a brand of which people can be proud through the following workstreams, each focused on our key audience groups:
- Brand and marketing
- Internal communications and campaigns
- Media relations
- Government relations and public affairs
- Community engagement and our advisory architecture
6.3. Brand and marketing
We’ll build and develop TfW’s bilingual brand and ensure that it is applied consistently across all areas of our activity, ensuring that it becomes an iconic part of the Wales-brand family as well as a positive part of the fabric of Welsh life. We’ll create a brand of which the people of Wales can be proud through good design and engaging application of our brand standards.
We’ll demonstrate how we’re delivering against the policy objectives of the Welsh Government by developing a clear narrative built around the Well-being of Future Generations Act, as well as all the other key policy areas in which TfW is remitted to deliver on behalf of the Welsh Government. We’ll deliver specific campaigns built around these policy objectives and where we are remitted by the Welsh Government on specific projects.
6.4. Internal communications and colleague engagement
We’ll build positive and engaging relationships with colleagues to ensure they feel proud to be part of the TfW family. We’ll achieve this by developing positive opportunities to share information and ensure that TfW’s employees and delivery partners have a voice in shaping the organisation. We’ll create tools and a culture to ensure an open, collaborative and transparent relationship exists between colleagues and teams across the organisation and support visible and accountable leadership.
6.5. Media relations
We’ll build a well-known and trusted brand on social media that characteristically reflects our personality as an honest, transparent, useful and human organisation. We’ll reflect our willingness to transform services as soon as possible. We’ll increase positive coverage in the media to help communicate change as well as to develop a clear narrative, structure and tone of voice people can relate to, understand and be proud of. We’ll build and develop strong relationships with industry partners, stakeholders and journalists.
6.6. Government relations and public affairs
We’ll promote TfW’s reputation and build trust in TfW’s brand with Welsh Government, the wider Welsh Assembly, Members of Parliament and elected representatives more widely. We’ll continue to build our relationship with Welsh Government Ministers by ensuring that we deliver their objectives through effective communication, support and engagement. We’ll support the Welsh Government in communicating and engaging with Welsh Assembly Members and Welsh Members of Parliament about operational topics relating to TfW and our delivery partners.
6.7. Community engagement and advisory architecture
Our services shouldn’t just benefit our passengers. They should also positively impact the local economies and communities we serve and we can only ensure we do this by collaborating with those economies and communities.
We collaborated with our Community Rail Partnerships and other local community groups to develop our Community Rail Vision which outlines our commitments from 2019 onwards. TfW will create an advisory panel which will provide insight into how we’re delivering our commitments. Our broader advisory architecture will provide clear and accessible engagement routes for our users, stakeholders and interest groups.
We’ll also consider how our current engagement structures can be incorporated into our new advisory architecture to ensure that there are clear and transparent engagement opportunities across our current remitted responsibilities.
6.8. Detailed strategies
We’ve developed detailed strategies for each workstream using the Government Communication Service’s OASIS planning tool.
7. Our brand and marketing strategy
7.1. To create a brand of which the people of Wales can be proud, ensuring that it becomes a respected part of the Wales-brand family and a positive part of the fabric of Welsh life. We’ll build TfW’s brand through good design as well as engaging and consistent application of our brand standards.
7.2. TfW is a young organisation and in 2019 – 20 we’ll put in place the foundations that will enable us to build our brand and undertake our future marketing activities.
7.3. Our brand will drive the following:
- Our other communication objectives
- Our customer experience strategy
- Our corporate marketing strategy
7.4. We’ve already undertaken significant work to launch TfW and develop our brand to date, and in 2019 – 20 we will focus on building our brand and communicating our long-term impact to achieve our long term aims.
Strategic brand building
As a young organisation, we now need to build our bilingual brand on firm foundations to ensure that we engage effectively with our key audiences and earn their trust and respect. In 2019 – 20 we’ll build our insight into our key audiences to ensure that we develop and implement an effective brand vision/strategy as well as our digital/online brand in line with our developing digital customer experience strategy.
This insight will also drive our creative development strategy and enable us to develop an effective brand promise/proposition, campaigns as well as an impactful visual identity and supporting brand assets.
In 2019 – 20 we’ll continue to develop our tone of voice and core messaging. A distinctive tone of voice will enable us to connect with our customers and ensure that all our communications are consistent whether they’re face-toface, in print, on the ’phone, onscreen or online.
Brand management, application and guardianship
To build an impactful brand with a distinctive personality and consistent tone of voice, we’ll implement strong brand management and effective guardianship. We’ll continue to develop our brand guidelines to ensure that they underpin the detailed application of our brand. We’ll publish new versions of our brand guidelines biannually.
We’ll engage with users of our brand to ensure that they become educated users with a deep understanding focused on our key personality characteristics, attention to detail and consistency.
