Insights. Ideas. Integration. Impact.

We’re about big ideas that have real impact.

Our ideas are informed by our expert insights, developed through social research, including our fortnightly national poll and our understanding of the political, media and digital landscapes.

We integrate our expertise in research, strategy, media and communications, digital, advertising and creative production to create positive social change.

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Our work

We get results and have the track record to prove it.

Whether it’s securing funding for domestic violence services, making childcare more affordable or launching one of the word’s biggest solar farms, we’ve been helping our clients affect big-picture change for 20 years. 


Integrating expertise in research, strategy, media and communications, digital, advertising and creative production, we are the only agency you’ll ever need.

    • Media relations

      We make sure you lead on the issues that matter by targeting the right media at the right time. We are your key media liaison: managing incoming enquiries, briefing journalists on your issues and pitching proactive stories to get you the coverage you want.

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    • Media training

      Hands-on, learn-by-doing media training. We teach you how to get free media exposure and train you to make the most of it, giving you the skills to manage even the most challenging interviews.

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    • Media monitoring

      Be across the breaking news and top stories affecting your organisation. We make sure you’re connected so you can’t miss coverage and are ready to respond to announcements and events as they happen.

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    • Managing launches & events

      We organise and manage events from press conferences to summits to report launches. We know how to make your events newsworthy, making sure you have all the elements required to maximise coverage and impact.

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    • Issues/Crisis Management

      Sometimes the worst-case scenario happens and you’re on the front-page for all the wrong reasons. We provide you with the advice and support to navigate the high stakes media space during issues and crises.

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    • Political strategy

      Understand the political context, process, the power dynamics, how to engage politicians and where your issue fits in the scheme of things. We help you develop the tactical political approach that’s going to leverage your position and pressure or persuade key political stakeholders to act.

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    • Campaign design

      We develop the overarching strategy and tactical execution plan that’s going to meet your objectives and keep all your communications on track and on message. We design purpose-built, fully-integrated campaigns that are made to reach your key audiences in the most effective way.

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    • Government relations

      We help you navigate the world of government, organising and preparing key briefing trips, lobbying efforts and stakeholder engagement.

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    • Narrative Development

      Get cut through on your issue by telling a story. We help you identify the most effective way of communicating in a way that’s going to move or connect with people.

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    • Copywriting and message focus

      We’ll work with you to develop your media kits, website copy and campaign materials. We are expert copywriters and tailor all content to audience, objectives and markets.

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    • Member and supporter communications

      Keep your members and supporters engaged and active. We help you maintain and build your movement and reach by developing content that resonates with the people you’re reaching.

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    • Speech and opinion writing

      Communicate with purpose. We develop speeches and opinion pieces to increase your share of voice and make sure you’re always finding the best way to communicate with your key audiences.

    • Face to Face Focus Groups

      A Face-to-face Focus Group is a discussion group of around 8-9 people, conducted by a focus group moderator. This type of group is a qualitative research method that allows the researcher to explore in some depth participants’ views and opinions in a relatively short period of time; groups are generally 90 minutes in length and are typically held outside of work hours.

      These groups are typically held in dedicated focus group facilities, which provide a two-way mirror for clients to view the groups, and AV equipment for recording the groups. However, we can also conduct groups in other locations, such as hotels and conference venues. It is common to perform two groups back-to-back in an evening.

    • Online Overtime Focus Groups

      An Over Time Focus Group (OTFG) is an online discussion group, generally conducted over three days with around 20 participants (though this can vary).

      OTFGs typically are typically used to gather similar insights to face to face focus groups, but have the advantage of allowing groups to be conducted with people from a wide range of geographic locations, and with hard-to-reach people, who may not be able to attend a face to face focus group.

      OTFGs can be combined with our ‘message mapping’ tool to test creative material, such as narratives, storyboards, logos and ad scripts.

    • Member Polling

      Member polling is a quantitative research method, in which a survey is issued to an organisation’s membership or customer base. Most commonly our surveys assess internal communications, member satisfaction (overall and with products and services), awareness and understanding of campaigns/issues of importance to the our clients, as well as broader topical issues such as voting intention and the future direction of the organisation.

      Generally, the survey will be issued to an email list, though can also distributed via public channels, via social media. We host member polls using our advanced survey platform Qualtrics.

    • Public Polling (Phone and Online)

      Public polls are a survey of public opinion and are designed to represent the opinions and attitudes of a population; survey respondents answer a set of structured questions, designed in consultation with the client, about an issue or topic. Public polls are widely used, are cost effective and are versatile as they can be used to investigate a wide range of topics across a range of respondents and perspectives.

