By Gloria Lombardi

“An idea is not an idea until people participate in it” – Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore

The multi-awarded advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore, specialises in a range of communication disciplines including digital, social media and technology. Employees are highly creative and eclectic people devoted to a purpose: to create compelling ads and transform brands’ reputation in society.

The company’s objective at the beginning of the year was to increase the sharing of innovative ideas to produce original work. They were using Facebook and emails to accomplish that, but it wasn’t effective. They needed to take the clutter out of team chats and focus on what was important.

A solution was clear for the Regional Business Director Sue-Ann Chan who was supported by her General Manager Celevel Butler: to adopt a friendly and easy-to-use internal social platform. Pie, gave them just that. The Singapore-based group communication tool makes a mini-chat room for everything colleagues want to discuss – from links, files, questions, images, to what’s for lunch – so every conversation stays on topic.

A slice of Pie for everyone brings innovation alive

“Despite being relative new inside the company, it’s very encouraging to see how much people are using Pie. Each department finds new ways to get work done,” says Chan.

Designers and creatives share campaigns, videos, music-clips, stunning pictures, and new trends to generate discussions around innovative work. “From these conversations they come up with actionable ideas to build up new campaigns.”

The Account teams shared inspirational work done by others as thought starters for creative.

Leaders are also advocates of the tool; the CEO Paul Roebuck goes frequently to the chat room to comment and give his viewpoint on projects.

Private groups

Like in any employee social network (ESN) staff can create open and private groups. The agency makes extensive use of the latter especially for pitches. “For any particular pitch the team behind that assignment creates a closed group to talk about the delivery.”

“It’s important for them to have this safe environment to discuss sensitive information about clients, while ensuring to protect their reputation.”

Another effective use of closed groups was around The Saatchi Creative Technology Night the annual event organised by the agency for the creative industry in Singapore. This year, the purpose of the event was to keep clients in tune with the latest advancements in digital technology.

“The team behind The Saatchi Creative Technology Night used Pie to share ideas on the suitable speakers and case studies to present at the event.” By commenting on each other’s inputs they were able to find experts on the latest mobile trends, from mobile retail to mobile gaming, mobile marketing and consumer behaviour. Through the platform, the team also organised the live demos to display at The Saatchi Creative Technology Night, giving the opportunity for attendees to interact with the newest technology.

Pie’s experience with The Saatchi Creative Technology Night was instrumental in letting senior management appreciate the social tool. It became the unifying place for everyone to be on the same page with the development of the event. “The senior team responsible for the event are all very busy. Many of them need to travel extensively in different locations, and it’s difficult for them to meet physically. As such, it was very difficult for them to coordinate everything.” Pie gave them the opportunity to plan and check that everything was managed properly.

A platform for sharers

 Since the agency has started to use the internal tool they have experienced less activity on Facebook. “The heavy sharers have moved to Pie”. By nature, these employees have always been very comfortable and relentless in sharing content. “Now they have the opportunity to provide valuable content to the rest of the organisation that is not on Facebook.”

Pie also allows the company to discover interests and expertise of some colleagues which were previously unknown. “For example, we found out people with very good knowledge of niche technology, while others are sharing bold ideas that the agency would never have thought of.”

Browsing #tags to discover content and conversations

One of the key features of the tool is the search engine, which is managed through a system of #tags. Every time someone shares an article or starts a conversation they tag it. All the #tags created by anyone are then listed on the main search button. “Employees can see all the hashtags used by the rest of the company. By clicking on specific #tags, they can easily find any type of document and discussion of interest to them. Plus, they can add any additional information they have to share on that topic.”

For example, Chan’s team is working on a project for which they created the tag #inspirationalwork. “Looking at #inspirationalwork I can now see all the news, videos and articles shared by other employees such us the latest campaigns by Coca-Cola, Nike and the World Cup.”

An email digest also helps the team to stay informed on the best chats happening on the topic. Another reason Chan finds Pie useful is for its Chrome extension. “When I find something interesting while browsing external sites, I just hit the Pie browser extension to post and share articles, videos, images, or anything else on our internal platform.”

The future…bringing Pie to the broad organisational table

Being still at its initial adoption stage, Pie hasn’t been launched in other markets yet. However, some countries are already watching it closely. One is Malaysia. “Showing the leaders of this division all the work we did around The Saatchi Creative Technology Night has made them very curious and interested in the tool.”

“The platform is supporting the collaborative working that we needed for the creation of new ideas, so why not to make it available to others too?”

Those who work for Saatchi & Saatchi tend to be known for being creative and enthusiastic relentless connectors and innovators. We may not be surprised to see that like the accomplished advertisers they are, they will have little trouble selling more slices of Pie around the world!

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This article originally appeared on simply-communicate