The number of criminal offences in Australia is growing each year. One issue with severe community implications is the illicit drug trade, affecting millions of lives across the country and costing Australia approximately $60 billion per year.

Crime Stoppers Queensland engaged ImpactInstitute to help educate the state’s +5m population with the information they need to become the eyes and ears in the community and report unusual behaviour around illicit drug activity. 

The Challenge:

If you had a shot to disrupt the supply of illicit drugs in the community, would you take it? What assurances would you need to help you feel safe enough to do that?

Crime Stoppers Queensland (CSQLD) is a registered charity and volunteer community organisation. Its purpose is to empower the community to provide information that supports the solving and prevention of crime. It has a vision of safer community, and a safer Australia.

In 2023, the supply of illicit drugs in Australia was at an all-time high and CSQLD had a duty to spread the word about the issue.

During the months of April to October, the organisation sought to localise national campaign messaging, and deliver a public relations strategy with maximum reach to encourage community members to report unusual behaviour around illicit drug activity.

It was imperative the messaging speak to regional and urban populations in localised and relevant ways.

Given community tips relate to potentially dangerous organised crime groups, or even friends and family, it was equally important to emphasise anonymous reporting methods that now include digital.

The strategic solution:

ImpactInstitute developed a PR strategy that created a sense of duty among Queensland citizens to report unusual behaviour around illicit drug activity, for life.

Research showed that when people know they’re protecting their family and community against a larger enemy, they are more likely to act in their interests and make a report to disrupt the crime syndicate’s trade.

Using this research, we developed campaign messaging that positioned organised crime as the villain in the story, rather than illicit drug users.

We sought to normalise reporting behaviour by highlighting the number of people already making reports, thereby encouraging more citizens to take part.

We also reflected the positive impact of illicit drugs reporting, such as drugs off the street, disruption to criminal networks, and safer communities. These messages increase the likelihood of ongoing reporting.

Tactical highlights:

  • ImpactInstitute worked with Queensland Police (QPS) to organise a media launch event, collaborating with the Commissioner’s advisory team towards a shared goal.
  • We produced an event run sheet, drafted a speech for CSQLD Board Chair Greg Beale, curated a media list, drafted a press release liaised directly with media. 
  • We worked with reporters from online, print, TV and radio outlets to arrange interviews with CSQLD’s CEO, David Hansen, while he travelled to locations around the state. 
  • To measure success, we gathered data from QPS at different junctions of the campaign. Data showed an increase in reporting which proved effective for further community support and story opportunities in the media.  



ImpactInstitute delivered a thoughtful and strategic campaign that secured a diverse range of coverage across varying media channels.

Top-line results include:

  • April launch: 126 coverage items, 5,492,721 reach
  • August Mt Isa tour: 16 coverage items, 114,600 reach
  • September Townsville tour: 23 coverage items, 6,978,828 reach
  • October campaign wrap report: 9 coverage items, 2,316,524 reach

In total, ImpactInstitute generated an audience reach of 14,902,673 with 174 coverage items proactively generated.

Coverage was featured in outlets including 7News, 9 News, The Courier-Mail, ABC News, Triple M and more.

Throughout the campaign period there was a month-on-month increase in digital reports, and in drug arrests made by Queensland Police, demonstrating lasting positive impact.