Sustainability reports as a whole can be difficult to read. They comply with a variety of reporting standards that allow for apples-to-apples comparisons of organizations, but the format in which these facts are presented have generally lacked creativity and fell flat for the average consumer. Producing such a document must have driven communicators crazy at Coca-Cola, known for stellar content delivered through a variety of channels and housed on its award-winning Coca-Cola Journey, the content portal that has taken over the brand’s home page.
As noted in the company’s entry for this award, Coca-Cola opted to connect “concise human narratives, strategic information architecture, thoughtful context, and accessible formats to engage varied stakeholders—consumers, employees and others who may skim the report and deeper dives for influencers who demand detail.” The decision led to innovative development of the typically one-dimensional PDF, weaving interactive content, breadcrumbs, and hyperlinks into the document.
The report was also a jumping-off point, a portal to additional materials housed on the Journey. (The report was also easily discovered in a lot of related content published on the Journey, leading consumers who might otherwise never see the sustainability report to open and engage with it.) Focusing on past-year information by eliminating evergreen material from the report enhanced its conciseness, while a deeper dive into policy and historical context was a click away, easily accessible to those with an interest in perusing it.
The results of Coca-Cola’s rethinking of its report are impressive, with visits to the report increasing more than 70 percent over the prior year’s document and page views rising almost 85 percent. By employing key social media channels, the number of impressions the report garnered is equally remarkable. The online content is not static; there were 75 published updates to the sustainability page on Journey in the first 45 days after it was published, making it a living portal to content about Coca-Cola’s commitment to sustainability.
For raising the bar on sustainability reporting, we’re delighted to recognize The Coca-Cola Company with the prize for Best Report in PR Daily’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
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