As we head toward the end of the year, you may be focused on budgeting, finalizing marketing campaigns and planning seasonal office events, but companies often neglect one of the most important projects of the year: the annual report. Annual reports typically contain research and data of a company’s finances and performance of the past business year. They are crucial to maintaining healthy relations with investors or shareholders, winning new business and judging your company’s achievements against the goals set at the beginning of the year. For these reasons, companies must take some considerations into account before beginning the annual report journey.
The first and most important step is to begin the annual report process early. The planning stage of an annual report should start at least three or four months in advance of the delivery date. For reports that have to be completed by February, the ideal time to get the ball rolling would be October. Decision makers must put together a team with assigned tasks and schedule to meet once a week to discuss any progress, questions or ideas regarding the annual report. The assigned team should plan ahead and create a production timeline for each step of the process, including developing a concept, deciding a theme, collecting information, writing copy, design, proofreading and publishing. Having a strong game plan and sticking to it can help avoid issues during the process and will result in an optimal workflow.
Use It as a Marketing Piece
Rather than your standard run of the mill annual report, companies should aim to make them an exciting read. Those who work on the annual report should view it as one of the company’s most important public relations pieces and make sure their company values and vision are reflected in the report. Companies should work with an annual report design agency that is skilled in the art of storytelling and include the company’s story in the report. Writers should highlight the hard facts and figures that have elevated the company and include business practices that are congruent with the company’s values or programs that show the philanthropic side of the company. Use the opportunity to get good press, keeping in mind not to be overly promotional causing your annual report to sound like a brochure.
Get Professional Help
A well-done annual report is one of the most effective tools in a company’s communication portfolio. It not only engages employees but also further strengthens your brand in the eyes of all stakeholders involved. It is crucial for companies to work with partners with relevant experience when it comes to working on the annual report. The writing and design of an annual report must be done by an annual report design agency who understands the audience and knows how to deliver a well-polished end product that will ensure the best results. However, a company should make sure that key decision makers are on the same page on the project and have a unified direction. This makes the process more efficient and successful.
Impress your stakeholders with a strong annual report. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service, annual report design agency in Orlando that specializes in traditional advertising. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver captivating and high-quality brochures, direct mail pieces, publications, annual reports, posters and trade show displays that reinforce your company’s brand messaging. Your traditional advertising goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.