Energy Systems Catapult (SSH team integration)

Understanding their needs

When Thwaites Communications was appointed to work with the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) in April 2015, it was made clear that the new organisation was about to go from 1 member of staff (our client, the Interim CEO) to many over a very short period, both through the recruitment of specialist and support employees and through the planned integration of 30 members of the Engineering Technology Institute’s (ETI) team working on the Smart Systems and Heat (SSH) programme.

Our brief was to support this fast growth, specifically working with the ETI to manage the stakeholder communications around the integration, and to ensure that new team members understood the dynamic and entrepreneurial culture of the Catapult from day one.

Unravelling their complexity

ESC is one of ten Catapults, set up by Innovate UK as part of the Government’s long term business growth strategy. ETI is a public/private partnership with many FTSE 250 corporate stakeholders on its Board. The deal was complex as it had to achieve the objectives of all stakeholders, and creating approved messaging around the legal activity was an intricate task.

Through regular meetings, and the development of an excellent working relationship with ETI’s communications team, Thwaites Communications was able to navigate this complexity in a way that ensured all those involved agreed the messaging and were fully briefed on the nature and impact of the integration – at every stage from April to November 2015.

The thing I really like about working with Thwaites is their ability to listen and the speed of the response. Stuff gets done, accurately. It doesn’t matter if it’s strategic around developing the brand, or with sleeves rolled-up helping us communicate with our own team. It’s just done well.

Tim Stiven, Interim Head of Delivery, Energy Systems Catapult

Captivating their audience

In addition to managing the external communications, the Thwaites team worked hand in hand with the ETI to deliver more informal, internal workshops for employees from both organisations.

These workshops, and the subsequent Q&A activity and dedicated online forums, allowed all team members to get a better understanding of ESC’s culture; friendly, honestly challenging and enterprising.

Our team rebranded the ETI SSH office over the last weekend in October, reinforcing the ESC brand with vibrant colours, clear messages and interactive communications tools.

The integration went ahead seamlessly on 2nd November, doubling the ESC team-members in one day. With activity including personalised welcome packs and ‘what do you want us to know about you’ boards in the kitchen, the new team quickly bonded and continues to grow – as does our relationship with ESC.