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National Research Council 2019–2020 annual report

2 min read

When COVID-19 forced on-the-fly adjustments to the in-progress annual report of the National Research Council (NRC), the Ascribe team pivoted quickly — gathering fresh content and developing a new storytelling framework that integrated the NRC’s pandemic response activities with its other key initiatives from the rest of the year.

How Ascribe Helped

Our writers have helped develop the annual report of the NRC since 2018. For the 2019–20 edition, we kicked off our usual process in mid-February 2020 with a facilitated session involving the President & CEO as well as key members of the NRC executive and communications teams, hearing their thoughts on the major themes and narratives of the fiscal year that would conclude in March. Based on the takeaways from that session, we developed creative approaches — ways of packaging the strategic story the organization wanted to tell — and a detailed content outline for the report. Interviews with NRC leaders and researchers provided first-hand content to flesh out the story of the year.

And then in March the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Canada, with the NRC called on to play an active role in the government’s pandemic response. Even though it happened in the last month of the reporting period, given the global impact of COVID-19, it wouldn’t have been a proper encapsulation of the year without mentioning the work done by the NRC as part of the initial pandemic response. So our team worked closely with the NRC to retool the established outline and storytelling framework and gather fresh content in rapid time.

By staying clear on the overall strategic intent of the report, we helped the NRC weave its COVID-19 activities into the narrative while preserving other (but still important) messaging from the rest of the year. We took care to ensure that even the most technically complex topics were presented in a clear, understandable way — with the “so what” for Canadians drawn out in every case.

Our direct client and the NRC’s internal stakeholders were pleased with the product and the process. Work was completed both on time and with minimal revisions, and the final report was published by the NRC in August 2020.


Deliverable: Annual report

Our process:

  • Facilitated session with senior leadership
  • Content-gathering interviews with executives and subject-matter experts
  • Creative concept development and storytelling approaches
  • Detailed content outline
  • Writing and revisions

Learn more about our annual report writing service!

Learn more

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