An annual report can be so much more than just a financial snapshot of an organisation. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of a company and its people, introduce new initiatives and provide a window into an organisation’s heart.

The days of huge, paper hungry, printed annual reports are fading, and this is a great opportunity to embrace technology, appeal to a wider audience, tell a compelling story and love our environment. Here’s why, and how.

Story telling

Environmental responsibility

Community building

Investor credibility

First impressions count

 Story telling.

Annual report design can illustrate the character and health of an organisation. As a marketing tool, it is a powerful mechanism for telling a story – and not just in print. Consider the huge potential reach of social media, or even just email and the web! 

Consider it an introduction to digital marketing:

  • online instead of just print
  • a social networking opportunity and therefore greater potential reach
  • staff/team videos can go viral – installing a sense of pride, ownership, inclusion and value in the team

 Environmental responsibility.

Environmentally conscious organisations – that should be all of us – are using design to express their messages across multiple mediums such as video and online, as well as traditional print. More than 5 million Australians now have tablets and more than 2/3 of us have a smart phone with access to the Internet. The perfect environment for sharing messages, announcements, reports and communications online.

The benefits of going online are clear. Media rich, smaller carbon footprint, no boxes of reports lying around unused, greater reach.

Consider how video could help:

  • an executive summary from the CEO
  • interviews with staff
  • a display of company culture.
  • a celebration of staff awards, achievements and growth

Community building.

An annual report is a great opportunity for database building. Use it as a subscription device in email, on social media channels such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest. Thus making your content available to as many people as possible, in their preferred space, and all the while driving traffic to your website.

For Government Skills Australia, we’ve created an entire campaign around the release of their annual flagship report. As follows:

  1. Promote key milestones and dates across all company communication tools: website, email signatures, e-news.
  2. Publish a trailer video of preliminary findings and share across all channels.
  3. Invite pre-registration for the printed report with the option to receive it as a distributable PDF publication on  a branded USB. Long after the report’s shelf life has expired,  the branded wafer USB lives on as a useful tool and keeps the brand front of mind for its beholder.
  4. Publish a 4 minute video snapshot of the most important data for the  year,  and share across all channels.
  5. Publish a printed snapshot of the most important data for the  year. An 8 page summary of the key facts and an opportunity to save a few trees.

 Investor credibility.

Investors look to annual reports when considering investing in a company. A well written, well designed company publication is critical to presenting a company well, and communicating the right message, in the most appropriate tone and manner. Product disclosure statements and company profiles are equally important, too.

 First impressions count.

Senior executives and CEOs that a company may be looking to recruit will refer to the annual report to get an impression, often the first impression, of the organisation. 

What do you do when you’re researching a company? Most likely you collect the materials: visit the website, visit the office if one exists, download, read and watch every document, video and article that you can get your hands on. How will they all stack up? Are they branded consistently, in visual language, tone and manner? 

With annual report season upon us, get ahead of the game and start planning the most important communication of the year.

Coffee time.

We understand that publications are just a small part of the long list of expectations and outputs of the finance and marketing departments.

Waiting for content, searching for images, proof reading, print quotes and approval deadlines all take their toll. Getting it read for the AGM? We know!  We know!

Ready to chat? Get in touch. Go on… the coffee is on us!

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