The Meadows Foundation Annual Report
When The Meadows Foundation was established in 1948, the founders wanted to create a wellspring of resources to benefit and serve the people of their state of Texas. The Foundation funds the arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services, with special emphasis on three high-priority initiatives: the environment, public education and mental health.
The foundation chooses to produce its annual report to help convey the incredible stories of the grant recipients, and the work they are doing to fulfill the foundation’s goal of improving the lives of Texans. There are numerous audiences for this report including legislators, grantees, the board of the foundation, as well as other foundations. Weber Shandwick has helped tell those stories through the annual report for fourteen years. We have also designed The Meadows Foundation brand, website, and stationery suite, as well as shot photography and video for the foundation materials throughout our tenured relationship.
Each year, Weber Shandwick works with the foundation to design the report around a key theme that maps to one of the foundation’s core areas of funding. The goal of the report is to highlight the people who are engaged throughout the state in the day-to-day task of helping improve lives. The 2013 report was titled “Emerging Out of the Shadows” because the foundation had put significant resources into funding grants designed to spark honest and open discussions about mental health, a priority initiative for the foundation.
Weber Shandwick designed the report using two primary images to convey not only the problems addressing mental health issues in Texas, but also conveying the hope that comes from that focus as a result of the Meadows Foundation’s work. Hope was illustrated through the die-cut monarch butterfly featured on the cover of the report. When readers opened the annual report, the colorful design that made up the butterfly’s wings, was actually an image of a brain scan -- printed on the first inside page of the book – revealing the theme and focus of the report. Throughout the report, the imagery of the butterfly was used to speak to different facets of mental health as well as the other priority grant areas from the year.
The report lived both on their website as a downloadable document as well as in print format for distribution to key stakeholders.
World Thrombosis Day
In 2016, the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) engaged Weber Shandwick to develop and implement a global public relations campaign in support of World Thrombosis Day (13 October), a global movement that aims to increase awareness of thrombosis, or blood clots, and ultimately reduce deaths and disabilities from thromboembolic diseases.
Our ultimate goal was to increase awareness and knowledge of thrombosis among adults age 45+ through compelling social content such as videos, infographics and animated GIFs that compared blood clots to “traffic jams” in the body; earned media outreach; targeted native advertising; and partner engagement.
Media outreach efforts resulted in coverage in and interest from top-tier outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, WTOP-FM, ABC Adelaide Radio, Prevention, Women’s Health, NY1 News, EverydayHealth, BBC Radio UK, and Huffington Post UK, among others.
Our native advertising campaign to promote the “Keep Life Flowing” video and related content resulted in 2,140,624 impressions with a click-through rate of 0.78 percent, while our MAT article, “Are you at risk for thrombosis? 5 things you should know,” reached a U.S. audience of 160,971,154 for a total ad value of $321,887.
Social Impact Insider
In January of 2016, Weber Shandwick’s Social Impact practice launched the Social Impact Insider, a monthly newsletter designed to deliver the latest must-read news and insights on the innovations, trends and influencers driving the global social impact agenda across sectors and industries.
Each edition is crafted to present a unique point of view and advance thought leadership objectives for the practice. Topics covered range from diversity to climate change to global health and development.
Our in-house email marketing experts design each issue, and distribute content to a growing list of over 1,000 clients, partners and employees. The Social Impact Insider has an average open rate of 21.27%-- a number that significantly exceeds the industry average. You can read the latest edition, focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace here. This edition was our most engaging issue yet, with an open rate of 31.84%.
Kimberly-Clark Sustainability 2022
When Kimberly-Clark began working with Weber Shandwick, their sustainability efforts were highly regarded among the NGO community but their brands were not being connected to that message. They were missing a singular, powerful message to rally around and a location to share all of the impressive efforts being made by the company’s employees around the world.
Kimberly-Clark had already created innovative social programs so that families who lacked the basic essentials in life – sanitation, hygiene, health – could get the help they needed. And they were making decisive strides in their efforts to reduce pressure on precious resources and to develop sustainable alternatives to fiber from natural forests. They were also innovating to extend the life of materials that would otherwise be destined for landfill.
Weber Shandwick began drilling down to find the most compelling stories of those efforts for the company’s Sustainability 2022 program, tied to the company’s 150th anniversary. The stories came from around the world and covered the company’s three focus areas of helping people, places and the planet. Our team created stories with compelling photography, video, info-bytes (single data points with explanatory graphics) and quotes that were showcased on an interactive website, bringing the company’s sustainability story to life.
This website also housed the annual report that resonated most with the NGO community outlining important statistics reinforcing the company’s commitment in a succinct fashion, with quick links to each section of the report. Making a clear connection between the corporation and its brands, this site allowed the individual brands to share different sustainability stories while tying them to Kimberly-Clark's global efforts.
In addition to the storytelling web site and annual report, Weber Shandwick designed the Sustainability 2022 brand, created support materials such as fact sheets and white papers, strategized and executed employee and executive rollout presentations, curated an image library, and designed social sharing content and an editorial calendar.
PATH Innovation Effect
In 2016, PATH, a global health organization, came to Weber Shandwick with an ambitious goal to convene stakeholders in science, policy, and global health at an event focused on innovation. WS enlisted the support of KRC Research to map stakeholder perceptions of innovation.
Armed with research, WS identified a way for PATH to cut through the innovation conversation: the Innovation Effect: Powering Disruptive Global Health Solutions creative platform. This included a comprehensive messaging framework, creative assets, a video and a microsite, to highlight the importance of innovation in achieving important global health advancements.
