MSL improves internal collaboration


MSLGROUP is Publicis Groupe’s Strategic Communications and Engagement Company. It was created in 2009 from an amalgamation of two smaller PR networks and 16 sub-brands operating in the communications space.

In the last six years, the company has evolved significantly, both by fully integrating the existing agency brands under MSLGROUP and also through acquisition - more than 10 new companies have joined MSLGROUP in the same period.  This reality lead to a growing and vital need for enhanced internal collaboration in order to bridge the inevitable silos, and bring like-minded teams closer together.

A key project to sustain global transformation

In this context, MIND, the new collaboration platform emerged as an initiative to sustain the global digital transformation and followed these 3 main objectives:

  • Easily find the right expert within the group and connect
  • Create a global database for case studies
  • Develop a sense of community within MSLGROUP

Sneak preview of the collaboration platform

Take a peak at how the project and elium's (formerly Knowledge Plaza) capabilities were presented internally.

Our methodology at elium (formerly Knowledge Plaza) is to start with an agile 3 to 6 months launch phase. This helps devise the solution's architecture and take into account continuous feedback from users. This agile process ensures the overall architecture is adapted and user experience becomes more fluid to guarantee user adoption and match the cultural working environment.

However, the key to the high engagement rate of employees that ensued the launch of MIND is largely due to the stellar communication strategy that MSLGROUP delivered. The proverbial shoemaker's children didn't go barefoot; quite to the contrary, the agency produced amazing strategic communication and has exceeded in "selling" the project internally thus creating curiosity, enthusiasm and engagement within the group.

Communication strategy outline

Branding, Branding, Branding

MIND has the ambition to become the brain of the company, where all knowledge is deposited and subsequently found, shared, enhanced...

The branding's lively colours appeal to everyone in a very subtle way and hints at the applications the platform could be employed for. Without burdening people with PowerPoint presentations, nor long and tedious lists of beneficial aspects. MSLGROUP was able to create a strong anticipation and identification with the collaboration platform using the evocative power of the logo inserted in illustrations.

Give it a name

Many of our customers choose to keep the "Knowledge Plaza" name, but MSLGROUP did otherwise. By naming the platform with a smart and strong word such as MIND, they have ensured that the first rule in advertising is checked: it sticks! (I, for that matter, have about 20 claims that sprang to MIND while writing this blog post)

Change for fun

Changing (work) habits is always a challenge; the self-help volumes that have been written on the subject prove it.  Demanding change as a company is not a road paved with success;  and there is always a thin line between encouraging with enthusiasm and nudging stressfully your employees. Respecting individual timings, work preferences is a must; MSLGROUP teased their messages containing encouraging new ways for employees to work, hinting at the solutions these new ways would bring: such as reducing emails.
By playing on the awareness of social tools used in the private life, they managed to send out a very positive and encouraging messages to give MIND a try.

Work & Play

MSLGROUP has created video teasers that were shared with all employees to encourage them to connect to MIND. Their "mission" was to discover the hidden talents of the members of the board.
By introducing an aspect of "Gamification" they picked on their employees curiosity and managed to convey  demonstrate easy it is find  expertise and skills within the group.

Say it out loud; Say it clear

To keep the project on top of everyone's mind; the platform and its objectives was introduced in the agenda of numerous meetings. Communication about the project, its progress and status created a real awareness and anticipation within the company. With the help of key departments such as HR, Internal Comms, they managed to enlarge the pool of sponsors.  In addition, short meetings, known as "KP lunchtime" have also been organised in some countries to hold Q&A sessions and gather feedback.

Make it Count (with a massive launch)

On launching day, make it count! All the efforts paid off  because launch was meticulously planned and orchestrated. Cupcakes were placed on all desktops with an invitation to take time to log on MIND during the coffee break. That's difficult to avoid...unless you're gluten intolerant.

Make it Easy

Of all the features MIND has to offer, MSLGROUP primarily focused on the search; because it fulfils the most important objective of the platform and provides instant access to content such as case studies. Promoting the "Search" unveils goldmines of knowledge, previously stored on various drives or in inboxes. MSLGROUP emphasised transparency, thus encouraging its employees to share and contribute to a global knowledge base, promoting collective learning, and laying the ground works for future innovation.

Our final words

For a successful launch into new collaboration territory, the commitment needs to be high from beginning to ... well this is a never-ending process! Tease your messages to make people curious and motivate the first connection. Embed the practice of the platform into daily process and work and then plan for real user engagement with strategic content. Stay with it, even if you hit a plateau...

To instil new behaviours, you need to create new habits, and this is by no means an easy task. MSLGROUP did that by carefully using some "gamification" techniques to get their employees attention and promote fundamentals of the platform. Smart move !

The inevitable repetition that MSLGROUP has created by sending out their messages, teasers, videos, generated anticipation, curiosity. But most of all, it expanded their pool of supporters which has proven to be a winning strategy.

... last but not least the name of your collaboration platform can also be important, keep that in MIND!

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