UTS Library

Workplace Safe 2001 Awards


Workplace Safe

PR Company: 

GBA Communications

Award Category: 

Award Type: 

Call Number: 

2002 I 8



Executive Summary: 

The challenge for GBA was to transform the 2001 Workplace Safe Awards presentation into a gala event that would motivate people to enter the Awards, attract attendees willing to pay for tickets, and increase general interest in the event.

Until 2001 the annual Workplace Safe Awards, launched in 1996 as part of the Workplace Safe Campaign, had comprised a mid-sized (70-80 pax), invitation-only lunchtime presentation paid for by the WorkCover Board.

Extensive research was initially undertaken to determine the right direction for the Awards presentation. GBA then managed the planning, preparation, promotion, media and logistical arrangements for the evening.

The event exceeded its goal of 200 paying guests with 411 people attending (323 attendees paid for tickets). Entries to the Awards also increased on the previous year (a total of 70 entries were received, up from 50 entries in 2000), and have reached a record in 2002 with 81 received.

A survey of entrants following the Awards showed an overwhelming 96% had a positive response to the evening and 92% thought it represented value for money.

An amazing 24 per cent of survey respondents said they would plan to attend the 2002 Awards even if they had not entered.

Situation Analysis: 

The challenge for GBA was to transform the 2001 Workplace Safe Awards presentation into a gala presentation that would attract attendees willing to pay for tickets, motivate people to enter the Awards and increase general interest in the event.

Until 2001 the annual Workplace Safe Awards, launched in 1996 as part of the Workplace Safe Campaign, had comprised a mid-sized (70-80 pax), invitation-only lunchtime presentation paid for by the WorkCover Board.

In order to achieve the goals and objectives set out for the project, GBA needed to plan an event that would be both popular and worthwhile. It was important that there be an element of fun for all attendees and that the evening have the atmosphere of an elegant celebration.

Additionally, it was a priority to ensure the WorkCover Board, the Workplace Standards Tasmania inspectorate and stakeholders were comfortable with and enthusiastic about the new format for the Awards.


Prior to commencing any activities related to the 2001 Awards, GBA and the Workplace Safe Campaign promotions team conducted research into all aspects of the event, including:

  • Speaking with stakeholders and gaining comments from attendees at previous years awards presentations about what they wanted;
  • Research into other awards presentations, including other workplace safety awards, both in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Tasmania and interstate;
  • Research into an appropriate master of ceremonies, including an informal poll of Workplace Standards Tasmania inspectors and employees;
  • Research into the best venue with regard to presentation, food and costs; and
  • Research into a suitable local band appropriate to the expected demographic of attendees.

Target Policies: 

Target audiences for the Awards project were:

  • Tasmanian employers;
  • Tasmanian workers;
  • Workplace Standards Tasmania inspectors;
  • Awards entrants from previous years;
  • Identified stakeholders and representatives of black spot (identified, high risk) occupational groups;
  • Tasmanian media; and
  • The Tasmanian community in general.

Communication Strategy: 

The major areas of activity were:

  • Preparation of promotional materials and promotion of entries in the Awards;
  • Promotion of attendance at the Awards;
  • Event management and co-ordination;
  • Media relations and management; and
  • Advertising.

GBA worked closely with all stakeholders throughout the project. These included:

  • The Workplace Safe Promotions Team;
  • Key personnel within Workplace Standards Tasmania;
  • The Office of the Minister for the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, the Hon Paul Lennon;
  • The Office of the Premier;
  • Workplace Standards inspectors;
  • Members of the WorkCover Board, including guest speaker Dr Rob Walters and Chairman Mark Addis;
  • Wrest Point Casino and booking office;
  • Workplace Safe Campaign advertising agency, Clemenger <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Tasmania;
  • The master of ceremonies; and
  • The band.


Preparation of promotional materials and promotion of entries in the Awards

Following the initial research stage, WorkCover Board approval, and confirmation of the venue, master of ceremonies and band, GBA worked in liaison with the Workplace Safe Campaign promotions team, Workplace Standards Tasmania and Clemenger <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Tasmania on the planning and content of:

  • The Awards presentation poster;
  • The Awards entry form and RSVP form;
  • Guest tickets;
  • Direct mail letters to potential entrants/attendees;
  • Direct mail letters for stakeholders and industry associations encouraging them to distribute information about the Awards to their members; and
  • The Winners booklet, which provided summaries of past Award winners to assist potential entrants with their entries.

The above information (except for guest tickets) was distributed as an Awards Entry Kit to stakeholders, industry associations and employers.

Stakeholders and industry bodies were also approached to distribute Awards kits to their members and encourage them to get involved. Stakeholders included the TCCI, the Local Government Association of Tasmania, Unions Tasmania, the Tasmanian Minerals Council, the Safety Institute of Australia, the Master Builders Association, and the Australian Hotels Association etc.

GBA also prepared a media release encouraging companies and organisations to enter and additional releases promoting close of entries and the record level of entries received. All media releases promoted the new format for the Awards and the master of ceremonies.

Promotion of attendance at the Awards

In addition to materials produced and distributed to promote entry in the Awards, attendance was also promoted by Workplace Standards inspectors, members of the Workplace Safe Campaign promotions team, and GBAs consultants, who used telephone and other contact opportunities to encourage stakeholders and employers to attend the dinner.

The Awards, which were held on the last night of the annual 2001 Workplace Safe Week, were also promoted through:

  • Feature articles in Workplace Issues magazine, which is distributed to Workplace Safe stakeholders;
  • Advertising feature editorial in all three daily newspaper the week before the Awards;
  • Workplace Safe Week launch materials; and
  • General and specific media releases.