To bring the Innovation Effect to life, WS and PATH partnered with key stakeholders in global health, including USAID and Devex, to convene more than 200 influencers in Washington, D.C. for a series of panel discussions to chart a course for action toward solving the biggest global challenges. The Innovation Effect event elevated PATH as a thought leader and convener across sectors. Many stakeholders engaged in the Innovation Effect conversation through social channels, which resulted in the #InnovationEffect trending on Twitter the day of the event.
MITA Right Scan, Right Time
Since 2008, Powell Tate has worked with the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) to promote the value of imaging through traditional and digital media and advocate for public policies that ensure patients have access to the right scan at the right time.
Facing multiple legislative and regulatory challenges, MITA turned to Powell Tate to develop a grassroots campaign that would convert patients into advocates and persuade policymakers to preserve access to life-saving imaging technologies.
The heart of the campaign is a multi-channel content marketing strategy that educates supporters, creates emotional connections and, most importantly, drives advocates to take action during critical legislative moments throughout the year. We take a data-driven approach to maximize effectiveness of the content and, as a result of a targeted paid media strategy, nearly 100% of advocates who take action are from politically important legislative districts.
We primarily rely on Facebook and email to reach advocates, driving them to the campaign website where they’re able to write letters to, call or tweet at their lawmakers. In the past six months, advocates have sent more than 80,000 letters to members of Congress encouraging action on imaging policies.
UNICEF: UNGA Digital Content Studio
When it comes to global issues for children and families, there is no bigger stage than the UN General Assembly. The 70th UN General Assembly marked the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a transformative plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. With the attention of the world — and speakers such as Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai, Barack Obama and events with Goodwill Ambassadors David Beckham and Shakira — UNICEF partnered with Weber Shandwick to turn small moments into iconic memorable experiences for UNICEF audiences. Our objective was to leverage this trend to create culture-shifting media to engage UNICEF supporters and social media celebrities to share our message about children across the world.
During the UN General Assembly, we launched a real-time content studio to produce engaging graphics and videos telling the story of how the Sustainable Development Goals will directly affect children. Our work started by defining a striking visual identity to separate our real-time content with UNICEF’s everyday messages. Additionally, our scenario planning prior to the event allowed us to have content ready to be customized based on news that materialized each day of the General Assembly.
And we put the right talent in place: a team of interactive designers, videographers, copywriters and digital strategists. Our integrated team included both Weber Shandwick and UNICEF staff, resulting in an agile content program ready to insert UNICEF into every relevant moment of the General Assembly. Operating from a tent on the United Nations grounds just steps from the General Assembly Hall, we produced content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat, capitalizing on key moments before other UN agencies and dominating the online conversation. For the five days while at the content studio, our team never stopped producing high-quality, real-time content that always laddered back to our most important topic: children. Our team produced videos with YouTube celebrities such as Maya Washington and Brothers Green, fashion supermodel Natalia Vodianova and Snapchat influencer Christine Mi.
Additionally, we shot content with Bono and Mark Zuckerberg as they toured our content studio. Over the course of five days, we created a large amount of original content in real-time to ensure UNICEF was dominating conversations about the General Assembly. During the week of the General Assembly (Sept. 23-29), we reached a massive — almost entirely organic — audience and accomplished UNICEF's goal of receiving the largest share of voice (46%) compared to other UN agencies. The results included more than 19.6 million people reached on Facebook and 37.2 million impressions on Twitter (all in just seven days).
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Supporters of foreign aid have always faced a difficult perception gap. Most Americans believe that we spend 25 percent of our budget on aid when the true figure is less than 1 percent. With countries pursuing austerity measures, foreign aid becomes a vulnerable line item.
Yet, foreign aid programs save children’s lives by protecting them from preventable diseases, ensure girls get education and opportunity, empower women, help farmers grow enough food and lift millions of people out of poverty.
In an effort to make sure the message about foreign aid is strong and effective, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with Weber Shandwick on a research project to better understand what messages resonate with audiences. We examined current content about foreign aid, media share of voice, social media engagement, use of celebrities and how data and analytics are leveraged to refine communication strategy. Based on in-depth interviews with nonprofit communication staff, quantitative and qualitative assessments and content reviews, we created specific recommendations to enhance the overall message to communicate the effectiveness of foreign aid in ending global poverty.
Weber Shandwick worked with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to coordinate communications and advocacy efforts in the United States, Canada, Europe and on the African continent. Our work included rebranding the organization, message development for international audiences, creating a suite of information materials, and providing strategic communications guidance and support. We embedded a senior communications professional in AGRA’s Nairobi headquarters.
We supported visits by senior AGRA officials, including Kofi Annan, AGRA’s Chair, in the United States, Europe and Africa and worked with AGRA to elevate their profile and reputation among donor governments, the private sector and foundations, and coordinate international media relations. In 2012, we coordinated AGRA’s participation in the G8 Summit and provided communications support at the African Green Revolution Forum and other food security events.
Novartis has an extensive history in and commitment to Africa; from its award-winning Malaria Initiative, to the work of the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development, and its Go Africa business strategy. As the company looked to scale its commitment to the continent, it was imperative that the company had a clear and compelling message around its work and vision, and one that resonates with its audiences. The rate of growth of both the number of employees and the breadth of activity meant that there was a need to draw this information together to create a coherent platform for communication. Weber Shandwick, in addition to a comprehensive report on the work Novartis is doing in Africa, designed and produced corresponding collateral and internal communications materials to provide them with tools to tell this story and expand stakeholder engagement opportunities. Creating a core set of materials helped the company to tell a consistent story internally and externally as it engages stakeholders across Africa around its work to improve public health.