ODI has won Online Strategy of the Year 2012 at the prestigious Digital Communications Awards, held in Berlin on Friday. The Overseas Development Institute beat off competition from multinational corporations and specialist digital agencies to claim this major award.
ODI's mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. Its online strategy focuses on promoting the reputation and reach of its researchers and their work, supporting them in delivering this mission.
The presentation to the jury (reproduced in a post for OnThinkTanks.org) outlined a strategy is based on three core principles.
- 'Being there': the channels and messages ODI uses to deliver content online should always be those most appropriate to the intended audience.
- 'Cradle to grey': the lifespan of research grows online, so more should be done to support and communicate research from its inception and until many years after it has been completed.
- 'Reusing the wheel': ODI should never pay to develop online tools or content when there are suitable free or cheap alternatives available.
The strategy was developed by Nick Scott, ODI's Digital Manager. He said:“I am proud of the recognition that ODI's online strategy received on Friday. Compared to the others entering the category, ODI has a tiny budget, yet we proved that a strong strategy can play a vital role in getting support for, and delivering change within, an organisation. Our strategy is still young, but it seems to be working: we are reaching more people than ever before, and - more importantly - initiatives where the strategy has been implemented in full are reaching more of the right people: the people researchers need to work with or influence."
ODI Director, Alison Evans, said:'ODI has benefitted hugely from Nick’s inspired leadership of its online strategy, I am delighted it has received the recognition that it deserves' The award coincides with a period of change for ODI, as it moves into new offices and embeds a new logo and brand. The digital strategy has been influential in both these changes: the new offices will expand ODI's pioneering use of live video streaming for all events, taking events to the audience wherever they are; and the new brand will see a redesigned ODI website that will better support and bring together ODI's online activities.