Nailing your annual report – tips for IR teams

As year end continues to approach at a rapid rate of knots, Art Director – Matt Whitecovers some more of the common questions that clients have been considering when formulating the best content and structure for their reports.

This is a second post in a special Annual Report planning series – view our first post here.

IRMatters: Annual reports are usually long documents – how can you avoid your key points from getting lost in the detail?

Matt White: To avoid the trap of losing your key messages, it’s good to preface each section with a summary paragraph recapping strategy and outlining results… and language must be kept simple.

Benthan IMF – 2014 printed annual report

IRMatters: How important is including a mission and vision statement?

Matt White: Including these statements up front in an annual report is usually a favourable approach – here’s why:

  • Readers need to understand quickly and simply why you did what you did and the difference you made. Recap your mission, vision and values and allow your achievements to shine.
  • One of the best ways to get your message across is through vision.
  • To go with your vision/mission, a relevant, well captioned, photograph helps depict an outcome and reaffirms achievements. Infographics work well, too, as do pull quotes and eye-catching headings.

LogiCamms – 2013 printed annual report

IRMatters: How important is attention to detail?

Matt White: Attention to detail is absolutely vital to the whole annual report process. Here are some basic principles to keep in mind during the proofing process:

  • Ensure you have proof read your document.
  • Remember that when you’ve been looking at the same document for a long period of time, glossing over things becomes easier, so it’s a good idea to have a second (and sometimes third) pair of eyes who can proof read for you.
  • More often than once, companies have made errors with their financial statements due to lack of attention to detail – work to ensure that all figures in the financials add up.
  • Check that names of staff, donors or partner organisations are spelt correctly – and that they are spelt in full in the first instance, before applying acronyms.

Northern Iron – 2014 printed annual report

IRMatters: What sort of options are available for companies planning annual reports?

Matt White: These days there are many options available to clients – from less complex annual reports, which incorporate a well-designed, colourful cover alongside a basic print and table structure; through to full colour, image and graphic-rich reports. IRM works with clients across the full spectrum.

It’s also important to note that where we design a print report for a client, we also recommend including an online report, so that investors can read the report in the format that they prefer. See some examples of our online annual reports here.

Ainsworth Gaming – 2014 printed annual report

Acrux – 2014 printed annual report

Special offer available with every annual report ordered before 30 June

Contact us today to get a no-obligation quote on your annual report.  All clients that order an annual report prior to 30 June will receive either a discount off the price of the report, or a free Silver online annual report to accompany the printable version.  To request a quote, please fill out your details here.

Alternatively – if you’d prefer to discuss your requirements, please contact Matt White via: email – or phone: +61 2 8705 5444.