Division B - Printed Tools of Public Relations
Category 2 - Annual Report
2006 ANNUAL REPORT
Kissimmee Utility Authority, Chris M. Gent, Rachael K. Gmerek
Golden Image Award
Most people only think about electricity when the lights go out, and
they realize they can’t see a thing. What most people don’t realize is
the effort it takes to consistently deliver this unseen commodity to
tens of thousands of homes and businesses on a daily basis. Some people
may notice a power pole once in a while. What they don’t see is the
precise planning that goes into the placement of each and every pole.
Other people may notice a corporate sponsorship banner at a local
community event or youth ballfield. What they don’t see is how that
sponsorship helps to carry out the role of a good corporate citizen.
In preparing its 2006 annual report, the Kissimmee Utility Authority
(KUA) realized it was time to expose the otherwise invisible aspects of
electricity and the electricity business. The annual report would
attempt to shed light on the efforts made by KUA to deliver services to
its 63,000 customers in Central Florida.
Primary telephone and
email research conducted by KUA’s corporate communications staff of
sister utilities and utility associations throughout the nation
indicated a continued commitment to the production of a printed annual
report. In fact, 100 percent of utilities surveyed indicated that they
produce an annual report. The survey results also revealed an average
cost of $25 per copy for utilities to produce their reports.
target audience of our annual report is employees, customers, elected
officials, key decision makers in the community and members of the
Objectives: KUA’s corporate communications staff
identified five key objectives for the project: (1) to develop a
compelling design to communicate our successes and challenges as a
utility over the past year as well as a financial summary; (2) to reach
out to local and national media to secure enhanced coverage of the
report’s release; (3) to achieve a 75 percent satisfaction rate among
at least 100 report recipients; (4) to complete production of the
report by the second week in February 2007; and (5) to keep the cost
per piece below the national average of $25.00, as determined by our
Implementation: To kick off the project we held
several strategic planning sessions with utility management to identify
objectives, content and message, as well as design themes. From these
meetings we developed a list of the 11 most significant accomplishments
of the utility in 2006, and it became clear that many of these
accomplishments were invisible to our customers… things like Wi-Fi
service, hardening and expansion of our electrical infrastructure, etc.
We chose a descriptive and fitting theme: “What You Don’t See.”
developed and issued five Requests For Proposal (RFP): the first for
graphic design services, the second for photography services, the third
for copy editing, the fourth for printing, and the fifth for compact
disc replication. We discovered from previous reports that we could
achieve significant cost savings by burning the financial portion of
the report to CD.
The next three months would include copy
development, design and layout, photo shoots and selection of images.
The design of the report would give us the opportunity to unveil an
unseen element in each of the photos. This not only would create a
unique design element but would also make the annual report
In addition to the printed version of the report, we
developed a unique online version that opens with a 38-second movie.
The movie uses still photos from the report set to music and slowly
brings them into focus to reveal “what you can’t see.” The movie
concludes with an interactive table of contents with six options that
mirror those in the printed version.
Copies of the annual report were distributed to our board of directors
at their regular meeting on Feb. 7, successfully meeting our completion
goal of the second week in February. On Feb. 19, the report was
uploaded to the utility’s Web site –
http://www.kua.com/Corporate/Press/Reports/2006/kua06intro.html – for
downloading by the general public. 577 reports have been downloaded
since it was posted – an average of six reports each day. In addition,
nearly half of the 2,000 printed reports have been distributed so far.
Feb. 19 news release announcing the release of the report was accessed
120,947 times and picked up by 2,306 media organizations, including
Yahoo News, Osceola News-Gazette, Orlando Business Journal and FMEA
Headline News. In addition, the release was picked up by dozens of
financial, technology and government blogs.
The report has
received favorable comments from KUA’s board of directors, management
and employees. Email surveys were sent to recipients of the printed
report. 90 percent of the 112 respondents thought the report was
useful, well-written and well-themed. The surveys and comments will
help us enhance future annual reports.
Budget: Report research, copywriting and project
management was handled by in-house corporate communications staff. The
cost of producing the 2,000 annual reports: $20,301 (printing), $10,500
(graphic and Web design services), $5,730 (photography), $2,325 (copy
editing services) and $980 CD replication and printing. Total project
cost: $39,836. This breaks down to $15.45 for each report distributed
and each annual report downloaded to date – 38 percent below our target
objective of $25.00. This per piece cost will continue to drop as
additional copies of the report are downloaded from the Web site. Total
staff time required: 197 hours.