Event management and co-ordination

In consultation with the Workplace Safe Campaign promotions team, GBA:

  • Managed all organisational tasks associated with the Awards;
  • Maintained close liaison with stakeholders, the master of ceremonies, venue and ticketing office; and
  • Co-ordinated all tasks through detailed task lists for each component of the organising committee (ie. Workplace Safe Campaign promotions team, the advertising agency, the venue and GBA itself).

In part, GBAs tasks included:

  • Preparing format of proceedings for the entire evening from pre-dinner cocktails in the foyer, red carpet entrance, music types and times, speakers times and order, entertainment times, to the awards presentation.
  • Finalising menu, preparing wording for menu cards and consulting with kitchen regarding special dietary requirements;
  • Ongoing liaison with the chosen band regarding rehearsals with the master of ceremonies, equipment and set-up for the evening;
  • Organisation of all aspects of the Awards presentation function including liaison with the Premier and the master of ceremonies;
  • Preparing background briefing kits for the Premier and the master of ceremonies;
  • Preparing all written materials including VIP invitations, speech notes, media kits, finalist summaries, format cards for tables, guest list and table allocations;
  • Sourcing and briefing photographer;
  • Managing media and liaising with them prior to, during and following event;
  • Providing advice regarding the content of PowerPoint presentation showing the runners-up names, and gold award winner photos and logos;
  • Assisting with co-ordination of spotlight tracking for all winners;
  • Ensuring trophies and certificates completed and ready for presentation;
  • Sourcing appropriate replacement co-presenter (the Premier) when Minister responsible and Chairman were unable to attend;
  • Managing all logistical considerations;
  • Co-ordinating accommodation for the master of ceremonies and others as required;
  • Organising travel arrangements for VIPs as required;
  • Managing staging themes, table themes and branded decorations for the venue;
  • Making allowances for high security needs of Premier as required by Tasmania Police following the events of September 11. As the Premier was presenting Awards from the stage this required alterations to logistics with a very short lead time;
  • Attending and co-ordinating rehearsal of audio-visual presentation, lighting, sound, decoration and so on; and
  • Attending event, managing tasks for contributing members of the Workplace Safe Campaign promotions team, and trouble shooting at the Awards.

Media relations and management

GBA prepared all media related materials regarding the Awards.

Prior to the Awards this included media releases about:

  • Call for entries in the Awards;
  • Deadline for Awards entries; and
  • Record number of entries received.

All media materials promoted the new format of the Awards and encouraged people to attend.

In addition, a comprehensive media strategy was prepared and enacted for the day of and following the Awards. This included:

  • Ongoing liaison with targeted general and industry media representatives prior to and following the Awards;
  • Organisation of media interviews with WorkCover Board spokesman Dr Rob Walters and the master of ceremonies in the days immediately prior;
  • Preparation and distribution of media advisories;
  • Preparation of general media release;
  • Preparation of regionalised media releases focused on local winners;
  • Preparation of comprehensive media kits which included:
    • Media release;
    • Summaries of details about each Award winner and their project;
    • Backgrounder on the Workplace Safe Campaign;
    • CD with on-site photos of each winners project; and
    • Promotional information about the Awards.
  • Liaison with all general media prior to Awards to determine attendance and arrange embargoed, couriered information for those who were not attending;
  • Organisation of extensive statewide print, TV and radio coverage of the event and the winners;
  • Preparation of editorial and management of material for post-Awards advertising features in all three Tasmanian daily newspapers;
  • Liaison with media regarding interviews with winners; and
  • Liaison with gold award winners following Awards and preparation of media releases regarding each for distribution to researched targeted industry media.


GBA provided advice on the content and planning of both TV and radio advertising regarding the Awards.



  • To encourage more people to enter the Workplace Safe Awards by creating a night that people would plan to attend on an annual basis.

The key findings were:

Data regarding the number of Awards entries in 2001 and 2002 compared with previous years shows a significant increase in entries in 2001 and again in 2002, compared with the number received in 2000.



Presentation attendees








(all-time record)

To date, bookings have exceeded those received at the same time last year.


  • To attract 200 paying guests to the gala Awards presentation in its first year.

The key findings were:

A total of 411 people attended the evening with 79% (323 people) paying the ticket price of $85 per person.


  • To transform the annual Workplace Safe Awards from a mid-sized (80 pax), invitation-only lunchtime presentation paid for by the WorkCover Board into a gala presentation with a ticket cost for attendance.

The key findings were:

A total of 411 people attended the gala Awards evening, with 79% paying $85 per ticket.

Additionally, a survey* of Awards entrants following the Awards night returned an overwhelmingly positive response (96% of respondents had a positive attitude about the event). Key results from this survey included:

  • 100% of respondents said they would like to see the same style of function next year (2002);
  • 92% said the event represented value for money; and
  • 92% liked the master of ceremonies chosen for the event.
  • Importantly, the survey* also found that:
  • 68% said they would attend the Awards again; and
  • 24% they would come to the Awards next year regardless if they had entered or not.

*It should be noted that not all Awards entrants were winners on the night. The survey received a 50% response rate.

Enthusiasm about the Awards event was also evidenced in attendees staying to dance the night away, with the venue still full at 1AM (official proceedings were completed by 10PM).


The new Awards format was an enormous success and achieved all goals set for it in its first year. Both the WorkCover Board and Workplace Safe Campaign promotions team were very pleased with the planning, preparation and running of the event and planning/preparation for a similar event in 2002 is currently under way.