Penguin Random House
Aligning Penguin Random House under one clear, guiding purpose
The challenge
Penguin Random House is the world’s largest publishing company, comprising nine independent houses. It gives voice to a diverse range of the world’s best-selling fiction and non-fiction authors.
Although PRH had a purpose statement, it wasn’t well understood and so wasn't helping them resolve the big social, political or ethical challenges being asked of it.
A clearer articulation and understanding of the purpose would provide a valuable anchor-point, enabling the business to follow a consistent and coherent approach to audience engagement and strategic decision-making.
The solution
We realised the current purpose statement gave little practical guidance for decision-making and communications. To sharpen the purpose and offer more practical guidance to staff, we:
  • Carried out deep research into a range of pressing social, technological and political challenges facing media and publishing
  • Analysed the current purpose strategy to understand where it needed to be sharper and better expressed
  • Used these insights to conduct a series of explorations with leadership to better understand which principles should lead the business
  • Using these principles, reshaped the purpose strategy, its articulation and rationale
  • We crafted a detailed playbook, with clear principles that gave real-world guidance on how to communicate with Penguin Random House’s purpose front of mind
The impact
Penguin Random House’s purpose is now clearer, more meaningful and now used actively by the business. Carly Gorga, Director of Creative Strategy and Brand Marketing, explained how transformative our work has been:
“In the six months since the project wrapped up, we’ve referred to our purpose work countless times to guide and inspire our decision-making and strategic direction. Before our work with People Made, our brand narrative felt like words on a page – it was difficult to understand how to apply it to our work. Now, it feels as if we have a North Star; a clear understanding of our place in society and our responsibility to our people.”
How can we help your brand?