We provide communication solutions that deliver. We’re a full service communications consultancy, with over 20 years’ experience in developing and executing integrated strategic communications.

Our Approach

We work with clients who share our values and our commitment to excellence. We invest time into understanding our clients, the environment in which they operate and their objectives. Our core values drive the work we undertake; we approach every project with integrity and aim to foster long-term relationships with our clients. Our creative solutions deliver outcomes – we help shift public opinion, influence government policy and strengthen organisations.


Research allows us to accurately understand issues and audiences, frame debates, test our solutions and evaluate our success. It also informs the development of our strategic communications advice and execution.


In an environment where behaviours are changing, Essential knows how to create strategies that employ the appropriate tools and channels to reach different audiences.


We execute communications strategy across all media platforms – free, paid, digital and social.


We also employ a rigorous evaluation framework throughout and following the execution of strategies, so we can ensure objectives are met.

Our Services / Research

Our Services / Research


Essential Research, our expert team of researchers, develops programs that provide insight rather than mere data.

We deploy focus groups, benchmark polls, key informant interviews and the latest online research tools to understand issues and audiences, frame debates and test solutions.

Our communications audits take an in-depth view into an organisation to make strong recommendations across all media, platforms, materials and practices to enable organisations to meet long-term objectives and drive efficiencies.

Contact us to discuss our research services

Our Services / Communications

Our Services / Communications


Essential is synonymous with effective internal and public communications.

Our expertise includes strategic communications, campaign planning and execution, media management, issues and crisis management, advocacy support and stakeholder engagement.

We won’t steer our clients to a ‘one-size fits all’ approach. We understand the latest technology and our communications strategies recommend a mix of tool and tactics that maximise opportunities and meet a clients objectives, timeline and budget.

We develop and oversee the execution of media plans, including the production of materials, preparing spokespeople, managing press conferences and interviews and evaluating outcomes.

Contact us to discuss our communication services

Our Services / Digital

Our Services / Digital


Essential is at the forefront of developing and implementing social and online campaigns, offering a full suite of digital services.

A key ingredient to our success is our ability to maximise the impact of key moments and react to the political, social and traditional media landscape through rapid response action.

Essential works in partnership with our clients to develop and execute campaigns that can elevate free and paid media and community organising.

We keep watch on emerging platforms, changes in technology, trends and best-practices.

Contact us to discuss our digital services

Our Services / Production

Our Services / Production


Our team is highly experienced in the process of creating effective branding, logo, print, advertising and web design that ensure communications articulate the values and purpose of an organisation or campaign to its target audience successfully.

Essential also produces broadcast-quality video for any purpose, whether it be animation, documentary, newsreads or training content.

Contact us to discuss our production services


Essential has been the strategic force behind some of the most influential and important campaigns in Australia. With offices in Melbourne and Sydney, our highly skilled team of consultants provide a full suite of communications, research and digital services.

Our clients include high profile organisations such as the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, National Disability Services, the Luke Batty Foundation, Fight for the Reef, and GetUp!.

Research is at heart of our proven methodology.

Our research arm, Essential Research delivers annually over 300 focus groups and 50 benchmark polls.

Every week, our national poll The Essential Report charts the national mood and drives public & media debate. It’s one of Australia’s most-accurate gauges of voting intention.

With our partners UMR, we offer deep research expertise in both New Zealand and Australia.

Our People

Tony Douglas

Executive Director

Tony Douglas founded Essential in 1997, with over 25 years’ experience on the frontline of the biggest public affairs communications campaigns in Australia.

Tony’s experience includes driving research & strategy behind the ACTU’s successful “Your Rights at Work” campaign. Tony provides high-level strategic communications advice to Governments, including key campaigns in South Australia that have helped underpin that state’s defence manufacturing industry.

Peter Lewis

Executive Director

Peter has been a Director of Essential since 1999, and has over 20 years’ experience in public affairs and media.

He has driven groundbreaking projects such as the successful Every Australian Counts campaign to gain bipartisan support for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Peter provides regular public and media commentary on key issues, especially around the insights from our exclusive Essential Report.

Olivia Greentree

Associate Director

Olivia is a communications specialist with more than seventeen years’ experience in public relations, media and issues management. She leads Essential’s team focused on non-government organisations, with strong expertise in disability support, aged care & environment.

Before joining Essential in 2011, Olivia had over 10 years’ experience in senior communications roles in the NSW Government, including management of communications for a key Olympic Games site, and serving as Media Advisor to several NSW Ministers.

Tim O'Halloran

Associate Director

Tim O’Halloran is a public affairs and strategic communications specialist with 15 years’ experience in the public and private sector, and leads Essential’s team focused on membership-based organisations and unions.

Tim has worked as a Chief of Staff and Communications Manager to Federal and State Government ministers, and has advised ASX-50 companies on key public policy issues. His background as a policy professional, in both social and economic policy areas, provides a balanced and integrated perspective on campaigns and communications.



T. 02 8280 9100

Level 11, 338 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000


T. 03 9929 9999

Level 2, 15-31 Pelham St
Carlton VIC 3053

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