TfW aims to be a respected, world-class organisation and the interior and exterior of our headquarters will embody our brand and support our ambitions to be an employer of choice as well as the ambitious local regeneration of Pontypridd and the Welsh Government’s inward investment activities.
People/employee brand development
TfW’s aim is to create a brand of which the people of Wales are proud and our mission, vision and values are the cornerstones of our brand. Our people/employees are also playing a pivotal role in building our brand and in 2019 – 20 we’ll develop our internal/people brand and embedding our values to underpin the development of TfW’s culture.
We’ll engage our people by developing a distinctive internal tone of voice that complements TfW’s external tone of voice and ensures that all our internal communications are clear and consistent.
TfW provides services in both Welsh and English and our brand is bilingual. In 2019 -20, we’ll update our Welsh language strategy and supporting policies to embed the Welsh language/bilingualism within TfW’s culture. This will build on the standards we have incorporated from Welsh Government.
We’ll also ensure that our distinctive internal tone of voice recognises that TfW is a bilingual organisation and that all our communications in both languages are clear and consistent.
Strategic marketing and campaigns
TfW is driving forward the Welsh Government’s vision for Wales’ future transport network and in 2019 – 20 we’ll start to build our reputation as an innovative world-class organisation.
We’ll position our role in effectively delivering Welsh Government policy and communicate our strategic value as well as our growing impact on Wales and the Welsh economy. We’ll also develop/update appropriate key messaging/a key message matrix to support all our marketing and communication activities. We’ll tailor our key messages to ensure that they are meaningful to our key audiences.
Our 2018 – 19 Annual Report and Financial Statements will be a key focus during the year and will be the catalyst our strategic reputation-building activities.
Transport for Wales rail customer marketing and brand development
2019 will be TfW’s first full year operating rail services in Wales and the borders and our rail marketing team will build TfW’s brand, recognising the unique nature/requirements of the Wales and Borders rail service.
We’ll establish effective brand guardianship and creative development. We’ll also ensure that our collaborative campaigns contribute to the development of our brand with consideration for the commercial and consumer engagement requirements of our teams.
Development of the Metro brand
The Development of the South Wales and North Wales Metros are core projects for Transport for Wales. As the work to build and establish the services starts, the brand and customer proposition for these services will also need to be further developed from the strong foundation which has already been established.
Development of the Metro brand will be a key activity for 2019/2020 and will need to complement the wider work to develop the TfW brand. TfW will ensure that customers and stakeholders have a clear understanding of the opportunities and benefits that Metro can deliver, as well as the journey to create it.
8. Our internal communications and campaigns strategy
8.1. Internal communications
We’ll build positive and engaging relationships with our employees to encourage them to feel proud to be part of the TfW family. We’ll achieve this by developing positive opportunities to share information and ensure that our employees and delivery partners have a voice in shaping TfW.
We’ll create tools and a culture to ensure an open, collaborative and transparent relationship exists between employees and teams throughout TfW. We’ll also support visible and accountable leadership. This will be built around the adoption of a social partnership model, with employee collaboration and representation throughout our development.
We’ll develop award-winning creative campaigns that are led by the objectives of our business plan and are aligned to our key personality characteristics (human, honest, engaging and useful). Our campaigns will be built on consistent and strong foundations and will build trust in TfW’s brand and the services we deliver while bringing TfW’s brand to life.
Our campaigns will communicate what TfW stands for as well as our vision and values with integrity and confidence. Our campaigns will be internally and externally focused and successfully reach our key audiences.
We’ll also ensure that TfW becomes a leading voice in key national and international campaigns to show our commitment to important industry initiatives, charities and projects, aligned to broader Welsh Government policy objectives.
Internally, our campaigns will engage our people and will play a significant role in developing and embedding our internal culture.
We’ll create ‘best in the business’ internal communications and build a trusted and engaged workforce which cements the one team ‘TfW family’ approach. Working closely with colleagues from Transport for Wales Rail Services, and Network Rail will play an essential role in key areas of the business.
We’ll launch new and engaging platforms created and managed with the views and needs of our staff across the organisation, which will build on our aspiration of becoming an employer of choice.
We’ll take into consideration employee working patterns, including our colleagues based across Wales in other various locations when planning colleague events.
Our overarching aim is for our colleagues to trust our internal communications service and find the service useful and valuable both to their role and as a TfW employee.
We’ll build on our existing, encouraging engagement levels to create TfW’s full suite of internal communications platforms for our colleagues to engage with.
Through our programme of activity aligned to these platforms, we’ll ensure all employees and key stakeholders can easily access key information and updates. We’ll also ensure our employees and stakeholders are the first to know of any changes, launches and relevant updates.
The internal communications tactics we implement, and our chosen platforms will be led and shaped by employee input and feedback.
We’ll encourage two-way communication as part of our internal communications, encouraging our colleagues to participate and provide feedback.
Our internal communications will include multi-channel options, including digital and face-to-face.
