Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Calgary Zoo takes a big risk and produces 2012 annual report on Instagram

Calgary Zoo, Instagram and Annual Reports

What do these three things have in common? Not much until now. Believe it or not, the Calgary Zoo ditched a more traditional annual report format for their 2012 Annual Report and produced an Instagram-only version, including financial statements. Yes, you read that correctly. It looks like they posted the report over a four-day period with 55 photos, each one includes a detailed description.


Here’s the Balance Sheet

and here’s the Statement of Revenue and Expenses and Changes in Fund Balance

This isn’t the first time the Calgary Zoo opted for a less traditional format. Last year, they released their 2011 annual report on a double-sided single sheet of newsprint and printed it in only 28 minutes. Remember the days when an annual report print run took several weeks to print and days to build an online version?  Have a look at the video case study from their communications agency, Trigger Communications:


Whether you agree with the approach or not, it’s anything but dull and boring. It’s innovative and probably garnering far more attention for the Calgary Zoo than a more traditional print or online report. I wonder what they’re doing about archiving their report, especially since they’ve essentially given content ownership over to a third-party. Perhaps they’re measuring results of in terms of first-time zoo visits, Instagram likes, comments and shares in addition to project costs and duration. Let’s hope Trigger will publish a case study again this year.

What do you think about designing an annual report for Instagram or another social platform? Would you advise your organization or client to produce an annual report on Instagram? To be honest, I’m not sure and it’s not an option for publicly traded companies but it’s pretty darn cool.

Kudos to the Calgary Zoo and Trigger Communications for creativity and a hat tip to my former colleague, Ian Buck for sharing.

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