Research & Communications Audits

Knowledge is power. Stories and plans are only as powerful as your knowledge of the audience or environment. Will your story or campaign resonate with the people whose minds and hearts you want to influence? What's their story?

Don’t base your communications strategy on anecdotal hunches. Let Griffin Communications disentangle the important elements from the chaos. What are the barriers to effective storytelling, engagement, or brand loyalty? What are the opportunities? What resonates with your staff and stakeholders?

Storytelling is powerful. But the key to that power is knowing the stories and perceptions of customers, detractors and influencers.

From the tangled skein of possibilities, let Griffin Communications help you find your golden thread.


Creative Delivery

Communications audits

Assess the effectiveness of your current communications and make changes to increase impact. Are you sharing the right message? Are you using the right channels? Is your message getting across to the right audience? Are your competitors saying it better? Communication audits also help you better understand the internal and external perceptions that impact your business goals.

Creative Delivery

Focus groups and in-depth interviews

Get to the heart of what your stakeholders believe, desire, and perceive regarding topics relevant to your business. Exploring perceptions of key individuals provides a rich source of qualitative information that can inform your communications and business strategies.

Creative Delivery


Developing a survey and strategy for maximum participation is a science. Asking the right questions, in the right order and in the right way will make a significant difference in understanding the perceptions of your audiences.

Creative Delivery

Environmental scan

Whether you want a competitive analysis or a scan of media or social media perceptions on key issues, understanding your environment will ensure greater success in your strategic planning.


Laurie has designed and executed research projects and communications audits for governments, non-profits, oil and gas companies, a pharmaceutical company, and a medical technology company. Through focus groups, community consultation, in-depth one-on-one interviews, and surveys, clients rely on research that effectively explores their performance, reputations, public perceptions, and stakeholder interests to build communication strategies that effectively address issues and advance goals.

Case study 1: Oil services company focus groups

After acquiring and consolidating a number of small oil and gas service companies under one brand, the leadership team of a large oil services company needed to address issues across its fragmented internal culture. Laurie traveled to various facilities across Alberta to conduct 13 employee focus groups. The findings informed a recommendations report to improve internal communication and alignment with the new company and brand. The majority of recommendations were implemented resulting in increased executive engagement through roadshows, changes to new hiring orientation procedures, employee appreciation events, increased corporate communications, and two new employee publications to provide tighter links between staff and the wider corporation.

Case study 2: Executive recruitment perception audits

Laurie developed a communications and perception audit for an executive placement firm seeking to understand the motivations and perceptions of its primary customers - hiring managers. Laurie conducted 18 in-depth interviews with 13 external hiring managers and five internal leaders of the firm. Combining these insights with a review and evaluation of the firm's communications channels and content, Laurie developed a well-received report of findings and recommendations to heighten brand awareness among potential new clients.

Case study 3: Purchaser insights for heart valve technology

A heart valve technology manufacturer sought insight in the opportunities and barriers to funding a rare but expensive procedure for elderly patients in Canada. Laurie developed and conducted in-depth interviews with interventional cardiologists, heart surgeons and nurses in priority provinces to gain greater insights in provincial funding issues, wait lists, and purchasing decisions. Laurie was able to identify key barriers and opportunities to inform an integrated marketing communications and market access strategy containing detailed process recommendations for purchaser engagement.

Case study 4: Mental health advocacy interviews

Laurie interviewed mental health experts from organizations across Canada to gain greater insight into the issue of mental health and impacts on the workplace. The findings supported a communications strategy to increase brand and issue awareness of a pharmaceutical company releasing a new treatment for depression that also preserves general cognitive function.

Case study 5: Municipal communications audits

Laurie audited the effectiveness of communications practices of two municipalities - a town and a municipal district. Each project included multiple focus groups, including community meetings (organized and chaired by Laurie); in-depth interviews with active community groups/leaders/media; employee surveys; and communications channel and material audits. Research findings identified public policy or perception issues requiring greater public engagement and key improvement areas in the organizations' internal and external communications practices and policies. Research findings also informed larger communication strategies resulting in several improvements, outlined in this website's Strategic Communication Planning section under experience.