Best digital team 2017 Article icon


 Teneo Blue Rubicon’s digital team describes itself as ‘an innovation engine for colleagues and clients’. It is both its mission statement and strategy, following a decision taken four years ago to transform the way it operates and reorganise the agency for the longer term. The team is building the digital capabilities for its 250-person business in order to future proof their roles.

The team has taken a three-pronged approach to its strategy.

Seeing around corners: keeping abreast of trends is key to the team’s innovation mission. It has hosted more than 300 clients and colleagues at its SXSW insight sessions in its digital hub, and has also drawn on its insights as agency to Facebook, Instagram and Google to offer world class advice. Such has been the success of this approach that colleagues cite the insight and learning opportunities provided by the digital team as one of the most inspiring elements of working at Teneo Blue Rubicon. Staff turnover is below the industry average.

Next generation skills: the team sees capability building as central to its role. For example, it has advised McDonald’s on how to implement digital collaboration and knowledge sharing tools across its global communications function. It has developed internal and external training sessions on virtual reality, data protection and combatting fake news. It has also exploited the knowledge of its more junior colleagues, pioneering a reverse mentoring programme where they train colleagues on using new platforms, such as Snapchat.

New IP for emerging needs: the team has translated trends into a new IP. This has manifested itself in many ways. For example, agile content training, where Teneo Blue Rubicon has trained more than 100 people, ranging from Tesco farmers to the RSPB’s communications team, in filming broadcast quality content with nothing but an iPhone. It is also active in digital leadership coaching, working with clients such as Maersk Oil to develop impactful strategies for chief executives that enhance company trust and strengthen individuals’ personal brands. Finally, it has launched digital due diligence, developing expertise to stress test digital claims made by businesses and, in so doing, helping clients attract private equity investment.

Teneo Blue Rubicon’s digital team has been instrumental in winning some of the agency’s biggest clients, such as Nissan, where it worked to build and digitalise an entire global communications function, and AstraZeneca, where it led a fully integrated global communications programme around its new research and development centre in Cambridge.

As a result of its approach, digital team income hit £1.8 million across 2016/17, while integrated agency work took its total contribution above this figure. ‘The team produces an impressive array of work for an eclectic mix of clients,’ said the judges. ‘Really impressive results.’