We’ll align our internal tone of voice with TfW’s brand.
In 2019/20 we’ll implement a range of campaigns including campaigns to:
- Communicate the launch of Welsh Concessionary Travel Cards
- Cardiff’s Bus Interchange
- Welsh Government’s Transport Change Programme
- The transfer of onboard rail catering services to TfW
- Recruitment campaigns
8.4. Key messages
Our internal tone of voice and key messages will complement and reinforce our brand, vision and values. Our key messages are:
- We’re committed to keeping you up to date
- We’re committed to creating a one ‘TfW family’ approach
- We’re working together to Keep Wales Moving
- We’re committed to achieving our values
In line with our values, we want employees to feel
9. Our media relations strategy
9.1. We’ll build a well-known and trusted brand on social media that characteristically reflects our personality as an honest, engaging, useful and human organisation. We’ll reflect our willingness and plan to transform services.
9.2. We’ll increase positive coverage in the media to help communicate change and develop a clear narrative structure and tone of voice that people can relate to, understand and be proud of. We’ll build and develop strong relationships with industry partners, stakeholders and journalists.
Through our content creation and engagement with the media:
- We’ll build a well-known and trusted brand that characteristically reflects honesty, transparency and a willingness to transform services as soon as possible - For People, For Places, For Wales
- We’ll develop a clear media relations plan focused on key TfW developments/achievements that ensures that we are running media campaigns to communicate and support these achievements
- We’ll increase positive coverage in the media and develop a clear narrative structure and tone of voice that people can relate to, understand and be proud of
- We’ll build and develop strong relationships with industry partners, stakeholders and influential journalists (local, national and rail trades), responding to journalists’ enquiries within required timescales wherever practically possible
- Collaborate with our industry partners, attending regular meetings to ensure consistent messaging and to create a joined-up image of the transport industry in Wales
- We’ll work closely with political stakeholders including arranging ministerial visits to maximise positive media coverage and highlight our relevance to government responsibilities
- We’ll develop a clear message prioritisation structure to underpin all our content
9.4. We’ll create, develop and publish content that’s:
- Relevant to TfW’s responsibilities
- Relevant to the Welsh Government’s responsibilities
- Objective and explanatory
- Engaging and informative
- Always a justifiable expenditure of public funds
- Authentic and transparent
- Politically neutral
We’ll demonstrate visible and accountable leadership by ensuring that relevant TfW spokespeople represent our brand when communicating with the media.
10. Our government relations and public affairs strategy
10.1. We’ll promote TfW’s reputation and build trust in TfW’s brand with our audience: the Welsh Government, the wider Welsh Assembly, Members of Parliament (MP) and elected representatives more widely. Elected representatives are appointed by those that use and are impacted by our activities and therefore it is essential that we work collaboratively with all of them.
10.2. We’ll improve our partner relationships with Welsh Government Ministers by ensuring that we deliver their objectives through effective communication, support and engagement. We’ll support the Welsh Government in the effective communication and engagement with Welsh Assembly Members (AM) and Welsh MPs for operational topics relating to TfW and our delivery partners.
10.3. We’ll engage with Welsh Government Ministers, AMs and MPs to:
- Promote TfW’s reputation
- Build trust in TfW’s brand with Welsh Government, the wider Welsh Assembly and MPs
- Improve our partner relationships with Ministers, ensuring that they feel informed and engaged in TfW’s journey of transformation
- Ensure that they understand that TfW has ambitious, achievable plans and we’re delivering them
- Ensure that they understand that TfW is available and here to help
We’ll develop our insight into our audience to target our communications, recognising our audience’s knowledge levels and interest in transport and ensure that we provide them with different options in relation to how or when they engage with TfW.
We’ll undertake a survey of all AMs and Wales and Borders MPs to develop our insight into their understanding and views of TfW’s services.
We’ll engage with our audience through a range of different communications channels:
- Direct communication, including responding to constituents’ enquiries and attending meetings
- Newsletters summarising our news and forthcoming events
- Drop-in sessions for AMs and MPs at the Senedd and in Westminster
- Constituency briefings, including high-quality online and printed content to update, inform and provide useful information for constituents
11. Our community engagement strategy
11.1. Our services shouldn’t only benefit the passengers using them, they should also have a positive impact on the local economies and communities that we serve, and we can only ensure this by working collaboratively within those communities. As a result, we’ve launched our Community Rail Vision, produced in collaboration with our Community Rail Partnerships and other local community groups which outlines in detail all our commitments for 2019 and beyond.
We’ll create an advisory panel to provide insight and scrutiny for the delivery of our commitments and to guide the development of the organisation. We’ll complement this by developing a broader advisory architecture providing clear and accessible engagement routes for users, stakeholders and interest groups.
As part of our advisory architecture, we’ll also consider how to incorporate our current engagement structures to ensure we create clear and transparent engagement opportunities across our current remit.