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Global law firm Pinsent Masons approached us with the opportunity to refresh the look and feel of their colleague magazine. We took the opportunity to revisit not just the look and the design but also the publishing strategy to make people and culture stories a regular part of the communications mix.
In our view, people and culture stories are a vital part of the communications mix in any business. They underline the values, and when written cleverly can still communicate business or strategic news in a really engaging way. Our initial reaction was that this content deserved a more visible pedestal – with monthly publication rather than quarterly. By splitting the same amount of content across shorter, easier to consume publications, we could deliver the same number of high quality stories in a way that was no more work to produce overall.
We faced a challenge on production, however, with the perceived cost of a monthly publication being much higher than a quarterly, plus the associated issues of distributing a printed magazine to locations as far as The Falklands and Sydney. So we devised a ‘OnePM lite’ publication – an email digest featuring the very best stories of that month. Written in a snappy and highly visual way, this emailer did the job of delivering up-to-date people stories direct to inboxes around the businesses. With the newly refreshed print mag every quarter, this has created a regular drumbeat of people stories throughout the business.
The print and digital versions of the magazine were managed in a similar way, working with a lead client contact and an editorial team. To make access to the editorial team easier, we introduced an online story submission portal, where members of the team could upload their ideas for stories along with pictures and supporting information, and we could craft them into finished stories.
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"The response we're getting shows that people really appreciate the new format. It's giving them just the right amount of information at just the right intervals and really bringing out the personality of the firm. We've had lots of people telling us that it's a good mix of content that makes our growing firm feel more cohesive, which is great for us because it’s so much easier to produce. My favourite piece of feedback though is from the person who told us that the new format "serves as a reminder that colleagues, be they local or in overseas offices, are people with interesting stories rather than just contacts within the company."