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AP Annual Report

Recently, the Associated Press, the world’s largest newsgathering organization, released their first-ever digital annual report. And they relied on Vector Media Group to develop it.
Launch Site

Situation Create an Annual Report as Fascinating as AP's Reporting

Like most press outlets, the Associated Press published a PDF as their annual report for many years. But the AP is not like most press. They are the world's oldest and largest newsgathering organization. However, at a dense and static 23 pages, their previous annual report did not show off their high-stakes, fast-paced newsroom. To add life to AP’s annual report, Vector Media Group was tapped as the authority on developing multimedia sites that work as beautifully as they look.

Task Build a Multimedia-Rich Digital Annual Report

The content-heavy site needed to seem seamless. To provide a behind-the-scenes look at how journalists capture the world’s most remarkable stories, Vector Media Group showcased AP’s deep well of multimedia assets: 15 videos, 50+ iconic photos/slideshows, and riveting text.

With so many videos, keeping size down was key. To do this, the videos were not loaded upon arriving to a page, but instead dynamically when the reader clicked play. For smaller screens, maximizing real estate was also essential. So our development team made slideshow captions collapsible to make space for the immersive photography. And to keep readers engaged with the digital report, we turned off their video host's Suggested Videos post-roll.

To work across screens, the navigation had to do heavy lifting. So, we coded a carousel of 11 distinct sections in HTML. Each section was housed in a single, scrollable multimedia page to maintain a flat content hierarchy. 

To help readers along, the page bottom included a back-to-top jump and the top navigation included:

  • a go-to-section dropdown
  • a downloadable full-report pdf
  • a tablet-style thumbnail table of contents

Action Enable the Site for Mobile, Social and Search

Today, news-buffs get their news on the go. To make the digital annual report as viewable on their smartphones and tablets as on their laptops, we built the site using the foundations of Responsive Design – scaling, text-wrapping, CSS media queries, and fluid widths – to ensure every video, photo and story would ease into the correct screen size. And for these readers who were inspired by the best-of-the-year reporting, each piece of content was socially shareable on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+. To draw these readers in to the digital report, search engine optimization best practices were also leveraged. By coding text pages as text instead of as designed images, they would be indexed more easily.

Result An Annual Report as Fascinating as AP's Reporting

AP was thrilled with their first digital annual report. So much so that they placed it on their homepage, and highlighted it in the Board of Directors Annual Meeting. The partnership produced a year-end recap in a digital edition that worked as seamlessly as it was designed.

AP Annual Report

“Our challenge was to design, develop and launch the first online annual report in AP's history. Vector's leadership and execution in web development and project management made our project a success. Despite a mountain of edits and revisions and a very tight timeline, Vector delivered on schedule and was always pleasant to work with.” -Mike Bowser, Director, Branding and Creative, The Associated Press
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