      We conduct public polls either via phone (with a human operator asking questions), or via an online sample. Online polling is generally more cost effective, and phone polls are suitable for when finer sample is require (such as specific postcodes or electorates).

      The Essential Research team uses statistical analysis techniques to examine, interpret and report on survey data. SPSS, a statistical software package, is used to analyse the results.

    • Essential Omnibus Poll

      Essential Research, in partnership with Your Source, produces a weekly national poll – The Essential Report – that tracks opinion on significant and topical political, economic, social and public issues.

      Each Tuesday, we publicly release a series of questions which are also made available to the public by subscription or searchable on our website and published on the Guardian website.

      Essential clients are able to book questions in this national omnibus. Client questions are not released publicly and results are provided only to the client. Questions can be stratified by a number of demographic groups, such as gender, age, state, and voting intention.

    • Robo-Polling

      Robo-polling is the process of using a voice recorded message voice and voice recognition technology in order to issue public surveys. Fieldwork companies are able to rapidly call a large number of phone numbers and ask a number of pre-recorded questions. Recipients respond using their telephone keypad or by voice. The numbers that are dialled can be either from a list provided by our client, or random digit dialling.

      Robo-polls can provide fast turnaround times, and can be targeted and precise geographic areas, such as postcodes and electorates. This method is also cheaper than phone or online polling, but it is limited in the both the number and complexity of questions.

    • Bespoke Research Projects

      We are not limited to the research methodologies listed above, and can design bespoke research projects to meet your specific research requirements. These projects can incorporate the methodologies above, as well as:

      • Desktop research/literature reviews
      • One-on-one interviews
      • Group workshops
    • Branding

      We create a brand identity that conveys your organisation’s unique value with your strategic position in mind. We design visual identities, iconography, colors and fonts and a consistent brand personality for cohesive brand expression. We formulate your brand from research and integrate your brand seamlessly across various channels.

    • Print design and production

      We design and produce high quality printed materials including annual reports, brochures and flyers, print advertisements, banners, signage, corporate packs and more.

    • Creative and concept development

      One of our core competencies is creative and concept development. Central to our process is team brainstorming (because 10 heads are better than one), human-centered methods – getting inside our audience’s minds, and iterative ideation to ensure we don’t lock out a brilliant concept. Our creative ideas are driven by in-house research so we always deliver creative concepts that get the key messages right.

    • Social listening

      Get to know what people are saying about you, your brand or your campaign online. With a specialised set of tools, we can monitor and analyse conversations across all digital and social channels. This can be used to measure the impact of your campaigns, give you deeper insights into your audiences and, ultimately, help you make informed decisions that make your campaign smarter, more relevant and more effective.

    • Digital audits + review

      How effective is your digital campaign and how does it compare to others in your sector? Based on 20 years experience, we have put together a best-practice framework for digital campaigning. Using your analytics and third-party data, we tell you what you’re doing right and give you ways of making your digital campaign even better.

    • Website and app development

      Using our tested scoping and development process, we will help clients design the website or app that will stand the test of time in this rapidly evolving digital media environment. Our experienced designers and developers deliver robust functionality and fresh designs that reflect your campaign or organisation's needs and budget. We use human-centred methodologies to ensure your digital product is intuitive to your key audiences. We are platform agnostic and reach people on the device they are using.

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    • Advertising + media buying

      We produce advertisements for print, radio, TV, digital and social media. Our track record speaks for itself - EMC’s advertising shifts public awareness, changes behaviour and influences the biggest political debates. EMC works with the best creative and production professionals, who have more than four decades in the industry. We identify your communications targets to a granular level, and coupled with our long-term relationships with Australia’s best-known media buyers you will reach the people you want to talk to using the right media type at the right time, for the right price.

    • Social media + community management

      Social media requires constant vigilance, creativity and the best content you can muster to keep your community thriving. We work with key internal staff to select and establish social networking channels, develop policy, plan and deploy creative content and, the trickiest thing of all: kick-starting and maintaining lively communities of interest. We keep watch on the emerging platforms, changes in technology, trends and best-practices so you get the latest on what you need to do to connect with your people and their networks to create impact.

    • Video production

      We produce compelling video content at a budget that suits you. Essential produces broadcast-quality video for any purpose, whether it be animation, documentary, newsread or training content. Our creativity means our stories resonate and engage your audience, no matter how big or small it may be.

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    • Supporter engagement and movement building

      We come up with creative, interesting and strategic ways for supporters to get involved in your campaign. We know how to communicate with a vast array of audiences in a way that motivates them to keep moving up the ladder of engagement, to grow a movement of people who can be mobilized to help make the change you want to see.

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Let's make an impact together.

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