Creative with a Conscience

Teal Media is a full-service creative agency with a conscience. We work primarily with nonprofits and advocacy organizations. We pour every ounce of our passion and skill toward our clients' success, because we, too want the world to be a better place. We believe purposeful design can transform organizations, inspire action, and enable progress.

When you partner with Teal Media, you’ll be working with a partner with over 18 years of experience who is invested in your mission, and who will ensure that you understand where we are with every step of the process. Together we will craft solutions that are rooted in research, speak to your brand, engage your audience, and are easy for you to maintain and evolve as you grow.

 
$25,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Washington, DC
headquarters
other locations

Portfolio

Key clients: 

AFL-CIO

Council on Foreign Relations

DS Political

Environmental Working Group

Everytown for Gun Safety

Facing Addiction

Greenpeace USA

ICRW

Joyful Heart Foundation

Mission Investors Exchange

Reproaction

Rewire

Swanee Hunt Alternatives

TaxMarch.org

United to Protect Democracy

Wellstone Action

 

 

Reviews

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Digital Designs and Marketing Strategy for Think Tank

“They’ve helped us reach new audiences by more thoughtfully honing our messaging.” 

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Fall 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Teal Media provides digital marketing services, working on digital marketing strategy, social media, and online advertisements. 

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Washington, District of Columbia
Deputy Director, Global Communications, Council on Foreign Relations
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Aesthetically pleasing, professional, and significantly improved, the social media assets they work on are excellent. Their designs are effective, they listen carefully, and respond quickly and efficiently to any requests.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the deputy director of global communications, which is a digital marketing function, for the Council on Foreign Relations.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We were in need of digital design and digital marketing strategy expertise.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They do a variety of work for us and focus on a lot of ongoing design tasks. It includes social media assets, online advertisements, and they recently created a Snapchat filter and a printed coaster for us. It is a pretty wide range. We do our own ads, but they help us with the design and some of the targeting strategies.

We outline our needs and specifications for the different assets and deadlines we need. We sometimes ask them to think creatively, but our needs are often more formulaic. We go back and forth iterating on the deliverables until we all agree.

What is the team composition?

We mostly deal with their lead designer, Jonah Goodman. When he is away, he subs in another designer. Jessica Teal (Principal, Teal Media), attends the high-level meetings and is always available for strategy consults.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

There was some internal restructuring that created an opening to hire a new digital design firm to replace them. We sent out an RFP and did a competitive bid process with three finalists. Teal was the winner as they really understood our organization and our unique needs. They understood our space very well and the fact that they’re also in Washington D.C. is very helpful.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in the fall of 2016 and the relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our social media assets are now much more professional and aesthetically pleasing. They’ve also set up a templating system that makes producing the social media assets we design in-house much more efficient. They’ve helped us reach new audiences by more thoughtfully honing our messaging, as well as improving the designs that we present to those audiences.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

They're great. They have been really efficient and on the ball. We communicate often through Basecamp.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their ability to listen has been impressive.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of any.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They're great and any future client would be lucky to have them.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They always deliver things on time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It’s a good value for money.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provide quality work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’m very likely to recommend them.

Web Design for Reproductive Justice Nonprofit

"From top to bottom they are professionals."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Feb. - July 2017
Project summary: 

Teal Media redesigned a previously stripped down site that lacked functionality and design. They implemented new features, redesigned the UX of the site, and migrated old content to the new site.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Arlington, Virginia
Erin Matson
Co-Founder & Co-Director, Reproaction
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Supports and activists are thrilled with the site, while prospective funders enjoyed the layout and look of the site. Teal Media was easy to work with; they delegated tasks, delivered the project in a timely manner, and were fun professionals to work with. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Reproaction is a direct access organization for increased access to abortion and reproductive justice. I am a co-founder and co-director of the organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We’re a two-year-old organization, and, as goes with a startup, it took us a while to have a professional website. We were trying to give ourselves a full organizational-level professional presence.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had a pretty stripped down site without much functionality and reduced design. We wanted to show who we are and how we stand on reproductive justice issues, highlighting both our impact and our scope. We needed a number of functional pieces that we didn't have before.

They broke the project into six phases. The first phase was discovery and requirements gathering; we worked together with the Teal Media team to talk through a variety of requirements including strategy, content, structure, visual and functional maintenance. Then, they also conducted some additional research, and we had follow-up conversations on the basis of that came up with that was the first phase.

