At CMI Media Group and Compas, the approach to diversity, equity and inclusion is strategic and unique. Join Julia Missaggia, Chief People Officer and Carla Edmunds, VP, Media as they share insights into how to build an inclusive culture for employees, how to drive clients to think about inclusive media and impact underserved populations and why a diverse network of partners is a critical piece of the puzzle.

Note: MM+M uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting this content.

Jack I’ll give you a queue here. Mmm agency 100 Studio sessions VMI Media Group and Compass.

Okay, we’re rolling.


this is Jack O’Brien digital editor and Eminem. I’m super excited for you to plug into this episode of a 100 Studio sessions a new podcast series, which gets members of the mmm agency of 100 list and opportunity to Riff on what sets them apart.

In this episode we’re speaking with two Executives from CMI Media Group and Compass Julia. Massagia Chief people officer and Carla Edmonds VP of media.

Julian Carla, thanks

for joining me today. The focus of our conversation is going to be how to build an inclusive culture for employees how to drive clients to think about inclusive media and impact underserved communities and Julie. I want to start off with you first. How do you define de&i

great question. So dni is actually defined by our culture and defined by how we think about it as an organization. It is the makeup of both visible and invisible differences and strengths that make us all unique and valuable. So it is much broader than resets necessity. It really is the difference. So see economic backgrounds experiences lives perspectives that we bring based off all of the backgrounds that we have as individuals

Carla. How would you answer the same question?

I would agree with Julia everything that she said and then I also just to add to that I think for me it’s about feeling like belonging altogether in a sea of beautiful and wonderful people and that we just may have some differences and different backgrounds. But all coming together just for a commonality which is the love of what we do and

Carla to follow up on that point. How do you make that a reality within the organization? How is your approach different than say maybe some of the other agencies that are on the list?

I’m not sure how all agencies do and what’s different but what I can speak to from CMI Media Group and Compass as that the very first thing part of who we are as we are We Are Family and I think coming into our organization you really do feel that no matter what you look like who you are. There is a sense of belonging and I think that us being able to

Early communicate and speak about our values really helps I think within the past few years even introducing and I know we’ll get into this a little bit later, but even introducing a lot of our ergs that has been a sense of showcasing how we continue to evolve as an agency to ensure that all voices are heard and that we all feel as one.

Absolutely Julia how you ultimately want to make an impact with your Dei efforts. How do you measure success? I know each organization has different benchmarks for how they determine that they’ve done a successful job on this front

sure. So we use outcomes as a way to measure success.

And those outcomes vary across our business depending on the area that we are thinking about when it comes to De and I the idea is that it is embedded and how we work in our ways of working versus being this thing on the side that we have supper goals for there’s both hard measures and softer measures of what makes us successful everything from business outcomes and you know hard goals that we have as well as softer things like how our employees feel what that experience is. How are impacting our communities do we feel that we are

Creating the type of relationships where there is mutual respect with one another and we can try and measure that through both engagement surveys for both our clients our employees as well as our audiences and then we can also look at are we making a difference here? How do we feel about the work that we’re doing celebration of the de and I impact that we want to make as part of what we aim to do too because it’s a continuous progress that you work on. I’m in the work is really never finished.

Carl I want to bring you back into the conversation kind of on that front about how the work is never done and you know progresses a very long process in that way, you know what when it comes to measuring success stands out to you what comes to mind.

Yes work is never done and I think that’s a good point to bring that we always continue to have room for growth and opportunity. I think that you know, what comes to mind is being able to tangibly see as an agency what that looks like and I think you know, just some of the things that I’ve been a part of recently have been able to kind of Showcase from 2019 where we were to where we are now for 2020 three can’t believe we’re in 2023. But an example I feel would be again it’s going back to the ergs. But I think that what that tangible growth looks like is that we actually see and I know that just from when it comes to recruiting and really opening up opportunities.

And our agency we’ve been able to see an increase. I currently sit on and an ERG called Brave and within Brave some of the things that we have really wanted to ask our our ERG with is to be more present have a voice

when it’s any type of recruiting

at colleges also within our organization creating some safe spaces where we all feel comfortable and confident to talk. I think that we’re continuously saying everybody continue to evolve within within that space.

It’s interesting to hear you talk about it as an evolution instead of kind of quick process. Obviously, it speaks to kind of the the length of time that comes with something like this. I wanted to follow up cartilage just when it comes to your approach and maybe in terms of enabling clients. I know that there’s obviously things you do on the internal side, but then when it comes to actually making those things happen externally with your clients with their integration to Media, what are some of the strategies that come into play what are best practices?

