Gone are the days when annual reports were considered dry financial documents that were a punish to wade through. Today with the use of skilled creative agencies these documents can be powerful marketing tools that not only showcase your company’s achievements for the year but can tell a powerful story about your brand and your positive company culture. Your annual report can also double as a vehicle for securing funding and/ or donations, by communicating your unique value, vision and contribution and by creating authentic connection with readers.
So how do you create an annual report that doubles as a powerful marketing tool? Clever, strategic design is the single most powerful device that can be employed to give your document cut through and create connection with its readers. A strategic approach to the planning, concept and content will ensure a meaningful and engaging document that stands heads and shoulders above the dry statutory reporting of the past. There are a number of ways that the design of your annual report can achieve this and below is just a couple.
Let your Brand Story Shine through
Powerful branding in your annual report is an effective way to reinforce your company’s vision, achievements and story. Your people are very much a part of this brand story and they should be featured front and centre to ensure a strong emotional connection by the reader can be made. This human and more personalised approach is particularly important if your annual report is being used to attract sponsors or donors. Showcasing your people and celebrating their successes also creates a sense of pride within your organisation and can positively impact your company culture by sending a powerful message internally as well as to the public. Another important factor when considering the company’s branding is the use of brand colours to draw the reader’s eye to important information in the form of pull outs and to help navigate the reader through large volumes of information. This is especially the case if there is a lot of dry financial data that needs to be communicated.
Use Infographics, Icons and other Graphic Devices
The best way to communicate large blocks of data and content is through the use of graphics like icons and infographics. Infographic can instantly communicate a concept or a chunk of content in an easily digestible and impactful way. These graphic devices also help to break up large blocks of content giving the reader some relief from wading through reams of text or financial data. Through the use of graphics you can powerfully communicate and summarise all the achievements and successes from the past year in a way that can really grab the attention of potential sponsors and donors.
I hope the above has given you some insight to how powerful your annual report can be both within your organisation and without. Why not ensure that your report has cut through and impact as well as communicating and reporting your financial data. Using a creative agency that has expertise and experience in this field is essential to achieving this outcome and will ensure a deeper connection and level of engagement from readers.