The Challenge

In 2015 CERN issued a tender seeking a recognised communications partner to help develop its new strategic communications plan. This was to cover the five-year mandate of its new General Director, Fabiola Gianotti, who was due to take up the post in 2016.

At the same time, CERN wanted to improve the user experience across its digital portfolio and integrate internal communications into its new online portfolio. Its main vehicle for internal communications was, and is, The Bulletin, which has been published for more than 50 years and is an integral part of CERN life. CERN wanted to evolve The Bulletin, retaining its brand value for internal audiences while fully exploiting the potential of its new online platforms to deliver a tailored service for all of its key audiences.

The Solution

AprilSix Proof won a competitive tender to develop a five-year communications strategy for the scientific research centre CERN. Over a four month period in 2015-16, AprilSix Proof worked closely with the CERN Communications Group to identify the needs and wants of the audiences that CERN needs to communicate with, and to ascertain opportunities and challenges within CERN’s existing provisions and communications assets. Through this we delivered the following:
• Conducted a consultative process with CERN staff and external stakeholders

• Developed an audience research report

• Drafted a plan recommending how to implement best in class internal communications solutions using digital platforms.

• Surveyed almost 1,000 CERN users

• Consulted more than 30 CERN staff and local stakeholders through face-to-face interviews

• Used these findings to deliver the basis of a new five year strategy recommending how CERN can maintain its reputation and position itself for the post Large Hadron Collider (LHC) era.

The Results

James Gillies, of the International Relations Section said “AprilSix Proof embedded themselves in the CERN community, bringing a very structured and professional approach to delivering us strategy, positioning and messaging recommendations that will help shape our future communications.”