Name of Organization/Company: Publicis Sapient, New York, NY USA
Category: Internal Communications Team of the Year
In 2020, our 50+ offices became 20,000 desks and kitchen tables around the world almost overnight. Publicis Sapient needed to prioritize wellbeing alongside transformative client work, maintain trust in our strategy and leadership and keep everyone informed and inspired.
We explored the relationship between our business and people to reboot our internal comms. We wanted to offer something greater than digital business transformation. It was our priority to build on positive momentum with our people, ensuring our people felt connected and well informed in an environment that supports opportunity for all and allows everyone to thrive.
We evolved as strategists, proactively shaping global conversation across the matrix - prioritizing between nice to know, need to know and requires action - with a new approach to tools and platforms, offering tools that serve our communications, not the other way around. We became strategic advisors and counsellors to team leaders and executives, equipping them with tools and information essential for cascading messages and enhancing connection within their teams.
Over 12 months we repositioned the role of IC in the company, made our own work more strategic and kept our people informed and connected in a critical time.
We began 2020 by creating our "2.0" strategy and then we proved it in the pandemic. Ultimately, our news architecture, channel matrix, content planning and leadership communication strategy were overhauled but we focused on progress, not perfection. We halved in size as a team, from 12 to six, but multiplied impact with new partnerships, taskforces and cascades.
We redefined our role in the organization by 1. Taking a seat at top tables throughout the organisation. 2. Using a 'taskforce approach' to key issues which provided a direct feed into global communications. 3. Shifting Exec Comms from big missives to clear, key, empathetic messages repeated often and sharing what we know even if we don't have an answer. 4. Empowering leaders to be better communicators, giving explicit guidance on what to cascade and when, plus verified messages and FAQs for every new situation. 5. Activating and utilizing diverse community voices from within the organization - where they might have worked isolated until now, 2020 gave a platform for scaling their work and their voice globally.
We prioritized consistent, clear messages and reduced noise. Email traffic spiked. So instead, we used Town Halls to give the same context at the same time in a more human way. We launched a consolidated global newsletter and crafted "Leader Packs" to align outreach within teams. We updated tools that matter most. We focused on people and their stories, knowing 'humanity' has never been more important.
Although we are a small team of 6, we pivoted our comms approach throughout our employee journey through 2020
- most touchpoints saw a rework to virtual experiences – with unprecedented success. We held Global Town Halls when we needed them and, not when we didn't. We embraced video and produced everything from on-demand Earnings chapters through to 'in-house band' music videos. Fun, informative and accessible on your own schedule. Celebrations were moved online - our 30th birthday was a pioneering immersive experience built on gaming software you could attend on your own schedule. We introduced new channels and ways to engage like prioritizing live questions in Global Town Halls and releasing the content as 'on-demand' in short chapters the next day. New voices were introduced where we scaled our Business Resource Groups to meet global demand for a safe space amidst social movements.
Within our team, new operating norms helped us be 'lean but mean' with daily check-ins, timezone handoffs and an IC editorial dashboard introduced. Finally, we made new commitments by introducing Juneteenth as a holiday and initializing a recognition gift globally within 10 days of being first mentioned.
We had robust and consistently positive feedback from every level of the organization throughout the year, with our proudest metrics being the 87% of our organization who said they strongly felt that the information about COVID-19 developments and remote working were well communicated, and the 76% who strongly felt connected with their colleagues, managers and communities during COVID-19 phase.
Supporting Document: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/3b554762-02c2-4735-b405-8bc62d4817fb?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720393107&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22Publicis%20Sapient_IC%20Award%20Submission_vidLinks2.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=PlYMV39HR0OARQJIXSu1Z%2FnKU4Y%3D
2020 Recap: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/31e7bd7c-cf7c-4a9b-a0e5-c842b3b69bd8?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720393107&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22IC%202020%20Recap.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=t97HP6KtL1zwjE8205WMg%2FjHSjs%3D
Internal Comms Team: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/68df0fa9-dced-428c-bed6-6fd0e4c4b8b5?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720393107&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22Publicis%20Sapient%20Internal%20Communications%20Team.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=u%2BzZFHe19aKgSL53CHCfb6MqUGk%3D