Here at Volute, we have been working with our client the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network to add variety of new functions to their website. One of these is a Digital Annual Report.

Here we have a talk with Lucy Hose, a Communications Specialist at the EMAHSN, to see what inspired her to bring the traditional annual report into the digital realm.

Volute: Tell us a little bit about yourselves and who are you trying to communicate with?

Lucy Hose: The EMAHSN brings together the NHS, universities, industry and social care to transform the health and wellbeing of 4,600,000 East Midlands residents and stimulate wealth creation through:

  • Promoting health equality 
  • Helping to spread best practice
  • Speeding up the widespread adoption of innovation

We have multiple audiences and stakeholders, from the general public to national clinical directors within the NHS. The core audience is aimed at people from commercial, clinical or academic backgrounds.  

What were the drivers towards a digital annual report?

We wanted something flexible and accessible, something which didn’t necessarily date either. The problem with traditional annual reports is that they represent a fixed moment in time - we were after something that could be easily tweaked to show new successes as they arose. We also wanted to save on costs of design, print and distribution of a traditional report.

How well does it integrate into your website? Does the change in appearance of the annual report section help?

The integration has worked really well, we created an area that looks very different and eye catching, but still remains true to our brand and the site architecture. We’ve had some fabulous feedback about the look and feel of those pages and people are reassured when they click through and see the detailed information laid out in our simple and effective style.

How easy have you found it to add and amend content?

The content has been very easy to update and add, we’ve had a minimal training as it was so easy to pick up. This is exactly what we wanted, something which could be constantly updated in house.

What were your cost savings?

After the initial set up costs, we’ve saved costs on printing and going forward we can simply update the current site with up to date case studies, impacts and information. I would estimate that we’ll save thousands of pounds over 2 years.

Were you able to monitor read rates?

Yes, we can see via analytics how many times the pages have been viewed, the hits per page and how long people have spend reading each article. That’s something that is impossible to monitor with traditional annual reports.

What’s the plan for the future?

We want to develop this element of the site and keep it update to and fresh. Other stakeholders and internal staff have asked if we can apply this look and feel to their website pages too so this is something we are considering.

You can see the EMAHSN website at www.emahsn.org.uk and see their annual report at www.emahsn.org.uk/impacts