CFR Tank photo from print design materials crated by Teal Media

Ongoing creative support for an independent think tank

  • Data Visualization & Infographics
  • Print Design
  • Social Media
  • UX Research
  • Video

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) wanted to expand their online presence and up their game with visuals like social media graphics, data visualizations, and online ads. CFR challenged Teal to drive traffic to their website and increase user engagement. For the past three years, Teal has provided ongoing strategic and design support to define and execute CFR’s outreach strategy.

Getting Started

Strategy First!

Teal first collaborates with the CFR team to learn more about the goals for each specific digital marketing effort before work begins on an individual project.

Together we define:

  • Who is the target audience for this effort?
  • How can we best reach this audience?
  • What is the main message we want to communicate?
  • What is the overall strategic goal for this effort?
  • What does success look like?
  • How will we measure success?
  • What outreach tactics can we employ that will get us the most ‘bang for our buck’ for the budget we have for this effort?

Establishing and applying these objectives focuses our work and ensures everyone on the team works toward the same goal.

Planning for moments that require a rapid response

As a thought leader in the ever-changing field of foreign affairs, CFR needs to quickly provide clarity, context and explanation when news breaks. Teal provides effective and efficient rapid-response work to support CFR.

We produced sets of social media graphic and print ad templates to help the CFR digital marketing team disseminate information quickly on their own, without having to ask a vendor for help every time. These visually engaging templates follow the CFR style guide and are extremely easy for CFR staff to update. For example, a Teal template only requires the CFR team to swap in a new image and text before saving the new file to the preferred format.

Making Complex Issues Easy to Understand

Many CFR supporters are connected to the organization via Facebook and Twitter, giving CFR a great opportunity to spotlight high-priority work. Social media also presents a unique set of challenges, and people won’t spend time viewing content that is not compelling, relevant, and easy to understand. Teal and CFR worked together to create short, snappy video-based animations that give supporters a taste of CFR’s work on an issue, while always providing an option to keep exploring.

The Arctic sea ice animation demonstrates sea ice melt over time with overlays of countries that have territorial claims in the area. The end of the animation encourages viewers to connect with CFR to learn more.

This Sudanese Refugee animation demonstrates the scale of the war in South Sudan and quickly provides viewers with a call to action to learn more.

Global Conflict Tracker

Tracking Global Conflict is one of CFR’s key initiatives. We created several social media graphics for CFR designed to grab people’s attention, show the scope and scale of the issue, and encourage viewers to connect with CFR to learn more.

Since the beginning of our engagement, we’ve partnered with CFR to create:

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Countless social graphics (static and animated)
Print and digital ads
Branding for conferences and events
Email strategy and templates
A comprehensive research study on the Term Member experience
In-depth reports

A True Strategic Partnership

The CFR-Teal partnership works because our relationship goes beyond task-specific, tactical approaches. From the start, Teal has served as a true strategic advisor. We review and analyze the performance data associated with our visuals, which enables us to see what resonates most with viewers and produces better solutions moving forward.

Teal and CFR build, measure, and learn together. Teal plays a proactive role and makes adjustments to our strategy and tactics based on data. For example, In close collaboration with CFR, Teal develops recommendations around A/B testing, ad buying strategy, content marketing, multi-channel outreach strategy, brand strategy, and more. Our long-term, ongoing relationship with CFR allows us to support CFR on a moment’s notice without any ramp-up time.

Teal’s strategic partnership with CFR has increased our awareness of their work, deepened engagement with audiences, and promoted stronger branding and visual consistency across CFR’s digital marketing channels. Teal doesn’t just produce beautiful designs, we work hand-in-hand with the CFR team to ensure the value of design is realized.

"Teal has helped us reach new audiences by more thoughtfully honing our messaging. Their designs are effective, they listen carefully, and respond quickly and efficiently to any requests."

Melinda Wuellner
Council on Foreign Relations


Teal Media is a woman-owned full-service creative agency based in Washington, DC. We offer UX research, web design & development, brand strategy, and creative support to mission-driven and nonprofit partners. We believe purposeful design can transform organizations, inspire action, and enable progress.



Let’s work together!