Stop Churning Out Dull Reports

Don’t squander the opportunity to tell a compelling story about your business every year

Done well, corporate reports ooze brand values from every pore. Far from just analysing the financials, they should give your business some personality. Engage and inspire. So why are so many of them dull, lifeless documents that put pie charts and spreadsheets centre stage?

One reason is the assumption that only investors and bean-counters read them. Not true. The largest readership group of annual reports is actually your employees, and a quarter of readers are your customers. Crunching numbers is essential, of course, but these days people are just as likely to flip through your report to gauge your sustainability credentials or discover your brand purpose. You need to capture their attention.

All of this means the once-clear boundaries between corporate responsibility reports and annual reports are blurring, you need to excel at both to keep people engaged.

According to a recent study, almost 90% of consumers would buy a product because the brand supported an issue they care about. On the flip side, three-quarters would refuse to do so if the reverse was true. As a result, we’ve seen a shift in the perceived value of corporate responsibility reports recently.

Once seen as a vanity project compared to the annual report, CR is fast becoming a cornerstone of companies’ governance and compliance. Working in tandem with your annual report, this is your opportunity to put your beliefs on the record and tell a compelling story about your brand each year.

Break the mould

KPIs and strategic goals are crucial ingredients in any corporate report, but it’s easy to get bogged down in stats and lose sight of how readable and engaging your end result is. The best corporate reports tell the stories behind the stats, using a singular creative concept to weave all the different strands together visually.

They don’t have to be static A4 PDFs, either. There are plenty of exciting opportunities to experiment with format, by building in interactivity and developing supporting digital platforms, corporate reports can link to dynamic content throughout the year. But don’t neglect the immersive potential of beautiful print design. Your business has a great story to tell, don’t squander the opportunity to tell it. For more information, contact Matt.