Jun 19, 2022

Brand Publication: The Value of Transparency

Under the constant threat of volatile ecological and social problems, the value of transparency regarding how companies operate is increasing. There are expectations about clarity, ethical practices and responsibility that organisations have to fulfil. A Brand Publication is a great tool to share with the public how companies operate.

Brand Publication

The Shell Corporation needs no introduction, and neither the obvious fact that they are under constant scrutiny form the public. Since 1997 they have been publishing the Shell Sustainability Report every year, to share their social, safety and environmental performance. They are using a Brand Publication to voluntarily share information with their stakeholders and the general public.

What Makes an Award Winning Publication?

Shell’s 2019 Sustainability Report was published in the beginning of 2020, and won the CIPR Excellence Award in 2021. There are several reasons why.

First of all, they have been doing this continuously for more than 20 years, so they knew where to start. So, not surprisingly, they started with a thorough stakeholder research. As any organisation that takes their Corporate Social Responsibilities seriously, they considered the views of NGOs, media outlets, employees, customers and shareholders.

They took 70 important and current topics and presented them clearly, but not in an overly simplified manner. The publication contained 100+ infographics and pictures, which was considerably more than what they included in previous years. This shows a clear understanding of how people want information presented to them.

Digital Allows More

The Report itself is a standalone microsite. Printing was not an option because of the ecological implications of printing out so many publications. The target audience was also global, so staying digital made the most sense in this regard as well.

It is clear that the company not only put a lot of effort into content, but in user experience as well. The website is easily navigable, it has a streamlined approach to presenting key points, and it is highly engaging. Going digital also meant that readers can join the online conversation about the report almost immediately.

This Digital Transformation turned out to be an even better choice with the unfortunate outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.