Cannings Purple

Cannings Purple has been selected as an Employer of Choice in The Australian Business Awards 2022. The Australian Business Award for Employer of Choice [EOC] recognises organisations that develop workplaces that maximise the full potential of their workforce through established policies and practices which demonstrate effective employee recruitment, engagement and retention.

“The past few years have had their challenges, and we know we are not alone in that – but we have also seen some amazing achievements for our business during this time, and we’re incredibly proud to be recognised for the strength of our team and our commitment to learning and growing along the way.”

Bri Kent, People and Culture Manager, Cannings Purple

“Our values and greater together ethos are genuinely ingrained in our business, with each person striving every day to support and be a part of a market leading, award-winning culture.

“The past year has seen us continue to invest in the growth and development of our team, build exceptional relationships with our clients, and further develop opportunities for work-life balance.”

Annette Ellis, Managing Director, Cannings Purple

Cannings Purple is a strategic communications agency in Western Australia, comprising of 46 communications experts who deliver exceptional, market-leading results for clients across corporate affairs, investor relations, government relations, design and digital, crisis communication, media intelligence and training, video production, branded journalism and stakeholder engagement.

The agency’s core mission — to start and shape conversations that matter — has fostered the growth of strong and successful local, national and global relationships, building trust and affinity with clients and assisting them to develop and deliver strategies that make a difference to their stakeholders and the world around them.

For the past five years, Cannings Purple has been ranked by Business News as Perth’s biggest strategic communications consultancy — and one of only a handful in Western Australia offering a full suite of services to clients. It is a six-time finalist of the world’s biggest public relations awards, the SABRE Awards, and a three-time winner, including in 2021 where it was recognised by the judges for its bold and creative work with global hydrogen-fuel-cell powered commercial vehicle company, Hyzon Motors.

Fifty per cent of Cannings Purple’s team and eight of the 14 Director-level executives are women, including Managing Director, Annette Ellis, and recently appointed Board Chair, Karen Brown.

Cannings Purple’s strategy is built on five key pillars: people, insight, influence, innovation and impact, which lay the foundations for Cannings Purple’s strategic initiatives, and provide team members with a clear and concise understanding of the company-wide priorities.

The leadership is cognisant of the need for the executive team to make time to work on the business, as well as in the business, and to foster strong connections among the people at this level of the organisation.

The agency has always offered flexible working arrangements, allowing team members to balance time in the office with time working from home. The impacts of COVID-19 saw it take this flexible approach to the next level, empowering people to choose their work location for the day based on where they believe they will be most comfortable.

The company is not only encouraging of its team members work-life balance, but also supports team members to speak up about the things they care about, providing the opportunity to support one another in contributing to the wider community.

An example of a conversation that matters with reconciliation is Cannings Purple’s partnership with the Noongar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI). The partnership established a way to support the employment and growth of a communications graduate of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background. An employee of Cannings Purple, this person provides strategic advice to NCCI as well as working within Cannings Purple.

By providing opportunities for people to upskill and learn, the agency also ensures that clients are being provided the best possible service and benefit from leading edge trends and technology in communications.

Purple Campus, a peer education program, runs throughout the year and features Cannings Purple experts as the presenters. The program encourages sharing knowledge that others may not have the opportunity to be exposed to on a day-to-day basis. In total, Cannings Purple spent the equivalent of 260 days in 2021 supporting and growing their people and careers. The Purple Campus is a key part in building internal capability.

For more formalised learning, Cannings Purple people are provided with a training budget of $2,000 a year which supports them to learn across areas they are passionate about – bringing their learnings back into their role, while building skills and developing their career.

Cannings Purple team members participate in a cyclical OKR (Objectives and Key Results) process. Beginning in October with the finalising of the business strategy, the heads of departments then work closely with each team member to devise a thorough and achievable series of personal and professional goals for the individual. These goals are monitored throughout the year and team members are offered the support they need to accomplish them.

Salaries at Cannings Purple are benchmarked annually against industry standards and additional benefits are also offered, including birthday leave, loyalty leave (in addition to long service leave) and an annual profit-share bonus scheme.

The Cannings Purple culture also strongly supports team members to credentialise and recognise their own colleagues as experts in their respective fields. All Cannings Purple people contribute thought leadership to the consultancy’s thought leadership hub, and amplification of this content via social media is embraced amongst the team, helping to reach more than 240,000 people in the past year.

Cannings Purple’s Wellness Committee, consists of seven team members, and helps create initiatives which prioritise the health of Cannings Purple’s people including celebrating Harmony Day, RUOK Day and Men’s Mental Health Week.

There are currently four team members who have their Mental Health certification, with seven members booked in over the next few months. This certification gives people the skills required to provide first aid to someone suffering from mental health challenges and provide deeper understanding about mental health, supporting the wider team as well as the broader community.

As part of its commitment to health and wellbeing, Cannings Purple offers all of its people ‘Purple Perks’. These perks look to holistically improve people’s physical, financial and mental health, and include:
• Discounted health insurance
• Gym membership discounts
• Birthday and loyalty leave
• Mobile phone, home internet and hybrid office reimbursement
• Health and wellness app reimbursement
• The option for nine day fortnights

As part of its commitment to ensuring a ‘safe to speak’ culture, Cannings Purple’s People and Culture Manager this year chose to take a different direction than the standard satisfaction surveys – instead introducing a new approach where through discussion together, the team could examine their culture.

‘Listening Labs’ have provided the opportunity for team members to voice and explore the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the agency’s culture. This approach generated authentic, genuine in-depth discussions where all members of the team had the ability to express their thoughts and feelings.

As the world returns to a sense of normality after the disruptions caused by COVID-19, Cannings Purple continues to be sensitive to the situations of its people. Where supply chains were becoming limited, P2 masks and Rapid Antigen Tests were provided to team members so that they could be sure they would stay safe as case numbers rose.

The team is provided with access to Lifeworks – an around the clock wellbeing resource and wellness portal with 24/7 safe space to access information which can improve their physical, mental and financial health, and offers confidential access to professional counsellors through an Employee Assistance Program.

Cannings Purple knows that the success of the business is underpinned by the care which is provided to its people. Thanks to its commitment to developing relationships built on trust and respect, the agency is able to create a strong, connected and positive workplace which delivers outstanding outcomes for its diverse client base.

For more information about Cannings Purple, visit

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