The second phase was an architecture and user experience phase. They came up with a map of wireframes and we had a couple of rounds of feedback on that. From there we moved into the visual design phase. They started with style tiles and they presented multiple options for the look and feel of the site. Once we chose a style tile, we went into designing a home page, and various landing pages for the different sections. After the design phase, we went into the development phase where they did all of the technical things that I'm not qualified to speak on.

Next, they set up the CMS. In combination with our team, they migrated our content over to the new platform. They provided support along the way, answered our questions, and identified bugs. The last phase prior to launch was final testing and quality assurance. Their team went through and reviewed display and functionality. Subsequently, our team reviewed display and functionality, and we worked out all the kinks. We went to launch; we had three days of free support for any questions we had or things that came up along the way. We only had to reach out a couple of months after that.

As a direct-action organization, we want to amplify our actions and inspire other actions. We want to make it easy for people to follow along. They integrated Facebook live into the site. For example, if we have a live breaking video, people can stream it from our site. They also created a resources section, since we host webinars that are free and open to the public. It houses our YouTube videos that we put together and we can upload PDF or JPEGs or factsheets. It was really nice to have that type of repository. We wanted to highlight our press work in a better way, they put together is a featured quotes repository for our newest press hit. The quotes are available on the home page and link back to the press piece.

What is the team dynamic?

We personally worked with at least five people, but we had one primary contact. We were in regular contact with them and they were extremely responsive to our messages. They put together a clear schedule with milestones and who was responsible for them, either from our team or from their team. It was very helpful.  It was so clear what was needed when and from whom. Some days we may speak three or four times a day on a specific issue. Other times, we would go without speaking because it was clear when the next thing was coming.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

We put together an RFP for our new website design. However, we've worked with Teal Media previously on a microsite project. My introduction to Teal Media came through their work on the Rewire website redesign and in that project they actually gathered some focus groups that I was a participant in. I was able to meet Jessica [Founder, Teal Media],  as well as one of their designers,  and I was very impressed with what I saw. I liked their collaborative process and I thought they were smart.

How much have you invested with them?

This project was  $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We officially initiated it in February of 2017, and the website launched in July.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our supporters and activists are excited about the new site. Prospective funders who found the site, they noticed the changes and were happy about the new look.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

A+. They are incredibly easy to work with. They create clear lines of authority. Everything was delivered on time and within our budget. When we wanted to shift the deadline for our own convenience, they did that without complaints.

What did you find most impressive about them?

From top to bottom they are professionals. They built great designs. They're highly responsive, and they're easy to follow. Not only are they highly professional, but they're fun to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don't think so. The fact that we've signed up for a third round says it all.

5.0
Overall Score They are a great firm, and I look forward to working with them.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They own the process and make it quite transparent.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    When we've had budget constraints they've been able to meet them.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provide comprehensive and beautiful product management.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    We are already actively referring them to friends and colleagues and have put them in our monthly email for suggesting that others check them out.

Branding & Web Redesign for Labor Nonprofit

"Teal Media completely understood what we were going after, and delivered on that."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
May 2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Teal Media designed a website for a labor nonprofit, whose website initially lacked brand consistency and had a surplus of web pages. 

The Reviewer
 
1,000 - 5,000 Employees
 
Washington, District of Columbia
Web Editor, Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The time on site improved by 33%, and people anecdotally enjoyed the new look of the site. Teal Media's efforts generated hundreds of leads, simplified the layout, and appeased the concerns of stakeholders, although the project management tool was a slight hindrance. 

BACKGROUND

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the website editor of a lab nonprofit. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We have worked with them on several projects, including a branding project for our organization. We had a number of different looks and wordmarks; yet there was no consistency, so we brought in Teal Media to help us with that. One goal was to make the information architecture on the site more streamlined and more focused. We hadn’t worked with a branding and design agency before Teal Media.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Teal Media’s work led to a branding and style guide, which was done in advance of a website redesign. We used their team for a lot of the mockups, wireframing and compositions. They were valuable partners in that project, and have also built a couple of microsites for us.

We had multiple menu categories, and had to define what users were coming to the site for, so that we could address their needs. This was done by looking at analytics and working through some user profiles. It had been 4-5 years since we did a redesign;  the site was old and moldy at that point.

We went through a lot of discovery in-house. Going in, we knew that we’d need the most help on doing the wireframing for the site. We provided the comps for the desktop and mobile versions.

