While print may not be the latest trend in tech, it can still play an essential role in the communications strategy of nearly any organisation. This is especially true for reporting on the things that matter. Read through our examples below to find out why print made the difference:
GetUp! & Solar Citizen
What do you do when you want to produce a report on the data that sits behind the rise of renewable energy, but you actually want MPs to read it? GetUp and Solar Citizen decided to put the power in the hands of their members, digitally distributing reports across the country and showcasing how indispensable renewable energy is for Australia’s future.
Design-wise, we created a set of patterns inspired by solar, wind, and water energy, and developed a style of infographics and icons to catch the eye and help convey deep information quickly and visually.
We produced a 10-page mini-report packed with illustrations and beautiful photography to summarise key content, before handing working files over to GetUp and Solar Citizen so that they could roll out the full 100 page report in style. This enabled them to get something that was both professional and cost-effective, and helped provide a foundation for all reports to come.
Beyond the organisations’ own distribution of hard copies, the campaign asked members to send a PDF to their MPs. This gave them an asset that felt more tangible and official than a simple link to a campaign page—something they felt might really get their MP’s attention and be taken seriously.
For MPs, receiving many emails asking them to read a report leads to it being printed out, and a printed report can be harder to ignore than a browser tab that’s closed in an instant. Furthermore, reading a lot of statistics and text on paper is a lot less taxing than reading on a screen. We’re good to our parliamentarians like that ❤️
Australian Ethical Investments
It’s always the right time to celebrate! Particularly when you’ve been leading a sector in ethical investing for 30 years. With AEI’s 30th Anniversary Annual and Sustainability report, members received a lovely, tangible reminder of the value of their investment. As something they might actually want to keep around the house, it hopefully continues to to motivate them to invest ethically well into the future.
We delivered a flexible template with everything they needed to get the report done, and a suite of custom illustrations designed to explain their amazing 30-year growth in a simple but compelling way. And, separate to the report itself, the style so closely matched their vision for the organisation that we’ve gone on to roll it out across many pieces of offline and digital collateral since.
Beyond working closely with the Climate Council on their rapid rebrand/relaunch following their decommissioning under a new Abbott Government, we worked with them on the cornerstone of their business—the report.
As Australia’s (and increasingly, one of the world’s) preeminent authorities on climate science communications, it was important to ensure the scientific reports from their team were credible, readable and engaging. They were directly accountable to thousands of Australians who supported their work, and needed fulfill their brand promise of providing relevant, and clear independent research on climate change and its impacts.
In tandem with their strong presence across social media, we worked tirelessly to turnaround reports on bushfires, heatwaves, and negative health impacts. Templates, style guides and assets helped the Council reuse the designs for each of their incredibly in-depth and important releases, which number more than 50 to-date!
Centre for Australian Progress
As an organisation that works at both the high levels of partner engagement and the literal ground of event management, print plays a crucial role in a lot of the Centre’s communications.
It allows them to showcase their wins to the other organisations and companies who invest in their work, and gives attendees something they can jam in their pocket for the span of a conference without worrying about battery or reception woes.
So, while you could argue that printed reports shouldn’t make a difference—’we can just share this content online, surely?’—people are not rational creatures. Whether they’re a high-net-worth philanthropist or a key policy maker, printed collateral can demonstrate professionalism and authority, and create a tangible experience of (and relationship with) your organisation in the process.
As we all know, while it might be important no one enjoys reading pages of unclear data points or overly dense language, no matter what the medium is. This matters even more when it comes to printed materials and reports, as their permanence means they’re really worth doing well. (Even if on a budget). Eminem perhaps said it more concisely:
‘Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?’
So explore what you want your key audience member to think, feel and ultimately do. Would having something in their hands make a difference? Something they can sit with, be proud of or impressed by, come back to later or simply pay attention to because there aren’t 43 open tabs beckoning them away? Find out where your organisation can use print as a key tactic to increase donations, drive engagement or connect with a target, and start making plans.
We’re always looking to see how we can help our clients communicate best across all mediums. If you’re about to embark upon a report or another type of print project, big or small, we’d love to help.
PS: while we’ve just spent the entire post talking up print, it’s really about knowing how to use each medium most effectively—taking your report online certainly has its place. Check out our latest online report for FYA.