Incremental improvements add up

Client: NZ Post


POST195 IR case study 2022 01

A step-change in this integrated report’s evolution still holds firm to the original engagement principles.

The Brief

In 2019 we changed the face of integrated reporting with a magazine-style approach to NZ Post’s publication. It was article-driven, with each article built around human stories. We took that radical stance in order to increase engagement with a broader group of stakeholders once it became clear that readers had now extended from the government shareholder through to staff, customers, suppliers and communities.

Two key things have happened in the intervening period: The audience became increasingly engaged and wanted more targeted information, and NZ Post grew significantly both in terms of parcel volumes and in the requirements on them for greater commercial scrutiny.

We undertook in depth stakeholder research to gain a clearer understanding of what would improve the report’s usefulness and engagement for our key audience groupings. This led to some fundamental shifts in the presentation of the report, while holding on to the popular human-centred article format.

The Solution

The most fundamental shift was to digital-first thinking – designing primarily for screen viewing rather than print. This is more than just an orientation issue. It involves thinking in single pages rather than spreads, optimising typography for easy on-screen reading, and planning navigation and linking into the core page architecture. 

We also met the feedback requests for stronger emphasis on the commercial drivers and results, including more clarity around strategy, and how the bulk of the report’s stories related to furthering the strategies.

A key request was for top line themes, results and impacts in a summary form in the opening pages of the report to meet the needs of the quick skimmers.

Readers also indicated a desire for the articles to be more succinct with lower word counts. This happily aided a design limitation we were grappling with, as the digital-first requirement strongly suggested larger type and more white space to improve engagement, accessibility and readability. 

The new NZ Post branding also greatly influenced the look of the report. While the core brand elements were introduced last year, this time we had the benefits of extended brand assets to call upon.

The Results

A post-project review revealed considerable satisfaction that we had collectively responded successfully to the stakeholder research feedback that started the project, and that readers had found the holistic story that unfolded was tightly aligned to the business strategic focus areas outlined at the start of the report. 

This report also won the Gold in the 2023 ARC Awards out of New York in the Government Agencies & Offices category.