Sling & Stone - Guru Case Study

Sling & Stone is the PR agency built for the world's best challengers, disrupters and entrepreneurs.

James Hutchinson, Head of Business & Technology, was always looking for ways to improve his organization's productivity and tech stack. With their 35-person PR agency exclusively working in Slack & Google Apps, James wanted a knowledge management solution that tightly integrated with those systems.

The Challenge

To manage their internal company knowledge, Sling & Stone had implemented a cloud-based wiki, but adoption for the solution was low. The tech stack at the company was already large, with employees using anywhere from 10-15 different tools in their day-to-day. The wiki took employees out of their workflow, and was another portal they had to log-in to find knowledge, so adoption remained low. As a result, knowledge stored there was mostly out-of-date, which further discouraged employees from accessing it to find information. Over time, employees forgot about it and Slack quickly became the go-to place to exchange information.

"In a professional services environment like ours, sharing knowledge is paramount. The leadership team, and leads on each client account, need to share HR processes, media landscape knowledge and client context quickly, easily and in a way that ensure the information is always up to date. Our previous attempts at doing this in a central database worked for a couple of weeks, before they ended up being forgotten, and ultimately became useless."

- James Hutchinson, Head of Business & Technology

While Slack was perfect for their team communication needs, James noticed that people would frequently ask the same questions over and over again in various channels. Having come across the Slack Fund's recent investment announcement, James noticed Guru as a potential replacement as a knowledge base that integrated with the apps his team used everyday.

The Solution

Guru's Slack bot ensures Sling & Stone can access knowledge where they work

With the Guru Slack bot installed, employees can now access all the knowledge they need to do their jobs, directly in Slack. Whether it's basic company information, HR policies, or team specific knowledge, it all lives in Guru. Most importantly, questions that used to be consistently asked in Slack channels started to decline. For example, Sling & Stone stores basic information around each of their clients in Guru. When coordinating press opportunities for these clients, often times employees would ask each other where these briefs were stored. Now, anyone on the team can quickly search Guru in Slack to find the relevant brief they need.

Another interesting use case of Guru is around media intelligence. Every journalist likes to be pitched differently and the team at Sling & Stone has always collected and shared that information in Slack. However, over time it quickly gets lost amongst the sea of new conversations. With so many conversations happening in Slack, searching for this information after the fact gets noisy. Now with Guru they can easily capture that knowledge when the conversation is happening. It also ensures that all of their media intelligence is stored in one place that's the single source of truth.

For Sling & Stone, the key to adoption has been the ability to access their collective knowledge in the apps they use everyday.

"At Sling & Stone we've always used Slack to share information and knowledge. We'd have links to several different encyclopaedic-style documents, but these were difficult to maintain, navigate and share. Using Guru and Slack has made knowledge-sharing so much easier that now we have cards on everything from contact details for particular journalists to how to make Anthony Bourdain's much-revered scrambled eggs."

- Lucas Howe, Senior Account Executive

Additionally, Guru's verification workflow ensures information is trusted by the broader team, further driving adoption of the knowledge base. Being able to assign certain knowledge to experts on their team makes it easier for them to remember to update information and provides a sense of ownership and responsibility over the knowledge base.

The Results

Since implementing Guru, Sling & Stone has experienced many benefits that have increased their team's productivity. For James, Guru has helped reduce the number of repetitive questions he and others were being asked. By having the Guru Slack bot live in their channels, anyone can search for knowledge themselves first and then ask James if they can't find what they are looking for. With increased access to knowledge, team members are using Guru multiple times a week and their knowledge base has steadily grown as they capture more and more knowledge that gets created in Slack conversations.

"Guru has enabled everyone at Sling & Stone to find the information they need, at the fingertips, within Slack. They don't have to remember another website and password — just ask Guru and it comes up. Within a month of deploying Guru, we saw the number of questions around key client and media info diminish significantly. It's made our business smarter, and faster."

- James Hutchinson, Head of Business & Technology

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