Breaking the reporting mould

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Blackwood has been producing donor reports for the EBRD since 2011. As one of the key methods the Bank uses to capture external funding, it has a looser brief than the client’s other corporate reports to reflect the changing profile of donors. That flexibility has enabled us to apply maximum creativity.

Brief

The EBRD is owned by 65 countries plus the European Union and the European Investment Bank. Donor countries work with the EBRD to fund projects and initiatives anywhere from the Western Balkans to the Southern Mediterranean region. The donor report is a vital communication for capturing what the Bank does with donor funding while encouraging new donors to contribute. It therefore needs to tell strong stories, demonstrate the benefits it brings, and – put simply – be an easy and appealing read.

Solution

When we began designing the EBRD’s donor report in 2011, we altered the print format from standard A4 to US A4 to differentiate it from the other EBRD reports. We gave it more of an editorial feel and began to play with the way it told its stories: for example, using pull-out infographics to highlight key points.

The client has been happy for us to approach the project with a creative and uninhibited approach, so, in just a few years, it has taken the form of a double gatefold folder with a double cover on the front and back and is now a pared back B5 digest. That’s because the report’s main communication channel is online.

We've helped change the way the EBRD Donor team communicates, turning a traditional print report into a fully interactive microsite.

Andy Ritchie

Donors can be located anywhere in the world, so it was vital that the EBRD develop an online presence for this report. We designed the EBRD’s first donor report microsite to be simple, colourful and user-friendly. While the structure has stayed that way, its latest incarnation uses innovative and fully responsive elements such as interactive charts, video case studies, bookmarking and social media sharing functionality to add value and enhance the user experience.

This title is extremely important as both a reporting and visibility tool for the EBRD, so it’s very gratifying that we’ve developed such a strong and visually pleasing publication. All made easier to achieve with such a smooth and efficient production process.

Head, Long-term Communications Output, EBRD Communications Department

Impact

Now the primary channel for the report is its website, the report can reach millions of potential donors the world over. The website is built in small content modules, each of which has social media functionality, so content can be shared in seconds – potentially widening the audience even further. This functionality has proved especially popular with the EBRD’s small donor team, who can share information instantly with stakeholders.

With a website as the main communication tool and a small printed digest, we have helped the EBRD to streamline production processes and save costs. And, in a challenging economic climate, we have also enabled them to maintain a strong donor base.

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