I had worked with Teal Media on a couple of projects before this one. I knew that their work was solid, and that they were easy to work with. We brought them in for the branding project, which carried over to the wireframing and comps for the website.

We had discussions about some of the new categories of pages. There was more of a narrative flow to them, and a parallax design. Teal Media helped with the imagery, and with thinking through the narrative piece.

What is the team dynamic?

There were 2-4 primary resources, as well as a couple of others, as we ramped up the project. We generally had a single point of contact. We used a project management tool, and most of the communication was done via email. Jessica Teal would come in from time to time, to get a sense of how the project was going, and to make sure our needs were met.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

Much of it was based on my previous experience of working with them, and their familiarity with Drupal, which is what we were going to use as the platform. Teal Media had knowledge and experience with other progressive organizations, which was a big factor. They’ve consistently done good work, and we liked their style.

How much have you invested with them?

Confidential.

What is the status of this engagement?

The initial project started in May or April 2013. We don’t have ongoing work on the website, but we have built another microsite with Teal Media, which will be launched shortly.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Just having a new website was a success. Anecdotally, people have liked it. We have a new feature which connects users to organizers, and have generated hundreds of leads through that piece. There is not much correlation between the metrics of the old site and the new one, just because we’ve streamlined content. Side-to-side pageviews don’t really matter, and they’re vanity metrics anyway. We’re not a for-profit institution; we’re not selling ads, so time-on-site matters more to us. It has improved by about 33%.

Much of the development was done in-house, and there were 2 different streams for taking the design and implementing it. The backend has been simplified, as was the frontend, in terms of site focus and depth. There were many layers on the old site; getting to a piece of content required clicking through 5 menu items. We can now get to it with a couple of clicks.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

They delivered what they said they would, in the timeframe promised. Our organization is fairly big, and there are multiple layers, so many of the delays were due to us waiting for approval and reviewing the work done by Teal Media. In general, they were great.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their ability to take a project brief, listen to the stakeholders, and synthesize work into something beautiful and useful. Teal Media completely understood what we were going after, and delivered on that.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The project management tool we used wasn’t the best, although we’ve used it forever. Teal Media may have used different software with other clients. It could have been better, but it’s not really on them.

Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?

I highly recommend them, but I don’t have any specific advice.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I don’t recall Teal Media missing a deadline.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Good value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The deliverables were well-executed and on time.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already have.

Rebranding for an Online Publication Company

"The fact that they are incredibly talented, but are also the most down-to-earth people you can imagine. Teal Media is a pleasure to work with."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Apr. 2015 - Mar. 2016
Project summary: 

Teal Media rebranded a daily online publication that had an antiquated website and brand. They provided in-depth research, fresh designs and created a new identity package for the publishing company.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 Employees
 
Washington, District of Columbia
Jodi Jacobson
Editor in Chief, Rewire.news
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The rebrand and website drastically changed the perception of the publication company; they received many compliments on the upgraded functionality and look of the site. The new brand brought a monumental amount of legitimacy to the site, which garnered attention from various media sources.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the president and editor-in-chief of Rewire, which is a daily online publication.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Teal Media?

We were rebranding our entire identity, in terms of name and website. Since we are an online news publication, the web piece was critical. We were moving to a name which better fit to what we were doing, so it was a whole identity package as well as a website redesign. The goals were to have a name and product which more effectively relayed who we are and what we do, as a news organization—something which would be easier to remember and refer to.

I hadn’t worked with an online agency before, yet our aim was to have a much more functional website for our readership. There were multiple additions around both multimedia and print media.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The branding part was started from scratch, with Teal Media doing a deep dive into who we were, who our readers were, what their demographics were, etc., and understanding our current audience and the ones we wanted to reach. Over the course of a month, they made a deep investigation into key informants, having detailed interviews with our board, as well as with readers and people in the fields we focused on. Teal Media put together a bunch of focus groups, and worked with our staff. Through that process, they began to develop an identity package for us, which they felt would more effectively represent who we were. Those phases then moved into everything: from choosing designs and a name, to the very granular parts of completely redesigning the website.

All of this was done over a period of a year, and it radically improved the functionality of our website: from the vantage point of user-friendliness, as well as our ability to keep up with news productions (multimedia slideshows, podcasts and print journalism). Teal Media handled everything. They made the site function as we needed it to, gave us functionalities we didn’t previously have, designed everything on it, and went through the months of discussions around choosing our name.

