Every year, a company releases its annual report. The report provides an overview of the company’s performance and financial position for that particular year, as well as some forward-looking statements about what the company is planning to do in the future.
The process of writing an annual report can be a great opportunity for a company to communicate with shareholders and customers by highlighting their successes from last year and telling them how they plan on doing better this coming year. This article will talk about five ways you can use your corporate culture through your annual reports to create a more powerful message or brand identity.
1) Have fun with it!
Annual reports are often dry documents full of numbers that only people who work at your organization care about. But if you want to really communicate with your shareholders and customers, then you need to find a way to make it interesting and enjoyable for people to read.
It’s okay if that means adding some personality into the report. You don’t have to drop all professional demeanor and start telling jokes or cussing up a storm (unless you’re a comedian), but you should consider adding some fun and interesting elements into your report that would make people want to read it.
For example, you might want to include your company’s core values about providing great customer service or implementing innovative technology into some of your annual reports. That way the shareholders and customers get a good idea of what type of company they are investing in or buying their products from.
2) Show off your culture through photos (or videos).
In your annual report, having images that highlight your company’s culture is a great way to communicate more than just text. Whether you want to include photos of employees interacting with customers or having fun at an office happy hour, showing off the work environment and the various activities people partake in throughout the year can really speak volumes about how your company operates and how you do things.
Having pictures of office space is also a great way to let shareholders and customers know what your business looks like. Especially if your company works in an interesting industry or deals with products that aren’t “standard,” telling people about the building they work in and the equipment used to produce the products that you sell can really help them develop a clear mental image.
3) Show off your company’s achievements.
Since an annual report is supposed to highlight what you actually did during the past year, it makes sense to also include some of your company’s greatest achievements and accomplishments from last year. This shows people that you’re doing good work and that they should keep investing in your company.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be something earth-shattering like building a new factory or getting an expensive piece of equipment installed (though those things certainly count too). Maybe one of the biggest achievements from last year was finally moving all of your company’s IT infrastructure into the cloud or hiring a lot more new employees to keep up with demand.
Whatever it is, recognizing and including the great work people have done in the past year will help communicate what kind of culture you have at your organization.
4) Put some numbers on the board!
If annual reports are supposed to highlight your company’s achievements, then it makes sense to include some hard numbers or statistics about what you have done. For example, if your business is experiencing more growth than ever before, it might be time for an update on how many new customers you acquired and/or how much revenue was generated from those sales.
This is also a great way to communicate to people that you’re not just blowing hot air and lip service, but rather doing good work and meeting (or exceeding) your goals.
5) Make it interesting and informative.
While this should go without saying, it’s often why many annual reports fail – they lack personality, don’t offer a lot of information, and/or they contain generic “pump-up” language that doesn’t accomplish anything.
For example, if you want to highlight how great your company is doing, but all you do is talk about what a “great company culture” you have without actually explaining what that means or why it’s important, then you’re just wasting space and time.
Remember, the goal is to get people interested in your report so they keep reading, don’t be shy about sharing information and letting them know the good work your organization is doing. Of course, if you want to show people how cool your company is, then you have to actually share those cool things with them.
6) Show off what makes your company unique!
Companies exist in a competitive marketplace and they need to communicate why their business is different from everyone else’s. There are a lot of companies doing similar things out there, so what makes yours special? If you can’t answer this question, then your annual report probably won’t either.
Remember, people want to invest in companies that are unique and interesting. That means if yours just follows the “norm” for how businesses operate, then it might be time to get creative about how you explain your company and product to people.
One way to make your reports visually engaging is to use Venngage — an online infographic maker that offers a wide range of report templates for everyone. Here are some annual report examples from their website!
While there are a lot of things that go into the creation and publishing of an annual report, following these tips will help you to create something that’s interesting and engaging for your audience.
If you still don’t know how to make annual reports from scratch, then we suggest you use Venngage. By using the tips above and making sure all your data and information for your report is complete, you’ll be able to master the art of making annual reports. So what are you waiting for? Start making one by clicking here.