Part one: Show impact in your narrative.

Jan 2020 · Design Strategy

Stop your report being a bore by constructing a core narrative. Take time to define what you want to draw the reader’s attention to. The subsequent elements of your report should then support this to help build a sense of company purpose.

To make something memorable you need to help the reader emotionally invest in your brand and understand the true impact of your achievements. How your business wins affect individuals, businesses, communities as well as the bottom line. Try to frame your successes by adding testimonials, quotes, individual stories something that brings your efforts into the real world and off the page. There is a lot of valuable content to be shared in annual reports but if you’re not presenting it well it goes to waste. When delivering sports marketing agency TLA’s report we brought their achievements to life with impactful sports led designs, drawing attention to their company achievements.

In the same way that social media is appreciated for the way it provides a ‘look behind the curtain’ your annual report can serve as a valuable piece of insight into your brand story. Strong brand relationships are forged through human connection so sharing your humanity in your report is vital. Don’t be afraid to include photographs or ways to visually reference your company whether it’s your CEO, employees or the people that have benefitted from your work. Think about how best to showcase your culture, your purpose and utilise your brand voice to express your personality.

So what if good news is thin on the ground? Don’t panic. It’s tempting to say less when times are hard. However unexplained problems damage investors’ confidence. Your clear approach to your successes should be mirrored in your challenges. Honesty is vital for brand trust. Investors won’t be queuing up at your front door if they think you’re going to hide things from them. Then next year you can give an update on how the situation has developed.

To round up. Don’t dismiss your annual report. Take it by the horns and turn it into the powerful piece of brand marketing it should be. What is your narrative, what are you trying to say through the pages? How are you showing your successes, what genuine real world impact have these had? Ensure you’re sharing something of your brand culture, your company, who you all are, don’t be shy of letting the cameras in. Lastly, always be honest.

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