Levelling the playing field for businesses

Australian Tax Office

The black economy is estimated to cost the Australian community up to $50 billion; money that could be used to fund vital public services such as health, education and social services.

Our national public relations campaign for the Australian Tax Office (ATO) targeted companies across multiple sectors to explain the fine print of the new Taxable Payments Reporting System (TPRS) and persuade them to do their bit to help tackle the black economy.

Under the TPRS, companies must report the payments they make to contractors. This ensures that the right amount of tax is paid and that businesses can operate in a fair environment. The system was first introduced to the building and construction industry in 2012, and prevented the loss of $2.7 billion in tax revenue. With more businesses using contractors to extend their service offering, the ATO widened the scope of the TPRS over two years to include other industries, who would now need to submit a taxable payments annual report at the right time, with the right documentation.

The ATO engaged Fenton to develop and implement a targeted 18-month public and stakeholder relations strategy, including tailored approaches for individual industries and ethnic audiences, to inform businesses about changes to the TPRS, and educate them about their recording and reporting obligations.

Our strategy extended above the line advertising to tell impacted businesses about the TPRS and help them to comply using clear, engaging communications. To ensure communications were efficient, effective, targeted and accessible, wand phased activity in line with the inclusion of new industries into the system.

An editorial campaign featured tailored stories and social media content, spokesperson quotes and interviews. We backed this up with clear, effective information served up as accessible factsheets, animations, webinars, videos and podcasts.

The campaign achieved significant target media coverage, broad sharing of content by intermediaries and increases in website traffic and compliance. This included an increase in the number of companies accessing translated content as a result of specific targeting of culturally diverse stakeholders, intermediaries and media.

Areas of Expertise

  • Behaviour change
  • PR strategy and creative concept
  • Content development
  • Visual design
  • Online and social advertising
  • Media relations
  • Stakeholder outreach