Yeah, that’s a good point a lot of our best practices. And as we continue to evolve and grow in this space. We really like to understand from our client’s perspective who you know, who is their target audience? What does that look like? As you know here at CMI? We do have different different teams. And we really partner a lot with our market research. Our audience intelligence teams to really understand and get a look to see are there any underserved areas of people geography location that we are missing out and not speaking to and what we’ve recently been able to really showcases take a larger look at our clients audience where they at? And then how can we continue to really grow and expand and when we think about

For example, if if you’re in a disease state that is targeting the Hispanic Community are the African-American Community. What does that look like and what we’ve been able to show our clients really showcase and bring them, you know from an hcp standpoint your hcps are reaching about 20% of their patients are within these underserves and we are able to Showcase and and be able to bring forth. How do you message to them? What’s going to be that right message? Is there a language barrier should you be looking at you know work you what your other agencies to create customized messaging? So we’ve been able to start bringing that forth. Also even just something that from a back and working with our Compass team looking to see if there’s any other Partnerships from a DNA perspective that maybe is woman owns black owned that we really want to be able to incorporate in our plans. So there’s a few different ways that we’re able to pull that through.

Julie do you want to hop in when they sort of additional best practices of kind of complementing what Carla was detailing?


that comes these so making sure that we have the right programming for employees so that they can provide that type of feedback to how they work with the suppliers the clients the other partners that we work with to make sure that we can ultimately provide the most inclusive advice that that ultimately impacts equity and that involves as a company as staying on top of what is important to those communities and how do we make sure that we scale that information so that we can do the most good with that?

Carla when you you referenced this earlier about the pull through regarding the compass buying side, what does that look like as it relates to Dei?

Yes. So from a DI perspective what Compass one we know that our maybe you’re not familiar with it, but Compass is already considered minority owned. So that’s one piece that we are able to really Showcase with our clients. But when it does come to partnering with other suppliers and vendors, we do vet them. We also take a look to see what their makeup is. So if we’re partnering for example with a supplier such as my code are supplier called Colossus, we really do work with them to understand what their makeup is and as we’re looking at some of those vendors we look to see not only can they target hcps. Can you target patients? What type of messaging do they have? Is there messaging that’s going to be specific and that will apply within our overall agency that we think we can bring to our planners from a buying perspective. This really gives us opportun.

Not only from just one specific area in our company, but to really push that out to all of our planners to start thinking of that a big piece that I think coming into the DNA space that we on the media side feels like oh we don’t have the budget. Oh, my clients aren’t sure but I think working and partnering with our Compass is one of the easier ways to get in because we can simply be reaching and working with diverse companies through our media that can definitely educate and really push our messaging from an hcp or patient standpoint.

And Julie, I want to bring you back into the conversation and what ways does this come to life for your employees and that we’ve talked a lot about the work that you’ve done on the internal size relates to Dei but what does that really look like? What are some of the things you’re most proud of in the progress that you’ve made

sure we’ve really have a mission that is to impact the healthcare outcomes for the communities that we serve and

being able from from the compass side and the supplier side to really know it offerings are available and make the most impact on those communities has been really helpful. We do that through supplier education series for all of our staff, but we do it through some of the philanthropy that we do by giving back to our communities as well.

Going back to what Carla said before our ergs have also taken a very active role in the thought leadership that we provide in the impact that we can make in the healthcare outcomes of our audiences in the communities at large and that really does contribute back to that sense of purpose for all of our employees because that’s what it’s all about. Right we come to work each day because we really do want to make sure that there is equity and healthcare for all and being able to support that fully and holistically through the organization as something that we’re really proud of

Well, I think you both for your insights here in terms of what’s going on at CMI and compass and since we are in the recording studio in as part of our recording session here for the podcast. I want to hit you both with the mystery question of the day Carl. I’m gonna go to you. The mystery question is since it’s the a 100 studio session. What was the last song you listened to?

Oh my goodness the last song I listen to.

I just listened to it last night with my kids. What’s

Happy by Pharrell, and we were dancing in our living

Classics on

Been wrong with that probably some Despicable Me on the TV. I imagine Julia. What was the last song you listened to?

I want to dance with somebody by Whitney Houston and similar fashion the Carla also having a dance party in the living room.

So the kids really drive the musical content on this episode, which I appreciate.

Excellent. Well, Julie and Carla again. Thank you for being on the podcast. Thank you for sharing the insights that you’re doing on the de and I front and thank you for sharing, you know, these two classic songs that hopefully our audience goes and listen to after they get done with this episode.

Thank you for having us.

Thank you.