Case Study

The Bernard Van Leer Foundation

Communications and Outreach Strategy


The Early Childhood Matters journal is an annual publication published by the Bernard van Leer Foundation. The journal tracks, curates, and shares the latest advances in early childhood development. The journal began as a handwritten newsletter in the 1970s, evolved to a physical publication in the 1990s, and is now a predominantly online publication. 2017 was the first ever online launch of the journal, and our job was to make sure it was a success.


We developed a high impact communications strategy to support the launch of the 2017 edition. The objective was to increase the overall reach of the journal with our key audiences including specialists in Early Childhood Development from around the world. To do this, we carried out in depth primary research to develop an understanding of how they consume content, and how they use online sources and social media to find information. We researched, developed, and refined key messages for the journal with the objective of using these messages for the social media toolkit and other marketing communications.

To amplify and disseminate the 2017 edition we developed a social media toolkit that we shared across social media and online, and with selected key distributors who agreed to share it across their channels. This included a launch infographic, a global advances infographic, and 21 author quotes and images. To carry on the conversation after the launch, we developed a social media plan to span the launch week and the rest of the month.


The plan built momentum and stimulated conversations and positive engagement online. The 2017 edition had six times as many views and over six times as many downloads compared to 2016. A number of high profile key distribution partners shared the content across their social channels furthering the reach. Promisingly, the social media reaction to the key content was incredibly positive and stimulated conversations with not only existing followers, but with new followers.