Division B - Printed Tools of Public Relations
Category 2 - Annual Report
Children’s Home Society of Florida – 2005 Annual Report
Curley & Pynn Public Relations and Marketing Communications

Award of Distinction

Research/Situation Analysis: For more than 100 years, Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) has been a leader in the provision of services that build and support healthy families, from the promotion of adoption and foster care to child abuse prevention programs. The organization serves children and families from more than 200 locations throughout the state of Florida. In 2005, CHS engaged Curley & Pynn (C&P) as communications counsel. While issues management and crisis communication have remained a priority, C&P conducted a comprehensive communication audit that analyzed all collateral materials in terms of intended audience, distribution, messages, graphic design and overall effectiveness. An informal market perception analysis was also conducted in each of the 14 divisions served by CHS, providing insight into the awareness of the scope of services and effectiveness of messaging. Through combined research, it became apparent that CHS was in critical need of a complete re-branding program that would provide a system of consistent messaging throughout the state with clean graphic standards and a design that would translate across all media. CHS is a not-for-profit corporation and, as such, must carefully watch its expenditures. Consequently, while all collateral materials, from the Web site and annual report to brochures and newsletters, have undergone a complete redesign, the company is rolling out materials over an extended timeline. Materials that have been finalized include new graphic standards, the Web site, the annual report and a trade show booth. The 2005 Annual Report was the first printed publication that was produced. Target audiences included employees and volunteers, donors, market influencers including government, business and community leaders, past and present CHS clients and media.

Objectives: Create an annual report that would 1) incorporate the new design elements dictated in the updated graphic standards; 2) engage the audience through graphic design that complements the message of Embracing Children, Inspiring Lives; 3) provide information that clearly shows the impact of services offered by CHS through both qualitative and quantitative measures; and, 4) encourage donors to continue support of CHS’ mission.

Implementation: The overall design of all CHS materials relies upon creating an emotional tie to the audience through graphics and colors that were specifically chosen to fuel a connection with the viewer through the eyes of a child. C&P’s creative services department completed all design work under the direction of the communications strategist. Copy was generated in collaboration with representatives from CHS. It was very important to choose images that reflect the diversity of the children and families served by CHS while focusing on images that are compelling, those that draw the observer in through the eyes of the children portrayed. It was important to keep costs in check as many images were required. Featured images included CHS-owned photos, stock photography and those photos taken by C&P design staff. CHS clients who had found success through programs offered by the organization were interviewed and photographed for stories. It was also important to provide a historical perspective, while putting a face on the organization’s leadership. This was accomplished through a narrative accompanied by a timeline along with photos of leaders from across the state. The annual report also enforced CHS’ mission statement and provided information on innovations that the organization was implementing as it looked to the future. No annual report would be complete without financial statements. This information was presented in a clear, easy-to-understand format. The CHS Foundation, an organization that was developed to provide financial support to CHS, had a separate annual report in the form of a one page, front and back document that was inserted in the front of the CHS annual report.

Evaluation: As the first printed publication of the overall re-branding effort, the 2005 CHS Annual Report elicited rave reviews from CHS staff and board members and won an Award of Excellence at the 19th annual Florida Print Awards. The report has proven to be a highly effective tool for CHS executives as they communicate with supporters, elected officials, community leaders and potential sponsors and requests for the publication have been higher than in the past. A total of 10,000 reports were printed with 3,594 being mailed. Of the 6,406 reports set aside for executive use, fewer than 50 are left. All stated objectives were met – the report 1) incorporated all new design elements as dictated; 2) used compelling images and a clean design to reinforce key messages while engaging the audience; 3) illustrated the many successes of clients and the impact of the organization through individual client stories, along with program descriptions that include the number of people served during 2005, as well as a total dollar value of volunteer time of $1,484,557; and, 4) recognized donors, thanking them for their continued support while providing a convenient pre-addressed donor envelope.

Budget: Taking into consideration that CHS is a not-for-profit entity, initial estimates for design were kept to $5,000. However, in the course of producing the report, we found that to achieve our creative and graphic objectives, more budget would be required. C&P absorbed the additional design costs as a pro bono project and CHS was informed that actual design cost of the project approached $10,000. Print, mail and shipping costs amounted to $14,725, resulting in a cost to CHS of $1.97 per piece. It is worth noting that that CHS management was so pleased with the final product that an additional $7,000 was added to the upcoming 2006 Annual Report budget (for a total of $12,000) and a new 12-page 2006 CHS Foundation Annual Report has was approved.