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Augmenting the printed experience online
Augmenting the printed experience online

The Annual Report is a key communication tool for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Conveying their purpose, operation transparency and accuracy of information are critical.

The online version of the report augments the content of the print version, utilising the strengths of the medium with a series of videos including Q&As with staff members which bridge the understanding gap between sovereign wealth fund and the important lay audience.

The Brief

Annual Reporting is a key communication activity for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. There is a need for the Fund to have a high level of transparency and as a high profile organisation they are under a lot of scrutiny, particularly in terms of accuracy of information.

Our brief for the 2015 Online Annual Report was to clearly communicate the purpose of the Fund and the country’s need of it in a way that is both easy to understand and makes it relevant to the general public: why we have the Fund, how it fits with other retirement schemes and why it is important to New Zealand.

The Solution

The top line messaging is clear: ‘Helping fund universal superannuation is our only goal’, and a direct reference to the purpose of the Fund. Using a series of images of ‘Lulu’ and her family we put a human face to the Fund, creating a more personal approach that the reader can connect to. Through the introduction of various members of Lulu’s family we explain how the Fund is working and investing now to help each of them in the future.

The online report delivers high level content and results from the printed report and additional video content. The homepage of the website contains a series of Q&As with Super Fund staff, answering some of the key questions that are often asked: ‘What is the purpose for the Fund?’, ‘What do you invest in?’, ‘What’s your approach to responsible investment?’ and ‘What does it mean to be a long-term investor?’. Other videos included an interview with the Chair and CEO reviewing the year and a more in-depth interview on investment performance. The site also contains various sections of the report as individual PDF downloads. 

The Result

In a context where most online annual reports are still simply a static online delivery of the print version content, this one makes smart use of the bandwidth of the online environment to deliver content that can’t be effectively delivered in print form – namely video content in the form of interviews with the chairman and senior management.

Integrating online and offline mediums created a complementary and cohesive communication programme. Its effectiveness was recognised in January 2016 when the communications programme was named winner of the Annual Report category in the Asia-Pacific Excellence Awards 2015, awards that honour outstanding achievements in the fields of PR and Communications: “The Annual Report of the NZ Super Fund is a best practice example of transparent, comprehensive reporting by a sovereign wealth fund. It features clear explanations of complex financial information; consistent benchmarks; and a strong creative theme that illustrates the Fund’s purpose. Case studies provide insights into investments and events, and an online microsite complements the full report.”

See also: NZ Super Fund 2016 Annual Report, NZ Super Fund 2015 Annual Report, NZ Super Fund website