RICA officially launches

Media release
2 February 2011

The new external communications brand for the market and social research industry in Australia, the Research Industry Council of Australia (RICA), officially launches this month.

RICA will enable the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS) and the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) to speak as one voice to the general public, government and media about important issues that impact on the profession and industry.

The new RICA brand represents the work of the AMSRS/AMSRO Joint Council, comprised of the presidents (Peter Harris and Martin O’Shannessy), vice presidents (Syzmon Duniec and Hugh Amoyal)
and executive directors (Elissa Molloy and Jane Gregory) of the two bodies.

A new logo, designed by Jay Grey Advertising and a web site at www.rica.com.au, developed by Hyve Creative (who also design the Research News magazine), have been unveiled this month as part of the launch.

‘I am excited at the launch of RICA as the new brand will enable us to make it simpler to explain to journalists and stakeholders who we are and what we do as both an industry and profession,’ AMSRS president Peter Harris told Research News. ‘On many, many occasions in the past, I have started conversations about ASMRS and AMSRO and how they fit together and I always see the same blank faces!

‘The launch of RICA also formalises the fact that AMSRS has been working closely with AMSRO for a long time now on important initiatives that make sense for both the profession and industry to shape or promote,’ Harris adds. ‘RICA gives us a chance to have one single external voice on issues such as higher education and the Client Advisory Board and whenever else it makes sense to do so. RICA is about simplifying and achieving efficiencies – so we can achieve more together for our members.’

AMSRO president Martin O’Shannessy says the decision to develop and launch a single brand was a result of research by Gavin Anderson that showed many decision makers and influencers in Canberra were vaguely aware that the industry existed but made no distinctions between companies and researchers. ‘Instead of us trying to educate them about the complexities of our industry, our reaction to this was to go with the flow and develop a joint brand through which we both could speak,’ he says. ‘There was some debate a few years ago about whether the Society and AMSRO should merge.

The fact that we’ve been able to develop the joint branding and set up an organisation that can actually do something and retain our own identities has been a real achievement.’ O’Shannessy particularly wants to thank Sydney’s Jay Grey Advertising (part of the WPP Group), who provided all of the brand development, logo and livery execution for free as a favour to the industry. He is confident that RICA will position the industry well to respond to the challenges and harness the opportunities that will arise in the year ahead.

‘Change is the byword at the moment in the economy as much as anything else. The pressures that businesses and professionals are facing on the cost and revenue front are going to continue. While in reality things might get a bit better, we’re going to be watching everything we do in the year ahead. Business is going to be interesting and dynamic and changing. Nobody will be able to rest on his or her laurels. ‘There are a couple of enquiries underway about telephone numbering and people’s use of communications. ACMA is getting active again so there is some actual government interaction that we’re going to have to manage.’

Harris and O’Shannessy both single out the launch of the new Graduate Certificate in Survey and Market Research Methods (announced in the last edition of Research News) as one of RICA’s earliest tangible achievements. AMSRO vice president Hugh Amoyal also believes the course will help lift the profile of the industry.

‘We need to start attracting people to what I think is a fascinating industry. We’ve got to lift the profile but unfortunately I don’t think it’s a quick fix,’ he told Research News. ‘I was a bit sceptical a few years ago but now I am encouraged by the progress we’re making in terms of dialogue, in terms of the ideas that are brought to the table and our ability to actually do stuff. The funds that we have are big enough to make an impact. The answer lies in what our two organisations can do jointly.’

The Client Advisory Board is one of the other important initiatives now being coordinated by RICA.

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