Reports are a Snapshot
A report is a snapshot at a point in time, a dated document prepared to communicate a status. Whether it's a prospectus, an annual report, a sustainability report or similar, it presents messages which stand through time, locked in to the format of the report.
Most of the online investor presence is like a movie. The website keeps changing to reflect the latest position, the previous version is gone forever. Announcements are the latest scene in the movie. Tweets, posts, likes and similar reflect and amplify the latest part of the movie.
Reports are the record of how it was when the report was prepared, more like the corporate family photo album, to be reviewed and perused at leisure to recall the past.
Reports, presentations and newsletters all contain this historical information and there should be a strong online presence for reports to fulfil the historical information need.
Investors Use of Reports
Investors who are at the detailed analysis stages of their Investor Journey, and professional analysts, may want to look back at what was happening in the past, at what was said, and compare it to what happened later. They need the historical information to do this. They will be prepared to allocate the time to look back through the historical reports and research the information they are analysing.
Report Touchpoints are important for that section of the investor target audience that are seeking information about the past - either the very recent past if the report is new, or the long distant past for the archived reports.
Naturally, to fulfil this need, all historical reports need to be available online in a readily accessible archive.
Reports as Compliance Documents
Many reports have a key compliance role. Details of financial statements in annual reports are primarily for compliance purposes, and the impressions created by the visual aspects of these parts of the reports are less important.
The section of the target audience reading details of the compliance documents has been through the impressions stage and just wants the facts. The compliance parts of the reports don't need to be carefully typeset and graphically displayed - but they do at least need to present a professional image and be more than just an unformatted word document.
Design and Presentation of Reports
If the report touchpoints are to remain effective over a period of time, the design and presentation needs to continue to impress investors. Current impressions are reinforced by historical ones as people visit historical reports.
Many companies have moved away from producing professionaly designed Annual Reports to save printing and mailing costs. They have relegated the annual report to a pure compliance document. This approach reduces cost, and misses the opportunity to create ongoing favourable impressions from the corporate family photo album.
This in turn creates the opportunity for a marketing advantage for those companies who can at least produce a well designed cover and marketing sections of the annual report.
Read more about IRM's Annual Reports service, take a look at some examples of our Annual Reports work, or Get a Quote for your Annual Report or for an online report.
IRM can also assist with corporate identity and branding, investor presentations, brochures and newsletters and advertising and marketing materials.
We regularly blog about our activities with Reports. Check out the Reports section of our blog IRMatters here