Interactive Timeline Compelling Alternative to All-Video-All-the-Time (EDC Case Study)

Interactive Timeline Compelling Alternative to All-Video-All-the-Time EDC Case StudyHow quickly hot new channels get cold. Not to suggest that video is old, but there is a lot out there. And when the nonprofit marketplace is full of video, it can be very hard to get attention.

That’s why I was particularly intrigued by the multimedia timeline served up by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) to spread the word on its impact over its 50-year lifetime:

Strategy
On the occasion of its 50th year, EDC wanted to build something that captured the spirit, depth and breadth of its work; that would enable its landmark programs to “come alive” in a way that a print compendium would not. Adding the interactive dimensions of Web 2.0, voice, and some real footage really made that happen. EDC dug into its archives, conducted and taped interviews, and wrote succinct summaries that capture voluminous bodies of work.

“The timeline serves an archival purpose for EDC, in that we have finally tracked down and collected the valuable information and bits of original materials that had been so dispersed over 50 years. Now we have this collection describing our landmark programs – finally – all in one place,” says Alison Cohen, media relations manager at EDC.

Roll Out
The timeline was launched at the annual meeting with more than 400 employees present. EDC created a recognizable icon symbol for the timeline and, following the annual meeting, and it on the EDC Web site, announcing it to its 1000+ employees around the world. The icon is also featured in all online and print publications, including the Annual Report.

Supplementary components include a postcard in the shape of the icon, which will be sent to EDC’s mailing list, and a seven-minute video (link at upper left corner of timeline page) profiling EDC leaders.

Impact
The response has been extremely positive from employees and colleagues. To date, the timeline has been viewed by over 1,000 site visitors, and generated wonderful accolades.

“The timeline is great for internal use, exciting current employees and staff new to the company, and as a recruiting vehicle for HR (for example, they can use the spin-off postcard at job fairs). It is equally effective for external use, letting potential funders know the scope of our work and allowing staff to showcase particular programs at conferences or as part of presentations,” reports Cohen.

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Nancy Schwartz on July 16, 2008 in Branding and Messages, Case Studies, Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches, Video | 3 comments
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  • Thanks for sharing this with your readers. The timeline lets people experience our work in a lot of different ways. It was developed by Allison Daskal Hausman, who works for EDC and also manages her own interactive media production business–www.daskalcommunications.com

  • Jon Stahl

    Very pretty and engaging! Thanks for finding this!
    I can’t help but wonder, though: how cost effective are highly produced multimedia pieces like this? Do they “scale down” to smaller nonprofits?
    It would be much easier for others to figure out whether this is something to emulate if nonprofits were willing to disclose how much interactive pieces like this cost to produce.
    Even better, we could divide:
    1000 visitors / how much production cost = how much cost per visitor impression?
    *That* would be interesting!

  • Guy Kawasaki just featured a new site called Kronomy on his blog. Kronomy allows you to create multimedia timelines complete with text descriptions, pictures, and video. You can see an example that someone made of the life cycle of Apple computers on his blog as well. It seems like it’s free, so that would be great for nonprofits interested in using it as a storytelling piece.

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