NRC Handelsblad: marketing-savvy, Drupal-friendly, delightfully geeky all-around nice guys

Joeri Poesen //

NRC Handelsblad is one of The Netherlands’ most prominent and influential news papers. In collaboration with the Krimsonians they recently launched, an extension to their main web presence aimed at becoming the number one literary reference site in The Netherlands.

I’ve little doubt they’ll succeed given the editorial and technical teams backing the project. I fondly remember how during the kick-off meeting the NRC team lead structured the brainstorm session around Jesse James Garrett ‘s The Elements of User Experience.

The tone was set for an interesting and very challenging project: lots of xml to parse, data to import from various data sources and an unwilling database to tame.

Even though I wasn’t around to see the project through to completion, I was still invited to the launch party in Rotterdam. Unfortunately couldn’t make it but a few days later I found a personal thank you letter in my snail mail, followed up with a gift certificate for an online bookstore.

I just love these kinds of finishing touches. While to an outsider this may seem like a trivial gift, to me it breathes excellence. It’s a kind, unexpected and thoughtful gesture. It’s 100% relevant to the product it promotes. It shows careful decision making and demonstrates NRC did their homework and knows exactly what audience they’re catering to. It’s simple and effective. It’s perfect.

I tip my hat at you, NRC editorial crew.

Kudos for getting a Drupal project pushed through corporate layers and tricky procedural policy quicksands into the sunshine of acceptance and launch.