Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Inside Look at the 2009 JCPB Annual Report

A Public Relations major at ETSU, I have seen many different types of annual reports made for all types of companies. Upon coming to JCPB as an intern, my first assignment was to help the public relations department with this year’s annual report. I was interested to learn that JCPB began producing their annual report online. I believe this is a step in the right direction for the company. Not only does it allow customers to have full access to the report online at anytime, but it also reinforces JCPB’s commitment to make the company go green by cutting costs instead of trees.

The first thing I wanted to do before starting the annual report was to go back and look at the pervious annual reports. I could tell that the Public Relations department did a great job and that the reports seem to get better each year. I thought to myself and wondered how I could help to make this year’s report better still. Well, when I came onto the project, I was told that the report was to be a mix between traditional annual report information and a comic-like format.

My first impression was that the comic book style would not do well. I felt older readers might not engage in the report and that they would just get confused if the online application of the comic book wasn’t user friendly. Once I actually had the chance to engage in the work, however, my perception changed. The scripting was great and easy to follow and the digital design is very user friendly. I thought this was a critical step that needed to be emphasized in order to keep the customers attention.

I really enjoyed being a part of the process of creating JCPB’s annual report. The PR staff was great in explaining the process to me while allowing me to help and be hands on. They gave me freedom to share my thoughts and ideas and allowed me to contribute in any direction I wanted. I think this year’s annual report is definitely set to win another award, but I must say that next year’s will be even harder to top again.

By: Ashley Cline; JCPB Public Relations Co-op

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