Johnson & Johnson’s Evolution into a Newsroom

Johnson & Johnson’s Evolution into a Newsroom

In 2013, Johnson & Johnson Vice President and Global Content Lab Director, Carrie Sloan, was hired to start a brand new department within the company’s Corporate Communications department. Like most companies, Johnson & Johnson had previously been reliant on press releases to get its news out to the world. Moving forward, the Global Content Lab would take a multimedia approach to telling Johnson & Johnson’s stories externally.

With a background in magazine and digital journalism, and coming from several start-ups, Sloan knew a modern approach was needed. She and her team led a transformation of the world’s largest broad-based healthcare company to produce stories enterprise-wide for the storied brand. To do that, the company needed a reimagined website that could deliver this content by communicating the core beliefs of the brand and be able to scale globally.

“Before the redesign, our team used to joke that it took them and two IT colleagues four hours to upload one video. It wasn’t efficient, it certainly wasn’t fun, and it wasn’t conducive to the real-time news culture we live in,” said Sloan.

Prior to Sloan joining, Johnson & Johnson’s communications team had been challenged by how it managed its website, which included submitting content edits and website updates to a third-party agency. In order to transform its digital operations, Johnson & Johnson
needed a content management system (CMS) that would allow its team to operate efficiently as editors and publishers, and would allow its team to deliver rich digital experiences to readers.

The Search for a New Content Management System (CMS)

The decision to invest in new technology rarely falls on one team. In partnership with IT, the Content Lab set out to find a new CMS -- one that was powerful enough to support an increase in content development and distribution, stable enough to serve a market-leading company and secure enough to manage all of Johnson & Johnson’s financial corporate documents.

After looking at several labor-intensive options, including building a CMS from scratch in a preferred programming language, one of Sloan’s teammates caught wind of Perfect Sense and its Brightspot platform while listening to a podcast. The podcast discussed how
much Walmart loved using Brightspot and working with Perfect Sense to dramatically change how it told its corporate stories.

Within a short amount of time, it became clear to the Johnson & Johnson team that Brightspot was the only solution that offered a great publishing platform that was secure, scalable, and provided easy integration into its current systems.

“The first time the Perfect Sense team demoed Brightspot, I asked if they had crawled into an editor’s head to build it. It was that intuitive. When I heard that it had launched Coca-Cola in 14 markets, and could scale globally, I was sold,” said Sloan.

Johnson & Johnson’s Digital Transformation

With the right technology in place, Johnson & Johnson began transforming how it communicated, internally and externally. First, Johnson & Johnson built internally-facing executive blogs which allowed leaders, including Johnson & Johnson’s Chairman and CEO, to communicate the company’s priorities and values to more than 130,000 company employees. This initial project was completed in just three months. During the build out of the executive blog platform, Johnson & Johnson also initiated the migration of its entire corporate website onto Brightspot. Johnson & Johnson chose Brightspot as its enterprise-wide content publishing platform because of the powerful management capabilities, robust security, multi-site support, microsite capabilities and integrated digital asset management. Perfect Sense helped develop the Content Lab’s taxonomy and content templates, while supporting the further development and design of its new website.

“Both myself and my IT partners love Brightspot. I think we could each see, from our respective vantage points, how it could solve a number of existing communications issues at the company, and be a completely flexible, nimble and scalable platform,” said Sloan.

Perfect Sense and Brightspot have completely transformed communications expectations at Johnson & Johnson. By launching powerful brand storytelling, Johnson & Johnson is now able to deliver richer and more engaging experiences to all of its external audiences, and enjoys constantly evolving internal platforms which have turned the company’s C-suite into publishers as well. Additionally, Johnson & Johnson leveraged Brightspot’s third-party integrations for its investor relations content, as well as unique features of the CMS such as Global Content Discovery to share content seamlessly between editorial teams in the U.S. and China.

The microsite capabilities have been incredibly popular at Johnson & Johnson, allowing different groups to create targeted landing pages in support of their initiatives.

Brighspot’s Impact at Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson’s introduction to Brightspot started with a mention on a podcast and has evolved into the transformation of how the company communicates with its stakeholders. Leveraging Brightspot, Johnson & Johnson’s communications teams are now publishers who are empowered to create engaging content that impacts reputation and drives business goals.

Johnson & Johnson has continued to embrace Brightspot, with plans to deploy Brightspot for additional global corporate websites. The company, which was once only synonymous with its brands, has become a tremendous example of the power of brand storytelling and how heritage brands can execute a flawless digital transformation.

“Two years later, Brightspot has become our enterprise publishing platform, with a global roadmap,” said Sloan. “I get calls once a week asking if one of my colleagues – remember, there are 130,000 of us – can ‘have what we have’ at”