Case study // MSA Centennial Book

Warning: you’ll need a hanky for the first chapter of this company history

We engaged our people around the world in a whole new way with this book. Thank you for translating our 100 years of history into such a powerful story.
— Mark Deasy, Director, Global Public Relations and Corporate Communications

Challenge: Get the Company History on Record

Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) is one of those companies with a genuinely inspiring and noble history. Employee tenure is legendary and staff often refer to “The MSA Way” to describe how and why they make decisions. Ambitious global expansion had brought MSA exciting growth and opportunities, but management knew they needed help instilling the company’s deep-seated values in every employee from Bulgaria and Zambia to Peru and Indonesia. When it comes to unwavering honesty and integrity, MSA doesn’t make exceptions for local customs or culture. The MSA management team invited us to get the company history on record as one way to make these values real for their 5,300 employees around the world.

Solution: Transmitting Values Through Story

Values transmitted through story are remembered because they hit the readers’ hearts, not their heads. We chose to start MSA’s book with a powerful chapter about the September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers and how MSA responded that very day by sending tractor trailers packed with breathing apparatus, face shields, respirators and dust masks for the first responders in New York City. The company’s roots and enduring mission is about saving lives, and the journalistic narrative we wove throughout the book boldly illustrated the company’s values in an entertaining and inspiring way that kept the pages turning.

Results: Employee Pride

The book got a rapturous reception at MSA’s centennial gala. Even after the party hats were taken off, emails continued to pour in from MSA offices worldwide. After reading the book cover-to-cover, the resounding response from employees is that they are proud to be part of such an ethical company.

One more cool thing

MSA has offices all over the globe and needed to get a book in the hands of every employee. We worked closely with our printing partners in Asia to get the book delivered to 40 locations on six continents.