- Reading time: 3 mins
- Marketing Strategy
As we approach the end of 2017, you should start to think about gathering information for your business’ or organization’s annual report. This yearly report to shareholders documenting your business’ or organization’s activities and finances for the year is a great way to display your performance and initiate a conversation about what you can do better. Oftentimes, an annual report is treated as a simple document and not given the attention to graphic design that it deserves. By presenting an annual report in an eye-catching format, you not only show that you care about the image your business or organization puts forth, but also demonstrate that you want those who are reading the report to engage with it.
With that being said, here are five ways to make your annual report stand out, and why they’re important:
- Use infographics. Infographics are visually interesting presentations of data that are easily digestible and enjoyable to interact with. If you have a lot of numbers on hand that help explain what your business or organization has accomplished in the past year, but you’re not sure how best to present them, consider making an infographic. This will help you determine which pieces of information are most important to include, and will entice readers to engage with the data, rather than skim through it.
- Integrate photography. One of the simplest ways to tell a story is to use photos. With high-quality pictures, you can help show, rather than tell, what your business or organization does. For example, at Pulse we created the 2016 Annual Report for BangorHousing. We used photos of the children their organization serves having fun participating in various community events. This showed the value of the organization to the families it served, and it gave readers a chance to connect with people, rather than concepts.
- Include a consistent footer. If you’ve ever visited a website, you’ve probably noticed that at the bottom of each page there is a footer that usually includes contact information and doesn’t change from page to page. Including a footer lends consistency to a website and an annual report. Plus, you’ve given readers the ability to skim through the report and still have your information on hand no matter what page they land on.
- Use graphs, maps, and color. Annual reports don’t have to look bland. Incorporate visuals to make the presentation more interesting to readers. By using graphs for your financials sections, integrating colors that are pleasing to the eye and align with your brand identity, and including maps if your business or organization owns a collection of land or buildings, you can show readers what you do in an interesting way.
- Don’t forget the small details. Number your pages, edit the document multiple times to catch any typos, and use your logo throughout the report. These may seem unimportant, but they make your report appear polished and complete, and indicate that you’ve put time into it to make your shareholders and the public happy with the presentation.
If you need assistance creating an annual report to show to your shareholders, we can help you out. From layout and design, to copywriting and editing, we will be happy to create a presentation you’ll be proud of. Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation.