Case studies

This section offers a sampling of the projects we’ve handled. Please click here to view a list of other case studies.

Communication strategy for an American policy nonprofit

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National Alliance of Business (NAB) was an American national organization linking business, academia and lawmakers for education policy reform. It was supported by major companies like Ford, Intel, Texas Instruments, Microsoft, Siemens, Motorola, etc. It mission was to provide legislators and policy makers with information to guide education bills.

The need

The alliance was dependent on membership for a significant part of its revenue and for influence and support. Its communication with its stakeholders, particularly members, media and members was lackluster and sporadic. Many members were unsure if they received any value for their membership (the fees they paid as well as the time invested by their senior executives). The operational aspect of the communication function was riddled with redundancy, bureaucracy, inefficiency and lack of rationale for many decisions.

The solution

On joining the alliance as director of communications, Raaj Chandran first conducted informal research with members, senior leaders, middle management and vendors. Using this information, he led a team in implementing the following actions:

  • In collaboration with the marketing team, he updated the brand guidelines to infuse a sense of energy, color and passion into a hitherto dull-looking brand.
  • The alliance’s national member newsletter was redesigned and relaunched. Production was moved in-house –saving the cost of hiring external graphic designers. More “people” photos were used in place of tacky illustrations.
  • Analyzing the membership database, the production run of publications was reduced drastically, which in turn reduced fulfilment and warehousing costs.
  • A new publication series called Profiles of Excellence in Business and Education Leadership profiled speeches of CEOs of major member businesses, and enhanced their reputation as supporters of education reform.
  • Joint media efforts were planned and coordinated with member companies, like Intel, Johnson & Johnson, UPS, the State of Kentucky etc., which allowed the alliance to avail of the strong media contacts and clout of these companies. Additionally, news releases were pre-evaluated for newsworthiness and their number was restricted to a strategic few per year.
  • The website was repositioned, redesigned and streamlined, in tune with user needs. This included a members-only restricted section to offer greater perceived value for alliance membership. Raaj also conceived and launched the first Intranet for internal employee use.

The impact

  • Members reported greater value received from membership, drawing particular note to the new website. Senior executives of member companies found their internal and external reputations were augmented by the Profiles of Excellence in Business and Education Leadership series.
  • Teaming up with member companies for media efforts gave the alliance a better media and public profile.
    The Intranet improved internal efficiency and productivity, with employees reporting an ability to find relevant information easily from any computer with Internet access.