The Customer

While it owns some of the best-known confectionary brands in the U.K., Europe, the Mena region and the USA, pladis is in some respects a startup, having been formed only two years ago. Its name refers to a group of seven stars known as the “Pleiades” constellation, and the organization has been laser-focused on growing all the brands in its orbit. 

For many people, eating a McVitie’s biscuit is an act of pure comfort and enjoyment. Ulker, meanwhile, is the well-known everyday treat for fans across Turkey and the Middle East. pladis also distributes a range of premium chocolate brand Godiva especially for the grocery aisles.

While the PR and communication strategies for these brands may differ in the details, they all have to align with the strategic objectives of pladis, their corporate parent. And without Cision Comms Cloud and the expertise of the Cision Insight teams, digesting on all the data pladis has at their disposal -- and acting on it -- would be an impossible feat.

The Challenge

Besides McVitie’s, Ulker and bringing Godiva to the chocolate aisles of supermarkets, pladis owns other brands such as DeMet’s Candy Company and Verkade. pladis has operations all around the world. Planning ahead, gaining visibility into what consumers are saying about various parts of the organization, and on a corporate level raising the organization’s global profile has been challenging, according to Tabitha Aldrich-Smith, pladis’ Global Head of Communications.

“It’s important to know how people are reacting to our news, but it really matters on issues of consequence that could be a concern for the business, such as media coverage of a company reorganization or the entry of one of its brands into a new market, she says. “Although the global team are based in the UK, we wanted to help our comms colleagues in all our different markets and provide a toolkit for local markets that enables them to be more active, more quickly. We wanted to be more real-time and see things as they’re happening.”

The Solution

Via its PR agency, 3 Monkeys Zeno, pladis is now using the Cision Comms Cloud Enterprise package, which gives the organization a data-driven set of tools to build influencer graphs, fine-tune the targeting of media outreach and achieve true measurement across all channels and activities. This also includes deep-dive monitoring capabilities across the U.K. and Europe, and four monthly datasheets with scorecard-style analytics from Cision Insights, a professional service that helps some of the world’s biggest brands optimize their communications efforts. 

The Results

In a short time, 3 Monkeys Zeno has driven a change in the PR process at pladis through the day-to-day use of the Cision Comms Cloud platform and a strategy divided into “inputs,” “outputs” and “outcomes.”

“This has become a real partnership between client, agency and provider,” says Alex Perry, director at 3 Monkeys Zeno. “By working together, we’ve been able to create a framework and methodology that works with measurement and analysis tools to showcase the great work being done around the world.”

It’s a partnership that has made communications efforts more real-time, dynamic and responsive. Some examples include:

Deep Insight into Key Influencers: Emily Hodgson, an account manager at 3 Monkeys Zeno, praised Cision Comms Cloud for its ability to download charts, graphics and other details. Being able to pinpoint the right media contact, however -- and being able to learn relevant details -- has been game-changing.

“There’s loads of information on there,” she says. “It’s also great to be able to see a live link to a journalist’s Twitter feed, so we can see if they’ve mentioned one of the pladis products, or if an influencer really likes chocolate or snacking, for example, so we can ensure our outreach is targeted.”

A Clear, Consistent View as Events Happen: An organization like pladis needs to effectively track all earned media coverage, beyond the stories it generates on its own. But it must also understand the bigger picture topics that affect the whole industry. Aldrich-Smith gives the examples of “shrinkflation,” where some media in markets like the U.K. cast a critical look at how consumer packaged goods companies reduce the size of their products, or current topics about plastic waste or the amount of sugar content in food.

Monitoring via Cision Comms Cloud ensures no one is taken by surprise, and keeps the team apprised of what’s working and what’s not during a particular campaign. “It’s important we’re able to follow a story, measure where it’s landed, how it’s been received by different audiences, who’s engaging with it, and tailor our outreach accordingly,” Hodgson added. “Using Cision means we can track where a story is going.”

360-Degree Measurement: Like many other organizations, pladis also lacked a way to measure the performance of its comms efforts, across various brands.

One of pladis’ anchor markets is the UK, where communications reporting was historically carried out on an ad-hoc basis, says Owen Johns, communications manager at pladis UK&I. Working with Cision Insights, however, pladis can now review a bespoke monthly report that is based on the Barcelona Principles; in addition, this has now become standard pre-reading ahead of monthly UK & Ireland Leadership Team meetings to demonstrate the value of communications activity each month.

“It’s been exceptional to have real numbers that we’ve never had before,” Johns says.

3 Monkey’s Zeno’s Perry says working with Cision Insights is a good example of how PR can be more performance-driven and relevant to the business.

“The importance of planning ahead, evaluation and measurement reporting is crucial,” he said. “As an agency, we want to understand what the business priorities are, which starts with making sure the client gets the right data.”