6 ways to make your annual report stand out
It's that time of the year again: annual report time! Make sure to get the most out of this opportunity, since it is the perfect occasion to present who you are and what you do to all your stakeholders. From short & to the point leaflets to inspiring & storytelling books. We've got you covered. Here are 6 ways to make your annual report more than a boring bunch of numbers.
Bring a story, not just a list of numbers
Truly appreciate this opportunity to present your company. An annual report is not just a legal necessity, it's so much more. You can show your clients how you work, what your mission is and who your team members are. You can show your prospects the wonderful work you do and let your existing clients learn more about aspects of your company that they maybe didn't even know you offered as well. And lastly: you can show future employees what a great place to work your company is.
So use this occasion to tell a story around those numbers. Explain what they mean and elaborate on the ways those numbers were acquired (an innovation, your awesome team, etc.).
Power to the people
The best storytellers are your own people. They know what goes on behind the scenes, they know what your true company spirit feels like. So don't be afraid to include your coworkers with pictures and/or with stories. Your annual report - no longer a boring collection of numbers - will turn into a captivating story with a heartbeat in no time.
Give your texts some space and let them breathe by adding strong visuals. Don't go for stock images though, nobody likes those. Plan a photoshoot with your coworkers, focus on the details that build your company, or guide the reader through your amazing interior.
For Delen Private Bank, for example, we focus both on people and on the inspiring interior design booths they created for BRAFA (the annual Art Fair where Delen Private Bank is the principal sponsor).
For wood.be, we chose for infographics to explain the numbers. No boring tables, but wooden rings that tell it all.
For Vanhout, all eyes go the the amazing projects they have accomplished.
Choose the right form
Whether your company is a large multinational or a small SME without official publishing obligations, everyone benefits from a compelling annual report.
Not only the story and the visuals matter, but the form as well. Perhaps you want to offer a short introduction to your company? Choose for a leaflet with key facts and figures, like we did for wood.be. Do you opt for storytelling and strong visuals? Choose for a book that will last a lifetime. Or do you want to add a digital touch and bring your stories to life? Make a video or an interactive infographic.
It's all about the details
Now you've got your story, your people and your visuals. Say that you've opted for a book. A book is durable and made to last a while. We want it to be a collector's piece and something that will actually be read instead of disappearing in the "read later" section of your desk.
So don't go for flimsy sheets, opt for quality paper. Think about matte, semi-matte or shiny. Think about grammage, the way the paper feels when you leaf through the book. It all matters (and we're here to help).
Turn your annual report into a collectible
Don't forget to think about a yearly strategy. Make your annual report something all your stakeholders will look forward to. Try to be consistent over the years in order to create recognition and repetition.
That's what we did for Denys, Copro, Delen Private Bank, and Vanhout. The covers are recognisable and readers immediately know it's a fresh, new edition of their favourite annual report. It's something to be proud of, to keep and cherish as the perfect tool to demonstrate the growth and company culture for years to come.
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