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How do you prepare a workforce for an imminent change in ownership?

Communicating the benefits of privatization.

Originally owned by the NSW Government, FreightCorp was an Australian transport company responsible for carrying over 85 million tons of freight a year, including coal, grain, and minerals. Facing imminent privatization, the company sought to help gain employee support, improve efficiency and drive up the share price. They turned to Ogilvy PR for an effective internal communications strategy.

In a time of great change and employment insecurity, FreightCorp employees needed to understand the benefits - for themselves and the company - of privatization. In addition, it was important they have the opportunity to interact and voice their concerns to the senior management. An innovative 24-month communications program was developed and tailored to meet the needs of the employees and management.

FreightCorp was the first privatization in New South Wales that gained the support of its employees. In 2002, the company was sold to the National Rail Consortium Pty Ltd, netting the NSW Government $1.172 billion. Efficiency was raised, helping them achieve significant cost savings that contributed towards the sale price. The Commonwealth, NSW and Victorian Ministers agreed that the sale outcome was a historic step forward in the restructuring of the rail freight industry.