What is the team dynamic?

There was a total of 5 people assigned to our project, and the team pretty much stayed the same throughout. I am not a person who thinks that throwing more people at something will make it better. We had the people we needed, when we needed them. One of the things I noticed in other proposals, was that we would be charged more money, but would actually get less people time. With Jessica, I felt that this was a personal interaction. I am comfortable working with a small team, especially if I know that they’re going to be responsive, because we are a small team ourselves; we’re a team of 30 people, but we’re a nationally-known publication. We do work which can rival others’, who have much larger budgets and exposure.

We worked through a system by which we could connect to different people for different things. There were multiple aspects of the work, so the tech person interacted with ours on the coding side, and others were responsible for the design side. Jessica was the lead.

How did you come to work with Teal Media?

I am connected to a large number of people in the broader progressive community. I was literally sending notes out to various groups and lists, asking for recommendations of different branding firms. We received 15-20 recommendations, and looked at the work of all of those online, in terms of their websites and developed products. We narrowed the choice down to 6-7 which we’d actually want to get on the phone with, and we talked through our project with them. We selected 3 for proposals. In the meantime, I had met Jessica at a venue, and, by talking to her, I got a strong gut sense that she would be the person we should work with. It ended up being the case. I felt that Jessica understood us in an organic way, unlike the other firms we interviewed.

I knew that the project would be a big deal and a lot of work. It would put extra pressure on our staff. We were all prepared for this, and reminded ourselves of it through the process. It had nothing to do with Teal Media; it was akin to running a hotel while renovating it.

How much have you invested with them?

The entire rebranding effort cost us $160,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Teal Media in April 2015, and launched the rebrand in the last week of March 2016. We’ve continued to work with them on other things.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We have a much easier way of loading content onto the site, multimedia slideshows, video capacities, podcasts and better search functions. The layout and readability of our site are profoundly better, not even comparable to the old one. Although the content we’re producing is of the same high quality as before, the site previous site did not look high-quality.

We only get one chance to make a first impression, and looking at something which doesn’t seem high-quality will make people assume that the content on it is also not of high quality. Immediately after the rebrand, this changed.

We received huge feedback after relaunching the site. Quite literally, everywhere we went, with every interaction we had, people were complimenting the site, the new name, the look and functionality. This continues—I will talk to people I haven’t interacted with in a while, and they will tell me the rebrand was amazing. Even though our work was the same, the look became so much more professional. It automatically got us attention from larger publications citing the work. There were several articles written up about the rebrand, and there’s also an incalculable amount of legitimacy it brought us.

If the best product ever made has a shoddy package, people won’t buy it. Once the box is changed to something more appropriate for the level of quality, people will look at it differently.

How did Teal Media perform from a project management standpoint?

Teal Media gave us a fair budget, and stuck to it. They always told us beforehand about approaches which might affect that budget. We never found out anything after the fact, and there was no huge amount of overhead built in. They were incredibly responsive.

We had weekly calls, but we interacted all the time. When spoke whenver there were questions, task check-ins, work reviews, etc. We used a project management tool which enabled us to communicate securely. We also used email and had weekly calls and in-person meetings with the board and with our staff, at certain critical junctures. I can’t imagine the process being any better. I would work with them in a heartbeat.

What did you find most impressive about them?

The fact that they are incredibly talented, but are also the most down-to-earth people you can imagine. Teal Media is a pleasure to work with.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I didn’t have any issues with how things went. The process was smooth, and any problems which arose, did so on our end.

Advice for prospective customers?

People tend to think that large firms are better, just because they’re big. This isn’t necessarily the case; I think that there are different kinds of firms for different purposes, and the ability to communicate clearly and honestly with people is very important. I would be reluctant to hire someone I felt wasn’t able to communicate issues, problems or concerns upfront. I had a sixth sense about Jessica, and knew we’d be able to enter into this as partners. She wanted us to succeed as much as we wanted to succeed. She really listened to what we needed.

There are many firms which can work with non-profits like our own, and do a nice web redesign, but dealing with a publication is a profoundly different thing. She understood this, and I didn’t get the sense that the other people we were talking to did.

5.0
Overall Score They’re terrific at what they do.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The proposals we got from other firms were for substantially more money, but didn’t add as much value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything they did for us was high-quality and on time.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve referred them to anyone who asked me.