Reimagining reports and providing strategic communication support
Aptive brought a team of industry professionals from diverse backgrounds to the project. With expertise in project management, design and strategic communications, the team was prepared to apply their expertise and talent to address NCSES’ challenge.
SWOT analysis and stakeholder interviews
The first step to improving NCSES’ impact was determining what was and was not working well. Aptive analyzed strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) for each NCSES initiative. This robust research process involved interviews with internal and external stakeholders and translating responses into codified data highlighting significant trends.
The SWOT analysis revealed stakeholders across the board used words like “authoritative,” “high value” and “comprehensive” to describe NCSES’ top publications. However, they used words like “dense” and “complicated” to describe the publications’ weaknesses. These insights provided a foundation for reimagining the publications.
NCSES publication makeover
NCSES wanted readers to feel they’ve found a valuable and reliable resource they would recommend to friends and colleagues. Aptive established new creative designs for NCSES publications and other materials that broke down word walls, incorporated strong visuals and put statistics into bullet points for easier readability. The team also reimagined the user interface on the NCSES website to make content more digestible for wider audiences.
NCSES’ goal was to help readers make evidence-based decisions using its data through a more engaging visual and information display. To accompany the redesigned publications, Aptive also supported NCSES in developing outreach plans to promote them.
Communications strategy and implementation
Before NCSES could reveal its reimagined publications and other improvements, it needed a strong communications strategy. Aptive and NCSES reviewed current communications strategies and activities and made recommendations and improvements, including interagency communication. Part of NCSES’ effective communications strategy is outreach. To this end, Aptive and NCSES developed and distributed outreach content and materials through different mediums across a variety of platforms. To support outreach and communications strategies, Aptive supported NCSES individual and group training and staff coordination efforts. To track the success of NCSES’ communications strategy, the NCSES team uses Google Analytics to monitor communications metrics.